Computational creativity and the future of AI

Richard Moss

Richard Moss
Richard is a freelance writer and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. He’s contributed to Ars Technica, Edge Magazine, Polygon, and many other publications. When not writing or trying to read the entire internet, you’ll likely find him dancing, playing games, dabbling in creative stuff, or learning about whatever catches his eye.
Top Articles by Richard Moss
A slight change to the production process could result in chocolate that is both healthier...

Good news if you're hooked on chocolate. Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Ghana have developed a new technique for making chocolate that results in it being both healthier and more flavorful. The technique differs from conventional chocolate production in that cacao beans are roasted at a lower temperature and bean pods are left unopened for five days rather than split open right away. It is expected to be particularly useful in countries where cacao beans have less natural flavor and antioxidant activity.  Read More

A new modular gamepad allows you to decouple the two sides of a game controller for more n...

If you've ever wished for a gamepad that conforms to your needs rather than forcing you to conform to its rigid shell then you'll appreciate the idea behind Grifta. It's a modular gamepad system that divorces the left and right units from each other and offers three interchangeable handle sizes. The three-piece Grifta's main selling point is backed by a keyboard mode for play with one grip plus a mouse as well as eight extra buttons on each of its two handgrips.  Read More

Leader cells, shown here in fluorescent green, rush to the site of a wound with the follow...

When you cut on your finger or scrape your knee, cells rush to the wound and repair or replace the damaged tissue. But how exactly this works – in particular how certain cells become "leaders" in the process – has long been a mystery. Now researchers at the University of Arizona (UA) have identified the mechanisms that cause and regulate this collective cell migration. Armed with this knowledge, biomedical engineers will be able to design new tissue regeneration treatments for diabetes and heart disease as well as for slowing or stopping the spread of cancer.  Read More

Changing the color of the skin-like membrane is as simple as stretching it a tiny amount

A thin and flexible chameleon-like material developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley changes color when stretched or bent even tiny amounts. With potential applications in camouflage, structural fatigue sensors, display technologies, and more, the material's color changes reliably as it gets flexed thanks to rows of ridges that are precisely etched onto a silicon film one thousand times thinner than a human hair.  Read More

Natural silk can be processed into a material suitable for use as a lithium-ion battery an...

Next-generation lithium-ion batteries may hold more charge for a greater number of cycles thanks to a new material derived from natural silk. Scientists at the Beijing Institute of Technology found that not only does their regenerated silk fibroin material work for over 10,000 cycles but it also stores five times more lithium than graphite, which is the most common choice for the anode (negative electrode) in lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

Age differences in brain activity may have been overestimated in the past because of noise...

When we get older, communication between neurons slows down and certain regions of the brain see reduced function. At least, that's the current understanding. But a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit shows that the difference between older brains and younger ones may not be so great. The researchers demonstrated that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is commonly used to study brain activity, is susceptible to signal noise from changing vascular (blood vessel) activity.  Read More

Researchers from École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have developed a robot that help...

Armed with the knowledge that children tend to learn better when they teach their new-found skills to others, Swiss researchers have enlisted the help of a humanoid robot that improves along with them. This CoWriter system has been well received in tests with school children aged six to eight, where students "teach" the robot to improve its penmanship and see the robot's improved performance reflected in their own handwriting.  Read More

Can computers truly be creative, and if so should we fear them or embrace them? And just w...

We've covered a lot of ground in this series. We went from algorithmic music to procedurally-generated games (and an AI game developer), then onto computers writing stories and robots painting portraits and abstract art or constructing buildings like the craftsmen of old. Now, in this final part of our deep dive into the world of computational creativity, we turn to the underlying ideas and the future challenges that face the field as a whole.  Read More

Opaque Multimedia's Earthlight lets you explore the outside of the International Space Sta...

Wondrous as today's technology is, there remains no feasible way to put ordinary people in space. Except, it seems, through virtual reality. Opaque Multimedia has combined an Oculus Rift headset with Microsoft Kinect 2 motion tracking to make it possible to get a first-hand (virtual) taste of life on – or rather just outside – the International Space Station. Its new tech demo, Earthlight, lets players explore in first person around the outside of the ISS as it orbits the Earth, safe in the comfort of their living room.  Read More

Tiny silicon cones inspired by the eye's fovea centralis could unlock big gains in solar c...

Solar cells don't at first glance have any relation to a tiny structure in the eye that makes our central vision sharp, but that tiny structure – called the fovea centralis – may be the key to a huge boost in solar cell efficiency. A team of scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light took the underlying mechanisms that guide the fovea and adapted them to silicon as a surface for collecting light in solar cells.  Read More

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