Sound and music have always been a big part of Wang Ye’s life, guiding him through a career that has spanned being a research engineer at Nokia in Finland to an associate professor at NUS’s School of Computing. “Everybody, including myself, likes music,” says Wang, who leads the Sound and Music Computing Lab.
Learn more ...
In the summer of 1983, the government organisation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited launched its newest radiation therapy machine. The Therac-25 was highly anticipated — it boasted a revolutionary dual treatment mode (employing either a powerful electron beam or X-rays to kill cancer cells), was more compact than its predecessors, and could be controlled entirely by a computer.
The past few years have been a mixed bag for facial recognition. In 2017, the technology stepped into the global spotlight as Apple launched the iPhone X — its first smartphone to rely on face, rather than fingerprint, scanning for authentication.
When Covid-19 came barrelling through the world, it upended nearly every aspect of our lives, forcing us to live, work, and play in completely new ways. We became accustomed to things we previously held off as a last resort or long resisted — things like face masks, Zoom, and having our movements monitored.
If you awoke this morning feeling a little more tired than usual, you might have glanced at your FitBit to see how many REM sleep cycles you clocked last night. Perhaps you then stumbled into the kitchen to grab an espresso (brewed fresh while you were getting dressed, thanks to a nifty app on your phone). And as you do, your smart fridge announces that you’re running out of milk, so you tell Alexa to add it to the weekly shopping list.
As any Ph.D. student will tell you, paychecks at that level aren’t especially generous. “I was always trying to find cheaper alternatives for household items,” recalls Lim Shi Ying of her doctoral student days at the University of Texas at Austin.
Imagine that you’re a book publisher gathering feedback for a new novel that your firm has recently released. Sales figures are useful, but you’re keen to find out more about what people actually think of the book. So you gather Amazon-style reviews, asking respondents to rate it on a scale of one to five.
For the most part, Henrik Huseby was an average, hardworking man — a small business owner making a modest living repairing iPhones and MacBooks in Ski, a tiny city in Norway with a population of roughly 20,000.
In one scene from the hit TV series Star Trek, Dr Bones McCoy runs to the aid of his fallen crewmate, who lies strewn across a barren, other-worldly landscape. He kneels down, reaches for the small handheld device strapped across his body, and waves it over the injured man. Seconds later, the device beeps and a diagnosis pops up on its tiny screen.
Anyone who’s part of an organisation, big or small, will likely be familiar with a company-wide IT system of some sort. It’s the boon and bane of many an employee’s existence, allowing them to deal with HR-related matters, manage their consultancy work with third parties, help track client projects and interactions, and so on.
When a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or any other crisis strikes, the best time to act isn’t just as it occurs, but rather in the months, even years, before it happens.
Modern-day learners have a wealth of “teachers” to turn to: online books, e-learning courses, YouTube tutorials, and even smartphone apps. If, for instance, you are yearning to lead a more mindful existence and seek everyday calm through the practice of meditation, you might download an app to guide you along.
Imagine if Amazon Alexa could recommend a tub of ice cream or Siri could play a cheerful song if they hear sadness in your voice. AI voice recognition can now recognise emotions with very high accuracy. Yet it is not correct all the time, and this begs the question of how it make its decisions.
As COVID crept across the world, confining people to their homes and chaining them to their desks — for work, school, and play — Zhao Shengdong was no exception. Involved in class after online class, the associate professor at NUS Computing and his PhD student Ashwin Ram soon began to wonder: What can we do to enhance the online learning experience? Instead of a static setting, could people learn dynamically on-the-go instead?
‘EPP’ is an acronym that rolls easily off the tongue, and is something that all first-year Computer Engineering undergraduates at NUS are intimately familiar with. Short for ‘Engineering Principles and Practice,’ EPP is a course that spans two semesters — the first focuses on electronics and hardware, while the latter has a software emphasis.
In recent years, some companies, including Amazon, JP Morgan, and Unilever, began asking prospective employees to do a curious thing — to film themselves answering a fixed set of questions. The firms would then run the videos through an AI-powered software, scanning faces and eye movements for signs of empathy, dependability, and other ‘desirable’ personality traits.
Roger Zimmermann has been in the business for a long time — nearly 25 years to be precise. He first started studying media streaming in the late 1990s, as a young, earnest PhD student at the University of Southern California.
It’s a pandemic-era feeling we’re all familiar with — you’re listening to a colleague on Zoom or attending an e-learning course...when your mind starts to wander. How many emails do I have to send once this is over? What shall I have for dinner tonight? Can I squeeze in a quick workout before that? The list goes on.
When Jungpil Hahn was appointed head of the Department of Information Systems and Analytics at NUS Computing in 2015, it changed his perspective on many things.
“I began to see the broader picture of the discipline as a whole, and began to think holistically about what we are teaching and what we are missing in the overall curriculum,” recalls Associate Professor Hahn. “That’s when I saw the urgency and extent of the problem.”
Technology has been a boon to our lives in so many ways. At dinner with friends and can’t agree who Jennifer Aniston is currently married to? A couple of taps on your smartphone and Wikipedia will settle the debate for you. Have a craving for cream puffs? Send out an order on Deliveroo and you’ll get your Beard Papa’s in under 30 minutes. Want to find out what happens next on the Korean hospital drama you’re watching? Just click ‘Next episode.’
Page 1 of 5