Back in 1995, Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture in which he described his theory about the shapes of stories. In the process, he plotted several examples on a blackboard. “There is no reason why the simple shapes of stories can’t be fed into computers,” he said. “They are beautiful shapes.
Here’s a tricky task. Pick a photograph from the Web at random. Now try to work out where it was taken using only the image itself. If the image shows a famous building or landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower or Niagara Falls, the task is straightforward.
Donald Trump says that if he becomes president, he will “get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China.” Bernie Sanders has also called for Apple to manufacture some devices in the U.S. instead of China.
I remember my first meeting with the chairman when I arrived at Leicester City this summer. He sat down with me and said, “Claudio, this is a very important year for the club. It is very important for us to stay in the Premier League. We have to stay safe.” My reply was, “Okay, sure.
It was the middle of the night when the jangle of his cellphone woke Sanjay Khajuria from a deep sleep.
One of the great unanswered question in biology is why organisms have evolved to cooperate. The long-term benefits of cooperation are clear—look at the extraordinary structures that termites build, for example, or the complex society humans have created.
Machine learning is becoming extremely powerful, but it requires extreme amounts of data.
At his labyrinthine laboratory on the Harvard Medical School campus, you can find researchers giving E. Coli a novel genetic code never seen in nature. Around another bend, others are carrying out a plan to use DNA engineering to resurrect the woolly mammoth.
You’ve probably been told the “golden rule” at some point in your life, but it’s not always ideal for those times you want to ooze charisma. That’s where the “platinum rule” comes in. It may seem like some people are born likable, but everyone is capable of developing charisma.
In the last couple of years, deep learning techniques have transformed the world of artificial intelligence. One by one, the abilities and techniques that humans once imagined were uniquely our own have begun to fall to the onslaught of ever more powerful machines.
Amazon has casually unveiled what could turn into a fundamentally different way to build software. At its AWS conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, the company demoed Amazon Cloud 9, an integrated development environment (IDE) that plugs directly into its cloud computing platform.
Soon after the invention of photography, a few criminologists began to notice patterns in mugshots they took of criminals. Offenders, they said, had particular facial features that allowed them to be identified as law breakers.
An anti-aging startup hopes to elude the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and death at the same time. The company, Elysium Health, says it will be turning chemicals that lengthen the lives of mice and worms in the laboratory into over-the-counter vitamin pills that people can take to combat aging.
Click on the italicized phrases for more context. The world’s richest man and his wife write an open letter every year in which they ponder the opportunities for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic foundation. Last year, they wrote about inequity.
Earlier this year, Ellen Williams, the director of ARPA-E, the U.S. Department of Energy’s advanced research program for alternative energy, made headlines when she told the Guardian newspaper that "We have reached some holy grails in batteries.”
Tech companies and investors have recently been piling money into artificial intelligence—and plenty has been trickling down to chip maker Nvidia.
Logically, I know there isn’t a hulking four-armed, twisty-horned blue monster clomping in circles in front of me, but it sure as hell looks like it. I’m sitting behind a workbench in a white-walled room in Dania Beach, Florida, in the office of a secretive startup called Magic Leap.
The way people make decisions in the real world is a topic of increasing interest among psychologists, social scientists, economists, and others. It determines how economies perform, how elections are run, and how conflicts break out and get resolved.
Highly addictive, horribly debilitating, unfortunately pervasive, and freaking delicious. If I had to point to ONE culprit to our country’s expanding waistlines and rapidly deteriorating health, it would be sugar.
Innovation is one of the driving forces in our world. The constant creation of new ideas and their transformation into technologies and products forms a powerful cornerstone for 21st century society.
Johann Sebastian Bach is widely considered one of the great composers of baroque music. Bach lived and worked in Germany during the 18th century and is revered for the beauty of his compositions and his technical mastery of harmony and counterpoint.
FreeBSD is a fast, secure, modern Unix-like operating system with a fantastic community, great documentation, and powerful technologies like ZFS and LLVM. It’s my operating system of choice for everything from my i7-2600k desktop to my home router to my ARM plug computer jukebox.
The startup accelerator Y Combinator is known for supporting audacious companies in its popular three-month boot camp. There’s never been anything quite like Nectome, though.
One of the curious things about color is that we associate it with emotions. Intuitively, we tend to link darker, grayer colors with negative moods and brighter, lighter colors with positive ones. Indeed, researchers have found that people suffering from depression prefer darker colors.
Data and creativity can work really well together. Don’t believe me? On February 1, 2013, a TV series called House of Cards debuted on the video streaming service Netflix. It proved an immediate hit. Two years later, it has a nine out of 10 rating from more than 275,000 reviewers.
There are about 10,000 known human diseases, yet human doctors are only able to recall a fraction of them at any given moment. As many as 40,500 patients die annually in an ICU in the U.S. as a result of misdiagnosis, according to a 2012 Johns Hopkins study.
Smartphones can tell you when to depart for the airport to make your flight, provide voice-guided directions on the way there, and route around traffic jams. But if you wanted to get audio directions to a specific counter at the airport, you’d be out of luck.
Artificial intelligence is changing the world and doing it at breakneck speed. The promise is that intelligent machines will be able to do every task better and more cheaply than humans.
One of the more interesting goals in neuroscience is to reconstruct perceived images by analyzing brain scans. The idea is to work out what people are looking at by monitoring the activity in their visual cortex.
