Facing Up to Facial Recognition

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images Through a Glass: Attendees at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai this past August had the opportunity to see themselves recognized by facial-recognition technology. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. Many people seem to regard … Continue reading Facing Up to Facial Recognition

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A DIY Audio Induction Loop for the Hard of Hearing

Illustration: James Provost I regularly attend an unprogrammed Quaker meeting, where a lot of the folks are older and have hearing impairments. This style of worship poses a special challenge for these people because, unlike the convention at many other religious gatherings, there is no one person who addresses the congregation. At an unprogrammed Quaker meeting, … Continue reading A DIY Audio Induction Loop for the Hard of Hearing

Mum No More: 3D-Printed Vocal Tract Lets Mummy Speak

The coffin that holds the mummified body of the ancient Egyptian Nesyamun, who lived around 1100 B.C., expresses the man’s desire for his voice to live on. Now, 3,000 years after his death, that wish has come true. Using a 3D-printed replica of Nesyamun’s vocal tract and an electronic larynx, researchers in the UK have synthesized the … Continue reading Mum No More: 3D-Printed Vocal Tract Lets Mummy Speak

How Do Neural Implants Work?

It sounds like science fiction, but a neural implant could, many years from now, read and edit a person’s thoughts. Neural implants are already being used to treat disease, rehabilitate the body after injury, improve memory, communicate with prosthetic limbs, and more.  The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) … Continue reading How Do Neural Implants Work?

AI-Designed 'Living Robots' Crawl, Heal Themselves

Biological organisms have certain useful attributes that synthetic robots do not, such as the abilities to heal, adapt to new situations, and reproduce. Yet molding biological tissues into robots or tools has been exceptionally difficult to do: Experimental techniques, such as altering a genome to make a microbe perform a specific task, are hard to control and not … Continue reading AI-Designed 'Living Robots' Crawl, Heal Themselves