News
Using artificial intelligence to enrich digital maps
23 January 2020

A model invented by researchers at MIT and QCRI that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation.
CSAIL hosts annual meeting with QCRI
11 October 2019

In the program's eighth year, CSAIL once again held its annual joint meeting with CSAIL and QCRI leaders.
Research teams shared information on progress across six research projects.
Keynote speaker to talk at HBKU on the ability of computers to gain high-level understanding from digital content
17 March 2019

An expert in computer vision who programs computers to perceive the world in the same way that humans do, is to deliver a keynote speech during a visit to Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
Read more at HBKU News
Putting neural networks under the microscope
01 February 2019 Rob Matheson | MIT News

Researchers pinpoint the “neurons” in machine-learning systems that capture specific linguistic features during language-processing tasks.
CSAIL hosts annual meeting highlighting collaboration with QCRI
10 October 2018 Adam Conner-Simons

This week CSAIL hosted researchers from Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), which is part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha.
The meeting focused on recent work and future areas of exploration between the two institutions, who have now been conducting computer science research together for six years.
Full story at CSAIL News: https://www.csail.mit.edu/news/csail-hosts-annual-meeting-highlighting-c...
Detecting fake news at its source
04 October 2018

Lately the fact-checking world has been in a bit of a crisis. Sites like Politifact and Snopes have traditionally focused on specific claims, which is admirable but tedious; by the time they’ve gotten through verifying or debunking a fact, there’s a good chance it’s already traveled across the globe and back again.
Social media companies have also had mixed results limiting the spread of propaganda and misinformation. Facebook plans to have 20,000 human moderators by the end of the year, and is putting significant resources into developing its own fake-news-detecting algorithms.
Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) believe that the best approach is to focus not only on individual claims, but on the news sources themselves. Using this tack, they’ve demonstrated a new system that uses machine learning to determine if a source is accurate or politically biased.
Full story at MIT News: http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-csail-machine-learning-system-detects-fake-...
A new way to automatically build road maps from aerial images
17 April 2018

Map apps may have changed our world, but they still haven’t mapped all of it yet. Specifically, mapping roads can be difficult and tedious: Even after taking aerial images, companies still have to spend many hours manually tracing out roads. As a result, even companies like Google haven’t yet gotten around to mapping the vast majority of the more than 20 million miles of roads across the globe.
Gaps in maps are a problem, particularly for systems being developed for self-driving cars. To address the issue, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created RoadTracer, an automated method to build road maps that’s 45 percent more accurate than existing approaches.
Full story at MIT News: http://news.mit.edu/2018/new-way-to-automatically-build-road-maps-with-a...
CSAIL researchers visit Doha for annual QCRI meeting
21 March 2018 Adam Conner-Simons, MIT CSAIL

Next week CSAIL researchers will be visiting Doha as part of the lab’s collaboration with Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), an esteemed research institute that’s part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
Taking place the week of March 26, the meeting focuses on recent work and future areas of exploration between the two institutions, who have been conducting computer science research together for more than five years.
https://www.csail.mit.edu/news/csail-researchers-visit-doha-annual-qcri-...
Reading a neural network’s mind
10 December 2017 Larry Hardesty | MIT News Office

Technique illuminates the inner workings of artificial-intelligence systems that process language. via MIT News 
October 2017 - QCRI-MIT CSAIL Annual Meeting
03 October 2017

The annual meeting is a highlight of a collaboration between QCRI and MIT CSAIL, a medium for knowledge creation, transfer and the exchange of expertise between scientists.
 
Scientists from both organizations are undertaking a variety of core computer science research projects – Database Management; Arabic Speech and Language Processing for Cross-Language Information Search and Fact Verification; Next Generation Video; Understanding Health Habits from Social Media; A Vertically-Integrated Approach to Resource-Efficient Shared Computing; Understanding and Developing for Cultural Identities Across Platforms; and Accurate Map Making Using Mobile Sensor Data.
 
They will be presenting their latest updates on this research at the project review.
 
