Science & Technology

Science and technology news

Voice recognition surrounds tech-loving Americans, from Siri to Google Assistant to Amazon Echo. Its omnipresence can make it easy to forget that making this technology has been really, really hard.

Understanding human speech is one of the most difficult frontiers in machine-learning, and the biggest names in technology have devoted much time and money to conquer it. But their products still only work for a handful of languages.

Less prominent languages are still indecipherable to computers — even for text translations, let along voice recognition.

In the small town of Sunderland, Mass., is a 300-year-old, family-run plot of land that fuses fine art and farming.

Mike Wissemann's 8-acre cornfield maze is a feat of ingenuity, with carefully planned and executed stalk-formed replicas of notables such as the Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dalí.

Three space travelers landed safely back on Earth late Saturday night.

The journey began in the evening, 5:12 p.m., ET to be exact, when the hatch to the International Space Station closed, and Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi climbed into the cramped Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft that would bring them home.

In an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all practical perception escapes, and in its place arises a fantastical world that teasingly mirrors the reality we call our own.

It's called virtual reality, or VR, and it's this technology that game developer Jonathan Schenker has a passion for. Schenker and his colleague Aaron Stanton created the VR game QuiVr — and, as he tells NPR's Rachel Martin, he was alarmed to discover a female user had been harassed while playing it.

Long ago, electronic music was created on massive consoles the size of refrigerators. But in 1970, the Minimoog Model D was unleashed, and its impact was nothing short of revolutionary.

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