Computers Wrote the Caption for This Photograph, and Changed Everything

Computers at Google now have a machine-learning system that can analyze images like the one above and generate captions for them. The phrase used to caption this image? "A person riding a motorcycle on a dirt road." It might not seem like much, but it's actually one hell of an accomplishment. » 11/24/14 11:09am Yesterday 11:09am

World's Fastest Train Hits 500km/h, And People Aboard Look Pretty Chill

The world's fastest train – a maglev vehicle operated by the Central Japan Railway Company capable of speeds in excess of 500km/h (~311mph) – is currently undergoing eight days of public testing. Short runs began Saturday, with 100 passengers making the 42.8 km trip from Uenehora to Fuefuki in about five minutes. » 11/19/14 10:20am 11/19/14 10:20am

This Phenomenal Magic Trick Was Created By An Artificial Intelligence

Magicians are not supposed to reveal their secrets. But what if that magician is a machine? Recent experiments at Queen Mary University of London show that it's not only possible to teach a computer program how magic tricks work, but that these systems are capable of designing new and superior versions that can be… » 11/17/14 9:20am 11/17/14 9:20am

This Medical Device Is a Major Gamechanger for Kidney Patients

This device could improve the lives of tens of thousands of people who visit kidney dialysis centers. Using this 10-pound, miniature portable dialysis machine, they can cleanse and monitor their blood constantly, with minimal effort. The FDA has just put the device in its new "fasttrack program." » 11/13/14 6:00pm 11/13/14 6:00pm

The Multiple Asian Border Disputes That Could Trigger The Next War

The ongoing — and some would say, worsening — tension between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea frequently makes headlines. But often overlooked are the dozen or so other rival territorial claims across Asia that could erupt into wars, dragging in neighboring countries or the U.S. » 11/11/14 8:40am 11/11/14 8:40am

Watch the Atlas Robot Show Off Some Mad Balancing Skills

The latest version of IHMC's Atlas has a new trick up its sleeve, one that makes it look like it's auditioning for a part in some kind of future-dystopian version of The Karate Kid. Thankfully, it can only pull off the balancing portion of the Crane Kick, which given the bot's weight and proportions, is still a rather… » 11/10/14 2:20pm 11/10/14 2:20pm

Here's How We'll Build A Cheap, Safe Lunar Base

The "magnificent desolation" of the Moon might offer some great views, but otherwise it's a lousy place to live. Human explorers would need protection from a constant bombardment of radiation and extreme temperature shifts. A new video shows how we can inexpensively build an ideal shelter with robotic 3D printers. » 11/07/14 11:30am 11/07/14 11:30am

Here Is What Real Online Civil Disobedience Looks Like

Internet politics aren't just about trolling and doxxing. In new book The Coming Swarm, internet researcher Molly Sauter takes us into the secret history of civil disobedience online, and reveals a world where people fight for justice, without hashtags or personal glory. These activists do it because they believe in… » 11/04/14 12:55pm 11/04/14 12:55pm

How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising

Robots are poised to eliminate millions of jobs over the coming decades. We have to address the coming epidemic of "technological unemployment" if we're to avoid crippling levels of poverty and societal collapse. Here's how a guaranteed basic income will help — and why it's absolutely inevitable. » 10/31/14 1:00pm 10/31/14 1:00pm