Creating Artificial Life

An article under the heading “Life is a six-letter word” the 2 December 2017 edition of the Economist reports on research by Dr Floyd Romseberg and his colleagues in which they have created two chemical bases which they have proven … Continued

Sophia the robot is now a citizen of Saudi Arabia

Sophia the robot’s recognition as a Saudi citizen made international headlines — and sparked an outcry against a country with a shoddy human rights record that has been accused of making women second-class citizens. Until recently, the most famous thing … Continued

How Apple Is Putting Voices In User’s Heads—Literally

My conversation with Mathias Bahnmueller started as pretty much all my phone interviews do. “Can you hear me?” he asked, and I replied affirmatively. Then I asked him the same question. His answer was yes—he could hear me very clearly. And … Continued

Automation Could Lead to the World’s Smartest Society

Automation will make most jobs obsolete. Rather than mourn the loss of the 9 to 5, we should see this as an opportunity to liberate humanity from the need to work for somebody else to survive. Coupled with universal basic … Continued

Who needs film when you can store a movie in bacteria DNA?

You might call it the smallest movie ever made. This week, a team of scientists report that they have successfully embedded a short film into the DNA of living bacteria cells. The mini-movie, really a GIF, is a five-frame animation … Continued

Introducing Sweden’s Museum of Failure

Green Heinz ketchup? Fat-free Pringles? Colgate frozen lasagna? You don’t need to be an expert to know these products weren’t successful. Which is why these creations, with dozens of others, feature in the new Museum of Failure , a wacky … Continued

Robot completes 2-hour brain surgery in just 2.5 minutes

Brain surgery is precision business, and one slip can spell doom for affected patients. Even in one of the most skilled jobs in the world, human error can still be a factor. Researchers from the University of Utah are looking … Continued

The world’s first mall for recycled goods

A Swedish mall, called ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, exclusively sells recycled and upcycled goods. Unlike a traditional mall with a shopping centre, ReTuna also has a traditional municipal recycling centre. Visitors can drop off goods that they no longer need in the recycling centre, and then … Continued

A river in New Zealand becomes a person

It sounds, admits Chris Finlayson, like a “pretty nutty” idea.  Yet the new law that declares the Whanganui River, New Zealand’s third-longest, a legal person, in the sense that it can own property, incur debts and petition the courts, is … Continued

The Rise of AI Makes Emotional Intelligence More Important

The booming growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), like most transformational technologies, is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting to consider all the ways our lives may improve, from managing our calendars to making  medical diagnoses, but it’s … Continued

When life gives you auto exhaust, make ink

There’s a lot of carbon in automobile exhaust. Carbon is also used as a pigment in black ink. The guys at Singapore-based Graviky Labs have combined the one with the other, by harvesting carbon from vehicles’ tailpipes to make their … Continued

US life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993

For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year – a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States. Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, … Continued

Versatile fabric makes and stores its own energy

With the rise of mobile technologies comes a need for mobile power sources, and it’s hard to think of a more discreet way to do this than weaving them right into our clothes. Such a task requires new advances in … Continued