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Computing


Latest significant advancements in computing. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements within the realm of computing on society and humanity.

Will Bitcoin Use as Much Electricity as All of Austria by the End of the Year?

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were designed to be efficient, low-friction alternatives to traditional financial systems. But it seems their creators maybe didn’t think too hard about their sustainability. An analysis published in the journal Joule this...

This DeepMind AI Spontaneously Developed Digital Navigation ‘Neurons’ Like Ours

When Google DeepMind researchers trained a neural network to tackle a virtual maze, it spontaneously developed digital equivalents to the specialized neurons called grid cells that mammals use to navigate. Not only did the...

Why the Discovery of Room-Temperature Superconductors Would Unleash Amazing Technologies

Superconductors are among the most bizarre and exciting materials yet discovered. Counterintuitive quantum-mechanical effects mean that, below a critical temperature, they have zero electrical resistance. This property alone is more than enough to spark...

New Tech Marries the Best of Photonics and Electronics on the Same Silicon Chip

Optical communication has revolutionized long-distance data transfer, but scaling it down to microchips is tougher. Now, though, a new technique means optical components can be integrated into general purpose chips using standard manufacturing processes...

Scientists Discover How to Harness the Power of Quantum Spookiness by Entangling Clouds of Atoms

From tunneling through impenetrable barriers to being in two places at the same time, the quantum world of atoms and particles is famously bizarre. Yet the strange properties of quantum mechanics are not mathematical...

A Data Storage Revolution? DNA Can Store Near Limitless Data in Almost Zero Space

In the age of big data, we are quickly producing far more digital information than we can possibly store. Last year, $20 billion was spent on new data centers in the US alone, doubling the...

How Big Is the Gap Between ‘Ready Player One’ and Current VR Tech?

Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Ready Player One depicts a future where VR technology can transport people into a completely realistic alternate universe. But how close is real-life tech to that vision? Much of the coverage of...

IBM’s New Computer Is the Size of a Grain of Salt and Costs Less Than 10 Cents

The miniaturization of electronics has been progressing steadily for decades, but IBM just took a major leap. The company has created what it's calling the world's smallest computer, and it’s the size of a grain...

The Wild New Materials of the Future Will Be Discovered With AI

How materials for computer chips, solar panels, and batteries are developed looks to be in the early stages of a radical change. The same goes for research related to areas like superconductors and thermoelectrics. The...

Powerful New Algorithm Is a Big Step Towards Whole-Brain Simulation

The renowned physicist Dr. Richard Feynman once said: “What I cannot create, I do not understand. Know how to solve every problem that has been solved.” An increasingly influential subfield of neuroscience has taken Feynman’s...

In the Future, There Will Be No Limit to What AI Can Accomplish in Science

New planets found in distant corners of the galaxy. Climate models that may improve our understanding of sea level rise. The emergence of new antimalarial drugs. These scientific advances and discoveries have been in...

Silicon Valley Is Winning the Race to Build the First Driverless Cars

Henry Ford didn’t invent the motor car. The late 1800s saw a flurry of innovation by hundreds of companies battling to deliver on the promise of fast, efficient and reasonably-priced mechanical transportation. Ford later...

What Global Challenges Will We Solve With Exascale Supercomputers?

Though nearly seventy percent of Earth’s surface is comprised of water, only three percent is considered fresh and drinkable—and most of that striking minority is trapped in glaciers or polar ice caps. Juxtapose the...
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The Future of Digital Health: Personalized Health Care Beyond the Doctor’s Office

In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Leslie Saxon, founder and executive director of the USC Center for Body Computing, spoke about the Virtual Care Clinic her team is building. The concept for...

Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

Move over, deep learning. Neuromorphic computing—the next big thing in artificial intelligence—is on fire. Just last week, two studies individually unveiled computer chips modeled after information processing in the human brain. The first, published in Nature...

