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  • richardmitnick 11:21 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An artificial retina that could help restore sight to the blind", A new technique helps overcome one major barrier: heat., , , Stanford Engineering   

    From Stanford University Engineering: “An artificial retina that could help restore sight to the blind” 

    From Stanford University Engineering

    October 10, 2019
    Andrew Myers

    A new technique helps overcome one major barrier: heat.

    1
    Without this advance, the chips required to build an artificial retina would burn human eye tissue. | Unsplash/Createria, Pixabay/DavidZydd

    For more than a decade, researchers have been working to create artificial digital retinas that can be implanted in the eye to allow the blind to see again. Many challenges stand in the way, but researchers at Stanford University may have found the key to solving one of the most vexing: heat. The artificial retina requires a very small computer chip with many metal electrodes poking out. The electrodes first record the activity of the neurons around them to create a map of cell types. This information is then used to transmit visual data from a camera to the brain. Unfortunately, the eye produces so much data during recording that the electronics get too darn hot.

    “The chips required to build a high-quality artificial retina would essentially fry the human tissue they are trying to interface with,” says E.J. Chichilnisky, a professor in the Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology departments, who is on Stanford’s artificial retina team.

    Members of the team, including Chichilnisky and his collaborators in Stanford’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments, recently announced they have devised a way to solve that problem by significantly compressing the massive amounts of visual data that all those neurons in the eye create. They discuss their advance in a study published in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems.

    To convey visual information, neurons in the retina send electrical impulses, known as spikes, to the brain. The problem is that the digital retina needs to record and decode those spikes to understand the properties of the neurons, but that generates a lot of heat in the digitization process, even with only a few hundred electrodes used in today’s prototypes. The first true digital retina will need to have tens of thousands of such electrodes, complicating the issue further.

    Boris Murmann, a professor of electrical engineering on the retina project, says the team found a way to extract the same level of visual understanding using less data. By better understanding which signal samples matter and which can be ignored, the team was able to reduce the amount of data that has to be processed. It’s a bit like being at a party trying to extract a single coherent conversation amid the din of a crowded room — a few voices matter a lot, but most are noise and can be ignored.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford Engineering has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century, creating pivotal technologies that have transformed the worlds of information technology, communications, health care, energy, business and beyond.

    The school’s faculty, students and alumni have established thousands of companies and laid the technological and business foundations for Silicon Valley. Today, the school educates leaders who will make an impact on global problems and seeks to define what the future of engineering will look like.
    Mission

    Our mission is to seek solutions to important global problems and educate leaders who will make the world a better place by using the power of engineering principles, techniques and systems. We believe it is essential to educate engineers who possess not only deep technical excellence, but the creativity, cultural awareness and entrepreneurial skills that come from exposure to the liberal arts, business, medicine and other disciplines that are an integral part of the Stanford experience.

    Our key goals are to:

    Conduct curiosity-driven and problem-driven research that generates new knowledge and produces discoveries that provide the foundations for future engineered systems
    Deliver world-class, research-based education to students and broad-based training to leaders in academia, industry and society
    Drive technology transfer to Silicon Valley and beyond with deeply and broadly educated people and transformative ideas that will improve our society and our world.

    The Future of Engineering

    The engineering school of the future will look very different from what it looks like today. So, in 2015, we brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including mid-career faculty, students and staff, to address two fundamental questions: In what areas can the School of Engineering make significant world‐changing impact, and how should the school be configured to address the major opportunities and challenges of the future?

    One key output of the process is a set of 10 broad, aspirational questions on areas where the School of Engineering would like to have an impact in 20 years. The committee also returned with a series of recommendations that outlined actions across three key areas — research, education and culture — where the school can deploy resources and create the conditions for Stanford Engineering to have significant impact on those challenges.

    Stanford University

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 9:58 am on April 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AI is reshaping diagnosis of autism making it quicker less expensive and more accurate., , As a result interventions are coming earlier in life a key to more effective treatment., , Augmented reality applications, Computer models that can spot autism by watching just a few minutes of video of a child at play in their natural home environment., Dennis Wall, Digital technologies together with AI are also changing therapeutics., , Stanford Engineering   

    From Stanford University Engineering: “Dennis Wall: The changing face of autism diagnosis and treatment” 


    From Stanford University Engineering

    April 02, 2019

    This article is part of the series: The Future of Everything

    AI is reshaping diagnosis of autism, making it quicker, less expensive and more accurate. As a result, interventions are coming earlier in life, a key to more effective treatment.

    1
    An app developed by Wall could help children with autism learn to understand facial expressions. | iStock/Joan Vincent Cantó Roig

    The current process for diagnosing autism requires no less than 10 hours of intensive doctor-to-patient observation.

    It is expensive and time-consuming, says autism expert Dennis Wall, an associate professor of pediatrics and of biomedical data science at Stanford. Wall is developing new ways to tackle the problem.

    He says advances in machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence focused on training computers to perform important medical tasks, stand to shake up the field. He’s developing computer models that can spot autism by watching just a few minutes of video of a child at play in their natural home environment.