For an agenda, please click here. The meeting is private and by invitation only.
Artificial intelligence suggests recipes based on food photos
20 July 2017

A deep-learning algorithm recommends ingredients and recipes - via MITnews.
Leading AI expert Patrick Winston to visit Qatar
07 March 2017

Patrick Winston, a Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, is to visit Qatar to discuss the future of artificial intelligence.
Professor Winston’s public talk, “The Future of AI: Where we are, how we got there and where we are going”, will be held on Monday, March 27 at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
It is the highlight of an annual meeting in Qatar between MIT CSAIL and Hamad bin Khalifa University’s Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI).
Professor Winston’s research group at CSAIL studies how humans’ story-understanding faculty separates us from other species. A story-understanding system developed by his group reads simple stories, answers questions about them, asks intelligent questions, identifies concepts, retells persuasively, educates, summaries, compares and authors.
His research integrates work from several allied fields, including AI, computer science, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics and paleoanthropology. Professor Winston’s early work was supervised by the late Marvin Minsky, a computing pioneer regarded as the “father of artificial intelligence”.
Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid, Executive Director of QCRI, described Professor Winston as “one of the finest experts in artificial intelligence,” and urged Qatar residents to hear him speak.
“This is a critical time in the development of AI, which has seen a resurgence as advanced AI techniques like deep neural networks, big data and powerful computing hardware are poised to transform society in a way not seen since the industrial revolution,” Dr Elmagarmid said.
“Professor Winston has been witness to the evolution of AI, having led MIT's AI Lab from 1992 to 1997 and is an author of several books on AI, computer vision, and computer programming."
To attend this event, please RSVP.
QCRI-MIT CSAIL Annual Research Project Review 2017
07 March 2017

The QCRI – MIT CSAIL Annual Research Project Review is open to the public on Monday, March 27, 2017, at the HBKU Research Complex Multipurpose Room, Education City, Doha, Qatar.
 
The annual meeting is a highlight of a collaboration between QCRI and MIT CSAIL, a medium for knowledge creation, transfer and the exchange of expertise between scientists.
 
Scientists from both organizations are undertaking a variety of core computer science research projects – Database Management; Arabic Speech and Language Processing for Cross-Language Information Search and Fact Verification; Content-Adaptive Video Retargeting; Understanding Health Habits from Social Media; A Vertically-Integrated Approach to Resource-Efficient Shared Computing; Understanding and Developing for Cultural Identities Across Platforms; and Urban Data Analytics to Improve Mobility for Growing Cities in the Context of Mega Events.
 
They will be presenting their latest updates on this research at the project review.
 
The meeting will be followed by a public talk by MIT CSAIL’s Professor Patrick Winston: “The Future of AI: Where we are, how we got here and where we are going,” at the Qatar National Convention Centre, Auditorium 1 at 4pm.
 
For an agenda, please click here.
To attend this event, please RSVP.
Taming Data
19 January 2017 Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office

The age of big data has seen a host of new techniques for analyzing large data sets. But before any of those techniques can be applied, the target data has to be aggregated, organized, and cleaned up.
That turns out to be a shockingly time-consuming task. In a 2016 survey, 80 data scientists told the company CrowdFlower that, on average, they spent 80 percent of their time collecting and organizing data and only 20 percent analyzing it.
An international team of computer scientists hopes to change that, with a new system called Data Civilizer, which automatically finds connections among many different data tables and allows users to perform database-style queries across all of them. The results of the queries can then be saved as new, orderly data sets that may draw information from dozens or even thousands of different tables.
“Modern organizations have many thousands of data sets spread across files, spreadsheets, databases, data lakes, and other software systems,” says Sam Madden, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and faculty director of MIT’s bigdata@CSAIL initiative. “Civilizer helps analysts in these organizations quickly find data sets that contain information that is relevant to them and, more importantly, combine related data sets together to create new, unified data sets that consolidate data of interest for some analysis.”
The researchers presented their system last week at the Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research. The lead authors on the paper are Dong Deng and Raul Castro Fernandez, both postdocs at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Madden is one of the senior authors. They’re joined by six other researchers from Technical University of Berlin, Nanyang Technological University, the University of Waterloo, and the Qatar Computing Research Institute. Although he’s not a co-author, MIT adjunct professor of electrical engineering and computer science Michael Stonebraker, who in 2014 won the Turing Award — the highest honor in computer science — contributed to the work as well.
Full story here: http://news.mit.edu/2017/system-finds-links-related-data-digital-files-q...
Reach in and touch objects in videos with “Interactive Dynamic Video”
02 August 2016 By Adam Conner-Simons | Rachel Gordon | CSAIL

