Computational creativity and the future of AI

Computers

The BBC aims to ensure that every 11 year-old in the UK gets one of the 'Micro Bit' mini d...

By today's standards, early 1980s home computing was a very BASIC affair (excuse the pun). But for those who lived through it, it was an enlightening period of simple wonder and creative experimentation. In the UK, the odds are pretty good that students of code performed their programming magic using a big beige box connected to a chunky monitor known as the BBC Microcomputer. Many of those early digital tinkerers went on to careers in computing and it's this pioneering spirit that the BBC is hoping to recapture with the launch of a new education initiative named Make it Digital. At its center is a new micro computing platform called, for the moment, the Micro Bit.  Read More

Microsoft has killed several annoying Windows 8 features in Windows 10, here's a look at a...

Windows 8 was a nightmare for many consumers from day one, and largely still is. Microsoft took a risk by releasing Windows 8 hoping to lead the touch-based device market into the future. However, it was met with resistance from most users, even after the release of three major updates for the OS. Here's a look at the annoyances of Windows 8 that are gone and won't be missed in Windows 10.  Read More

DARPA's Communicating with Computers (CwC) program is aimed at improving human/machine com...

DARPA’s new initiative, known as the Communicating with Computers (CwC) program, aims to improve the ability of machines to communicate effectively with their human counterparts. The agency has two initial experiments planned, focusing on the somewhat differing fields of improved conversational skills and better cancer detection.  Read More

The Meteor M2 multimedia stereo speaker system from Samson Technologies (Photo: Paul Ridde...

Among the raft of new consumer audio products that Samson Technologies took to CES last month was a desktop speaker system for computers, laptops and tablets. The company says that the Meteor M2 stereo speakers promise studio quality sound that breaks barriers in desktop audio at volumes that go "well beyond its compact size." We got our hands on a review system and have spent much of this month putting those claims to the test.  Read More

A single human genome can now be analyzed in a matter of hours, opening the door to more p...

New software developed at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio can take raw sequence data on a person's genome and search it for disease-causing variations in a matter of hours, which its creators claim puts it ahead of the pack as the fastest genome analysis software around. They believe that this makes it now feasible to do large-scale analysis across entire populations.  Read More

The component will be used to help reconstruct EDSAC

A piece of cybernetic history returned home as a long-lost component of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), one of the first practical general purpose computers, was returned to Britain from the United States. The electronics chassis was given to the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, where it will be used as part of the EDSAC reconstruction project and raises the possibility that more surviving parts may be recovered in the future.  Read More

In the notebook, Turing reportedly 'works on the foundations of mathematical notation and ...

Among his many achievements, British computer science pioneer Alan Turing created one of the first theoretical models of a general-purpose computer, helped develop the concept of artificial intelligence, and was in charge of breaking the German Enigma cypher during World War II. With the recent release of the film The Imitation Game, he's now becoming known to a whole new generation. It's only fitting, therefore, that a rare collection of his scientific notes is about to head to auction.  Read More

Deep neural networks have studied millions of images and some can now recognize the object...

Computers aren't best suited to visual object recognition. Our brains are hardwired to quickly see and match patterns in everything, with great leaps of intuition, while the processing center of a computer is more akin to a very powerful calculator. But that hasn't stopped neuroscientists and computer scientists from trying over the past 40 years to design computer networks that mimic our visual skills. Recent advances in computing power and deep learning algorithms have accelerated that process to the point where a group of MIT neuroscientists has found a network design that compares favorably to the brain of our primate cousins.  Read More

The Hemingwrite does away with the distractions of laptop computers and tablets

For more than a century typewriters were the weapon of choice for professional writers, office workers and those of us with messy handwriting. Then came the age of personal computers complete with the internet and its infinite reel of comical cat videos. A pair of US entrepreneurs believe this has been to the detriment of productivity and are looking to reign things in a little. The Hemingwrite typewriter offers the bare essentials for a writer in the digital age, no email alerts or Youtube recommendations in sight.  Read More

The Sinclair Vega is based on the ZX Spectrum personal home computer from the 1980s

For those who enjoyed classic games like Chuckie Egg and Elite, little can compare to the nostalgia that Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum home computer invokes. The venerable "Speccy" made a big impact on the UK home computer scene back in the 1980s and an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign aims to launch a new console based on the original 8-bit PC that's endorsed by Sir Clive himself.  Read More

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