By experimenting, computers are figuring out how to do things that no programmer could teach them. Scientists are making remarkable progress at using brain implants to restore the freedom of movement that spinal cord injuries take away.

Advances at Google, Intel, and several research groups indicate that computers with previously unimaginable power are finally within reach. Inexpensive cameras that make spherical images are opening a new era in photography and changing the way people share stories.

By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power. Scientists have solved fundamental problems that were holding back cures for rare hereditary disorders.

Next we’ll see if the same approach can take on cancer, heart disease, and other common illnesses. Biology’s next mega-project will find out what we’re really made of.

The relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets is creating dangerous side effects that figure to get even worse. Inside a simple computer simulation, a group of self-driving cars are performing a crazy-looking maneuver on a four-lane virtual highway. Read more from…

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