Software Watches Baseball and Calls the Plays

A software-based system automatically generates blurbs describing actions in videos

3 min read

7 July 2009—Last week, researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Pennsylvania reported the workings of a computer program capable of learning to understand video footage and describe it in words.

A sort of video-to-text system, the software reports the action rather than the dialogue. So an analysis of a video showing Hank Aaron hitting his 715th career home run to surpass the mark set by Babe Ruth wouldn’t include the play-by-play announcer saying, ”It’s 715! There’s a new home run champion of all time!” What the software offers to differentiate the moment from Aaron’s previous 714 homers is the description of two fans running alongside the new home run king as he trots around the bases.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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