Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

A Wednesday News Roundup

March 9th, 2011 / in research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

Lots of interesting stories touching on computing research in The New York Times and Time magazine in the past couple weeks:

– Feb. 28 — Remapping Computer Circuitry to Avert Impending BottlenecksHewlett-Packard researchers have proposed a fundamental rethinking of the modern computer for the coming era of nanoelectronics — a marriage of memory and computing power that could drastically limit the energy used by computers.

Dr. Edna Devries entered information on a tablet computer at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. The clinic has been an early adopter of electronic records. [Image courtesy]Carrots, Sticks, and Digital Health Records — The United States is embarking this year on a grand experiment in the government-driven adoption of technology — ambitious, costly and potentially far-reaching in impact. The goal is to improve health care and to reduce its long-term expense by moving the doctors and hospitals from ink and paper into the computer age — through a shift to digital patient records. Step back from the details and what emerges is a huge challenge in innovation design. What role should government have? What is the right mix of top-down and bottom-up efforts? Driving change through the system will involve shifts in technology, economic incentives and the culture of health care.

– March 4 — Healing the Hurt — This summer, an expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine — the independent scientific advisory arm of the National Academies — will release a report on the latest advances in understanding chronic pain and highlight the need for an all-encompassing approach that treats it as a disease of both brain and body. A strategy that lays bare the multitude of body systems involved in maintaining a world of chronic hurt also presents a multitude of treatment opportunities for science to exploit. Among other topics discussed in this article:  brain imaging.

– Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper SoftwareThanks to advances in artificial intelligence, “e-discovery” software can analyze documents in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost. … Some programs go beyond just finding documents with relevant terms at computer speeds. They can extract relevant concepts — like documents relevant to social protest in the Middle East — even in the absence of specific terms, and deduce patterns of behavior that would have eluded lawyers examining millions of documents. … Automation of higher-level jobs is accelerating because of progress in computer science and linguistics. … Nowhere are these advances clearer than in the legal world. Part of the NY Times Magazine‘s Smarter Than You Think series, this article comes with some really cool interactive multimedia.

– March 5 — Google Schools Its Algorithm — Expanding the horizons of computer intelligence — mimicking human understanding in more realms — is one of the grand challenges in science. I.B.M.’s Watson and Google’s algorithmic makeover highlight not only the accelerating pace of recent progress, but also how much remains to be accomplished.

– March 7 — Software Progress Beats Moore’s Law — A report by an independent group of science and technology advisors to the White House, published last December, cited research showing that performance gains in doing computing tasks that result from improvements in software algorithms often far outpace the gains attributable to faster processors.

Comment on any of these below!

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

A Wednesday News Roundup

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