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 Today 11:09am

Is It Time to Accept That We're Alone in the Universe?

We have yet to discover any signs of aliens, a troubling observation that has led to much speculation. One possible solution to the Great Silence is that nobody's out there. It's a conclusion that sounds impossible to believe, but there may be something to it. Here's why we may be alone in the universe. » 11/05/14 12:20pm 11/05/14 12:20pm

A Legal Challenge To The Ebola Quarantine Would Probably Fail

On Monday, the state of Maine reached a settlement with a nurse who's been fighting the quarantine restrictions being placed on medical workers who have had contact with ebola patients. With quarantine all over the news these days, could a legal challenge to the practice actually succeed? Probably not. » 11/04/14 11:34am 11/04/14 11:34am

The One Basic Fact About History That Time Travelers Always Forget

One of the staples of time travel stories is the idea that our heroes will visit earlier geological periods in Earth's history. Of course — because they'll want to see dinosaurs with ostrich feathers and giant millipedes. But they generally forget something very important about Earth's past. » 10/31/14 11:30am 10/31/14 11:30am

Want to Stay Healthy? You'll Need to Become a Human-Animal Hybrid.

Biologists have been mixing the DNA of different animals since the 1970s, but the idea of injecting the genes of animals into humans remains taboo. Called transgenics, it's a practice that could cure illness in the future — and eventually reshape our species. Here's what you need to know about it. » 10/15/14 11:25am 10/15/14 11:25am