Suckup software: How sycophancy threatens the future of AI
The biggest problem with AI right now might not be it defying humans but bending its answers to make us happy.
This startup is solving the biggest problem to creating drugs that work
Lab-grown human tissues could revolutionize drug development. This AI-powered robot can create and test 10,000 of them at once.
Frontier, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s supercomputer, performed 9.95 quintillion calculations per second.
Frontier, the ORNL supercomputer, used machine learning to set a new speed record of 9.95 quintillion calculations per second.
This global prize competition is launching small moonshots to save the planet
Prince William’s “Earthshot” strategy hopes to hedge humanity’s bet and tackle multiple environmental crises.
Study: chronic pain’s root cause could be a process in the brain
Understanding that chronic back pain originates from within the brain could lead to quicker recovery, a new study finds.
T-Minus: A river of stars, NASA’s next moon landing, and more
Freethink's weekly countdown of the biggest space news, featuring a newly discovered stellar stream, NASA's next moon mission, and more.
Neurosoft CEO says new brain implant is “basically 1,000 times softer” than anything on the market
Swiss startup Neurosoft’s flexible brain implant could give us a better way to analyze and stimulate the brain.
Bad sleep worsens pain. Researchers may have discovered why.
Inadequate sleep worsens pain, which makes it difficult to sleep. This cycle may stem from disruptions to the body's endocannabinoid system.
A mineral produced by plate tectonics has a global cooling effect, study finds
Geologists have found that tectonic activity gives rise to smectite, a type of clay that can sequester a surprising amount of organic carbon.
Google’s new Gemini AI beats GPT-4 in 30 of 32 tests
Tech giant Google has unveiled the multimodal Gemini AI, its “largest and most capable” AI model ever released.
Zapping injured brains can improve cognition and memory
The lasting symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be treated with deep brain stimulation, according to a first-of-its kind trial.
NASA’s Webb telescope finds methane in far-off “warm Jupiter”
Astronomers have spotted methane — a molecule linked to the presence of life — in the atmosphere of a “warm Jupiter” exoplanet.
Move over, agony aunt: study finds ChatGPT gives better advice than professional columnists
Researcher found that people preferred the AI-generated responses over those given by a professional advice columnist, and couldn't tell which was which.
Toshiba unveils new fast-charging, cobalt-free battery
Toshiba has developed a new kind of cobalt-free battery that could lead to cheaper, more sustainable EVs in the future.
World’s largest robots will help airlines cut carbon emissions
Norwegian startup Avinxt is building massive AI robots to help airlines reduce their emissions, save water, and inspect their planes.
Lidocaine makes cancer cells self-destruct, study finds
Lidocaine, a common local anesthetic, activates proteins that cause certain types of cancer cells to self-destruct.
Technology expert tells us why the AI “doomer” narrative is all wrong
Alex Kantrowitz believes “doomerism” is born of our misplaced and exaggerated human propensity for fear. Plus, fear sells.
Stem cell injections could be the key to curing MS
From promising stem cell therapies to EBV vaccines, researchers are closer than ever to finding a cure for MS.
New 3D printing technique creates life-like robots
A new 3D-printing technique, vision-controlled-jetting, can be used to create a robotic hand, complete with bones, ligaments, and tendons.
How language and social status change the developing brain
Research shows that a child's early environment and socioeconomic status (SES) impact their language development and processing skills.
T-Minus: Starship’s big flight, an alien-hunter’s gift, and more
Freethink's weekly countdown of the biggest space news, featuring Starship's second test flight, a new "dark mysteries" telescope, and more.
Cholesterol drug suggests new way to treat Alzheimer’s
A cholesterol drug that reduced brain damage in mice could reveal a new approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease in people.
Search algorithm reveals nearly 200 new kinds of CRISPR systems
Researchers have discovered rare new CRISPR systems that have a range of functions and could enable gene editing, diagnostics, and more.
A new study reveals we can no longer tell AI-generated faces from real human faces
Looking at a face without a life.
Biggest science prize in history aims to extend human healthspan by a decade
Do humans have an ethical obligation to “die young”? Maybe not in the way you think, says bioethicist Raiany Romanni.
Grinding scientists: Mechanochemistry could revolutionize the creation of new materials
Like a kitchen mortar and pestle, mechanochemistry harnesses ball milling to create chemical compounds, simpler, and faster than traditional methods.