Why Quantum Computers Will Be an Amazing Tool for Social Innovators

While most people think quantum computing is still a few years off, your next taxi ride in Bangkok may be attached to a quantum computer. Toyota Tsusho and Denso recently announced plans to use...

Why the World Is Still Getting Better—and That’s Likely to Continue

If you read or watch the news, you’ll likely think the world is falling to pieces. Trends like terrorism, climate change, and a growing population straining the planet’s finite resources can easily lead you...

AI Uses Titan Supercomputer to Create Deep Neural Nets in Less Than a Day

You don’t have to dig too deeply into the archive of dystopian science fiction to uncover the horror that intelligent machines might unleash. The Matrix and The Terminator are probably the most well-known examples of self-replicating,...

New Plasmonic Device to Help the Internet Keep Growing and Getting Faster

The volume of data shuttled around the internet is growing unchecked, placing ever greater burdens on our communication infrastructure. But a new device that takes advantage of the unusual properties of plasmons could tackle...

IBM Just Simulated the Biggest Quantum Computer to Date—What That Means for the Field

Google was in poll position to win the race for quantum supremacy, the point at which a quantum computer can do things a conventional one can't. But IBM seems to have pulled the rug...

Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain Technology?

Amid steep gains in value and wild headlines, it’s easy to forget cryptocurrencies and blockchain aren’t yet mainstream. Even so, fans of the technology believe blockchain has too much potential not to have a...

Tech Is Becoming Emotionally Intelligent, and It’s Big Business

Many people get frustrated with technology when it malfunctions or is counterintuitive. The last thing people might expect is for that same technology to pick up on their emotions and engage with them differently...

Can You Be Hacked by the World Around You?

You’ve probably been told it’s dangerous to open unexpected attachment files in your email—just like you shouldn’t open suspicious packages in your mailbox. But have you been warned against scanning unknown QR codes or...

New Photonic Synapses Mimic the Brain and Compute With Light

Computing with light and designing brain-inspired hardware are at the experimental fringes of technology research. But they both come with potentially enormous advantages, so a group of scientists has decided to combine them. Neuromorphic computing...

Intel Jumps Into Brain-Like Computing With New Self-Learning Chip

The brain has long inspired the design of computers and their software. Now Intel has become the latest tech company to decide that mimicking the brain’s hardware could be the next stage in the...

What It Will Take for Quantum Computers to Turbocharge Machine Learning

Quantum computers could give the machine learning algorithms at the heart of modern artificial intelligence a dramatic speed up, but how far off are we? An international group of researchers has outlined the barriers...
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Why Quantum Computers Will Be Exponentially Faster Than Digital Computers

Classical computers (like the one you may be reading this on) calculate using bits, or binary digits, which can have only one of two values, either 1 or 0. Quantum computers, however, calculate using...

Interfaces Are Killing Us: It’s Time Technology Gets Out of the Way

You have superpowers; cybernetic superpowers that allow you to do all kinds of things. Think about it: at some point today you Googled a fact you didn’t know, or your calendar reminded you to be...

How the Intelligent Home of the Future Will Care For You

As Dorothy famously said in The Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home. Home is where we go to rest and recharge. It’s familiar, comfortable, and our own. We take care of our...

How to Make Your First Chatbot With the Help of Game of Thrones

You’re probably wondering what Game of Thrones has to do with chatbots and artificial intelligence. Before I explain this weird connection, I need to warn you that this article may contain some serious spoilers....
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Machine Learning Is Everywhere, But What Is It Exactly?

From Google’s language translation app to autonomous cars, machine learning has become a key ingredient in multiple areas of our lives—but what exactly is it? In the simplest sense, machine learning is a method of...

How to Store Data on Magnets the Size of a Single Atom

There is an adage that says that data will expand to fill all available capacity. Perhaps 10 or 20 years ago, it was common to stockpile software programs, MP3 music, films, and other files,...
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Tech-X-Planations | Introducing a New Original Weekly Video Series

We’ve all name-dropped a new technology that sounds awesome—like CRISPR/Cas9—without really knowing the basics. This is why we’ve created Tech-x-planations, Singularity Hub’s new weekly video series that explores fundamental ideas in science, technology, and the...

