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The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century, From ‘Children of Men’ to ‘Her’

With themes that range from love to fear to humanity itself, the best sci-fi movies of the 21st century all share distinctly original visions.<p>Sci-fi …

Science Fiction

Scientists Are Attempting to Unlock the Secret Potential of the Human Brain

Sometimes, it occurs when a person suffers a nearly fatal accident or life-threatening situation. In others, they are born with a developmental …

The Brain

Why the Future Is Always on Your Mind

We are misnamed. We call ourselves Homo sapiens<i>,</i> the “wise man,” but that’s more of a boast than a description. What makes us wise? What sets us apart from other animals? Various answers have been proposed — language, tools, cooperation, culture, tasting bad to predators — but none is unique to …

Consciousness is not a thing, but a process of inference – Karl Friston

I have a confession. As a physicist and psychiatrist, I find it difficult to engage with conversations about consciousness. My biggest gripe is that …

Consciousness

It's happening: Google's AI is building more AIs

We've reached AI inception, but Google CEO Sundar Pichai still wants to "go deeper."<p>Put away your machine learning degrees -- artificial intelligence is now at the stage where it's ready to replicate and improve on itself, according to Google.<p>Googlers have designed AIs that are capable of "learning …

Artificial Intelligence

Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future

One persistent criticism of Silicon Valley is that it no longer works on big, world-changing ideas. Every few months, a dumb start-up will make the news — most recently the one selling a $700 juicer — and folks outside the tech industry will begin singing I-told-you-sos.<p>But don’t be fooled by …

Watch Google’s ‘Visual Positioning Service’ AR Tracking in Action

At today’s annual Google I/O developer conference, Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality at Google, announced a new augmented reality service called …

Augmented Reality

Google Announces ‘WorldSense’ Inside-out Tracking for Standalone Daydream VR Headsets

Google today announced that standalone VR headsets are coming to Daydream, the first of which will be made by HTC and Lenovo. Supporting these new …

Virtual Reality

‘Walkaway’ Author Cory Doctorow on Gift Economies & Privacy

Cory Doctorow’s new sci-fi book “Walkaway” is a optimistic disaster novel that imagines what society might look like if people walked away from …

Cory Doctorow

First Glimpse of HTC’s Standalone Vive Headset Powered by Google Daydream, Launching Later This Year

Google and HTC are partnering up on Google’s new standalone Daydream VR initiative which will see fully-self contained mobile VR headsets built on …

Virtual Reality

The Antikythera mechanism is a 2,000-year-old computer

115 years ago, divers found a hunk of bronze off a Greek island. It changed our understanding of human history.<p>One hundred fifteen years ago, an archeologist was sifting through objects found in the wreck of a 2,000-year-old vessel off the Greek island Antikythera. Among the wreck’s treasures — …

Archaeology

A neuroscientist explains the radical theory that our free will is just an illusion

Dean Buonomano, a professor at UCLA and author of "Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time", gives a simple explanation of the theory of eternalism. Following is a transcript of the video.<p><i>It seems that everything in the universe has already happened under eternalism.</i><p><i>In</i> …

Consciousness

Google’s next-generation AI training system is monstrously fast

The TPU V2 could be a huge boon to Google’s cloud computing platform<p>Google today is unveiling its second-generation Tensor Processor Unit, a cloud computing hardware and software system that underpins some of the company’s most ambitious and far-reaching technologies. CEO Sundar Pichai announced …

Machine Learning

Google Lens turns your phone into a super-intelligent camera

Google's image-recognition AI just got way smarter.<p>The company announced a new computer-vision platform, Google Lens, which could give our smartphone cameras even more power, during its I/O developer conference Wednesday.<p>CEO Sundar Pichai showed off Google Lens with an innocuous image of a little …

Google

American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why

Climate change only explains at least 20 percent of the movement.<p>As the consequences of climate change strike across the United States, ecologists have a guiding principle about how they think plants will respond. Cold-adapted plants will survive if they move “up”—that is, as they move further …

Climate Change

Why does North Korea hate the United States? Let’s go back to the Korean War.

SEOUL — Any day of the week, the North Korean propaganda machine can be relied upon to spew out anti-American vitriol using some formulation of “imperialist” and “aggressor” and “hostile.”<p>The Kim family has kept a tight grip on North Korea for some seven decades by perpetuating the idea that the …

North Korea

9 things smart people won’t do

My recent post, 10 Ways Smart People Stay Calm, really struck a nerve. The trick is that managing your emotions is as much about what you won’t do as …

Emotional Intelligence

Is 'Being' The Same For Everyone?

How do you know you are not now dreaming?<p>Any test you might perform, you might be merely dreaming that you are performing.<p>How can you get outside experience to verify that things are, at least once and for all, the way they seem to be?<p>This is philosophical skepticism in the potent and daring form …

Consciousness

Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World by Jamie Bartlett – review

This thoughtful study of radical movements explores politics, sex and drugs<p>It’s often been said that most nonfiction books are really magazine articles blown up to enable publication. But that analysis is increasingly anachronistic. Magazines, with a few honourable exceptions, no longer run the …

Books

The Storyclock Notebook Helps You Turn Your Ideas into Stories

Now, more than ever, is the time to write that screenplay.<p>Writers have the nearly impossible task of turning those little sparks of ideas into …

Filmmaking

Einstein’s Relativity Explained in 4 Simple Steps

The revolutionary physicist used his imagination rather than fancy math to come up with his most famous and elegant equation.<p>Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity is famous for predicting some really weird but true phenomena, like astronauts aging slower than people on Earth and solid objects …

Physics

DARPA: We're Moving to Merge Humans and Machines

If You Can’t Beat Them…<p>Without a doubt, computers and machines are besting humans in many ways thanks to developments in artificial intelligence …

Quantum Physics is Bringing Our Wildest Sci-Fi Dreams to Life

Spooky Subatomic Space<p>Think of every amazing future technology you’ve seen or read about in science fiction, or imagined yourself. Big innovations …

Genius Thought Experiment - Genius Interactive

Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Some of his most brilliant scientific breakthroughs came out of thought experiments-- hypothetical scenarios taking place entirely in his mind. One of his most famous thought experiments illustrates the concept of the relativity of …

Space

5 Things You Need To Know Before Taking an At-Home Genetic Test

DNA is what makes us who we are. In humans, our genetic makeup is 99.9 percent similar to the person next to us, but that tiny 0.1 percent difference is what makes each of us unique — providing us with traits such as eye and hair color, height, and even disease.<p>Genetic testing is now available for …

DNA

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before

Jesse Engel is playing an instrument that’s somewhere between a clavichord and a Hammond organ—18th-century classical crossed with 20th-century …

Platonically irrational

How much did Plato know about behavioural economics and cognitive biases? Pretty much everything, it turns out<i>By Nick Romeo</i>Read at Aeon

Behavioral Economics

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

<i>Presidential Executive Order</i> <i>Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States</i><p><b>Diving In</b><br>Matt Connolly on <i>Henry Gamble’s Birthday</i> …

The Pentagon is hunting ISIS using big data and machine learning

Military and civilian intelligence analysts "overwhelmed" by the sheer volume of video surveillance data recorded over the America's numerous military incursions against ISIS will soon get some relief. The Pentagon announced on Monday that it is tasking its newly-minted Algorithmic Warfare Cross …

Machine Learning

These Artists Are Adding a New Dimension to Photography

Stitching together 10,000 photos is not a task for everyone.<p>The team at Oddviz spent a week photographing every corner of an art hotel in downtown …

Art