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An electronic chip that makes ‘memories’ is a step towards creating bionic brains

What better way to build smarter computer chips than to mimic nature’s most perfect computer – the human brain? Being able to store, delete and process information is crucial for computing, and the brain does this extremely efficiently.

How tech firms make us feel like we own their apps – and how that benefits them

People who become heavy users of the apps they download can develop deep relationships with these services, so deep that they take on what we call “psychological ownership” of them. This means they perceive each app as something that belongs just to them and has effectively become an extension of themselves.

Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative

The core idea behind the Bitcoin system is to make all the participants in the system, collectively, the bank. To do this, blockchains are used. Blockchains are distributed, tamper-proof ledgers, which can record every transaction made within a network.

Anonymous apps risk fuelling cyberbullying but they also fill a vital role

The explosive popularity of YOLO has led to warnings of the same problem that led to Yik Yak’s shutdown, namely that its anonymity could lead to cyberbullying and hate speech. But in an age of online surveillance and self-censorship, proponents view anonymity as an essential component of privacy and free-speech. And our own research on anonymous online interactions among teenagers in the UK and Ir...[Read More]

Neuroscience and artificial intelligence can help improve each other

Despite their names, artificial intelligence technologies and their component systems, such as artificial neural networks, don’t have much to do with real brain science. I’m a professor of bioengineering and neurosciences interested in understanding how the brain works as a system – and how we can use that knowledge to design and engineer new machine learning models.

From Twitterbots to VR: 10 of the best examples of digital literature

These days all text is digital. From writing an email to publishing a new edition of War and Peace, text nearly always exists on a computer first. Yet there are writers who take full advantage of the computer’s possibilities, utilising new technologies to broach complex subject matter. Electronic or digital literature does not refer to e-books, but to works that depend on electronic “code” to exis...[Read More]

All the hype around Libra is a red herring. Facebook’s main game is Calibra

It’s more likely that blockchain, and even Libra, is a means to a end; Calibra is about Facebook wanting to be not only the world’s biggest social media platform but also the globe’s go-to marketplace, putting Amazon, eBay, Apple and Google in the shade.

Emoji aren’t ruining language: they’re a natural substitute for gesture 🔥🔥🔥

Gestures and emoji don’t break down into smaller parts. Nor do they easily combine into larger words or sentences (unless we’re using a clunky version of the grammar of our language).

Four surprising technological innovations that came out of the Apollo moon landings

NASA’s Apollo programme was one of the most challenging technological achievements in the 20th century. Beyond the space race and exploration, it contributed to several inventions and innovations that are still having an impact on our lives. But at the same time, there are several myths regarding what technologies actually came out of it.

Using virtual reality could make you a better person in real life

If you’ve ever participated in a virtual reality (VR) experience, you might have found yourself navigating the virtual world as an avatar. If you haven’t, you probably recognise the experience from its portrayal in film and on television. Popular media has brought us characters like Jake Sully in Avatar, Wade Watts in Ready Player One, and Danny and Karl in the Black Mirror episode Striking Vipers...[Read More]

The answer to forecasting Bitcoin may lie in artificial intelligence

As a cryptocurrency, there is no physical form that gives Bitcoin value, so it is impossible to perform traditional fundamental analysis of the currency. Consequently, many investors track the so-called technical trading indicators (geometric patterns constructed from historical prices and trading volumes) in order to understand and predict Bitcoin’s future movement.

From miniature satellites to giant sun shields – the extreme technology transforming space engineering

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing. This was possible thanks to an extraordinary acceleration of space technology. Within a remarkably short period of time leading up to the event, engineers had mastered rocket propulsion, on-board computing and space operations, partially thanks to an essentially unlimited budget. Since the days of these heroic endeavours, space...[Read More]

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