    With these technologies, diagnosis happens in as little as four minutes. In addition, Wall says, scoring can be done by non-experts, rather than highly trained psychiatrists, lowering the costs further. He thinks such AI models could reduce bottlenecks and get kids with autism into treatment sooner, a key to maximizing the treatment’s effect.

    Beyond diagnosis, Wall says that digital technologies together with AI are also changing therapeutics. For example, he’s developing augmented reality applications, one for Google Glass, that can help autistic kids better recognize and learn emotional cues – anger, joy, sadness – in the faces of others, a particular challenge for those with autism. Another that goes beyond the wearable form factor to even more ubiquitous technologies – your phone – is an app that can teach social skills through fun but poignant AI-enabled games, such as charades, where imitation advances the child’s social skills as the AI engine tracks progress automatically.

    Join host Russ Altman and autism expert Dennis Wall for a peek into the rapidly changing world of autism diagnosis and treatment. You can listen to the Future of Everything on Sirius XM Insight Channel 121, iTunes, SoundCloud and Stanford Engineering Magazine.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 8:46 am on August 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A touch sensor that can detect even minuscule forces, An artificial nerve system aims to give prosthetics a sense of touch, , Artificial nerve technology remains in its infancy, Restore sensation to amputees, , Stanford Engineering, Transmit sensations to the brain   

    From Stanford University – Engineering: “An artificial nerve system aims to give prosthetics a sense of touch” 

    Stanford University Name
    From Stanford University – Engineering

    May 31, 2018
    Tom Abate

    While still in its infancy, the new technology represents a first step in creating skin coverings to restore sensation to amputees.

    1
    The development has the potential to mimic how skin can stretch, repair itself and transmit sensations to the brain. | Illustration by Kevin Craft

    Stanford and Seoul National University researchers have developed an artificial sensory nerve system that can activate the twitch reflex in a cockroach and identify letters in the Braille alphabet.

    The work, reported May 31 in Science, is a step toward creating artificial skin for prosthetic limbs, to restore sensation to amputees and, perhaps, one day give robots some type of reflex capability.

    “We take skin for granted but it’s a complex sensing, signaling and decision-making system,” said Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering and one of the senior authors.

    “This artificial sensory nerve system is a step toward making skin-like sensory neural networks for all sorts of applications.”

    Building blocks

    This milestone is part of Bao’s quest to mimic how skin can stretch, repair itself and, most remarkably, act like a smart sensory network that knows not only how to transmit pleasant sensations to the brain, but also when to order the muscles to react reflexively to make prompt decisions.

    The new Science paper describes how the researchers constructed an artificial sensory nerve circuit that could be embedded in a future skin-like covering for neuro-prosthetic devices and soft robotics. This rudimentary artificial nerve circuit integrates three previously described components.

    The first is a touch sensor that can detect even minuscule forces. This sensor sends signals through the second component — a flexible electronic neuron. The touch sensor and electronic neuron are improved versions of inventions previously reported by the Bao lab.

    Sensory signals from these components stimulate the third component, an artificial synaptic transistor modeled after human synapses. The synaptic transistor is the brainchild of Tae-Woo Lee of Seoul National University, who spent his sabbatical year in Bao’s Stanford lab to initiate the collaborative work.

    “Biological synapses can relay signals, and also store information to make simple decisions,” said Lee, who was a second senior author on the paper. “The synaptic transistor performs these functions in the artificial nerve circuit.”

    Lee used a knee reflex as an example of how more-advanced artificial nerve circuits might one day be part of an artificial skin that would give prosthetic devices or robots both senses and reflexes.

    In humans, when a sudden tap causes the knee muscles to stretch, certain sensors in those muscles send an impulse through a neuron. The neuron, in turn, sends a series of signals to the relevant synapses. The synaptic network recognizes the pattern of the sudden stretch and emits two signals simultaneously, one causing the knee muscles to contract reflexively and a second, less urgent signal to register the sensation in the brain.

    Making it work

    The new work has a long way to go before it reaches that level of complexity. But in the Science paper, the group describes how the electronic neuron delivered signals to the synaptic transistor, which was engineered in such a way that it learned to recognize and react to sensory inputs based on the intensity and frequency of low-power signals, just like a biological synapse.

    The group members tested the ability of the system to both generate reflexes and sense touch.

    In one test they hooked up their artificial nerve to a cockroach leg and applied tiny increments of pressure to their touch sensor. The electronic neuron converted the sensor signal into digital signals and relayed them through the synaptic transistor, causing the leg to twitch more or less vigorously as the pressure on the touch sensor increased or decreased.

    They also showed that the artificial nerve could detect various touch sensations. In one experiment the artificial nerve was able to differentiate Braille letters. In another, they rolled a cylinder over the sensor in different directions and accurately detected the direction of the motion.

