In case you missed them, here’s another chance to catch five of our most popular recent stories. An implantable neural interface provides unprecedented data-transfer between the human brain and the digital world; the amazing math behind primes; the world’s greatest writers construct fractals; Venus flytraps employ deadly mathematics; and a truly historic breakthrough — the first computer defeating a human champion at the board game Go — are all among the top stories.
Google’s Go Triumph is a Milestone for Artificial Intelligence Research
Researchers from Google DeepMind have developed the first computer able to defeat a human champion at the board game Go. But why has the online giant invested millions of dollars and some of the finest minds in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research to create a computer board game player? Whereas even the best human chess players had fallen to computers by the 1990s, Go remained unbeaten. This is a truly historic breakthrough.
Deadly Mathematics: Venus Flytraps employ Calculation to Kill Prey
Carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap, depend on meals of insects to survive in nutrient-poor soil. They sense the arrival of juicy insects with the aid of sensitive trigger hairs on the inner surfaces of their traps. Researchers have looked more closely at exactly how the plants decide when to keep their traps shut and begin producing their acidic, prey-decomposing cocktail of enzymes. The short answer is: they count.
World’s Greatest Literature Reveals Multifractals, Cascades of Consciousness
Conan Doyle, Dickens and Shakespeare. Regardless of the language, some of the world’s greatest writers appear to be, in some respects, constructing fractals. Statistical analysis revealed something even more intriguing. The composition of works from within a particular genre was characterized by the exceptional dynamics of a cascading narrative structure. This turns out to be multifractal. That is, fractals of fractals are created.
The 22 Million Digit Number … and the Amazing Math Behind Primes
It is a quite extraordinary figure. Dr. Curtis Cooper from the University of Central Missouri has found the largest-known prime number — written (274207281)-1. It is around 22m digits long and, if printed in full, would take you days to read. Its discovery comes thanks to a collaborative project of volunteers who use freely available software called GIMPS (Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search) to search for primes.
U.S. Military to build Brain Implant that Translates Brain Activity into Binary Code
A new DARPA program aims to develop an implantable neural interface able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world. The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology.