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Remember that talk of Facebook testing its own virtual assistant? Well, it's real. The social network is trying out M, an artificial intelligence-powered Messenger assistant that can answer questions and complete tasks. You can ask it for advice on places to go, for instance, or have it make trav...

August 26th 2015 at 1:38pm 0 Comments
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Computers and artificial intelligence systems have long struggled with a human understanding of humor – as anyone who has ever asked Siri to tell a joke well knows. Bloomberg reports that recently, a researcher at Microsoft began working with The New Yorker on a project that aims to teach an...

August 10th 2015 at 9:39pm 0 Comments
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Fullbright struck a nerve with 2013's Gone Home, its emotionally haunting tale of a 20-something who returns from Europe in 1995 to find her family home deserted. That indie game darling not only became a critical success for the small Portland, Oregon-based studio, but also won a BAFTA in 2014 fo...

August 10th 2015 at 11:00am 0 Comments
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Hitchbot might have made it across Canada, but it appears that the US wasn't quite so kind to this mechanical traveler. The hitchhiking robot's American journey has ended after a mere two weeks thanks to a vandal attack in Philadelphia. While the team behind Hitchbot vows that its experiments wit...

August 2nd 2015 at 2:26pm 0 Comments
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If you don't like the thought of autonomous robots brandishing weapons, you're far from alone. A slew of researchers and tech dignitaries (including Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Steve Wozniak) have backed an open letter calling for a ban on any robotic weapon where there's no human input involv...

July 27th 2015 at 10:59am 0 Comments
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It's bad enough that robots are writing professionally (albeit badly), but now they're criticizing, too? IBM has unveiled the Watson Tone Analyzer, the latest tool in its "cognitive computing" suite of cooking, health, shopping and other apps. Once you input a piece of text, the system will perfor...

July 17th 2015 at 6:11am 0 Comments
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As clever as learning computers may be, they only have as much potential as their software. What if you don't have the know-how to program one of these smart systems yourself? That's where Microsoft Research thinks it can help: it's developing a machine teaching tool that will let most anyone sh...

July 12th 2015 at 5:56pm 0 Comments
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Spam is always annoying, but it can occasionally be disastrous. Google has now deployed its artificial neural network to stop more of it from arriving in your Gmail inbox, something it hinted at earlier. It's designed to "detect and block the especially sneaky spam -- the kind that could actually...

July 10th 2015 at 4:28am 0 Comments
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It's easy to find computer vision technology that detect objects in photos, but it's still tough to sift through photos... and that's a big challenge for the military, where finding the right picture could mean taking out a target or spotting a terrorist threat. Thankfully, the US' armed forces ma...

July 5th 2015 at 1:01pm 0 Comments
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After Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to finance studies aiming to keep AIs safe and beneficial (i.e., prevent them from going down Skynet's path) almost 300 teams submitted their research proposals. Now, the institute is finally done reviewing them all and has...

July 2nd 2015 at 12:33pm 0 Comments
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Chatbots are pretty common these days -- a simple search can surface numerous variants you can talk to on a lonely Friday night. The one Google is developing, however, isn't your run-of-the-mill chatbot: it wasn't programmed to respond to questions a specific way. Instead, it uses neural networks...

July 2nd 2015 at 3:37am 0 Comments
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Early on in AMC's newest sci-fi show, Humans, a teenager wonders aloud if there's any point in going to college and spending years training to be a neurosurgeon. After all, why invest all that time and work when an advanced android, which are commonplace in the show's world, can be programmed with...

June 30th 2015 at 11:30am 0 Comments