Transcribing words "spoken" silently; plastic insulator cond ucts heat; finding planets with data

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
April 6, 2018

MIT News: top stories


A weekly digest of the Institute’s research and innovation



Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”


Electrodes on the face and jaw pick up otherwise undetectable neuromuscular signals triggered by internal verbalizations.




Engineers turn plastic insulator into heat conductor


Technique could prevent overheating of laptops, mobile phones, and other electronics.




Computer searches telescope data for evidence of distant planets


Machine-learning system uses physics principles to augment data from NASA crowdsourcing project.




Self-healing metal oxides could protect against corrosion


Researchers find an ultrathin layer of aluminum oxide, though solid, can flow like a liquid instead of cracking.




Artificial intelligence in action


At the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, researchers are training computers to recognize dynamic events.




Study suggests method for boosting growth of blood vessels and muscle


Activating proteins linked to longevity may help to increase endurance and combat frailty in the elderly.



In the Media



In a commentary for Nature, Ashley Nunes, Bryan Reimer and Joseph Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab discuss how current legislation does not sufficiently account for the risks associated with operating autonomous vehicles. “Policymakers need to work more closely with academics and manufacturers to design appropriate regulations,” they write. “This is extremely challenging because the research cuts across many disciplines.”




A new headset developed by graduate student Arnav Kapur reads the small muscle movements in the face that occur when the wearer thinks about speaking, and then uses “artificial intelligence algorithms to decipher their meaning,” writes Chelsea Whyte for New Scientist. Known as AlterEgo, the device “is directly linked to a program that can query Google and then speak the answers.”




Squadbox, developed by graduate student Amy Zhang, allows a user’s “squad” to sift through online messages and scan for contextual harassment language that software might miss. “Squadbox currently only works with email,” Shannon Liao writes for The Verge. “[B]ut the team behind it hopes to eventually expand to other social media platforms.”



around campus



Candis Callison SM '02 PhD '10, professor and award-winning journalist, to speak at 2018 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods




Institute Professor Emeritus Morris Halle, innovative and influential linguist, dies at 94


Scholar conducted groundbreaking research, helped found MIT’s linguistics program, and inspired generations of students.




Professor Dina Katabi wins Association for Computing Machinery Prize in Computing


Katabi receives prestigious honor and $250,000 cash prize for her contributions to wireless systems.



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