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Dario Borghino

Dario Borghino

Dario studied software engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin. When he isn't writing for Gizmag he is usually traveling the world on a whim, working on an AI-guided automated trading system, or chasing his dream to become the next European thumbwrestling champion.

— Computers

"Social AI" lets Mario and Luigi learn how to save the princess on their own

Old-school gamers will fondly remember the effort it took them to master a new Super Mario level, but thanks to a new development in artificial intelligence the pixelated Italian plumber and his friends are now teaming up to do the job themselves. Researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany have developed an algorithm that allows videogame characters to learn from each other in human-like ways through observation and imitation, letting agents collaborate to reach a common goal. Future applications could include intelligent social support systems and swarms of modular robots that learn to perform complex actions on little human instruction.

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— Environment

Cheaper, longer-lasting perovskite solar cells could be on the way

Perovskite solar cells are one of the most exciting green energy technologies to emerge in recent years, combining low cost with high energy conversion rates. Now, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to cut their cost even further by developing a charge-carrying material that is much cheaper, highly efficient, and could even help address the technology's current major weakness by significantly lengthening the lifespan of the panels.

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— Computers

New algorithm helps machines learn as quickly as humans

An artificial intelligence breakthrough from the universities of New York, Toronto and MIT is showcasing the impressive ability of artificial intelligence to learn visual concepts in a single shot and manipulate them in human-like ways. The advance could lead to smarter phones, much-improved speech recognition, and computers that better understand the world around them.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Juvo sleep monitor makes your bed "smart"

A Singapore-based startup is turning to Indiegogo to fund the development of Juvo, a sleep tracker that will fit under your mattress and track each breath and heartbeat without relying on uncomfortable wrist-worn bands. Through a comprehensive array of sensors, the tracker will offer helpful insights, lull you to sleep with a white noise machine, and wake you up at the right time through smart lights and thermostat integration.

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— Physics

First liquid-cooling laser could advance biological research

In a world where lasers are sci-fi's weapon of choice for melting away an enemy spaceship (sometimes even translating to the real world), researchers at the University of Washington have swum against the current and produced the first laser capable of cooling liquids. The technology could be especially useful for slowing down single cells and allow scientists to study biological processes as they happen.

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— Quantum Computing

Quantum computers inch closer to reality thanks to entangled qubits in silicon

Practical quantum computers are still years away, but lately the pace of research seems to have picked up. After building the basic blocks of a quantum computer in silicon and storing quantum information for up to 30 seconds, scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have now violated a principle of classical physics to demo for the first time a pair of entangled, high-fidelity quantum bits (qubits) in silicon. The advance could help unleash the power of a new kind of computation that would affect everything from data cryptography to drug design, overnight deliveries and subatomic particle experiments.

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— Materials

World's first "porous liquid" could be used for CO2 sequestration

The Italians have a colorful expression – to make a hole in water – to describe an effort with no hope of succeeding. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), however, have seemingly managed the impossible, creating a class of liquids that feature permanent holes at the molecular level. The properties of the new materials are still largely unknown, but what has been gleaned so far suggests they could be used for more convenient carbon capturing or as a molecular sieve to quickly separate different gases.

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— Energy

Energy storage advance readies concentrated solar power for the smart grid

The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources is a huge burden on the power grid, making flexible and economical energy storage an essential step to a greener future. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Florida have now devised a way to conveniently store and release energy harvested through concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, improving on the cost and energy density of previous systems and preparing this technology for the smart grid.

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