Name a smart animal. Perhaps dogs, or dolphins, or chimpanzees came to mind. But why not goldfish, salmon, or moray eels?
We all know and love the moon. We’re so assured that we only have one that we don’t even give it a specific name.
Think you’re good at classic arcade games such as Space Invaders, Breakout and Pong? Think again. In a groundbreaking paper published yesterday in Nature, a team of researchers led by DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis reported developing a deep neural network that was able to learn to play such games at an expert level.
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, and NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will arrive there on March 6.
Eye tracking devices sound a lot more like expensive pieces of scientific research equipment than joysticks – yet if the latest announcements about the latest Assassin’s Creed game are anything to go by, eye tracking will become a commonplace feature of how we interact with computers, and particularly games.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. I have always been in awe of the night sky, trying to comprehend the vastness of space and the countless wonders it contains.
I was seduced by infinity at an early age. Georg Cantor’s diagonality proof that some infinities are bigger than others mesmerized me, and his infinite hierarchy of infinities blew my mind.
Gold is a modern expression of love, and every Valentine’s Day thousands of shoppers browse boutique windows full of the stuff.
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it,” Albert Einstein reportedly said. I’d like to broaden the definition of addiction—and also retire the scientific idea that all addictions are pathological and harmful.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. What if babies could tell us what they want, before they start crying for it?
It’s difficult to deny that humans began as Homo sapiens, an evolutionary offshoot of the primates. Nevertheless, for most of what is properly called “human history” (that is, the history starting with the invention of writing), most of Homo sapiens have not qualified as “human”—and not simply because they were too young or too disabled.
Last week, BICEP2 scientists — who in March announced evidence of cosmic inflation, a potentially Nobel-worthy find — threw handfuls of dust on the grave of their own results.
The claim made headlines worldwide, hailing one of the biggest scientific discoveries in decades. After 35 years of research, astronomers said in March, they had found evidence that the universe underwent a brief but ultra-fast expansion when it was roughly a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a white American writer, underwent medical treatments to change his skin appearance and present himself as a black man.
“Space, the final frontier,” announces James T. Kirk at the start of the first Star Trek episode. As the spaceship Enterprise flies past the screen, the voice sounds as though it was recorded in a very reverberant cathedral.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. In his 1879 account of wanderings in the Orient, the travel writer James Hingston describes how, in West Java, he was treated to a bizarre experience: I am taken by my kind host around his garden, and shown, among other things, a flower, a red orchid, that catches and feeds upon live flies.
This article originally appeared on The Conversation. Some climatologists argue it may be too late to reverse climate change, and it’s just a matter of time before the Earth becomes uninhabitable – if hundreds of years from now.
Last fall as the Ebola epidemic continued unabated, experts started discussing something that had never before been bandied about: the idea of Ebola becoming endemic in parts of West Africa.
Nuclear power has long been a contentious topic. It generates huge amounts of electricity with zero carbon emissions, and thus is held up as a solution to global energy woes.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Popular wisdom and established evolutionary science hold that the sexes seek fundamentally different relationships: men want short-term, no-strings-attached relationships whereas women value longer-term, loyal partnerships.