How Artificial Superintelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

There's a saying among futurists that a human-equivalent artificial intelligence will be our last invention. After that, AIs will be capable of designing virtually anything on their own — including themselves. Here's how a recursively self-improving AI could transform itself into a superintelligent machine. » 7/23/14 11:30am Yesterday 11:30am

The Most Popular Sport in North America 900 Years Ago

Beneath the freeways of East St. Louis in Illinois there lie the ruins of a city built nearly a millennium ago, around towering earthen pyramids. Today called Cahokia, it held as many as 40 thousand people, and their influence spread throughout the southeast U.S. — mostly due the popularity of a game called chunkey. » 7/14/14 11:18am 7/14/14 11:18am

What Is the Fastest Way to Learn a Foreign Language?

Many of us dream of going to a foreign country and learning some of the local language so we can at least make conversation. But we don't want to spend years doing it. Is there any way to learn a language in a week or two, the way those ads on the internet promise? It's hard to believe, but in some cases, the… » 7/03/14 11:15am 7/03/14 11:15am

Why Solitary Confinement Is The Worst Kind Of Psychological Torture

There may be as many as 80,000 American prisoners currently locked-up in a SHU, or segregated housing unit. Solitary confinement in a SHU can cause irreversible psychological effects in as little as 15 days. Here's what social isolation does to your brain, and why it should be considered torture. » 7/01/14 11:13am 7/01/14 11:13am

Why Narcissism Is a Profoundly Misunderstood Psychological Disorder

The word 'narcissist' is used so much these days that you might think we're in the midst of an epidemic. But pathological narcissism is not just about having an inflated ego — it's a very serious psychological disorder. Here's why certain people are obsessed with themselves, and the gnawing fear that drives them. » 6/11/14 11:22am 6/11/14 11:22am