What if we could peer into a brain and see guilt or innocence? Brain scanning technology is trying to break its way into the courtroom, but can we—and should we—determine criminal fate based on high-tech images of the brain?
In recent years, machines have grown increasingly capable of listening, communicating, and learning—transforming the way they collaborate with us, and significantly impacting our economy, health, and daily routines. Who, or what, are these thinking machines? As we teach them to become more sophisticated, how will they complement our lives?
With ever more refined techniques for measuring complex brain activity, scientists are challenging the understanding of thought, memory and emotion–what we have traditionally called “the self.”
Are we alone? It’s a question that has obsessed us for centuries, and now we have the technology to do more than wonder. Scientists on the hunt for distant planets and extraterrestrial intelligence explore faraway galaxies and barely visible realms.
“The infinite! No other question has ever moved so profoundly the spirit of man,” said David Hilbert, one of the most influential mathematicians of the 19th century. A subject extensively studied by philosophers, mathematicians, and more recently, physicists and cosmologists, infinity still stands as an enigma of the intellectual world.
Today, cryptography has moved beyond the realm of dilettantes and soldiers to become a sophisticated scientific art—combining mathematics, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. It not only protects messages, but it also safeguards our privacy. From email to banking transactions, modern cryptography is used everywhere.