animals
This is What Happens When You Teach an AI to Name Guinea Pigs

As literally every sci-fi movie has predicted, we’re becoming increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence. AI can already compose music, play Ms. Pac-Man—like a pro, nonetheless—and even manage a hotel. But it’s never been used solely for the purpose of naming small, fluffy guinea pigs—until now. Read More >>

robots
This Artificially Intelligent Robot Composes and Performs Its Own Music

Shimon — a four-armed marimba playing robot — has been around for years, but its developers at Georgia Tech have recently taken this futuristic musical machine to the next level. Using deep learning, the robot can now study large datasets from well-known musicians, and then produce and perform its own original compositions. Read More >>

ai
US Considers Chinese Investment in Artificial Intelligence a National Security Threat

The US Department of Defense is struggling to get its arms around all of the new security issues that have come with our current technological explosion. One unexpected consideration on the table is placing stricter limitations on investment capital from China flowing into American companies that are working on artificial intelligence. Read More >>

ai
Microsoft’s AI Just Shattered the Ms. Pac-Man High Score

According to Twin Galaxies, the official high score for the arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man belongs to Abdner Ashman, with 933,580 points. Or at least it did, before an artificial intelligence developed by Microsoft achieved the maximum possible score for the game, 999,990. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Would You Feel Safer If Your Self-Driving Car Could Explain Itself?

With each passing breakthrough in artificial intelligence, we’re asking our machines to make increasingly complex and weighty decisions. Trouble is, AIs are starting to act beyond our levels of comprehension. In high frequency stock trading, for example, this had led to so-called flash crashes, in which algorithms make lightning-quick decisions for reasons we can’t quite grasp. In an effort to bridge the growing gap between man and machine, the Pentagon is launching a new program to create machines that can explain their actions in a way we puny humans can understand. Read More >>

futurism
When Will Robots Deserve Human Rights?

Films and TV shows like Blade Runner, Humans, and Westworld, where highly advanced robots have no rights, trouble our conscience. They show us that our behaviours are not just harmful to robots—they also demean and diminish us as a species. We like to think we’re better than the characters on the screen, and that when the time comes, we’ll do the right thing, and treat our intelligent machines with a little more dignity and respect. Read More >>

science
Here’s What Happened When Computers Tried Naming Metal Bands

Remember when metal band names were good? Names like RATT and Poison and Mötley Crüe elicited the perfect image: slick, sweaty men licking their guitars while wearing tight leather pants and acid washed jeans, wagging their hair-sprayed manes and rocking out harder than any of us so-called millennials could even imagine. Read More >>

robots
Robots Have Started Teaching Other Robots New Skills

In an important advance that takes us one step closer to the inevitable robopocalypse, MIT researchers have developed a system that teaches robots how to acquire new skills—and then teach those skills to different types of robots. Read More >>

watch this
Watch What Happens When an Algorithm Tries to Predict the Next Frame 100,000 Times in a Row

Like an athlete trying to push their body to its extreme limits, artist Damien Henry was curious what would happen if you asked a predictive algorithm to calculate the next frame of video in a sequence, again and again and again, over 100,000 times. Read More >>

research
Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent the Next Video Game Animation Disaster

Human character animation has improved over the years, but it’s still one of the most recognisable issues when enjoying video games. Animations are normally a predetermined set of canned motions, and while real enough looking in the right setting, can totally break the immersive experience when they stray out of bounds. The uncanny valley is a particularly hard one to escape. Read More >>

apple
A Four-Year-Old Boy Used Siri to Save His Unconscious Mother’s Life

When a young boy identified only as Roman couldn’t wake up his unconscious mother, he did what any astute, technologically-adept four-year-old would do: He used his mother’s finger to unlock her phone, and then asked Siri to call emergency services. The boy’s actions saved his mother, but the incident exposes some dark and dangerous flaws in our increasingly landline-less world. Read More >>

computer science
Bots on Wikipedia Wage Edit Wars Between Themselves That Last For Years

Revision wars on Wikipedia amongst human editors is an all-too-common occurrence, but new research from the UK shows that similar online battles are being waged between the site’s software robots. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
These 23 Principles Could Help Us Avoid an AI Apocalypse

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov famously predicted that we’ll one day have to program robots with a set of laws that protect us from our mechanical creations. But before we get there, we need rules to ensure that, at the most fundamental level, we’re developing AI responsibly and safely. At a recent gathering, a group of experts did just that, coming up with 23 principles to steer the development of AI in a positive direction—and to ensure it doesn’t destroy us. Read More >>

robots
This Piano-Playing Computer Makes Me Feel Less Lonely But Also Really Weird Inside

Most people, with the exception of those who live beneath the subway grates and Ted Cruz, don’t like to be alone for too long. We need — nay, crave — the attention of others. When that attention comes from an intelligent piano-playing machine, however, shit gets weird. Read More >>