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What is Artificial Intelligence?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

If you touch a hot metal object, you will yank your hand away immediately. When this happens to you the first time, the sequence of events and the result (the burning of your hand) gets stored in your brain. This is what we call an experience. When you see a hot metal object next time, you will not touch it. You will use the knowledge of your previous experience and decide to not repeat it again....

Programmed to learn

Programmed to learn

Two boys and two girls. They were to be found at one of the busiest traffic signals in south Delhi. The boys were about five or six years of age. The girls looked older, about eight or nine. As the traffic zipped along on the road, the four of them would play their own games on the divider. As soon as the traffic stopped on one side of the road, obeying the red signal, the children stopped their games....

Internet in the Jungle

Internet in the Jungle

Why are you looking so sad?” Ullu, the wise old owl, asked Kabbu, the white pigeon. “You too would look sad if you were going to lose your job,” snapped Kabbu. Kabbu was the head of the Postal Department of their jungle Olango, which was the biggest and most prosperous jungle around. Kabbu and his fleet of 21 pigeons carried letters, parcels, money orders, postal orders, etc., from Olango to the other jungles and back. Their fleet was considered the smartest, fastest and easily the most efficient in all of Jungledom....

Shirt That is a Mobile Phone

Clothes that can make phone calls, play music, dial your pal’s number, keep you snug during cold weather, operate your computer… Shirt That is a Mobile Phone [Illustrations by Sudheer Nath] This is not fantasy. A British company, called Electrotextiles, has created a dazzling range of clothes — clothes that have a mind of their own! Scientists, working for the company, have invented a fabric that can be blended with flexible electronic materials to create intelligent clothing....

A Beautiful Ship in the Sky

A Beautiful Ship in the Sky

In the boundless ocean of space, a beautiful ship sails serenely around the sun. Our earth – Lovelier than the moon, this fragile ship travels one hundred and sixty thousand kilometres every hour. Space is full of countless such ships. But our Earth is special. It is the only ship which carries life – the only ship with voyagers on board. Four hundred thousand different kinds of life make their home on Earth. Together, they make it beautiful and precious....

Runu and Chotu

Runu and Chotu

A June morning. Holiday morning. “Fun! fun!” Runu thought as she woke up. No school, lots of cartoons on TV, computer games, and surely, a trip to the ice cream parlour. Fun, fun indeed! Runu gulped down her chocolate milk. Mom and Dad came in to pet her. Dad said, “Sorry baby, but we have to go see someone who is ill, can’t take you out today.” Seeing Runu pull a long face, Mom said, “I’ll leave the computer on for you, and your favourite CDs....

Logging on to Aliens

Logging on to Aliens

Do you believe that there might be life on other planets? Would you like to be the first ‘Earthling’ to make contact with an alien? Well, you can start your search from home. All you need is a computer and Internet access, and you can join the project of the US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Logging on to Aliens [Illustrations by Kusum Chamoli] NASA launched the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, eight years ago....

Your Mobile Phone Has a Bug

Your Mobile Phone Has a Bug

When people talk of a virus these days, chances are that they are talking about computer viruses that have the power to wipe out all the valuable work they may have stored in their computers. Imagine, this virus has the power to make military systems, giant banks, airports, hospitals and traffic systems come to a halt! The softer the name of the virus, the deadlier it may get. Remember the recent Love Bug virus which created such trouble all over the world?...

Do Computer Games Make You Violent?

Do Computer Games Make You Violent?

August 12: Four children aged four and five were suspended from their nursery school in New Jersey, US, for using their fingers for guns in a game of cops and robbers. The children were heard shouting ‘I shot you’ and ‘Boom, boom’ during break time. Do Computer Games Make You Violent? [Illustration by Kusum Chamoli] “It may be just a game …but it can be taken differently by other children,” said school principal, Georgia Baumann....

Simputer: The Low-cost Computer

Simputer: The Low-cost Computer

September 23: For all those who thought computers were expensive items and not in the list of “essential buys”, think again. A new computer is here, priced at an easily affordable Rs 9,000 (about $200)! And cheaper than a colour TV. Does that grab your attention? It is called Simputer. And it’s the answer to your prayers. As the name suggests, Simputer is not for the hitech geeks! It is a simple computer meant for those who think that a mouse is a small rodent and that a RAM is a male goat....

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