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

The Most Uncanny Robotic Animals That Humankind Has Ever Invented

Classic robots are absolutely weird, but there can be something unnerving about seeing dogs, snakes, bees, fish, and birds in robotic form. From uncanny headless creatures to mechanical snakes that can squeeze their way up a person's leg, here are the robotic critters we can't stop staring at. » 11/20/14 3:30pm Thursday 3:30pm

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

Quite Possibly the Worst Analysis of NSA Spying You Will Ever Hear

In a bizarre application of the old "blame the victim" idea, the Guardian's James Ball has decided that ordinary people with nosy neighbor syndrome are the fundamental cause of government spying. It's a classic example of confusing the cultural problem of gossip with the political problem of surveillance. » 11/13/14 4:00pm 11/13/14 4:00pm

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

The True Story of the Computer Worm that Took Down a Nuclear Facility

The Stuxnet worm was the first known example of a digital weapon developed by the U.S. government — and it actually worked. Discovered in 2010, it had already destroyed several nuclear centrifuges in Iran. Now, veteran computer security reporter Kim Zetter has an action-packed book about it. We've got an excerpt. » 11/07/14 2:36pm 11/07/14 2:36pm

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

A Clock So Precise That It Detects Tiny Shifts In The Flow Of Time

In a basement lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, researchers have built the world's most accurate atomic clock — it can keep perfect time for 5 billion years. But the clock is so precise that it's run into a problem. Time doesn't move at the same rate everywhere in the cosmos, or even on the surface of Earth. » 11/05/14 7:40am 11/05/14 7:40am

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