Digital Dystopia

By Simon Whitehead | Dark reflections on our addiction to technology. medium.com/digital-dystopia

How chatbots can settle an insurance claim in 3 seconds

At Amazon’s prototype grocery store, Amazon Go, customers can walk in, pick up what they want, and walk out without ever waiting in a checkout line or pulling out a wallet. Amazon will automatically charge their account and send them a receipt. Run out of paper towels? No problem. Amazon Prime …

Machine Learning

This Dystopian Wearable Detects AIs Pretending to Be Humans

The 'Anti-AI AI' will literally send a chill down your spine.<p>As AI algorithms that can impersonate the human voice get better and better, it might not be long before you pick up the phone and genuinely can't tell if you're talking to a human or a machine that's been trained to sound like one. In …

Artificial Intelligence

Tech giants to Congress: Please change how NSA spies on people

Companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon band together in a push for internet surveillance reform.<p>Silicon Valley's giants are tired of US spies standing on their shoulders to see further.<p>In a letter dated Friday and signed by 31 tech companies, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, …

National Security Agency (NSA)

Botnets: Inside the race to stop the most powerful weapon on the internet

How security professionals stopped one botnet attack from getting much worse.<p>Even one of the simplest forms of cyberattack has the potential to …

Cybersecurity

Dubai deploys first robotic police officer

We're not quite in RoboCop town, but the world's first robotic police officer is now on the beat in Dubai.<p>The first unit in Dubai's Robocop program has been rolled now been rolled out. It's not quite Paul Verhoeven's satirical vision of baddie-takedowns, though. A customised service robot from Pal …

Policing

Scientists Are About to Perform an Experiment to See if The Human Mind Is Bound by Physics

This could be interesting...<p>Perhaps one of the most intriguing and interesting phenomena in quantum physics is what Einstein referred to as a "spooky …

Quantum Mechanics

Google’s AlphaGo defeats world champion to win series

Artificial intelligence technology developed by DeepMind shows prowess<p>Google’s computer program AlphaGo has defeated the world’s best Go player in …

Artificial Intelligence

Move over WannaCry, this easy-to-exploit 'Samba' flaw could be about to wreak havoc

The vulnerability in Samba has existed since 2010 and could get "pretty nasty".<p>More than 100,000 computers are currently susceptible to a …

Information Security

How Google’s Music-Making AI Learns From Human Minds At Festivals

Google’s year-long quest to teach computers to make music is humming along—but the robots have a lot to learn.<p>I’m sitting in a packed classroom when the weird noises start whirring around me. In the front of the room, lines of code pour down the screen while beeps and bloops start chiming from the …

Machine Learning

Robots Will Spell the End for Sweatshops

Eventually, robotic technology — once it becomes cheap enough, of course — won’t just take the jobs of well-paid union workers who clock-in at …

Robots

Google’s A.I. Program Rattles Chinese Go Master as It Wins Match

Full screen<p>1/12 SLIDES © Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images; Ben Hider/Getty Images; Google via Getty Images<p>2/12 SLIDES © savas keskiner/Getty Images<p>BKG 9.8 …

Artificial Intelligence

How artificial intelligence and deep learning secretly control what you see on Facebook

Facebook's News Feed commands the attention of more than a billion people. It controls what news we read, whose updates we get and what events we …

Machine Learning

Fitness Trackers Are Bad Now

Go walk it off.<p>Can we just call it quits on fitness trackers? The devices, which cover a wide range of shininess and costliness, do not take accurate measurements of calories lost, according to a new study from Stanford Medicine. In fact, after testing a number of different trackers available to …

Wearable Tech

A Robot Cop That Could Pass for a Movie Prop Might Be the Key to Helping Keep Police Fatalities Down

The story of <i>Robocop</i> – the 1987 film – was inspired by British comic book hero Judge Dredd. Set in the dystopian future of a crime-ridden Detroit, …

Movies

'Year Million's Robot Rights Movement is Already Taking Shape

National Geographic’s <i>Year Million</i>, which premiered this month, offers a terrifying glimpse into the future of our species. The first episode focused …

Robots

A World Without People

For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish …

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Google is getting ahead of itself in its quest to make the future happen now

One of the the most unusual demos at Google's annual I/O conference last week was of a custom-built automatic cocktail maker powered by the company's artificial intelligence system, Google Assistant.<p>Event attendees could order up a mango mixer, say, by just talking to the drink dispenser. The …

Google

Google’s AlphaGo AI defeats world Go number one Ke Jie

DeepMind goes 1-0 up in three-game match<p>Google’s AI AlphaGo has done it again: it’s defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one Go player, in the first game of a three-part match. AlphaGo shot to prominence a little over a year ago after beating Korean legend Lee Se-dol 4-1 in one of the most potent …

Artificial Intelligence

Getting to Know Your Online Doppleganger

Platforms should give users the opportunity to experience informational environments as others see them.<p>Much has been made of the existence of “filter bubbles,” the information feedback loop in which our preferences and viewpoints are continually amplified. This can happen in the analog world—how …

Sociology

Robotic Imitation of Human Behavior Just Took a Big Step Forward

Artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI took inspiration from infants for its latest project, specifically the stunning ability for a newborn to …

The Nomad Who’s Exploding the Internet Into Pieces

Could decentralizing online life make it more compatible with human life?<p>Dominic Tarr is a computer programmer who grew up on a remote farm in New Zealand. Down in the antipodes, isolation is even more isolating. Getting goods, people, and information to and from Australasia for families like …

Online Life

A New Type of Battery Uses The Human Body As A Source of Energy

When it comes to technology, no matter whether we’re talking about smart clothes, medical devices or even self-flying cars, there’s no doubt the most …

Human Anatomy

The man who built a virtual nervous system explains how humans will interact with machines in ten years

In ten years artificially intelligent robots will be living and working with us, according to Dr. Mark Sagar, CEO of Soul Machines, an Auckland, New …

Augmented Reality

Human Intelligence Is Limited. That's Why We Need Synthetic Intelligence.

Three times a day I take a drug called levodopa. I take it because my brain does not produce enough dopamine; without it, my hands and feet shake and …

The Future

Hackers are trying to bring the WannaCry ransomware back from the dead

A little more than a week ago, a particularly nasty piece of ransomware dubbed “WannaCry” began spreading at an impressive clip all across the globe. …

Security

Scientists One Step Closer To 3-D-Printed Ovaries To Treat Infertility

The list of things that can be created with 3-D printers keeps getting longer: jewelry, art, guns, food, medical devices and, now, mouse ovaries.<p>Scientists have used a 3-D printer to create a mouse ovary capable of producing healthy offspring. And researchers hope to create replacement human …

Biology

Most people prefer friendly robots — but not in France and Japan

Japanese prefer formal robots, according to a survey.<p>As robots increasingly replace human jobs, thanks to record spending on automation, how should they behave? That preference depends on where you live.<p>LivePerson, a company that works in automated customer service, recently surveyed 5,000 people …

Robots

Scientists Have Created Liquid Metal Drops That Move Like T-1000

Don't tell the real Skynet.<p>Despite the NSA confirming the existence of Skynet, we all should be grateful that technology has not yet advanced to the …

Engineering

Robot Lives in Your Garden and Eats the Weeds

You can’t deny the appeal of gardening. Whether it’s a productive patch of vegetables or a flower bed to delight the senses, the effort put into …

Gardening