Visages des Sciences
The seismic waves that traverse the Earth can provide us with very important information about sub-soils. Digitally simulating how they travel and the recent advances in scientific computation open up incredible opportunities to produce images of increasingly heterogeneous areas that are more likely to contain extremely important information.
Can a robot learn new skills in a world that it had no knowledge of at the beginning? Can its cognitive abilities progress without the intervention of an engineer? How can it discover its own body and learn to use it in order to act on its environment? Lastly, can a robot learn from social interactions with humans? These questions are at the heart of research work carried out by Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and his team.
I work at Inria, a public research institute specialising in computer science and applied mathematics. My job is to facilitate the "transfer" of the results of research and to make them more easily "usable" by society and businesses.
We're all surrounded by software in our daily lives - on planes, in cars, phones, bank cards, pacemakers - without really paying much attention to this fact. Most of these software programs began life in research centres between 5 and 15 years before we come into contact with them.
The small applications we now download onto our mobile phones are rarely developed by our telecoms operator; instead they are usually developed by start-ups or private individuals. So how can our telecoms operator guarantee that these applications won't use up our free text messages or call premium-rate numbers?