Do gravitational waves exhibit wave-particle duality?
One of the incredible revolutions of quantum mechanics is wave-particle duality: all fundamental quanta exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behavior.
Exposing plants to an unusual chemical early on may bolster their growth and help feed the world
"Priming" plants by exposing them to certain chemicals while they’re seeds can affect their growth later in life.
Australia’s 30-year quest to unlock an ancient painkiller
A crocodile attack led to a 30-year partnership to develop a painkiller based on the Nyikina Mangala people's traditional knowledge.
Experimental drug cuts heart disease risk factor by 96%
Eli Lilly’s experimental drug lepodisiran reduced blood levels of lipoprotein(a) by up to 96% in a small trial.
Human brains have a remarkable ability to rewire themselves following injury
Every brain injury is unique, as is every person’s path to recovery. A concussion specialist explains the science behind rehabilitation and recovery.
New brain decoder system offers hope for communicating by thought alone
Is this another step towards telepathy?
Soap bubble discovery could lead to better EV batteries
A connection between soap bubbles and lithium-metal batteries could get them out of the lab and into our electric vehicles (EVs).
GPT-4 is able to buy stuff on Amazon, researchers say
AI researchers successfully trained a GPT-4-based agent, dubbed the MM-Navigator, to “buy” products on Amazon.
How do researchers study the prevalence of mental illnesses?
Data on mental health is essential to understand the scale of mental illnesses. How do researchers collect this data, and is it reliable?
A new machine is able to keep the brain alive without a heart
A new device that lets scientists precisely control the brain's blood supply could lead to new neuroscience breakthroughs.
New ultrasonic technique can destroy toxic “forever chemicals”
We can now use an ultrasonic jackhammer to break apart chemicals
What is brown noise? Can this latest TikTok trend really help you sleep?
Brown noise, the better-known white noise, and even pink noise are all sonic hues. But do any of them actually work?
One dose CRISPR therapy cuts cholesterol by up to 55%
A CRISPR-based cholesterol treatment reduced “bad” cholesterol levels by up to 55% in a small first trial.
Human sleep patterns appear to change with the seasons
Researchers observed the sleep of 188 subjects to see if their slumbers would change in duration and structure along with the seasons.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship enters space for the first time
SpaceX’s Starship — the world’s biggest rocket — reached space on its second attempt, but the test wasn’t a complete success.
Want to feel better? Science says to care for your dog
Research shows that caring for your pets can improve your well-being, and that the act of caring provided more improvements than mere companionship
Pigs proven intelligent enough to play video games
A quartet of porcine subjects at the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science learned to play a simple video game.
Engineers develop an efficient process to make fuel from carbon dioxide
MIT engineers developed a process that directly converts carbon dioxide into formate, a solid fuel that can be stored indefinitely.
You win this street game by getting “hit” by a self-driving car
A game that challenges pedestrians to avoid detection by an AI could help train tomorrow’s self-driving cars.
One company you’ve never heard of is helping avoid space catastrophes
LeoLabs uses advanced algorithms, cloud computing tech, and a global network of ground-based radars to track objects in low-Earth orbit.
Solitude, without loneliness, can have mental health benefits
Spending some time alone (chosen or not) can be a chance to hit the reset button on your mental health — for the better.
Do wolves harbor the secret to curing dogs’ bowel problems?
The problem with carnivores turned omnivores.
Biggest aircraft since the Hindenburg cleared for test flights
Pathfinder-1, a massive airship developed by Google cofounder Sergey Brin’s LTA Research, has begun flight testing.
Most data lives in the cloud. What if it lived under the sea?
Every data centre is whirring, buzzing, and beeping around the clock — but they could be doing the same, for cheaper, under the sea.
Breakthrough AI learns language with “human-like” efficiency
An new AI model learned to generalize language concepts with "human-like" efficiency and remix them to respond to novel inquires.
BlackRock invests $550M in world’s largest direct air capture plant
Money manager BlackRock has invested $550 million in STRATOS, world’s largest direct air capture facility.
Waze will now tell you if a road has a history of car accidents
Navigation app Waze’s new Crash History Alerts let drivers know when they’re approaching an area prone to car accidents.
How do stimulants actually work to reduce ADHD symptoms?
Stimulant drugs are thought to alter the activity of key neuotransmitters, dopamine and noradrenaline, in the brains of people with ADHD.
