Computational creativity and the future of AI

Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey
Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.
Top Articles by Colin Jeffrey
  • Oxygen absorbing material may allow us to breathe underwater

    Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have created a substance that is able to absorb and store oxygen in such high concentrations that just one bucketful is enough to remove all of the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen is able to be r...

  • Liquid metal could be used to create morphing electronics

    North Carolina State University researchers have developed a way to control the surface tension of liquid metals with the application of very low voltages. This may lead a new field of morphing electronic components or – maybe one day – even self-ass...

  • Canada's next-generation military smart gun unveiled

    The latest integrated assault rifle developed by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Colt Canada is packed with some very smart weapons technology, including a secondary grenade launcher or shotgun and electronic accessories like elect...

  • Radical dual tilting blade helicopter design targets speeds of over 270mph

    As a contender in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, AVX Aircraft Company is developing a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph.

  • Long-lasting, water-based nuclear battery developed

    A nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is claimed to be both longer lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies, and which may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles and spacecraft, has been produced by rese...

Sir Kostya Novoselov (left, one of the two graphene Nobel laureates) and Chancellor George...

In two claimed firsts, researchers at the University of Manchester have produced both the first commercial application of graphene and the world's first graphene light-bulb. It is expected that this new device will have lower energy emissions, cheaper manufacturing costs, and a longer running life than even LED lights. And this isn't just a pie-in-the-sky prototype, either. The team who developed it believes that the graphene light-bulb will be available for retail sale within months.  Read More

A prototype robot has been developed that may help guide firefighters more safely and effi...

When firefighters need to enter smoke-filled buildings to conduct search or rescue, they frequently suffer from low visibility and often need to feel their way along walls or follow ropes reeled out by the lead firefighter. With a limited supply of oxygen carried by each firefighter, being slowed by the inability to see can severely limit their capacity to carry out duties in these environments. Now researchers from King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University have developed a robot assistant for firefighters that can help guide them through even the thickest smoke.  Read More

Researchers have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or 'cytobot') that responds electrical...

By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications.  Read More

Arrays of gold, pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas have been used to record audio inform...

The use of optical sound-on-film recording on early movie films revolutionized the motion picture industry and remained the standard method of audio recording in that medium for more than 80 years. Now researchers from the University of Illinois have emulated that feat in miniature by claiming to have recorded the world's first optically encoded audio onto a plasmonic film substrate. The size of human hair, this substrate has a capacity over five-and-a-half thousand times greater than conventional analog magnetic recording media.  Read More

Physicists working at UC Berkeley claim to have created breakthrough quantum circuitry tha...

Before the dream of quantum computing is realized, a number of inherent problems must first be solved. One of these is the ability to maintain a stable memory system that overcomes the intrinsic instability of the basic unit of information in quantum computing – the quantum bit or "qubit". To address this problem, Physicists working at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) claim to have created breakthrough circuitry that continuously self-checks for inaccuracies to consistently maintain the error-free status of the quantum memory.  Read More

Researchers at the University of the West of England claim to have built a paper-based, ur...

Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) – the same laboratory that recently introduced the prototype urinal that generates electricity via microbial fuel cells -– have now created a pee-powered distress radio built into a foldable, portable paper-based microbial fuel cell system .  Read More

Researchers have carried out precise metabolic engineering on yeast commonly used in winem...

Using a technique that cuts out unwanted copies of a genome to improve the beneficial properties of a compound, researchers working at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Services (ACES) claim to have produced a yeast that could vastly increase the quality of wine while also reducing its hangover-inducing properties.  Read More

A full-duplex transceiver on an integrated circuit could realize vastly increased data exc...

Full-duplex radio communication usually involves transmitters and receivers operating at different frequencies. Simultaneous transmission and reception on the same frequency is the Holy Grail for researchers, but has proved difficult to achieve. Those that have been built have proven complex and bulky, but to be commercially useful in the ever-shrinking world of communications technology, miniaturization is key. To this end, engineers at Columbia University (CU) claim to have created a world-first, full-duplex radio transceiver, all on one miniature integrated circuit.  Read More

The LLNL laser diode arrays are the most powerful of their type ever built, producing an i...

The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) under construction in the Czech Republic is designed to generate a peak power of more than 1 quadrillion watts (1 petawatt, 1015 watts). The key component to this instrument – the laser "pump" – will be a set of solid-state laser diode arrays recently constructed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). At peak power, this electronic assemblage develops a staggering 3.2 million watts of power and are the most powerful laser diode arrays ever built.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Illinois claim to have created a machine that assembles a...

The synthesis of complex small molecules in the laboratory is specialized and intricate work that is both difficult and time-consuming. Even highly-trained chemists can take many years to determine how to build each one, let alone discover and describe its functions. In an attempt to improve this situation, a team of chemists at the University of Illinois claim to have created a machine that is able to assemble a vast range of complex molecules at the push of a button.  Read More

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