Computational creativity and the future of AI

Ben Coxworth

An experimental new gesture-to-voice synthesizer could allow people without the power of s...

Whether it’s people who can’t speak, or musicians looking for a new way of expressing themselves, both may end up benefiting from an experimental new gesture-to-voice synthesizer. The system was created at the University of British Columbia, by a team led by professor of electrical and computer engineering Sidney Fels. Users just put on a pair of sensor-equipped gloves, then move their hands in the air – based on those hand movements, the synthesizer is able to create audible speech.  Read More

The CineSquid is a tripod system with suction cup feet, allowing small video cameras to be...

For the past several months, film-makers using DSLRs or small camcorders have had an interesting option available for getting smooth tracking shots – CineSkates. The product combines a GorillaPod Focus tripod, a BallHead X tripod head and three soft urethane wheels. Those wheels mount on the feet of the tripod, allowing it to make fluid, dolly-like movements. Cinetics, the company that makes Cineskates, has now announced a new member to its family. It’s called the CineSquid, and it includes the same tripod and head, but with suction cup feet that allow it to adhere to almost any smooth surface.  Read More

NODE is a multi-function remote sensor designed for use with a linked smartphone

While smartphones are awesome little computers, one of the things that really makes them useful is their built-in sensors – many apps are made possible via a phone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, microphone, camera, or some combination of the bunch. The thing is, though, all of those sensors are stuck in the smartphone. What if you want to use your phone to monitor another device? Well, that’s where NODE comes in. The proposed gadget could be placed on or near a device, and would wirelessly relay data from multiple onboard sensors, via Bluetooth.  Read More

An industrial robot has been modified to autonomously create pencil sketches of human subj... Pity the poor industrial robot. It spends countless hours toiling away at mindless manual labor, never getting a chance to explore its creative side. Well, next month at the CeBIT digital technology trade show, one such robot will get the opportunity. When visitors to the Fraunhofer display take a seat on a provided stool, one of the company's industrial robots will create a pencil sketch of them, then hold up the finished product for everyone to see.  Read More

Norwegian researchers have devised a new way of creating a child-like synthetic voice for ...

You may think that Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice sounds a little ... unusual, but imagine how much weirder it would be to witness a child using that same adult voice to communicate. For many children who are unable to speak, however, they have no choice but to use assistive devices that utilize just such a voice. Now, help may be on the way. Norwegian researchers have developed a new method of creating synthetic speech, that actually sounds like it is being spoken by a child. Such technology could also allow computers to better recognize words spoken to them by young users.  Read More

Scientists have set a new record for thin-film solar cell efficiency, using 'bumpy' silver... Researchers from Australia's Swinburne University of Technology have announced the development of the world's most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic solar cells. The scientists improved the performance of existing thin-film cells by incorporating nucleated or "bumpy" gold and silver nanoparticles. By doing so, they were able to boost the cells' absolute efficiency up to 8.1 percent.  Read More

Scientists are reporting success in the first human trial of a chip-based implant that del...

Much as anyone with a medical condition wants to get better, it can often be difficult to get patients to stick to their medication regimens. This is particularly true for patients who are required to give themselves injections – a time-consuming and unpleasant procedure that it’s easy to “forget” to do. Scientists from MIT and Massachusetts-based company MicroCHIPS Inc., however, have come up with what could be a solution. Yesterday, they announced success in the first clinical trial of an implantable chip-based device, that automatically delivered regular doses of medication to osteoporosis sufferers.  Read More

Scientists have developed a tiny sensor that could wirelessly transmit data on the status ... In order to determine how a patient is recovering from orthopedic surgery, doctors must presently rely on technologies such as X-rays or MRIs. Before too long, however, they may instead simply be able to read the output from tiny sensors, implanted in the patient's body. A team of scientists from New York's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have already created prototypes of just such a device, that measure a mere four millimeters across and are 500 microns thick.  Read More

EM Observe is an electronic system, that remotely monitors fishing vessels' catches

In an effort to save the world's oceans from overfishing, many countries now require commercial fishing vessels to bring along an observer, who checks that the crew aren't exceeding their catch limits. That observer takes up cabin space on the boat, however, plus they require a salary, and probably aren't made to feel particularly welcome by the crew members. This month, however, a Spanish purse seiner became the world's first tropical tuna-fishing vessel to try out something different - an electronic monitoring system. Designed by Archipelago Marine Research, the EM Observe system is already in regular use in the company's home province of British Columbia, Canada.  Read More

The Magnic Light is a contactless dynamo bike light, that reportedly utilizes eddy current...

Despite the continuous advances being made in lithium-ion battery technology, many cyclists still prefer to use dynamo-powered lights on their bikes – there’s no having to remember to recharge the batteries, no subsequent forgetting to put the light back on the bike, and no worrying about the batteries unexpectedly giving out mid-ride. Dynamos, however, have their own drawbacks. Friction-powered sidewall units slow the bike down and wear out the tire, while dynamo hubs must be built into the wheel, and add to the bike’s revolving weight. Now, however, German inventor Dirk Strothmann has created what he claims is a better alternative – a small, no-contact, self-contained dynamo bike light.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 31,564 articles