Cogito, ergo sum. We’ve all heard that famous assertion, foundation for a modern philosophy of self, consciousness, and individualism.
But Descartes had it easy: for him, thought was self-evident — he didn’t have to define it. What is thought? What is intelligence? And can a machine be said to possess either? The field of artificial intelligence, it turns out, is as much about the questions as it is about the answers, and as much about how we think as whether the machine does.
Solar eclipses have fascinated humanity for many thousands of years, inspiring monuments and mythologies across the globe. And even in our scientific era, the sight of an eclipse is often awe-inspiring.
Now, astronomers at the European Space Agency (ESA) want to induce this event, using tandem satellites to block out the sun and study its elusive outer atmosphere for hours on end.
Harvard University’s Daniel Nocera is a busy man. Last week, we reported on his announcement of a superbug that consumes carbon dioxide and creates fuel, a major development in energy technology. Now, the news is out that the “bionic leaf 2.0” is ready, a next-generation energy system that could eventually help keep more fossil fuels in the ground.
As the effects of global warming continue to create challenging conditions around the globe, the impetus to hack the planet grows ever stronger. Now, the United Arab Emirates is seeking to address its drought conditions with anartificial mountain expected to create clouds and bring on more rainfall. The government is considering proposals, and one idea from the United States’ National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is getting some traction. Researchers there have scored a $400,000 grant to determine whether a manmade mountain would solve the problem
It seems like we are constantly getting a little bit closer to being able to live in outer space, but one teeny-tiny little detail keeps holding us back: oxygen. Plants just don’t like zero gravity environments, and toting around an indefinite oxygen supply isn’t really feasible.
An artificial skin with the sensory function of human skin has been created out of household items by a team of researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The low-cost sensor platform can detect touch, pressure, temperature, acidity and humidity. The “paper skin,” as it’s called by the researchers, is in the early stages of development.