February 14, 2011
"Whatever the outcome, the fact that a machine is able to compete against the most successful players ever to appear on Jeopardy! 'is a remarkable achievement', says Boris Katz, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
WGBH reporter Maggie Penn examines how the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will integrate the study of computer science and AI into every academic discipline. "Much of higher education is silo-ed, a lot of universities are dealing with that," explains Melissa Nobles, dean of SHASS. "This is a really creative way of getting around that and creating something new that is truly collaborative."
Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Lee Gardner notes that MIT is making a $1 billion investment in furthering the study of computation and AI. “The institute’s project will support the search for solutions to two other daunting challenges,” Gardner explains, “how to handle the ethical and philosophical implications of AI for the societies it will transform, and how to break down institutional silos in academe.”
Science reporter Jeffrey Mervis notes that the $350 million gift from Stephen Schwarzman, which will help establish a new college of computing at MIT, will enable the Institute to hire 50 new faculty members. Provost Martin Schmidt notes that the college will be instrumental in “linking computation to all disciplines on campus.”
Hiawatha Bray of The Boston Globe writes that fake news articles are destined for the same fate as spam emails thanks to research from MIT postdoc Ramy Baly, who is developing software to flag fake news sites. Baly hopes to “create a consumer news app that would direct users to reliable news sources from every point on the political compass.”
A new study by MIT researchers has confirmed that light melts matter differently than heat, writes UPI reporter Brooks Hays. Hays explains that in the future, the researchers “hope to engineer or manipulate the phase change process. The mechanism could be used to power new types of optoelectronic devices, such as a data storage device.”