Category Archives: audio

An NPR Reporter Raced A Machine To Write A News Story. Who Won?

by Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR News

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Your Twitter follower count doesn’t mean a thing

The process of telling the difference is tricky, according to Dr. Steven Gianvecchio, co-author of the paper “Detecting Automation of Twitter Accounts: Are You a Human, Bot, or Cyborg?”

“I think that one of the problems you run into with Twitter is there are a lot of shades of grey,” he said.

Dr. Gianvecchio said sometimes accounts are partially automated, like if someone auto-tweets their blog. And most people don’t have a problem with that sort of automation. (Seth Kelley, Marketplace.org)

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Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn’t Mean Much

But of course it’s one thing to be able to express emotions and another to really feel them. A lot of people maintain that that’s something computers simply can’t do. As a contemporary of Turing put it, no mechanism could feel grief when its valves fuse or be made miserable by its mistakes. That sounds right to me — how could a machine feel any of those emotions without a human body to touch them off? You can get it to signal sorrow by synthesizing a catch in its voice, but it’s not going to be caused by a real sob rising in its chest. (Geoff Nunberg, NPR)

Digital brain

Vertigo3d/iStockphoto

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In A Battle For Web Traffic, Bad Bots Are Going After Grandma

Once inside your system, bad bots can get a lot of information, like corporate and government secrets. But Dan Kaminsky, the founder of the security firm White Ops, says his company noticed that bots were going after individual users.

By hijacking a user's computer, "bad" bots make it look as if she visits a website often, thus making the site more valuable to advertisers.

iStockphoto

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Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager (from TLDR)

“Rob Dubbin accidentally built a teenage girl named Olivia Taters who lives on the internet. She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she’s convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she’s very, very funny. PJ talks to Dubbin about how Olivia came into existence, and what she’s been talking about lately.” (TLDR via On the Media)

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Failing the Turing Test

(AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

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The Army’s Robot Recruiter (from On the Media)

(goarmy.com)

Plus an update here.

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