If it’s NELL, it knows what it “reads” on the web … and then it tweets about it

By Tom Imerito

Can a computer system form beliefs? Carnegie Mellon’s Never Ending Language Learner does. More than half a million beliefs, in fact—and still growing.

Created by Tom Mitchell, head of the Machine Learning Department, and his research team, NELL autonomously and continuously reads the web; compiles words and their relationships to each other into a knowledge base from which it formulates beliefs; and then tweets its thoughts to more than 1,700 Twitter followers. It uses the words, “I think” when it tweets a new belief, whether mundane (“I think “ground cayenne pepper” is a #Condiment”) or profound (“I think “art wedding photography” is form of #VisualArt”). [Continue Reading…]

Taking a Ride in Carnegie Mellon's Driverless SUV

Race Day at Robot City

by Tom Imerito

It’s not often that a scientific trial exudes the festive tone of a carnival, but this one did.  On a scorching day in June, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing Team, assembled at Robot City on the former site of LTV Steel on the banks of the Monongahela.  Today, the team’s driverless SUV, named Boss, would undergo qualification testing by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for inclusion on the list of 36 elite competitors in this coming November’s $2 million Urban Challenge.  The Urban Challenge will be a simulated battlefield supply mission run at an urban military training facility in Victorville, California on November 3. [Continue Reading…]