asarafraz's blog

New powerful telescopes allow direct imaging of nascent galaxies 12 billion light years away

When we try to directly observe distant galaxies, the principal challenge is the very faint signal that reaches Earth from such great distances. The light from the two galaxies studied in our publication, for example, has traveled 12 billion light years to get here. This also means the light was emitted 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.5 billion years old and galaxies were mere adolescents. And I’m especially interested in studying the gas that fuels star formation, which is particularly difficult to detect.

No real intelligence in AI - that is the problem

The prevailing discourse about artificial intelligence can be summed by using the following one word - fear. One really has to look no further than the plethora of comments posted online or listen to the AI experts speaking on TEDx to understand that many feel genuine apprehension regarding what our society will look like with computers taking charge. Without a doubt, we are standing on the precipice of a technology that has the potential to radically shape society as we know it. It is understandable to feel trepidation about the new possibilities that will shortly be coming our way. But let us anchor our fears on realistic probabilities rather than imaginary doomsday scenarios played out as intellectual exercise. In other words, let us put into perspective the capabilities and limitations of artificial intelligence.

Install OpenCV 3.1 and Python 2.7 on CentOS 7

Among different Linux distributions, Fedora, Redhat, and CentOS are closely related and you can call them a family. In a nutshell, Redhat is a commercial release of Fedora, run by Redhat company and is not free. CentOS is a free version of commerical release of Redhat run by the community. I'm going to show you how to install OpenCV 3 with Python 2.7 support in CentOS 7 but you should be able to apply similar steps in order to install OpenCV on Fedora and Redhat.

Why football, not chess, is the true final frontier for robotic artificial intelligence

The perception of what artificial intelligence was capable of began to change when chess grand master and world champion Garry Kasparov lost to Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing program, in 1997. Deep Blue, it was felt, had breached the domain of a cerebral activity considered the exclusive realm of human intellect. This was not because of something technologically new: in the end, chess was felled by the brute force of faster computers and clever heuristics. But if chess is considered the game of kings, then the east Asian board game Go is the game of emperors.

Computer vision helps to detect migrating birds at night

There is a new paper that proposes a vision-based method for monitoring bird migration during night. By setting up stereo cameras facing up to the night sky, they detect and track migrating birds illuminated from below by light pollution in the recorded videos. They use near-infrared cameras and are able to detect multiple flying birds and estimate their orientations, speeds, and altitudes, which was not apparently possible in previous methods.

How computer science was used to reveal Gauguin’s printmaking techniques

Paul Gauguin’s art has always held special meaning for me. When I was six years old I spent a year on the small island of American Samoa. Faint memories of eating fresh guava plucked from trees, sliding down waterfalls and joining in Fia Fia – feasts where we would eat taro-root and chicken cooked in a pit – are triggered whenever I see Gauguin’s Tahitian imagery. So when I had a chance to lead a project on the technical analysis of the Gauguin’s prints, drawings and watercolors, I jumped at the opportunity.

Dynamic Pokemons will soon be a reality

With all the buzz around Pokemon Go these days, wait for Pokemons who can react to your reality using "dynamic augmented reality". Here is an outstanding research done by Abe Davis as a continuation of a research theme at MIT on magnifying vibrations in images. Of course this research will have a much bigger impact than just creating dynamic Pokemons. It will definitely push the use of computer vision in areas where small vibrations were neglected.

Airports for drones!

Due to a lack of modern transportation infrastructure and logistics, delivery of urgently needed supplies, such as medicine and tools, to off-grid communities and persistent humanitarian crises will often be slow, expensive, and poorly tracked. Imagine a small scale airport that allows landing of drones in such areas. This could tremendously expedite transportation of necessities. The droneport project is trying to provide such solution to address these issues. It is an initiative by Jonathan Ledgard, founder of the Pioneering Redline Cargo Drone Network, in collaboration with the Norman Foster Foundation.