Technology

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AI can now generate entire songs on demand. What this means for music as we know it

Written by Oliver Bown, UNSW Sydney In March, we saw the launch of a “ChatGPT for music” called Suno, which uses generative AI to produce realistic songs on demand from short text prompts. A few weeks later, a similar competitor – Udio – arrived on the scene. I’ve been working with various creative computational tools for the past 15 years, both as a researcher and a producer, and the recent pace of change has floored me. As I’ve argued elsewhere,…

Newly discovered subatomic particle may be the universe’s mythical ‘glueball’

BEIJING — In the fascinating realm of particle physics, scientists are constantly on the hunt for new subatomic particles that can shed light on the fundamental building blocks of our universe. Now, researchers at the BESIII experiment in China have made an exciting discovery – a new particle called the X(2370) that may be the long-sought-after “glueball.” You might be asking: what exactly is a glueball? To understand that, we first need to take a step back and look at…

Deceitful tactics by artificial intelligence exposed: ‘Meta’s AI a master of deception’ in strategy game

Paper: ‘AI’s increasing capabilities at deception pose serious risks, ranging from short-term, such as fraud and election tampering, to long-term, such as losing control of AI systems’ CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Artificial intelligence systems are fast becoming increasingly sophisticated, with engineers and developers working to make them as “human” as possible. Unfortunately, that can also mean just like a person. AI platforms are reportedly learning to deceive us in ways that can have far-reaching consequences. A new study by researchers from…

Caterbot or Robatapillar? Scientists create bug-like robot using origami

PRINCETON, N.J. — Scientists have taken a cue from nature’s fuzziest insects, creating a caterpillar-like robot that can bend and twist when navigating mazes. This new technology owes its flexibility to the art of origami, which influenced the design of this innovative soft robot. Soft robots are challenging models to move around because adding steering equipment makes them more rigid and reduces their flexibility. Incorporating the ancient practice of paper-folding helped overcome these design issues because the steering system is…

Mysteries of the Carrington Event, the largest solar superstorm in modern times, unraveled by tree rings

HELSINKI, Finland — In the annals of astronomy, few events have captured the imagination quite like the Carrington Event of 1859. Named after the amateur astronomer Richard Carrington who first observed it, this solar superstorm sent shockwaves through the scientific community and left a lasting impact on our understanding of the Sun’s power. A March 2024 study by an international team of researchers sheds new light on this cosmic cataclysm, revealing unexpected clues hidden in the most unlikely of places:…

New ‘atomic glue’ could pave way for powerful new quantum devices

BOULDER, Colo. — Physicists have discovered a new way to make atoms march in lockstep, bound together by the power of light. This research, conducted by a team led by James K. Thompson at JILA in Boulder, Colorado, could open the door to exciting advances in quantum technologies like ultra-precise sensors and powerful quantum computers. To understand the significance of this work, first imagine a game of atomic billiards. In the quantum realm, atoms behave both like particles and waves,…

New ‘twist’ on ultrafast wireless communication sets stage for 6G signals

‘Dead zones’ and glitchy WiFi connections could be a thing of the past thanks to terahertz waves, scientists say PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Few things are more frustrating for remote workers than the moment a wireless signal suddenly drops from their laptops. In an instant, their video call freezes, emails won’t send, and they’re left frustrated and disconnected. We’ve all been there, and it’s a problem that’s only going to get worse as more and more devices compete for limited bandwidth.…

New ‘e-tongue’ detects spoiled wine a month faster than humans

PULLMAN, Wash. — It may not look like a human tongue, but a newly developed “e-tongue” still outperforms human senses when it comes to detecting contaminated wine. During the experiment conducted at Washington State University, the strand-like sensory probes of the e-tongue identified signs of microorganisms in white wine within a week of initial contamination. That’s four weeks earlier than a human panel noticed any change in the aroma. That expedited timeline also spotted the changes before scientists could grow microbes…

Saturn’s ocean moon Enceladus can support extraterrestrial life − and researchers are working on detecting it

Written by Fabian Klenner, University of Washington Saturn has 146 confirmed moons – more than any other planet in the solar system – but one called Enceladus stands out. It appears to have the ingredients for life. From 2004 to 2017, Cassini – a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency – investigated Saturn, its rings, and moons. Cassini delivered spectacular findings. Enceladus, only 313 miles (504 kilometers) in diameter, harbors a liquid water…

‘Quantum internet’ connection finally achieved in historic breakthrough

LONDON — Quantum computing is more than just a dream for scientists and engineers: it is a reality that awaits us. When we arrive at this reality that was once sci-fi fodder remains the question. Now, for the first time, researchers have successfully created an interface that allows for two machines to connect and share stored quantum information, essentially the first tangible steps towards a “quantum internet.” The feat was also achieved at a wavelength compatible with the optical fiber…

Star Trek’s Holodeck becomes reality thanks to ChatGPT and video game technology

PHILADELPHIA — Remember the holodeck from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”? That virtual reality room aboard the Enterprise that could create any kind of environment you could dream up, from alien jungles to the residence of Sherlock Holmes — using nothing but voice commands? It might have been an invention of the 24th century on television, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have brought that sci-fi dream to life today! Calling their new system “Holodeck” in honor of its Star…

Can animals count? Scientists discover math skills are not just for humans

HONG KONG — Can animals count? Numerical acumen has long been seen as a distinctly human ability. However, a game-changing discovery from scientists at the City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has seemingly confirmed the existence of hidden number skills among rats. This newly identified sense of numeracy among rodents offers crucial insight that may help scientists further investigate the neural basis of numerical abilities and disabilities in humans, the research team explains.…