Aussie scientists hit milestone in concentrated solar power
A breakthrough at a concentrated solar power facility in Australia could help make solar a more reliable source of energy in the future.
The centipede’s dilemma: Why overthinking is killing productivity
The centipede's dilemma refers to the phenomenon where becoming aware of one's own ability or competence can lead to tripping up.
How physics models could improve NBA teams’ performance
Density functional theory, a model used to study quantum-entangled particles, has surprising relevance on the basketball court.
Bad trips: Study examines the long-term adverse effects of psychedelic drugs
New research suggests that some users face long-term difficulties following psychedelic use, including emotional and social challenges.
Arkansas man receives world’s first eye transplant
The world’s first whole eye transplant puts doctors a major step closer to restoring vision with donor eyes in the future.
T-Minus: NASA’s surprise asteroid, China’s reusable rocket, and more
Freethink's weekly countdown of the biggest space news, featuring a surprising asteroid discovery, a new reusable rocket, and more.
MIT design would harness 40 percent of the sun’s heat to produce clean hydrogen fuel
Engineers hope to produce totally green, carbon-free hydrogen fuel with a new, train-like system of reactors driven by the sun.
Spinal implant lets man with Parkinson’s walk again
An experimental spinal implant has given a French man with advanced Parkinson’s disease back his ability to walk.
OpenAI launches a GPT Store for customized AI chatbots
ChatGPT users will soon be able to create, share, and potentially monetize customized versions of the chatbot through OpenAI’s GPT Store.
Memory champion explains how she memorizes 1,080 numbers in 30 minutes
Katie Kermode — a memory athlete with four world records — tells Big Think about her unique spin on an ancient technique to memorize unfathomably long lists of information.
“Iron Man” material made from DNA and glass is 4x stronger than steel
Using only DNA and glass, researchers made a material four times stronger and five times lighter than steel. It was inspired by Iron Man.
Mindfulness: New age craze or science-backed solution?
Research shows mindfulness can be an effective wellness practice, yet the effect sizes found in studies tend to be moderate.
Insomnia and mental disorders are linked, but exactly how is still a mystery
The relationship between insomnia and mental disorders is complex. It’s not just a case of “which comes first"?
New gene therapy reverses hearing loss in 4 children
A new gene therapy being trialed in China was able to reverse hearing loss in 4 of the 5 children to receive it.
From a five-layer graphene sandwich, a rare electronic state emerges
When stacked in layers in a rhombohedral pattern, graphene takes on a rare state that could advance powerful magnetic memory devices.
The psychedelic DMT causes the brain to become hyperconnected, scans reveal
Researchers gave 20 healthy subjects potent, intravenous doses of the psychedelic DMT and observed their brains. Here's what they found.
Capsaicin: Could the compound that gives chili peppers their heat treat diabetes and obesity?
Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their burn, could help with diabetes and obesity, but only at an uncomfortably high dose.
Gold-laced gel could help you recover from a major muscle injury
A combination of electrical stimulation and a gold nanoparticle-laced hydrogel could one day help people recover from major muscle injuries.
T-Minus: Stranded space drugs, a new moon lander, and more
Freethink's weekly countdown of the biggest space news, featuring a stranded space factory, Jeff Bezos' new moon lander, and more.
This AI companion could forever change how you feel about tech
Silicon Valley tech startup New Computer has unveiled Dot, an AI companion that could forever change our relationship with tech.
How AI played an instrumental role in making mRNA vaccines
Years before Moderna created an effective mRNA vaccine against COVID, the company put into place AI systems to accelerate the research process.
Honda unveils hands-free wheelchair you steer like a Segway
Honda Robotics has unveiled a prototype of the UNI-ONE, a hands-free wheelchair that you steer with your body weight.
Ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober created the world’s smallest Nerf gun — from DNA
Mark Rober and Pallav Kosuri created a Nerf gun so tiny they had to build it out of DNA. This DNA "origami" has the potential to revolutionize engineering.
Dumbing down or wising up: how will generative AI change the way we think?
Artificial intelligence tools are now managing huge swathes of information on our behalf, potentially changing what and how we think.
A short history of insomnia and how we became obsessed with sleep
Insomnia is big business and getting bigger. When did sleep become so important, so elusive, and so expensive?
NASA spends $50K on liquid metal spacesuit material
NASA-backed engineers are developing a new spacesuit material that will use liquid metals to repel lunar dust on demand.