Brain Boost

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a way to kick the brain’s memorization activity up a notch. In their study, they monitored patients’ neural activity in real time and, with the help of personalized algorithms, sent pulses to brain areas that they believed needed more activity for patients’ to better memorize information. It worked—patients’ word recall increased by 15 percent.

Swapping Queens for Pawns

Last week we mentioned how it’d be a few years before Rolls-Royce’s autonomous commercial ships were on the water. But, it’s not surprising that military tech is years ahead. DARPA, after two years of testing the tech, just handed over its unmanned anti-submarine warfare vessel prototype to the US Navy. This autonomous vessel could be actively cruising the seas as early as this year, tracking submarines over a half mile away, an impressive feat. The longer-term naval strategy? To trade in the larger “king” and “queen” ships for a torrent of pawns, like this ship. And while the US Navy is improving its AI tech, so is the US Army. It’s now testing armed robotic vehicles.

Watch the sub-tracking vessel here:

Citizen Scores

Chinese police officers are starting to employ smart glasses to identify criminals in the crowd. They simply snap the best picture they can get of a person with their glasses, and the tech checks his or her face against the state’s system to find a match. They say it’s worked in seven criminal cases so far. Some people welcome this change hoping it will decrease crime. Others find it alarming when added on top of the state’s current use of facial recognition tech to keep ethnic minorities under close watch in western China.

Of even deeper concern to some, though, is how this tech might tie into the state’s potential “citizen score.” This score would rank each citizen’s standing in the eyes of the government based on various public and private factors deemed good or bad by the government. The state could even potentially use information like what people purchase, what they put on social media, who they associate with, and the like. Publish a negative remark online about the government or protest anything it does? Your score might take a hit.

Unique of the Week: Mustache Makeover

When the Justice League came out a few months ago, people were up in arms about the poor CGI used to cover up Henry Cavill’s mustache, a mustache he couldn’t shave because he was under another movie contract that required it. It turns out that a $500 computer and an AI might be able to erase Superman’s mustache a bit better than Hollywood did. Watch the video comparison here: