Computational creativity and the future of AI

Ben Coxworth

Coffee grounds like these could be used to remove harmful hydrogen sulfide gas from the ai...

Hopefully, you’re not just throwing your used coffee grounds in the garbage ... are you? Not only are they compostable, but they can also be used in robot hands, biofuel engines for cars, warm sports clothing, and as printer ink. Now, it turns out that they have yet another use – a scientist from The City College of New York has discovered that they’re good at soaking up stinky sewer gas.  Read More

The piranha-bite-proof scales of the Arapaima fish could serve as the inspiration for body...

Here's a question - if piranhas are so ferocious and will attack anything, why aren't they the only fish in the Amazon? Well, in some cases, it's because other fish possess bite-proof armor. The 300-pound (136-kg) Arapaima is just such a fish. In the dry season, when water levels get low, Arapaima are forced to share relatively small bodies of water with piranhas. Their tough-but-flexible scales, however, allow them to remain unharmed. A scientist from the University of California, San Diego is now taking a closer look at those scales, with an eye towards applying their secrets to human technology such as body armor.  Read More

Smartphone apps are currently being developed to keep people from turning to drugs, or soc...

Some day, perhaps soon, it's possible that your smartphone could stop you from shutting yourself off from the world, or turning to illicit substances to deal with the stresses of life. Two separate studies are currently under way, looking at how smartphone-enabled technologies could be used to monitor peoples' levels of stress or depression, and then take action to keep them from making the wrong choices.  Read More

After previously filing for bankruptcy protection, Kodak has now announced that it will ce...

After making and selling cameras for over 120 years, the Eastman Kodak Company announced yesterday that it plans to stop producing its “dedicated capture devices” – in other words, its digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames. The company plans on phasing out the products throughout the first half of this year. This news doesn’t come as a surprise, as Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just last month, at which time it announced that it would be undergoing a “reorganization” in order to focus on its most valuable business lines.  Read More

The Nike Sole is an attachment designed for use with Ossur's Flex-Run carbon fiber running...

By now, probably just about everyone has seen amazing footage of single- or double-amputee runners, using Össur's Flex-Run carbon fiber running blades. The springy substitutes for legs allow their users to run so fast and naturally, that there is currently a debate over whether or not it would be fair to allow athletes using them to compete against non-amputees. Carbon fiber isn't exactly known for its grippy qualities, however, so Nike has been working with one-legged triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, to create the equivalent of a shoe that could be used with the blades. The result is the Nike Sole.  Read More

A new material known as 'fracture putty' could be used to help broken bones heal much more...

Anyone who has ever broken a bone knows that while receiving the injury itself is quite unpleasant, being laid up for several weeks to even a few months afterwards is also no picnic. Help may be on the way, however. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study, to develop fast bone-healing treatments that could be used on soldiers, along with civilians and even animals. Already, scientists have gotten promising results in laboratory tests, using something they call “fracture putty.”  Read More

The DoubleBack is a sliding pod that extends the interior space of the Volkswagen T5 Trans...

It was over thirty years ago that Volkswagen first started offering “pop tops” on its camper vans. In the years since, the soft-sided interior height-extenders have become a common sight on VW vans parked in campgrounds all over the world. Now, Welsh company Overlander Motorhomes is offering what it sees as the logical compliment to the pop top – it’s the DoubleBack, a sliding insulated pod that extends the interior length of Volkwagen’s T5 Transporter van.  Read More

A scanning electron microscope image of a single layer of the nanocrystalline-silicon nano...

For those unfamiliar with the term, a “whispering gallery” is a round room designed in such a way that sound is carried around its perimeter – this allows a person standing on one side to hear words whispered by a person on the other. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed a new type of photovoltaic material, that essentially does for sunlight what whispering galleries do for sound. Not only does the material have a structure that circulates light entering it, but it could also result in cheaper, less fragile, and less angle-sensitive solar panels.  Read More

A recent study has shown that heat can be used to magnetically store data on tiny magnetic...

For the past several decades, it has been assumed that in order to store data on a magnetic medium, a magnetic field must be applied. Recently, however, an international team of scientists discovered that heat can be used instead of a magnetic field. Not only is this method reportedly more energy efficient, but it also theoretically allows for ten times the storage capacity and 300 times the performance of current hard drive technology.  Read More

Gibbs Technologies has announced the availability of its Phibian (pictured) and Humdinga I...

The folks at Detroit’s Gibbs Technologies are no strangers to aquatic vehicles. In the past several years, they have brought us the zippy Aquada sports car, the Quadski ATV/personal watercraft hybrid, and the four-wheel-drive Humdinga SUV concept. Yesterday, they announced the addition of another two vehicles to their fleet – the Phibian and Humdinga II high-speed Amphitrucks.  Read More

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