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Exploring particular issue themes, articles will be created by contributors via invitation, commission and open submission from subscribers.

How animals got their spots and stripes – according to maths

Dr Thomas Woolley is a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University. He specializes in mathematical biology, where his doctorate focused on understanding the pattern formation behind fish spots and zebra stripes. Alongside this research he now investigates mathematical models of stem cell movement. The hope is that by understanding how stem cells move we can influence them and, thus, speed up the healing process.

The maths behind ‘impossible’ never-repeating patterns

Dr Priya Subramanian is a Research Fellow at the Department of Mathematics, University of Leeds. Her interests lie in understanding mechanisms that govern spatio-temporal patterns and emergent behaviours in systems such as thermacoustic systems, transistional (convective/shear) flows of fluids and motion of active organelle filaments. Currently, she is looking at formation of quasipatterns; patterns that possess discrete spectra despite having no translational symmetries.

‘Machine folk’ music composed by AI shows technology’s creative side

Bob Sturm is a Lecturer in Digital Media at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, specialising in audio and music signal processing, machine listening, and evaluation. Oded Ben-Tal is a composer with complementary research interests at the intersection of Music, Cognition, and Computing. His compositions range from instrumental works to interactive pieces combining live performers with electronics, and include multimedia collaborations with artist from other domains such as video, dance, and visual design.

AI and the idea of the human: myth, metaphor and agency

AI challenges fundamental concepts such as the human and the machine. Myth, metaphor, and generally the languages of art and literature as well as philosophy can be helpful in thinking through the challenges of AI when the languages of science, technology and commerce fail. The paper examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI. The impact of AI upon human agency is also discussed. Without ways of thinking about, and grappling with a phenomenon as far reaching and transformative as AI, humans risk unintended, unforseen and perhaps unwelcome consequences of their technologies.