Kristine de Leon

Kristine is a fledgling science writer based in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Once a researcher in soil microbiology, Kristine is passionate about translating science into thrilling stories for all. She enjoys reading, the great outdoors, playing with logical systems, learning how stuff in the world works, and making things with metal.

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Olympic Robots
February 12, 2018

Olympic Robots

As the world's fifth biggest exporter and 10th-largest economy, South Korea has been known for its cutting-edge technology, having already deployed robotic teachers, industrial manufacturing workers, translators and service staff. This year at the Winter Olympics, which began on last Friday evening in South Korea, a fleet of eighty-five robots were deployed across the sporting venues in PyeongChang to provide a variety of services at these events, showcasing the nation's robotic prowess.
Alzheimer's Disease Prediction Challenge
January 8, 2018

Alzheimer's Disease Prediction Challenge

The human brain is the most complicated organ in the human body, and we barely understand it. Recently, scientists are turning to machines to figure out the brain. The hope is if we can decipher the intensely intricate patterns of the brain, we can figure out how to fix it when it’s suffering from a disease.
June 22, 2017

Are radiologists being replaced by AI?

The frightening, futurist portrayals of artificial intelligence and anthropomorphic robots portended in Hollywood films and sci-fi novels are fictional. In reality, AI is already changing our everyday lives, almost entirely in ways that benefit our society. Apple's Siri, voice recognition, Google's ability to recognize photos and videos of cats, weather forecasts, and email spam filtering, are all examples. Indeed, we've witnessed quantum leaps in the quantity and quality of a wide range of common technologi
May 26, 2017

Towards a Holistic Scene Understanding

Machine learning has been an essential tool for solving computer vision tasks such as image classification, object detection, instance recognition, and semantic segmentation, among others. The crux of machine learning approaches involves data. Training a machine requires enormous amounts of usable data. Why? Suppose you want to learn about monkeys and apes. Let's also assume you've never seen any monkeys or apes in your lifetime, until one day, someone shows you a picture of a monkey and an ape. It might be difficult to generalize from one picture and discern the differences between a monkey and an ape. If you saw perhaps 50 pictures of each species, you would have a greater chance of noticing that monkeys tend to be smaller than apes and that monkeys tend to have tails, whereas apes do not. Now if you saw thousands of pictures of both monkeys and apes, it might become very clear to you that the two are in fact, very different. For example, you might discover monkeys and apes have different nose structures, upper bodies, feet and so
April 30, 2017

Improving accuracy in the wisdom of crowds

In a letter to Nature published in 1907, Francis Galton described an event that had taken place at a county fair, where he asked roughly 800 people to guess the weight of an ox. The average estimate was 1,197 pounds. The actual weight was 1,198, which meant that the average guess was a near-perfect estimate. Many people who participated from the crowd were considered experts, such as farmers and butchers, but many people were non-experts who were just attending the fair. Also, none of them guessed the correct weight, and only one person guessed 1,197. The next closest guess was 1,199, which was given by two participant
April 24, 2017

Prediction Markets

In the final stretch leading up the U.K's referendum on the EU last year, traditional opinion polls suggested an extremely close race, fluctuating between staying in the EU and leaving up until the votes were cast. However, the political prediction (betting) markets told a different story, showing a wide lead on the odds of remaining. Two days before the referendum, a large number of opinion polls showed 'Leave' ahead, while the British prediction market Betfair was implying odds of 75 percent for 'Remain' and 25 percent for 'Lea
April 11, 2017

Computational Humor

When you think about how you see and process the world, imagine how you would teach a computer to do that? This is a problem that falls under computational humor, which many people believe lies in the AI-complete category of AI problems, meaning that if it is solved, computers can be said to be as intelligent as humans. Computational humor also falls under natural language understanding<
March 29, 2017

Poker-bots Hit a New Milestone in AI

Two separate artificial intelligence (AI) programs recently surpassed humans in a game that was once considered too difficult for artificial intelligence to master. Each one of these events represents a significant milestone in AI by beating professional poker players at Heads-up (two player only) No-Limit Texas Hold'em, one of the more complex variants of po
March 13, 2017

The importance of long-term thinking

Digital devices have permeated our everyday lives. Not only are we creating more devices that connect to the Internet, more devices are becoming part of our everyday lives. We are generating data faster than ever before; every second we create new data. The EMC Digital Universe study, in conjunction with IDC http://www.idc.com/, projects that the amount of data will reach a staggering 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, by the year 20
March 4, 2017

Deep Learning is Driving the New Agriculture Revolution

As the human population continues to spawn - to perhaps nearly 10 billion by 2050 - the size of the planet stays the same, meaning the same amount of land must somehow support more people. Intensified further by the volatility of extreme weather events and the resulting water shortage, humanity is going to have a hard time finding ways to support itself. And with the increasing urbanization of life and more humans moving to live in the cities, more and more people will be less engaged with food product