Blogs

Turing Tests and Smartypants Chatbots

You may have heard the First, some background on the Turing Test. This is named after Alan Turing, one of the grandfathers of computer science. Among his many achievements, Turing wrote a paper that inspired a benchmark test for artificial intelligen ...

Silent Crickets: What Does the Future Sound Like?

Take a minute and try to imagine how your physical environment might change within the next few decades. Not just the sights, but the sounds.If you're a city-dweller, this is pretty easy. I think of sidewalks that are relatively quiet even at rush ho ...

Making Matter From Light

Energy and matter are, in Einstein's words, different manifestations of the same thing. The famous equation E=mc^2 expresses this concept elegantly -- and because c is the velocity of light it also reveals that a tiny amount of mass is equivalent to ...

A Debating Computer?

Back in April, we published On April 30, 2014, IBM representatives gave a talk at the Milken Institute Global Conference called "Why Tomorrow Won't Look Like Today: Things that Will Blow Your Mind." Within the presentation, they demonstrate ...

National Climate Assessment

If you've ever tried to make sense of the technical details in a climate science paper or even the public-facing reports released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it will be perfectly clear how difficult and complex climate sc ...

Mighty Man Made Winds (No, Not That Kind)

Last November, I shot an episode about renewable energy and harvesting wind. I mentioned the Solar Wind Energy Tower, or SWET. It's an interesting idea that uses some basic physics to capture wind energy. And the neatest thing is that it doesn't wait ...

Future Reading: Paper Documents vs. Electronic Text

I just read Keim also points out several ways that paper books and documents may differ fundamentally from their electronic counterparts. One of them is that paper documents give a tactile suggestion of structure. When you're toward the beginning of ...

Set Photons to Switch

What if you could create a photonic switch that's just one atom in size? Well, you'd be late to the game, because Here's how it works -- engineer a system in which a single atom can act as a switch that either permits photons to pass or blocks them. ...

The Navy, Futuristic Weapons and Seawater Fuel

I'm a peaceful guy. I like to see science and technology put to use in ways that help people. But at the same time, I realize that various militaries around the world have really driven technological and scientific development. If it weren't for the ...

Testing Homeopathy

I find our world to be somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, we have scientific projects uncovering the Using scientific methods to test the efficacy of alternative medicine is absolutely critical. Recently, Australia's National Health and Medical R ...