Why Artificial Intelligence Like AlphaZero Has Trouble With the Real World
The latest artificial intelligence systems start from zero knowledge of a game and grow to world-beating in a matter of hours. But researchers are struggling to apply these systems beyond the arcade.
A Mathematician Who Decodes the Patterns Stamped Out by Life
Corina Tarnita deciphers bizarre patterns in the soil created by competing life-forms.
Earliest Black Hole Gives Rare Glimpse of Ancient Universe
It weighs as much as 780 million suns and helped to cast off the cosmic Dark Ages. But now that astronomers have found the earliest known black hole, they wonder: How could this giant have grown so big, so fast?
Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate
The core of a neutron star is such an extreme environment that physicists can’t agree on what happens inside. But a new space-based experiment — and a few more colliding neutron stars — should reveal whether neutrons themselves break down.
For Astronomers, Neutron Star Merger Could Eclipse Eclipse
Even as the solar eclipse was mesmerizing millions, astronomers were training their space- and land-based telescopes on a far more violent astrophysical event.