Filtered by: Feature

Quantum Physics Gets a Boost from AI

13 November 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence

 

Stéphane Bressan and Christian Miniatura grew up in rival neighbourhoods of the naval garrison town of Toulon in southern France. They went to the same high school and the same college only a few years apart, but never were acquainted until 2006 when they were both working halfway across the world, at the National University of Singapore. Miniatura and Bressan became fast friends, meeting regularly to “put the world to rights” over French food and wine.

“One of our favourite debates was whether artificial intelligence can be useful to quantum physics,” says Bressan, an associate professor at the School of Computing. He was convinced that AI could lend a helping hand in solving some of physics’ longstanding problems. But Miniatura, a quantum physicist by training and the director of the Franco-Singaporean physics laboratory MajuLab, remained perplexed albeit intrigued at the possibility.

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The Perils of Paying for Product Reviews

23 October 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Data Science & Business Analytics , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

 

These days, we live and buy by online reviews. Looking for a pair of headphones? Wondering what movie to stream or if you should splash out for the new PlayStation 5? Or perhaps you need a hotel to stay in and suggestions for the best baby back ribs in town? Well look no further than the Internet, for someone somewhere will surely have a recommendation to offer about the product, service or facility you are thinking of.

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Watching People Walk

05 October 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Systems & Networking

 

Life has a funny way of leading people down paths they least expect. Just ask NUS Computing lecturer Boyd Anderson. Two years ago, Anderson, then a PhD student, found himself at Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour mall in the heart of Singapore’s Little India district. It was 3 a.m., and Anderson was throwing what seemed to be a random assortment of things into a shopping cart: a hot glue gun, Velcro tape, disposable socks, and 12 pairs of sneakers, each a different size.

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Beyond Paywalls and Profits

01 October 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Computational Social Science

In March 2011, the New York Times introduced a policy that would later be recognised as a milestone in media history. The newspaper, deemed one of the best in the world, declared that its online content would no longer be completely free — after the first 20 articles, readers would have to pay a small fee.

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Bringing video games to life

04 September 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media

Your heartbeat quickens as you watch your video game avatar run through the twisting corridors of the castle. There is still treasure to be found and a hostage to be rescued, and time is running out. Suddenly, a large shadow looms on the dim candlelit stone walls, followed by a low roar that sounds awfully close. You take a deep breath, clutch your mace a bit tighter, and ready yourself to attack. You swing around the corner, weapon raised, and…

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Smart Nation scholars eager to help Singapore's digitalisation effort

20 August 2020 Department of Computer Science , Student , News Media , Feature

 

He was only 11 when he learnt how to code and design his first computer game, a 2D car racing game, with a $25 software called Game Maker 8.1. Now 19, Mr Victor Loh will be joining the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) once he completes his studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he is reading a double degree in computer science and statistics. The national serviceman is one of 15 Smart Nation scholarship awardees this year - selected from a pool of 723 applicants, an increase from 614 applicants last year.

Another Smart Nation scholar joining GovTech is Mr Kevin Foong, 21, a Year 1 computer science student at NUS. He became interested in artificial intelligence and cloud computing during his eight-month internship at a private software engineering company last year. Mr Foong believes technology can solve problems and cited GovTech's SafeEntry digital check-in system, which aids in contact tracing efforts against Covid-19, as an example.

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The path to startup success: finding product market fit

19 August 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

In 2015, Shi Ying Lim was working on her Ph.D. in Austin, Texas. As part of her work, she studied a budding health IT startup that was trying to develop an app to help patients with chronic diseases.

The aim was to help patients — who were living with conditions such as diabetes or had just been discharged after surgery — better manage their care. Among other things, the app would send patients reminders to take their medication or change their dressing, and to contact their doctors if complications arose.

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Want to better categorise your products online? Try translation tech

20 July 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Intelligent Systems

Confined to their homes during the circuit breaker period, Singapore’s Covid-19 lockdown, people began ordering certain products in earnest: fitness equipment, home office accessories, flour and other baking goods. If, like many, you were forced to turn to online shopping in recent months, you might have realised what a complex beast it can be.

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Wanted: Sensitive New Age...Robot

01 July 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Intelligent Systems

Today’s virtual assistants and smart devices have come a long way. They can tell you if you’re running low on milk, what the weather will be like tomorrow, or change the TV channel without you having to lift a finger. But if researcher Desmond Ong has his way, the Google Homes and Alexas of the future might be able to add another attribute to their already impressive resume — emotional intelligence.

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When cloud providers pool and throttle to win the race

15 June 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

When Yingda Zhai was working on his PhD in Austin, Texas, he used to stroll through the neighbourhood he lived in not too far from campus. On these walks, he saw something that puzzled him, something that would set the course of his research for the next few years.

What Zhai noticed was this: his neighbourhood wasn’t that well-to-do, and lining the streets were shops like MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless, and FamilyMobile. These small cell phone companies, also known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), offered cheap plans without any contracts or credit checks. But the snag was that they came with slower connection speeds, smaller network coverage, and without features such as phone tethering.

