Happy 25th Birthday, HAL!


“Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H. A. L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January, 1992.”—Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Nearly a half-century ago, Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick introduced us to cinema’s most compelling example of artificial intelligence: the HAL 9000, a heuristicall... » read more

The Multiplier And The Singularity


In 1993, Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist and science fiction writer, first described an event called the Singularity—the point when machine intelligence matches and then surpasses human intelligence. And since then, top scientists, engineers and futurists have been asking just how far away we are from that event. In 2006, Ray Kurzweil published a book, "The Singularity is Near," in whic... » read more

Era Of 3D Printing Begins


3D printing has always been an interesting side technology. It's now about to become a mainstream technology. Until recently, the majority of applications for this technology have been limited for several reasons. First, there simply isn't enough history to bet the bank on commercial manufacturing using 3D printers. The initial patent for fused deposition modeling was issued in 1986, but ... » read more

Things To Come This Year


What will happen in the Internet of Things during 2017? No one truly knows. Some 2016 trends can be teased out to provide prognostications for the 12 months ahead. Parks Associates released a white paper in December, “Top 10 Consumer IoT Trends in 2017,” which notes that U.S. broadband households have an average of more than eight connected computing, entertainment, and mobile devices, a... » read more

System Bits: Nov. 15


Revolutionizing sports via AI and computer vision A new technology developed by PlayfulVision — an EPFL startup — will be used in all NBA games in the United States starting next year to records all aspects of sporting events for subsequent analysis in augmented reality. Will artificial intelligence and computer vision revolutionize the sports industry? PlayfulVision’s approach uses ... » read more

Ready For Social Robots?


After years of steady growth, innovation and sometimes disappointment, the robotics market is heating up on several fronts amid some new breakthroughs in the arena. Both the industrial and service robotics markets are hot. In addition, the consumer market is seeing a new level of interest, as the industry is invaded by the next wave of so-called personal assistant robots or social robots for... » read more

Fear Of Machines


In the tech industry, the main concern over the past five decades has been about what machines could not do. Now the big worry is what they can do. From the outset of the computer age, the biggest challenges were uptime, ease of use, reliability, and as devices became more connected, the quality and reliability of that connection. As the next phase of machines begins, those problems have bee... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 6


How might AI affect urban life in 2030? In an ongoing project hosted by Stanford University to inform societal deliberation and provide guidance on the ethical development of smart software, sensors and machines, a panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city. Th... » read more

Plotting The Next Semiconductor Road Map


The semiconductor industry is retrenching around new technologies and markets as Moore's Law becomes harder to sustain and growth rates in smart phones continue to flatten. In the past, it was a sure bet that pushing to the next process node would provide improvements in power, performance and cost. But after 22nm, the economics change due to the need for multi-patterning and finFETs, and th... » read more

System Bits: May 24


Controlling autonomous vehicles in extreme conditions In an approach that could help make self-driving cars of the future safer under hazardous road conditions, a Georgia Institute of Technology research team devised a way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. According to the team comprised of researchers from Georgia Tech’s D... » read more

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