Producing bug-free software that does what it is supposed to do sometimes requires a miracle. As well as tests, formal logic and mathematics tools are used to guarantee reliability. Xavier Leroy, an expert in semantics, reflects on programming.

The humanities become digital in labs and businesses, blurring a harmful barrier between human and social sciences, and so-called hard sciences.

Social robots are gaining in performance. However, they are still a long way from mastering all aspects of human interaction. At the Gipsa-lab in Grenoble, researchers teach them how to show their intentions by demonstrating them how to adjust their behaviour (gestures, speech, gaze) to the context and the person they are interacting with.

The digitization of the city should not be an opportunity for a loss of control over policies. The city is, and must remain, primarily at the service of its citizens, who must better participate in decision-making to master the complexity of a modern city and its management.

Web transactions no longer require human actions. The benefits could be considerable thanks to a wide and varied range of possible inventions, which is just beginning to emerge.

Internet and the digital world are not spaces apart. It's our real world that has become digital, and that's why it can not be a no-right zone.

A team of scientists has developed an artificial nanoneuron that mimics the behaviour of a brain neuron. Trained to recognise numbers spoken aloud, the component accomplished its task successfully. This cross-disciplinary work opens the way to a new architecture for the computers of the future.

Hidden channels allow information leakage into computer systems. For example, a spy program forces optimizations to fail, which causes the user program to cache private data that it would not normally have to read.

Calculations can make up for the limitations of the physical equipment. Photography algorithms are not much different from those used in astronomy or medical imaging, once again illustrating the universal nature of computing.

Why then does it seem so difficult to safeguard our digital memory? Hyperthymesia is not an option. We have to choose... and this is a laborious task. Ultimately, with the explosion in the volume of data, we haven’t a hope of dealing with this without the support of algorithms.

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Photo Bernard Martinez

DR. DOMINIQUE LEGLU

Managing Editor

 

La Recherche, founded in 1970, is a major source of science information in France for science-interested citizens, leading universities and research institutions. The site Researchinfrance.com publishes the English version of a series of articles about the most advanced achievements appearing in our printed French version.

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November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018

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