New Scientist




AI learns to play video game from instructions in plain English

New Scientist

An AI has learned to tackle one of the toughest Atari videogames by taking instructions in plain English.



Entire nervous system of an animal recorded for the first time

New Scientist

The firing of every neuron in an animal's body has been recorded, live. The breakthrough in imaging the nervous system of a hydra – a tiny, transparent creature related to jellyfish – as it twitches and moves has provided insights into how such simple animals control their behaviour.



Drone maps mines to explore unsafe caverns and seek out minerals

New Scientist

In the 2012 sci-fi film Prometheus, scientists release small drones into a mysterious tunnel complex to create a detailed 3D map of the caverns in minutes. Australian researchers plan to use a similar approach to explore parts of old mines that are unsafe to visit.


New computer vision challenge wants to teach robots to see in 3D

New Scientist

Computer vision is ready for its next big test: seeing in 3D. The ImageNet Challenge, which has boosted the development of image-recognition algorithms, will be replaced by a new competition next year that aims to help robots see the world in all its depth.


Earbud lets you control your phone with a wink or smile

New Scientist

Send a smiley with a smile. A prototype earbud can detect facial expressions and convert them into smartphone controls, like answering a phone call when you wink or launching Wikipedia when you open your mouth. It could be used by people with impaired movement or as a hands-free tool for drivers.


Google uses neural networks to translate without transcribing

New Scientist

Google's latest take on machine translation could make it easier for people to communicate with those speaking a different language, by translating speech directly into text in a language they understand.