facebook
The Annoying Posts in Your Facebook News Feed Will Soon Come With an Explanation Box

One of the enduring criticisms of Facebook is that the News Feed is a black box. Starting this week, however, the box will suddenly take on a shade of dark gray. Read More >>

crime
New York Police Now Have an Automated Tool to Help Them Recognise Patterns in Crimes

The New York City Police Department has developed a pattern-recognition tool called Patternizr to sort through mountains of files related to “hundreds of thousands of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database,” the Associated Press reported on Sunday. Read More >>

quantum computers
Blockchain Is Especially at Risk for Quantum Attacks, Scientists Warn

Blockchain is meant to be secure – but a new paper from quantum computing scientists warns that quickly advancing quantum technology poses a vulnerability for the much-hyped blockchain. Read More >>

quantum computing
There’s Now a Proven Way for Quantum Computers to Beat Classical Computers – With a Catch

Entrepreneurs and physicists are pursuing a new kind of computer—one based on the physics of the subatomic particles—that promises to revolutionise various fields. Presumably, such a quantum computer should offer some advantage over the classical computers we already use, right? The trouble is, it’s unclear what tasks quantum computers can definitively perform better than regular computers. Read More >>

wtf
This Online AI Tool Takes Your Words And Turns Them Into Nightmares

We’ve seen lots of machine learning systems create strange new phrases and dreamlike images after being trained on large amounts of data. But a new website lets you do the generating, and the results are just as bizarre as you’d expect: Read More >>

ai
How Algorithmic Experiments Harm People Living in Poverty

Virginia Eubanks made the same mistake most would. In her job working with low-income women struggling to afford housing, she assumed they also struggled with access to vital technology, like the internet. But this technology isn’t just accessible, it’s permeates access to basic resources people in poverty need to survive, and it’s often rigged against them. Her new book, Automating Inequality: How High Tech Tools, Profile, Police and Punish the Poor is about how technology has come to define people touched by poverty. Read More >>

transport
Now The Trainline Will Predict When Train Tickets Will Suddenly Get Expensive

Buying train tickets is the definition of a crapshoot. Sometimes you'll get lucky, and when you plug your travel times into the National Rail website you'll be pleasantly surprised to find you can bag yourself a cheap, flexible off-peak ticket. But most of the time, you end up piecing together the cheapest combination of advance tickets that you can find. Read More >>

food
Ingenious AI Converts Images of Food Into a List of Ingredients

Researchers at MIT have developed deep-learning algorithm that can compile a list of ingredients and even recommend recipes after looking at photos of food. The artificially intelligent system still needs some fine tuning, but this tool could eventually help us learn to cook, count calories, and track our eating habits. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Bots on Wikipedia Wage Edit Wars Between Themselves That Last For Years

Revision wars on Wikipedia amongst human editors is an all-too-common occurrence, but new research from the UK shows that similar online battles are being waged between the site’s software robots. Read More >>

twitter
Twitter’s New Abuse Filter Works Perfectly, If Your Name Is Mike Pence

Harassment on Twitter is a very real problem, not just celebrities, but for regular users too. In order to help curb abuse on the platform (a fact that has reportedly kept the company from being sold), Twitter introduced a new feature last week that would put abusers in “time out” if they tweet offensive content at other users. Read More >>

money
Rogue AIs Blamed for Latest Pound Crash

The pound, which only really exists as a sort of idea in space, suffered another massive crash today, only this one's not being blamed on all the politics that people won't shut up about; it's all the fault of the AIs. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook’s News Algorithm Joins the “AI’s Gone Rogue” List

Facebook's Trending News section, which it's unlikely anyone noticed existed until it went mad and wrong and hit the news itself, has got even worse. Sine Facebook binned off the workforce and left the algorithm do its own thing the social site has had to drop the short summaries of things people are posting about as they were simply too rubbish to be associated with. Read More >>

instagram
An Algorithm Can Tell If You’re Depressed Just By Looking At Your Instagram Photos

Social media can already give others insight into your personal life and mental state (even if you don’t want them to), but according to a recent study, even something as small as your Instagram filter choices can be enlightening. Read More >>

research
Can Your Terrible Chicken Scratch Break This Handwriting Algorithm?

I’m a writer, so I’ll always have a place in my heart for the handwritten page (partially because I believe in romantic ideas about writing, but also because there is no way I’m using my phone to type out anything beyond a few words). Read More >>

internet
A New Yahoo AI Can Detect Online Abuse, But Automation Isn’t the Answer

Online harassment is a serious, but tough problem to try and solve. There is a need for a new system that can ease the burden on moderators who have to comb through those reports. As someone who was once responsible for doing that for a local news station (a much smaller venue than, say, Twitter), I can sympathise with the toll seeing all those racist, abusive messages takes on your psyche. It sucks. Read More >>