When a person screws up we call it human nature. So what does it mean when a machine that’s trying to imitate our intelligence makes a mistake? According to the doomsayers, it means robots could attack us because of faulty reasoning – and that’s scary. But, it’s hard to fear a machine that can be defeated with tropical fruit. That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best robot fails we could find to remind everyone we’re still in charge. For starters, who could forget the Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot demonstration? The company showed off its new technology at The Congress of…
In a new interview with the Washington Post, former troll Marat Mindiyarov described the factory as Orwellian, complete with an “assembly line” of lies.
“Your first feeling, when you ended up there, was that you were in some kind of factory that turned lying, telling untruths, into an industrial assembly line,” Mindiyarov said. “The volumes were colossal — there were huge numbers of people, 300 to 400, and they were all writing absolute untruths.”
While much of Mueller’s focus is on Russian intervention in the U.S. election using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Mindiyarov’s primary role was to comment on the news in Russia on forums such as LiveJournal and Russian news sites.
“When I was there, there were sanctions [by the European Union and the United States in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine] and the ruble started falling,” he said. “I was writing everything that was the opposite: how wonderful our life was, how wonderful it is that the ruble was strengthening, and that kind of absurdity. That sanctions were going to make us stronger and so on and so forth.”
Because Mindiyarov is a teacher by trade and spoke English well, he was also asked if he wanted to transfer to the Facebook commenting department where he’d be paid double his roughly $ 700 a month pay. But since tricking readers into thinking you are an American is a key part of the troll, Mindjyarov said each person had to take what amounted to an English proficiency test before transferring.
“I failed the test because you had to know English perfectly,” he said. “The reader must not have the feeling that you are a foreigner. The language demands were in fact very high, they were demanding high-end translators, basically.”
One of the questions on the test specifically asked about then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“I first had to write something about, ‘What do you think about vegetarians?’ or something like that,” he said. “Then it was, ‘What do you think of Hillary Clinton? What chances does she have to win in the U.S. election?’ You had to write at great length about this. … The main thing was showing that you are able to show that you can represent yourself as an American.”
Mindiyarov said he believes the tactics that were being used in the factory after he left in 2015 became more sophisticated, but that they worked because Americans were used to this kind of deception.
“Who really reads the comments under news articles, anyway?,” he said when asked whether the tactics worked in Russia. “Especially when they were so obviously fake.”
“But for Americans, it appears it did work,” he continued. “They aren’t used to this kind of trickery. They live in a society in which it’s accepted to answer for your words.”
BuzzFeed news intends to fight a pending lawsuit with the White House by proving the infamous “pee tape” exists. According to a report in Foreign Policy, the website has hired a crack team of investigators led by none other than former White House cybersecurity official Anthony Ferrante, the same man who once oversaw the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign after the 2016 election. Ferrante left the White House in April 2017 to work with FTI consulting. He’s now tasked with verifying the legitimacy of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and the…
In 2017, researchers turned science fiction into science fact – from developments in gene editing technologies, to improvements in artificial intelligence and quantum computing – this has certainly been a year full of breakthroughs. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the most impactful developments this year that are pushing boundaries toward a brighter future.
Lamb-in-a-Bag: An Artificial Womb Sustains Life
It’s, perhaps, fitting to open this list with a technology that could potentially save lives in the future. In April 2017, a team of physicians from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published a study in the journal Nature Communications that detailed the successful use of an artificial womb.
The device, a specialized transparent biobag filled with a fluid that allows it to imitate the environment inside a uterus, successfully housed a 23-week old lamb. This artificial womb can help save the lives of premature babies. The team working on the technology expects it to soon be ready for human use.
For the First Time in the U.S., an Embryo Was Edited
Genetically modified human beings are no longer just the topic of science fiction. In July 2017, MIT Technology Reviewreported on efforts by researchers in Portland, Oregon to genetically modify human embryos using gene editing tool CRISPR. The researchers, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health and Science University, edited the DNA of one-cell embryos – effectively demonstrating that it’s possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that carry heritable diseases.