The human connectome is the network of links between different parts of the brain. These links are mapped out by the brain’s white matter—bundles of nerve cell projections called axons that connect the nerve cell bodies that make up gray matter.
A half-dozen young, mostly male engineers sit in a bright, open office digging through a mountain of code. Multi-monitor work stations sit on desks strewn with laptops, tablets, and headphones. This is not a tech startup, however.
The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 percent of the people. Indeed, a report last year concluded that just eight men had a total wealth equivalent to that of the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people.
Who has time to read every article they see shared on Twitter or Facebook, or every document that’s relevant to their job? As information overload grows ever worse, computers may become our only hope for handling a growing deluge of documents.
Behavioral psychologists have long used mazes to study memory and learning; their subjects, mostly rats and mice. Now researchers are beginning to use the same approach to test an entirely new kind of subject—the latest breed of artificial intelligence machine.
Drawing an accurate sketch of a person’s face is an art that is hard for most people to master. But it turns out to be relatively easy for computers. Various programs exist for converting images into line drawings.
The friendship paradox is the idea that your friends have more friends than you do, which turns out to be true for most people. It may seem counterintuitive, but there is plenty of evidence to back up the claim and a simple mathematical analysis shows why it is true.
One of the great unsung heroes of 20th century science was a mathematician and engineer at the famous Bell Laboratories in New Jersey called Claude Shannon.
If you get into a car accident in China in the near future, you'll be able to pull out your smartphone, take a photo, and file an insurance claim with an AI system. That system, from Ant Financial, will automatically decide how serious the ding was and process the claim accordingly with an insurer.
As the great Kenny Rogers once said, a good gambler has to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. At the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh this week, a computer program called Libratus may finally prove that computers can do this better than any human card player.
Computational imaging is undergoing a revolution. This is the discipline of making images using computational techniques rather than optical ones. Its best known breakthrough is the ability to record high resolution images and movies using a single pixel.
It’s been almost 20 years since IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer beat the reigning world chess champion, Gary Kasparov, for the first time under standard tournament rules.
Not so long ago, nobody met a partner online. Then, in the 1990s, came the first dating websites. Match.com went live in 1995. A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early 2000s. And the 2012 arrival of Tinder changed dating even further.
If you’ve been following Marvel’s comics lately, you’ll know that Steve Rogers hasn’t been Captain America for a while now. He’s been drained of his super-soldier serum and turned into an old man, while former Falcon Sam Wilson has taken up the mantle (much to some people’s chagrin).
Signs of late blight appear suddenly but predictably in Ireland as soon as the summer weather turns humid, spores of the funguslike plant pathogen wafting across the open green fields and landing on the wet leaves of the potato plants. This year it began to rain in early August.
“Six degrees of separation” is a phrase that sums up the social network phenomenon. The idea is that anybody on Earth can link themselves to anybody else in only six jumps.
When it comes to computer security, the ultimate protection is the “air gap”—a physical space between a computer and the Internet to ensure that the device is entirely isolated from the dangerous world of hacking.
Yann LeCun says the next frontier in machine vision is software that learns just by observing the world. Five years ago, researchers made a sudden leap in the accuracy of software that can interpret images.
Substance abuse is a serious concern. Around one in 10 Americans are sufferers. Which is why it costs the American economy more than $700 billion a year in lost productivity, crime, and health-care costs.
The best way for AI machines to learn is by feeding them huge data sets of annotated examples, and the Daily Mail has unwittingly created one. A revolution in artificial intelligence is currently sweeping through computer science.
Azeem Azhar is a strategist, product entrepreneur, and analyst living in London. He is the curator of the weekly newsletter Exponential View, from which the following is adapted. You can (and should!) sign up here. This is the first year I am presenting predictions for the coming year.
BMW, Ford, and Uber have all recently said they plan to have “fully autonomous” cars ready to drive themselves on the road in 2021 (see “2021 May Be the Year of the Fully Autonomous Car”). Ford says its fleet of vehicles will lack steering wheels and offer a robotic taxi service.
A hundred years ago, higher education seemed on the verge of a technological revolution. The spread of a powerful new communication network—the modern postal system—had made it possible for universities to distribute their lessons beyond the bounds of their campuses.
Everybody wants what feels good.
One of the curious things about social networks is the way that some messages, pictures, or ideas can spread like wildfire while others that seem just as catchy or interesting barely register at all. The content itself cannot be the source of this difference.
In this replication of a phantom traffic jam, just a single car with limited autonomy (the silver SUV) is enough to clear up congestion involving 20 other cars.
It’s the Monday morning following the opening weekend of the movie Blade Runner 2049, and Eric C. Leuthardt is standing in the center of a floodlit operating room clad in scrubs and a mask, hunched over an unconscious patient.
A mathematical structure for storing data in a way that is nearly impossible to fake. It can be used for all kinds of valuable data. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis. One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas.
We are surrounded by hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics—hysteria about how powerful they will become, how quickly, and what they will do to jobs. I recently saw a story in MarketWatch that said robots will take half of today’s jobs in 10 to 20 years.
In 2014, Google went on a robot spending spree, buying a handful of companies working on various technologies to help robots see, walk, and grasp objects. It seemed that the company was intent on building advanced new robots that might transform factories and even our homes.
During her 14 years at Netflix, Patty McCord kept a head-down approach, isolating herself within Netflix’s walls, to eventually come up with the brilliant 124-page document called “Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility.
This is the dream that has inspired Kevin Matzen, Kavita Bala, and Noah Snavely at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.