Artificial Intelligence, Desalination, History of Forensics, Music from Cells


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A computer system has taught itself how to play dozens of video games. AI researchers claim this is a significant step toward machine intelligence, because the learning process is similar to how humans learn. The program, labelled DQN by its creators at Google DeepMind, performed as well as or better than humans at assorted Atari video games, such as Breakout, and Pong. This style of "Deep learning" is useful because it can be more readily applied to real world scenarios. As Adam Rutherford discovers,it's a short step from mastering a driving simulation game to self-driving cars.

Desalination to produce fresh drinking water is on the rise, but the bi-products of the process - acidic brine and carbon dioxide, are a growing environmental problem Adam Rutherford talks to Dr Philip Davies who's devised a new idea for treating brine from desalination plants that could help curb carbon dioxide emissions and go a long way towards addressing acidification of our oceans.

Plymouth music festival, Biomusic, features a new work by composer Eduardo Miranda, inspired by a fungus mould. Roland Pease meets the musical pioneer who finds music in biological tissues

A new exhibition at the Wellcome Foundation explores the history, science and art of forensic medicine, from the crime scene to the courtroom. Adam heads down to 'Forensics: the anatomy of crime' for a tour with forensic scientist Dr Angela Gallop, who worked on high profile cases including the murders of both Damilola Taylor and Stephen Lawrence, and also meets exhibition curator Lucy Shanahan.