Computational creativity and the future of AI

Ben Coxworth

Allsopp's new Action Cam Skyshot Helikite – some of the company's other Helikites have bee...

It's certainly no secret that consumer drones are proving to be extremely popular for shooting aerial videos. That said, the things still aren't perfect – you can't fly them for more than about 25 minutes per battery charge, pre-flight procedures such as calibrating their compass can be tricky, they're noisy, and they can fall out of the sky and hurt people. Allsopp's Action Cam Skyshot Helikite, however, is claimed to have none of these problems. It's basically just a GoPro-carrying kytoon – a kite/balloon hybrid.  Read More

The prototype glasses in their tinted and clear states (Photo: American Chemical Society)

Glasses with transitional lenses are a neat idea in theory, but they have some shortcomings in practice. That's why researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing an alternative – clear eyeglasses that can be manually tinted into sunglasses, by the user.  Read More

The Spire team, with one of the CubeSats

Weather forecasting is a notoriously inexact science. According to San Francisco-based tech startup Spire, this is partially because there are currently less than 20 satellites responsible for gathering all of the world's weather data – what's more, some of the older ones are using outdated technology. Spire's solution? Establish a linked network of over 100 shoebox-sized CubeSats, that will use GPS technology to gather 100 times the amount of weather data than is currently possible. The first 20 of those satellites are scheduled to launch later this year.  Read More

A sheet of the Kevlar nanofiber membrane (Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering, Communic...

While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites.  Read More

The current VineRobot prototype

While many of us may fantasize about running a vineyard someplace like the south of France, doing so wouldn't actually be all ... well, wine and roses. For one thing, you'd need to regularly walk up and down all those rows of vines, continuously stopping to check on the plants themselves and their grapes. It's the sort of thing that it would be nice if a robot could do. A robot like the VineRobot.  Read More

A diagram of the magnetized graphene (Image: Shi Lab, UC Riverside)

Graphene is extremely strong for its weight, it's electrically and thermally conductive, and it's chemically stable ... but it isn't magnetic. Now, however, a team from the University of California, Riverside has succeeded in making it so. The resulting magnetized graphene could have a wide range of applications, including use in "spintronic" computer chips.  Read More

The AB-1 is designed to keep electronic devices from being shaken to bits

There are plenty of systems that let you mount your smartphone on your bike's handlebars, but do you really want all those road vibrations going straight into your phone? While most bar-mount phone cases do have a thin layer of silicone inside them, Juin Tech's AB-1 suspension mount goes a lot farther – it utilizes an actual coil spring shock absorber to isolate phones, lights, GPS units or other devices from the shakes.  Read More

The Smart Helmet's aerodynamic design is intended to lessen wind noise

Nand Logic's Smart Helmet may just top the list when it comes to the highest number of electronic goodies packed into a single helmet. While it's intended for activities such as motorbiking, cycling or snowboarding, some people might end up wanting to wear the thing even when they're just walking down the street – or auditioning to join Daft Punk.  Read More

Researchers have developed E. coli bacteria that can't survive without specially-supplied ...

It's been the premise of many a sci-fi/horror movie ... a genetically-modified organism is created in the lab to help the human race, but instead it gets loose and wreaks havoc in the outside world. Well, scientists from Harvard and Yale are working to make sure that such a scenario can't take place – at least, not with one of the bacteria most commonly used in biotech research. Teams from both universities have produced genetically-altered E. coli bacteria that can't live without special amino acids, which can only be obtained from a lab.  Read More

In the notebook, Turing reportedly 'works on the foundations of mathematical notation and ...

Among his many achievements, British computer science pioneer Alan Turing created one of the first theoretical models of a general-purpose computer, helped develop the concept of artificial intelligence, and was in charge of breaking the German Enigma cypher during World War II. With the recent release of the film The Imitation Game, he's now becoming known to a whole new generation. It's only fitting, therefore, that a rare collection of his scientific notes is about to head to auction.  Read More

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