Computers

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Can a machine really think, be in awe and wonder? Shutterstock/Photobymhu

What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?

As machines get ever more complex as we strive to make them complete more complex tasks, it's time to ask again: will they ever be able to think? But what is thinking anyway?
It’s a lot for a person to puzzle out… call in the computers! Shaury Nash

How computers help biologists crack life’s secrets

Modern biological research relies on big data analytics. Vast reservoirs of memory and powerful computing ability mean machines find patterns and make meta-analyses and even predictions for scientists.
Technology can be so frustrating at times, so what if it could understand your emotions? Shutterstock/Kues

Imagine if technology could read and react to our emotions

How often do you get angry or frustrated with a machine or some piece of technology? Well what if a machine could sense our emotion and then change its behaviour to suit?
Computer… or black box for data? US Army

How computers broke science – and what we can do to fix it

Virtually every researcher relies on computers to collect or analyze data. But when computers are opaque black boxes that manipulate data, it's impossible to replicate studies – a core value for science.
Until machines become truly intelligent, they’re going to make a lot of mistakes when they try to help us. Steve Rainwater/Flickr

The hazards of presumptive computing

Computers try to predict our behaviour and anticipate our needs, but sadly they often get things dreadfully wrong.
The way we teach our children must accommodate the radical changes in technology that have occurred over the past couple of decades.

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the computer is mightier than both

It’s official. In 2015, the keyboard has began to genuinely challenge the pen for dominance in the classroom. With Finland having decided that it will no longer teach cursive handwriting in primary school…
Typing on a computer keypad could be a thing of the past as voice recognition takes over. Flickr/Brad Wilmot

Out with the keyboard as talk takes over typing

With the recent acquisition by Facebook of voice-recognition company Wit.ai, all four major players in the post-PC market (Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook) now have a significant infrastructure for…
What does it take for a computer to show artificial intelligence? Flickr/Nebraska Oddfish

Is passing a Turing Test a true measure of artificial intelligence?

The Turing Test has been passed, the headlines report this week, after a computer program mimicked a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy called Eugene Goostman, fooling 33% of its interrogators into believing it…

Breakthrough in flexible touchscreen technology

A new design of touchscreen technology that uses metal nanowires could enable flexible touchscreens that are cheaper to make…
Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse, died on Tuesday, aged 88. Javier Martínez Ortiz

Doug Engelbart’s passing leaves a legacy to treasure

This week saw the passing of Doug Engelbart, one of the giants in the history of computing. Today he is mostly known for his invention of the computer mouse in 1963. Many of his other big ideas lay waiting…
Forget Spanish, French or German - try learning a coding language instead. Ivana Vasilj

Learn computerese as a second language (that’s code for code)

If horror meister Stephen King was a computer programmer, his language of choice would probably be COBOL: it’s quite verbose in exposition, has been around for ages and people still make a lot of money…

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