    Bao’s graduate students Yeongin Kim and Alex Chortos, plus Wentao Xu, a researcher from Lee’s own lab, were also central to integrating the components into the functional artificial sensory nervous system.

    The researchers say For instance, creating artificial skin coverings for prosthetic devices will require new devices to detect heat and other sensations, the ability to embed them into flexible circuits and then a way to interface all of this to the brain.

    The group also hopes to create low-power, artificial sensor nets to cover robots, the idea being to make them more agile by providing some of the same feedback that humans derive from their skin.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on January 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new artificial intelligence index tracks the emerging field, AI100, , Stanford Engineering   

    From Stanford University | Engineering: “A new artificial intelligence index tracks the emerging field” 

    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University | Engineering

    December 21, 2017 [This just showed up in social media.]
    ​Andrew Myers

    1
    “In many ways, we are flying blind in our discussions about artificial intelligence and lack the data we need to credibly evaluate activity.” | Unsplash/Paul Smith

    The initiative measures AI’s technological progress much as the GDP and S&P 500 take the pulse of the U.S. economy and stock market.

    Since the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first used in print in 1956, the one-time science fiction fantasy has progressed to the very real prospect of driverless cars, smartphones that recognize complex spoken commands and computers that see.

    In an effort to track the progress of this emerging field, a Stanford-led group of leading AI thinkers called the AI100 has launched an index that will provide a comprehensive baseline on the state of artificial intelligence and measure technological progress in the same way the gross domestic product and the S&P 500 index track the U.S. economy and the broader stock market.

    “The AI100 effort realized that in order to supplement its regular review of AI, a more continuous set of collected metrics would be incredibly useful,” said Russ Altman, a professor of bioengineering and the faculty director of AI100. “We were very happy to seed the AI Index, which will inform the AI100 as we move forward.”

    The AI100 was set in motion three years ago when Eric Horvitz, a Stanford alumnus and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, worked with his wife, Mary Horvitz, to define and endow the long-term study. Its first report, released in the fall of 2016, sought to anticipate the likely effects of AI in an urban environment in the year 2030.

    Among the key findings in the new index are a dramatic increase in AI startups and investment as well as significant improvements in the technology’s ability to mimic human performance.

    Baseline metrics

    The AI Index tracks and measures at least 18 independent vectors in academia, industry, open-source software and public interest, plus technical assessments of progress toward what the authors call “human-level performance” in areas such as speech recognition, question-answering and computer vision – algorithms that can identify objects and activities in 2D images. Specific metrics in the index include evaluations of academic papers published, course enrollment, AI-related startups, job openings, search-term frequency and media mentions, among others.

    “The goal of the AI Index is to provide a fact-based measuring stick against which we can chart progress and fuel a deeper conversation about the future of the field,” Shoham said.

    Shoham conceived of the index and assembled a steering committee including Ray Perrault from SRI International, Erik Brynjolfsson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jack Clark from OpenAI. The committee subsequently hired Calvin LeGassick as project manager.

    “The AI Index will succeed only if it becomes a community effort,” Shoham said.

    Although the authors say the AI Index is the first index to track either scientific or technological progress, there are many other non-financial indexes that provide valuable insight into equally hard-to-quantify fields. Examples include the Social Progress Index, the Middle East peace index and the Bangladesh empowerment index, which measure factors as wide-ranging as nutrition, sanitation, workload, leisure time, public sentiment and even public speaking opportunities.

    Intriguing findings

    Among the findings of this inaugural index is that the number of active AI startups has increased 14-fold since 2000. Venture capital investment has increased six times in the same period. In academia, publishing in AI has increased a similarly impressive nine times in the last 20 years while course enrollment has soared. Enrollment in the introductory AI-related machine learning course at Stanford, for instance, has grown 45-fold in the last 30 years.

    In technical metrics, image and speech recognition are both approaching, if not surpassing, human-level performance. The authors noted that AI systems have excelled in such real-world applications as object detection, the ability to understand and answer questions and classification of photographic images of skin cancer cells.

    Shoham noted that the report is still very U.S.-centric and will need a greater international presence as well as a greater diversity of voices. He said he also sees opportunities to fold in government and corporate investment in addition to the venture capital funds that are currently included.

    In terms of human-level performance, the AI Index suggests that in some ways AI has already arrived. This is true in game-playing applications including chess, the Jeopardy! game show and, most recently, the game of Go. Nonetheless, the authors note that computers continue to lag considerably in the ability to generalize specific information into deeper meaning.

    “AI has made truly amazing strides in the past decade,” Shoham said, “but computers still can’t exhibit the common sense or the general intelligence of even a 5-year-old.”

    The AI Index was made possible by funding from AI100, Google, Microsoft and Toutiao. Data supporting the various metrics were provided by Elsevier, TrendKite, Indeed.com, Monster.com, the Google Trends Team, the Google Brain Team, Sand Hill Econometrics, VentureSource, Crunchbase, Electronic Frontier Foundation, EuroMatrix, Geoff Sutcliffe, Kevin Leyton-Brown and Holger Hoose.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
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