We learn a lot about objects by manipulating them: poking, pushing, prodding, and then seeing how they react.
We obviously can’t do that with videos — just try touching that cat video on your phone and see what happens. But is it crazy to think that we could take that video and simulate how the cat moves, without ever interacting with the real one?
Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have recently done just that, developing an imaging technique called Interactive Dynamic Video (IDV) that lets you reach in and “touch” objects in videos. Using traditional cameras and algorithms, IDV looks at the tiny, almost invisible vibrations of an object to create video simulations that users can virtually interact with.
"This technique lets us capture the physical behavior of objects, which gives us a way to play with them in virtual space,” says CSAIL PhD student Abe Davis, who will be publishing the work this month for his final dissertation. “By making videos interactive, we can predict how objects will respond to unknown forces and explore new ways to engage with videos.”
Davis says that IDV has many possible uses, from filmmakers producing new kinds of visual effects to architects determining if buildings are structurally sound. For example, he shows that, in contrast to how the popular Pokemon Go app can drop virtual characters into real-world environments, IDV can go a step beyond that by actually enabling virtual objects (including Pokemon) to interact with their environments in specific, realistic ways, like bouncing off the leaves of a nearby bush.
He outlined the technique in a paper he published earlier this year with PhD student Justin G. Chen and professor Fredo Durand.
Article with video link: http://www.csail.mit.edu/reach_in_and_touch_objects_in_videos_with%20_interactive_dynamic_video
How it works
The most common way to simulate objects’ motions is by building a 3-D model. Unfortunately, 3-D modeling is expensive, and can be almost impossible for many objects. While algorithms exist to track motions in video and magnify them, there aren’t ones that can reliably simulate objects in unknown environments. Davis’ work shows that even five seconds of video can have enough information to create realistic simulations.
To simulate the objects, the team analyzed video clips to find “vibration modes” at different frequencies that each represent distinct ways that an object can move. By identifying these modes’ shapes, the researchers can begin to predict how these objects will move in new situations.
“Computer graphics allows us to use 3-D models to build interactive simulations, but the techniques can be complicated,” says Doug James, a professor of computer science at Stanford University who was not involved in the research. “Davis and his colleagues have provided a simple and clever way to extract a useful dynamics model from very tiny vibrations in video, and shown how to use it to animate an...
HBKU's Qatar Computing Research Institute and MIT CSAIL Scientists Assemble for Annual Research Projects Meeting
16 March 2016

The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a national research institute under Hamad bin Khalifa University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) will hold their annual research projects review meeting at the Qatar National Convention Centre on Sunday, March 20 and Monday, March 21. The event will be open to the public on Sunday.
In the fourth of a seven-year agreement, the partnership between QCRI and MIT CSAIL continues to gain momentum, with scientists on each side of the collaboration co-leading multidisciplinary core computer science research projects. The partnership, named the Computer Science Research Program, is a medium for knowledge transfer and the exchange of expertise, as well as a platform to engage and train young researchers who are helping to build Qatar's research capacity.
The annual research projects meeting will review the partnership's eight main collaborative computing projects: Video Magnification and Video Comparison for Sports, Content-Adaptive Video Retargeting, Cross-Cloud: Phase 2, Understanding and Identifying Cultural Identities Across Platforms, Data Integration, Speech and Language Processing for Arabic, A Vertically-Integrated Approach to Resource-Efficient Shared Computing, and Understanding Health Habits from Social Media Pictures.
Full story:  https://www.zawya.com/story/HBKUs_Qatar_Computing_Research_Institute_and...
Designing Virtual Identities for Empowerment and Social Change
18 November 2015 MIT CSAIL

D. Fox Harrell, associate professor of digital media with appointments in the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing program and in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), has recently been awarded several grants to advance his research at the intersection of the social sciences and digital technology. These grants, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the MIT CSAIL Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) Alliance, and the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST), together amount to $1.35 million in support for Harrell’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary research.
Full story here: http://news.mit.edu/2015/designing-virtual-identities-empowerment-and-so...
System automatically converts 2-D video to 3-D
04 November 2015

By exploiting the graphics-rendering software that powers sports video games, researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a system that automatically converts 2-D video of soccer games into 3-D. The converted video can be played back over any 3-D device — a commercial 3-D TV, Google’s new Cardboard system, which turns smartphones into 3-D displays, or special-purpose displays such as Oculus Rift.
Full story here: http://news.mit.edu/2015/software-converts-2-d-3-d-video-1104
Building disaster-relief phone apps on the fly
30 September 2013

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed new tools that allow people with minimal programming skill to rapidly build cellphone applications that can help with disaster relief.
Full story here: http://news.mit.edu/2013/building-disaster-relief-phone-apps-0930
CSAIL and QCRI Announce New Research Collaboration
23 October 2012

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), have announced a new joint research program aimed at advancing the field of computer science. The announcement was made during a signing ceremony as part of the Joint Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum and Arab Expatriate Scientists Network Symposium 2012.
Full story here:http://www.csail.mit.edu/node/1817