Could Terminators become a reality? Nasa’s Mars ambition and a positive climate update. Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities…

Making AI even smarter

Estonia is testing quite how advanced artificial intelligence (AI) is, writes Wired: The government plans to introduce AI judges for small-claims cases. Scary? Maybe. But the publication also writes that researchers are seeking to make AI even smarter by looking at how we read to help computers understand language. Meanwhile, The Guardian is wondering whether we can stop AI outsmarting humanity – as technologists argue that the idea of super-intelligent machines doing us harm is not mere science fiction.

Read more: Digging into the diversity data challenge

The new economy and brainy tech

Reuters reports that China’s top regulator is demanding for a clampdown on online platforms’ police advertisements while Bloomberg argues that given Europe’s huge exports of waste, there needs to be more than just a ban on plastic forks. Quartz reports on how economists have created an ambitious new measure with the potential to challenge the pre-eminence of gross-domestic product as a standard economic measure. The website also takes a look at machine-learning algorithms, robots and self-driving cars and reports on how they could reinvent major industries – and what the risks might be.

Read more: How close are we to a cashless society?

Renewable energy wins

Meanwhile, some good news for the climate comes from The Guardian. The publication writes that the majority of coal power is now more expensive than renewable energy. Elsewhere, The Independent reports that Nasa has successfully tested a helicopter that is now bound to fly on Mars. To date, exploration of the red planet has been on its surface but now engineers have their hopes set on the helicopter soaring over it.

Read more: The power of sustainable impact