Artificial Intelligence

BBC Focus 310In a world first, a software agent called DeepStack has beaten a team of human pros at the most complex variant of poker yet. In the current issue of BBC Focus magazine we meet the scientists behind it - subscribe here.

Also in this issue:

  • We investigate some of the biggest hacks in recent years and chat to an ex-hacker about why people hack and how they could be stopped.
  • Cassini will soon be smashing into Saturn, marking the end of its mission. We take a look at some of its biggest discoveries to date.
  • DIY science - make a liquid magnet, extract DNA from strawberries and create elephant toothpaste.
  • Experts reckon that antibiotic resistance could be one of the biggest threats to humankind. So what can we do about it?

Can computers think? Since the 1950s we have been trying to make computers that mimic the brain's complex neural networks. There has been  success with specific challenges, such as when Deep Blue beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, but consciousness and general intelligence remain long term goals. More recent developments such as IBM's question answering system Watson, and Apple's intelligent personal assistant Siri have focused on answering  user's closed questions.

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9 of the funniest science songs on the internet

Songs about science – not the most likely genre to trouble to Top 40, but you’d be surprised as to how enthusiastic scientists are at teaching their art through song. Oh yes, and comedians also seem to be on a similar wavelength. Here are some of our favourite science songs.