apple
A Four-Year-Old Boy Used Siri to Save His Unconscious Mother’s Life

When a young boy identified only as Roman couldn’t wake up his unconscious mother, he did what any astute, technologically-adept four-year-old would do: He used his mother’s finger to unlock her phone, and then asked Siri to call emergency services. The boy’s actions saved his mother, but the incident exposes some dark and dangerous flaws in our increasingly landline-less world. Read More >>

computer science
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 >>

artificial intelligence
These 23 Principles Could Help Us Avoid an AI Apocalypse

Science fiction author Isaac Asimov famously predicted that we’ll one day have to program robots with a set of laws that protect us from our mechanical creations. But before we get there, we need rules to ensure that, at the most fundamental level, we’re developing AI responsibly and safely. At a recent gathering, a group of experts did just that, coming up with 23 principles to steer the development of AI in a positive direction—and to ensure it doesn’t destroy us. Read More >>

robots
This Piano-Playing Computer Makes Me Feel Less Lonely But Also Really Weird Inside

Most people, with the exception of those who live beneath the subway grates and Ted Cruz, don’t like to be alone for too long. We need — nay, crave — the attention of others. When that attention comes from an intelligent piano-playing machine, however, shit gets weird. Read More >>

google
Google Brain Cleans Up Low-Res Photos by Turning Everyone Into a Glitched Out Monster

The team at Google Brain has made an impressive breakthrough for increasing the resolution of images. They’ve managed to turn 8x8 grids of pixels into monstrous approximations of human beings. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Why It Matters That Human Poker Pros Are Getting Trounced By an AI

We’re at the halfway point of the epic 20-day, 150,000-hand “Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence” Texas Hold’em Poker tournament, and a machine named Libratus is trouncing a quartet of professional human players. Should the machine maintain its substantial lead — currently at $701,242 (£560,000) — it will be considered a major milestone in the history of AI. Here’s why. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Buys AI Company That Reads Scientific Papers For You

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative - Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan's company for investing in technology to "advance human potential" - has announced its acquisition of Canadian AI company Meta. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Ebay’s Founder Is Giving Away £8.23 Million to Support AI That Is Good and Not Evil

For the most part, artificial intelligence these days is pretty sweet. Whether you want to set a timer with your voice, play a game of chess with a computer or just put a Minion’s head on Superman’s body, AI can help you achieve your goal. Of course, that same power can be used for things that are not so sweet, like, um, killing us all. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Google’s AlphaGo is Slaying Unsuspecting Nerds Online

Over the last few days, an unknown Go player named “Master” has won 60 of 61 online matches against some of the best players in the world. Google has now fessed-up, admitting that “Master” is actually the AlphaGo AI, and that it has been secretly playing humans in order to test an improved version. Read More >>

year in review
The Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2016

Another year has passed, which means we’re another step closer to the tomorrow of our dreams. Here are the most futuristic developments of 2016. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Mark Zuckerberg’s Custom Smart Home Is Just as Stupid as the Rest of Them

Mark Zuckerberg is known to start each year by setting aggressive personal goals for himself. This year, he announced he was going to build an artificial intelligence (AI) that would help him control things around his smart home, like turning on the lights, starting home appliances, and playing music on various speakers. He named the system “Jarvis” after the digital butler from Iron Man—but after spending a full year of tweaking it, the AI is still being dogged by many of the same problems as the AI that’s out there today. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
How Humans Created an Even More Believable Vision of the Singularity Than Westworld

Late 2016 has been a great time to be a fan of TV shows about artificial intelligence. While HBO was putting out the glossy robo-violence of Westworld, Channel 4 was giving us season two of the far more low-key Humans, which comes to an end on Sunday. Both focus on human-looking robots created to serve and entertain humanity, and in both it goes predictably awry, leaving both humans and hosts/synths facing big questions about what it means to be conscious. Read More >>

robots
Robot Writes Bad Christmas Song Because We Get the AI We Deserve

Music is about feeling and robots cannot feel. Nevertheless, scientists at the University of Toronto programmed an AI to write a Christmas song, and while Boing Boing deems this “not bad” and “a triumph,” it comes off as hauntingly stoic and vaguely threatening. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Will Siri Ever Learn Scottish?

Ask any Scottish person who lives in England, or has been to England, or has ever met an English person, and they’ll tell you about ‘the look’: people smiling at you with a knitted brow, nodding but baffled. It’s the look people get when they have no idea what you’re saying, no matter how often you repeat it. Sometimes they pat you on the arm, conciliatory, in case you’re trying to start a fight. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Ted Cruz, Notable Human Man, Launches Investigation Into Artificial Intelligence

Senator Ted Cruz, long believed to be a human man, will hold Congressional hearings about artificial intelligence tomorrow. And while we've yet to confirm or deny the rumours that Ted Cruz is trying to build his own Westworld-style amusement park, we’re sure everything is fine. Read More >>