The Atlantic


Chatbots Have Entered the Uncanny Valley

The Atlantic

When a robot almost looks human--almost, but not quite--it often comes across as jarringly fake instead of familiar. Robots that are clearly artificial, like WALL-E or R2-D2, don't have this problem. But androids like this one that imperfectly mimic human mannerisms and facial expressions are weird enough to be haunting.


Google Is Using Artificial Intelligence for Clip Art

The Atlantic

The thing about AutoDraw is that it isn't just saying, Oh, I see you've drawn a zebra, but also suggesting, And here's what that should look like, actually.


How A.I. Will Redefine Human Intelligence

The Atlantic

The machines are getting smarter. They can now recognize us, carry on conversations, and perceive complex details about the world around them. This is just the beginning.


Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?

The Atlantic

In the era of self-driving cars, a scary but otherwise uneventful car crash can be huge news. This was the case in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, when an Uber self-driving car was hit so hard that it rolled onto its side. There were no serious injuries reported.


Artificial Intelligence: The Park Rangers of the Anthropocene

The Atlantic

In an intriguing thought experiment, landscape architect Bradley Cantrell, historian Laura Martin, and ecologist Erle Ellis have taken this ethos to its logical extreme, and ended up with what they call a "wildness creator"--a hypothetical artificial intelligence that would autonomously protect wild spaces. We'd create it, obviously, but then let it go, so it would develop its own strategies for protecting nature. Maybe it blocks out human-made light or noise. Maybe it redirects the flow of water or destroys litter.


How Aristotle Created the Computer

The Atlantic

The evolution of computer science from mathematical logic culminated in the 1930s, with two landmark papers: Claude Shannon's "A Symbolic Analysis of Switching and Relay Circuits," and Alan Turing's "On Computable Numbers, With an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem." In the history of computer science, Shannon and Turing are towering figures, but the importance of the philosophers and logicians who preceded them is frequently overlooked.


The Fight Between Waymo and Uber Intensifies

The Atlantic

Waymo further claims that it has proof--via an email that seemed to have been sent to Waymo accidentally--that Uber copied Waymo's laser-radar system, the crucial component of what makes a self-driving car drive itself.


A Visual Search Engine for the Entire Planet

The Atlantic

At this moment in history, there are more satellites photographing Earth from orbit than just about anyone knows what to do with. Planet, Inc., has more than 150 orbiting cameras, each the size of a shoebox.


Machine Learning Is Bringing the Cosmos Into Focus

The Atlantic

The telescope offers one of the most seductive suggestions a technological object can carry: the idea that humans might pick up a thing, peer into it, and finally solve the riddle of the heavens as a result.


A Doozy of a Lawsuit Over Self-Driving Cars

The Atlantic

In another astonishing detail from the court filing, Waymo says it was tipped off of the alleged theft when Waymo was "apparently inadvertently" copied on an email from a vendor of Uber's. The email included an attachment of an Uber circuit board that "bears a striking resemblance to Waymo's own highly confidential and proprietary design and reflects Waymo trade secrets," Waymo said in its lawsuit.