Goto

Collaborating Authors

New Scientist


Google AI generates musical backing tracks to accompany singers

New Scientist

Google has trained an artificial intelligence, named SingSong, that can generate a musical backing track to accompany people's recorded singing. To develop SingSong, Jesse Engel and his colleagues at Google Research used an algorithm to separate the instrumental and vocal parts from 46,000 hours of music and then fine-tuned an existing AI model – also created by Google Research but for speech and piano music – on those pairs of recordings.


US military plan to create huge autonomous drone swarms sparks concern

New Scientist

A new Pentagon project envisages automated, coordinated attacks by swarms of many types of drones that operate in the air, on the ground and in the water. The idea is raising concerns about whether human oversight of such a "swarm of swarms" would be possible. The Autonomous Multi-Domain Adaptive Swarms-of-Swarms (AMASS) is a project from US defence research agency DARPA.


Flying robot echolocates like a bat to avoid banging into walls

New Scientist

A drone can guide itself and map environments via echolocation, using a simple buzzer and microphone set-up, much like a bat uses sound to see in the dark. For robots to be able to move autonomously, they need to determine where they are in space and whether any obstacles lie in their path.


Hearing noise and moving our body helps us gauge the passing of time

New Scientist

Moving your body while listening to sounds may help you more accurately perceive the passing of time during a particular event. Past research suggests that this finding could help to improve treatments for conditions such as Parkinson's disease, which often affects a person's motor function and the timing of their movements. Improved accuracy to our perception of time may help doctors to assess the effectiveness of interventions that aim to ease these symptoms. When an event occurs, the body has various means of measuring how long it lasted. For example, moving our body can help to improve our accuracy when counting the length of auditory tones.


San Francisco is getting cold feet about self-driving car tests

New Scientist

Officials in San Francisco have asked for a halt to the expansion of driverless car tests across the city after a series of incidents that have hampered the work of emergency services. San Francisco's position at the heart of Silicon Valley and its wealth of technology talent has made it a hotbed for the driverless car industry. Both Waymo, owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, and Cruise, owned by General Motors, operate experimental robotic taxi services in the city. But they haven't been without problems. New Scientist has previously reported how autonomous vehicles (AV) from Cruise, for example, have randomly stopped and blocked traffic and had a run-in with police.


Vine-like robot that 'grows' towards heat could put out fires

New Scientist

A vine-like robot can steer itself towards a source of heat without sensors, batteries or motors. The technology could be used to create smart hosepipes that approach a burning building or forest fire and steer themselves towards the flames. Charles Xiao at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his colleagues have created a device about 2 metres long with dozens of segments. The team's robot mimics the way that vines and roots use …


Smart dairy farms are using AI scanners to monitor cows' health

New Scientist

An overhead scanning system combined with artificial intelligence is automatically assessing cows' health status twice a day on dozens of "smart" dairy farms across the UK. The associated computers then use machine learning to process the data, providing critical daily information about each cow's weight, body condition, and mobility, says Wenhao Zhang at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, UK. …


DeepMind AI is as fast as humans at solving previously unseen tasks

New Scientist

DeepMind has developed an artificial intelligence that can solve tasks it has never seen before as fast and as accurately as humans – it could be a step towards generally intelligent AI that could master an array of jobs in the real world. The AI, called Adaptive Agent or AdA, works in a 3D virtual world where it is asked to solve tasks that involve navigating, planning and manipulating objects. Humans are excellent at solving new problems in very different environments, including ones they haven't seen before.


Solar panel cleaning robot can be dropped off and picked up by drone

New Scientist

Every day the dust settles on thousands of square kilometres of solar panels around the world, cutting the amount of electricity they produce. A robot designed by an Israeli start-up can autonomously clean rooftop solar panels that other cleaning robots can't access, increasing the panels' electricity generation by as much as 15 per cent. Autonomous robots are widely used to clean large-scale solar arrays on the ground.


AI has designed bacteria-killing proteins from scratch – and they work

New Scientist

An AI has designed anti-microbial proteins that were then tested in real life and shown to work. The same approach could eventually be used to make new medicines. Proteins are made of chains of amino acids. The sequence of those acids determine the protein's shape and function. Ali Madani at Salesforce Research in California and his colleagues used an AI to design millions of new proteins, then created a small sample of those to test whether they worked.