Science & Technology

The brain in the machine

Insights into how computers learn, the current challenges of artificial intelligence research, and what the future holds for how machines might shape society in the future.

Erica K. Brockmeier

The human driver

As the ability to harness the power of artificial intelligence grows, so does the need to consider the difficult decisions and trade-offs humans make all the time about privacy, bias, ethics, and safety.

Gwyneth K. Shaw

The virtual assistant

Artificial intelligence has permeated many corners of life, from consumer purchasing and media consumption to health care—sometimes in ways we don’t even know.

Michele W. Berger

The programming ethos

In a podcast conversation, Penn professors Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth, and Lisa Miracchi discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Brandon Baker



In the News


Mashable.com

Experts warn smartphone voting is ‘extremely risky,’ yet here it comes

Matt Blaze of the School of Engineering and Applied Science weighed in on a Washington state district’s plans to implement smartphone voting. “This extremely risky decision runs counter to the findings of the authoritative National Academies ‘Securing the Vote’ study, which represents the consensus of experts,” he said.

FULL STORY →



The Hill

Critics fear Facebook fact-checkers losing misinformation fight

Eugene Kiely of the Annenberg Public Policy Center spoke about Factcheck.org and how the site manages Facebook content for review.

FULL STORY →



The New York Times

Shuttered Philadelphia refinery may get new life after fire

Mark Alan Hughes of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy spoke about the possibility of converting the old Philadelphia refinery into a hybrid plant that also produces renewable fuels. “They’re predicting a steadily declining place for things like the refinery that was,” he said. “The kind of mix that tries to lower the profile of fossil fuel activity is, I think, the most likely outcome.”

FULL STORY →



Scientific American

Artificial intelligence is rushing into patient care—and could raise risks

PIK Professor Ezekiel Emanuel and Saurabh Jha of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the potential hazards of using artificial intelligence in medicine.

FULL STORY →



The New York Times

How Narwhal the ‘unicorn’ puppy may have grown a tail on his head

Margret Casal of the School of Veterinary Medicine explained that the puppy with a tail on its face that went viral is likely the result of another embryo that didn’t fully separate in utero.

FULL STORY →



Forbes

The real story about organoids: What you should know about ‘brains in a dish’

Hongjun Song of the Perelman School of Medicine explained how brain organoids were developed. “In the last five years scientists figured out how to turn stem cells into 3D cell structures, and eventually [developed] so-called brain organoids, which look like not only cell types in the brain but also cell architectures,” he said.

FULL STORY →



The New York Times

You got a brain scan at the hospital. Someday a computer may use it to identify you

Aaron Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science commented on research that paired MRI scans with facial recognition software. “It is clear that eventually this will be a worrying attack” on stored medical data, he said.

FULL STORY →



Inside Higher Ed

Twitter’s gender imbalance

Rachel Werner of the Perelman School of Medicine authored a study that found that while men and women use Twitter at equal rates, the site has not reduced gender disparities in academia overall.

FULL STORY →



PBS

Study finds kittens bond with their human caregivers like babies do

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine advised readers to keep in mind that while babies and kittens are similar, they’re not analogous; scientific findings about one may not hold true for the other. “We should be open-minded about the idea that there are other variables [at play],” he said.

FULL STORY →



The Hill

R&D, not Greenland, can solve our rare earth problem

Research into rare earth metals by Eric Schelter, Patrick Carroll, Ph.D. student Justin Bogart, and alumnus Connor Lippincott of the School of Arts and Sciences was cited.

FULL STORY →