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Vanquishing smartphone zombies with EYEditor

01 June 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media

If you have been to parts of Orchard Road or Bugis Junction, two busy shopping streets in Singapore, you might have noticed something unusual. There, familiar “traffic light men” flash red and green to help guide pedestrians safely across the road. But these are also accompanied by matching LED strips on the ground.

In recent years, Singapore and a handful of other cities, including Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Augsburg, have embedded lights into pavements at busy intersections as an additional safety measure for pedestrians. Ilsan in South Korea has gone even further, employing flickering lights and laser beams at road crossings to warn walkers of the dangers ahead.

Whatever the means, their target is the same: the heads-down tribe of smartphone zombies — people who walk around perpetually glued to their mobile device.

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Always one step ahead: Robo-Chef predicts steps of recipes it’s never seen before

14 May 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence

To understand the work she does, Angela Yao says to imagine a future where robot helpers are commonplace. Whether they’re workplace assistants, companions, or domestic helpers, robots need to be able to do one crucial thing, says the assistant professor from NUS Computing.

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Human-centred explainable AI: Helping people to faithfully interpret machine learning with less mental effort

30 April 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Media

These days, artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere we look. It’s what powers predictive searches on Google, enables Spotify and Amazon to recommend new songs and products, puts self-driving vehicles on the road, helps doctors to quickly diagnose diseases…the list goes on. With the presence of AI growing ever larger in our lives, so has the need for us to trust it.

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Visualising Algorithms with a Click

02 April 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Feature , Algorithms & Theory

It was July 2011 in Pattaya, Thailand. While guiding the Singaporean team at the International Olympiad for Informatics (IOI), Dr Steven Halim was struck by an idea to improve the teaching of algorithms to students—by creating a website where many different algorithms can be learnt through animation.

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Humans, Robots, and the Trust that binds them

12 March 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence

Like so many parts along the Californian coast, Honda Point is breathtakingly beautiful. People go to visit, but when they do, it’s not for the views.

Rather, they go to remember one of the darkest days in U.S. Naval history, when seven destroyers ran aground and twenty-three sailors perished. Lieutenant Commander Donald T. Hunter, who was in charge of navigating the ships from San Francisco to San Diego that day, relied primarily on the centuries-old technique of dead reckoning. A more accurate method called radio direction-finding (RFD) had been invented two years earlier, but Hunter was mistrustful of the new technology — a decision that would ultimately prove fatal.

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Online gifting and why we do it

04 March 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Data Science & Business Analytics , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

For many of us, the introduction of Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms was a game-changer. They altered the way we make and maintain friends, and transformed how we share news and updates with those we know. But for those in South Korea and a few other places, social media has brought about changes in another aspect of life: how gifts are sent and received.

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Lost in masses of clinical data? Help is here

28 January 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Feature , Data Science & Business Analytics , Healthcare Informatics , Intelligent Systems

The intensive care unit where Dr. Jean-Daniel Chiche works in Paris is what you would expect from an ICU. Amidst an atmosphere of respectful quiet and hushed tones lie patients in isolated rooms, often tethered to a bewildering array of tubes, wires, monitors and machines.

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Let’s maximise influence, but in a fair way

23 January 2020 Department of Computer Science , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence

A few years ago, Yair Zick was attending a conference in Stockholm when he struck up a conversation with two researchers from the University of Southern California (USC). Zick, a computer scientist from NUS Computing, was investigating how the concepts of fairness and diversity could be applied to allocating public housing flats in Singapore. The USC researchers, Bryan Wilder and Milind Tambe, were interested in Zick’s work because they were trying to solve a resource allocation problem of their own.

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Move over Alfred, there’s a new butler in town

27 December 2019 Department of Computer Science , Alum , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence

A child wearing a red ski-suit

The shiny, black robotic arm gleamed as it whirred into action and ‘waved’ at us, accompanied by Alexa’s robotic, yet (somehow) cheery, disembodied greeting, “Hello! My name is MICO.” Mohit Shridhar stretched his lanky frame across the counter to place plastic replicas of a few everyday objects—a red bowl, an apple, and a banana—on the white tablecloth in front of MICO. Then Shridhar instructed, “Alexa, tell MICO to pick up the apple.” The robotic arm contorted and whirred until it held its gripper over the apple. “Do you mean this?” Alexa asked. “Alexa, tell MICO to go ahead,” Shridhar confirmed. MICO obediently, albeit mechanically, lowered its gripper and picked up the apple.

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Lost? Eyes in the sky can tell you where you are

19 December 2019 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Feature , Artificial Intelligence , Media

No matter how many times you’ve flown, sitting at the window seat and watching the world shrink away from view as the plane takes off never seems to grow old. Towering trees and skyscrapers become mere pixels, roads and rivers now thin winding ribbons, and vast tracts of land appear as tiny thumbnails below.

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