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Computer Science

Photo of Judea Pearl

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut. His prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why.

Art for "Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells"
Abstractions blog

Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells

Faced with a navigational challenge, neural networks spontaneously evolved units resembling the grid cells that help living animals find their way.

Lede art for "First Big Steps Toward Proving the Unique Games Conjecture"
computational complexity

First Big Steps Toward Proving the Unique Games Conjecture

The latest in a new series of proofs brings theoretical computer scientists within striking distance of one of the great conjectures of their discipline.

Gif illustration for "Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos"
chaos theory

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos

In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems.

Homepage photo of a robot holding a wooden puzzle block
artificial intelligence

Why Self-Taught Artificial Intelligence 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.

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Computer Science

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

New algorithms show how swarms of very simple robots can be made to work together as a group.

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The Future of Quantum Computing

The Argument Against Quantum Computers

The mathematician Gil Kalai believes that quantum computers can’t possibly work, even in principle.

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The Future of Quantum Computing

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for “quantum supremacy” – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.

520px illustration of quantum computing neural networks
The Future of Quantum Computing

Job One for Quantum Computers: Boost Artificial Intelligence

The fusion of quantum computing and machine learning has become a booming research area. Can it possibly live up to its high expectations?