Without a doubt, CRISPR is the most efficient and effective gene editing tool we have today. After numerous experiments that demonstrated what CRISPR could do, the gene editing tool was finally applied to a living human patient on the 13th of November. A 44-year-old patient suffering from a rare genetic condition called Hunter syndrome had his genome edited using a CRISPR treatment developed by biotechnology firm Sangamo Therapeutics.
Now that we’ve look at some biological advances, let’s move on to the realm of quantum physics. The science of the “small” continues to grow, thanks to work done by scientists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). On March 16, 2017, the LHC discovered a new system of five particles, all in a single analysis.
With overwhelming statistical significance to back it up, the exceptional discovery can’t be dismissed as a fluke. Instead, it provides a new window into our understanding of quantum theories that govern both the physics of particles in our world and beyond it.
Speaking of quantum theories, 2017 has been a host to some of the biggest developments in quantum technologies to date. Quantum computing, for one, has seen significant advances. Equally important are the breakthroughs in quantum communication, thanks to the efforts of researchers from China and elsewhere to build quantum networks.
Read about what a world powered by quantum computers would be like here.
SpaceX and an Era of Reusable Rockets
When it comes to the future of spaceflight and exploration, SpaceX has become a household name. The rocket company started by Elon Musk in 2002 cemented its hold on rocket technology and space this year, marking a number of “firsts” off of their development checklist.
Chief among these is the successful launch of a previously used Falcon 9 rocket booster, signaling the end of an era of expensive space missions. On the 30th of March 2017, SpaceX showed that their Falcon 9 rockets are reusable not just in name. That, however, was just the beginning. With an updated plan for Mars and a revamped BFR rocket, SpaceX continues to work on making every part of their rockets and spacecraft completely reusable.
Last but definitely not the least is one of the biggest discoveries that could affect the future of life beyond Earth. In February 2017, scientists working at the European Southern Observatory and NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-like exoplanets situated in the habitable space or “goldilocks zone” of a star system called TRAPPIST-1.
The TRAPPIST system, located some 39.5 light-years from the Sun, hosts an ultra-cool red dwarf star that’s only a bit larger — although significantly more massive — than Jupiter. Astronomers continue to debate the potential of these seven TRAPPIST exoplanets to host life, but the discovery of a collection of possibly livable exoplanets in just one system is a promising find in the quest for life outside of Earth.
It’s been a mixed week for self-driving vehicles, after an autonomous bus in Los Vegas collided with a truck just two hours after it hit the streets. The vehicle didn’t crash due to a software error. Rather, it was rear-ended by a human-driven truck. Fortunately the damage wasn’t too severe, with a city official describing it as a “fender bender.” There are no reports of any injuries or fatalities as a result of the crash, and the truck driver was lucky enough to walk away with a ticket. Speaking to the BBC, Las Vegas public information officer Jace Radke said:…
Adding Bluetooth, a propeller, and steering to a paper airplane is the future we always dreamed of. A Kickstarter project, PowerUp Dart, is a Bluetooth-enabled paper airplane kit that makes the 12-year-old in all of us smile. And so far, it’s raised over a million dollars in crowdfunding, with 7 days to go. The Dart comes with a foldable template (or several depending on your level of support) and everything you’ll need to propel a paper airplane at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 MPH) and land it safely. It has wing-stabilizers, landing gear, and a propeller. Best of all…
Becoming a better professional by spending some time playing on your phone sounds like a crazy claim that’s too good to be true. After all, aren’t smartphones making us dumber? Well, in some cases yes. There isn’t much evidence proving that scrolling through Instagram will make you a genius, but there definitely are some beneficial apps for you to use. Most of the apps make bold claims about their benefits, but these filtered ones have the science to back them up. 1. Make Better Decisions with Sleepbot As a working professional, getting a full eight hours of sleep may seem…
Hashtags could soon be useful for a lot more than fostering discussion on your favorite social network. Researchers have developed a hashtag-shaped quantum chip (shown below) that could confirm the existence of the oddball Majorana particle, which ex… Engadget RSS Feed