These 7 Forces Are Changing the World at an Extraordinary Rate

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who first said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” He was onto something. But even he would likely be left speechless at the scale and pace of...

This Free Online Tool Helps Strip the Jargon Out of Science Writing

Science and technology have a profound impact on everyone’s life, but the dense jargon experts use to talk about them make it hard for laypeople to get a grip on these fields. Now a...

Why It’s Taking Less and Less to Manufacture More of the Things We Want

Manufacturing productivity has been on a tear. It’s nearly doubled versus construction productivity over the last couple decades. Ever wonder why? I do. And at the heart of the answer is the increasing use of...

The Age of Cyborgs Has Arrived

How many cyborgs did you see during your morning commute today? I would guess at least five. Did they make you nervous? Probably not; you likely didn’t even realize they were there. In a presentation...

The Biggest Facial Recognition System in the World Is Rolling Out in China

Facial recognition is set to have a significant impact on our society as a whole. While many consumers are familiar with the concept because of the many smartphone apps that let them add various filters,...

How Robots Are Getting Better at Making Sense of the World

The multiverse of science fiction is populated by robots that are indistinguishable from humans. They are usually smarter, faster, and stronger than us. They seem capable of doing any job imaginable, from piloting a...

Teaching Machines to Understand, and Summarize, Text

We humans are swamped with text. It’s not just news and other timely information: Regular people are drowning in legal documents. The problem is so bad we mostly ignore it. Every time a person...

Machine Reasoning Gets a Boost With This Simple New Algorithm

There’s a classic scene in almost every police procedural: a weathered detective stands staring at a collection of photos pinned to a wall. Thin, red yarn traces the connections between the different players. Something’s...
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Ray Kurzweil: Our Brain Is a Blueprint for the Master Algorithm

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, thinker, and futurist famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow. In this video, Kurzweil suggests the blueprint for the master algorithm—or a single,...

6 Things Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful For

Computers don’t exist in a vacuum. They serve to solve problems, and the type of problems they can solve are influenced by their hardware. Graphics processors are specialized for rendering images; artificial intelligence processors...

Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation?

Two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks looked into the night sky and saw geometric shapes emerge among the stars: a hunter, a lion, a water vase. In a way, they used these constellations to...

Deep Learning at the Speed of Light on Nanophotonic Chips

Deep learning has transformed the field of artificial intelligence, but the limitations of conventional computer hardware are already hindering progress. Researchers at MIT think their new “nanophotonic” processor could be the answer by carrying...

Why Interstellar Travel Will Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

The term “moonshot” is sometimes invoked to denote a project so outrageously ambitious that it can only be described by comparing it to the Apollo 11 mission to land the first human on the...

Forget Police Sketches: Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves

Picture this: you’re sitting in a police interrogation room, struggling to describe the face of a criminal to a sketch artist. You pause, wrinkling your brow, trying to remember the distance between his eyes...

Quantum Computers Will Analyze Every Financial Model at Once

In the movie Office Space, Peter Gibbons has a stroke of genius. Confronted with the utter mundanity of a life slaving away at his office park software company, he convinces his friends to make...

7 Big Tech Trends That Are Changing the Way We Make Things

Manufacturing is dirty, dull, and outmoded. It’s a slow-moving industry stuck in the past as new technologies out of Silicon Valley threaten to upend it. Stereotypes are fun, and misleading. Let’s not forget manufacturing is...

How to Build a Mind? This Theory May Guide Us Toward an Answer

How do intelligent minds learn? Consider a toddler navigating her day, bombarded by a kaleidoscope of experiences. How does her mind discover what’s normal happenstance and begin building a model of the world? How does...

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