Technology & Digital Life

All Tech Considered
3:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

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

Vertigo3d iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 4:20 pm

To judge from some of the headlines, it was a very big deal. At an event held at the Royal Society in London, for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test, which is widely taken as the benchmark for saying a machine is engaging in intelligent thought. But like the other much-hyped triumphs of artificial intelligence, this one wasn't quite what it appeared. Computers can do things that seem quintessentially human, but they usually take a different path to get there.

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Food
6:55 am
Tue July 1, 2014

IBM's Watson Is Out With Its Own Barbecue Sauce

The barbecue sauce concocted with the help of Watson contains a dozen ingredients.
IBM

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:12 am

A company specializing in bytes is offering a special flavor for your Fourth of July: IBM's Watson barbecue sauce.

The supercomputer first showed off its intellectual process on Jeopardy, but Watson now seems ready for the Food Channel.

After analyzing massive numbers of recipes, Watson went gourmet. The condiment, called Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, contains a dozen ingredients, including butternut squash, white wine, dates, Thai chilies and tamarind. According to IBM, "it's got a slow, warm heat and a kick."

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Technology
5:54 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Why 140 Characters, When One Will Do? Tracing The Emoji Evolution

NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:01 pm

You may have heard that 250 more emojis, the little smiley face icons and other symbols you can send in text messages, are coming to a cellphone near you.

The story of the emoji starts in Japan in the mid-1990s. Back then, pagers were all the rage with teenagers.

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All Tech Considered
5:16 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

An Algorithm Is A Curator At The Sept. 11 Museum

"Timescape" finds words in the news associated with Sept. 11, and weights them according to prominence in a story — not just how often they appear.
Gaurav Bradoo

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 4:34 pm

Sept. 11, 2001, means many things — and conflicting things — to each of us. Charged emotions, and debates over a history that's still so recent, made it really hard to design the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. It was so difficult, in fact, that museum curators decided to try something quite new. They decided to hand off major curatorial duties to a computer algorithm.

Analytic Stop In An Emotional Journey

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Science
2:37 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

NASA Explores A New World: Crowdsourcing Ideas

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We'd like to turn now to a new initiative from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA. NASA wants to know how their technologies can best be applied commercially and they are asking you for ideas. Daniel Lockney is here to tell us more about this. He is NASA's technology transfer program executive and he was nice enough to stop by our Washington, D.C., studios. Welcome. Thanks for joining us.

DANIEL LOCKNEY: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

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All Tech Considered
12:31 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Facebook Manipulates Our Moods For Science And Commerce: A Roundup

Facebook researchers manipulated newsfeeds of nearly 700,000 users to study "emotional contagion."
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:28 pm

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Monkey See
9:49 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Lab Rats, One And All: That Unsettling Facebook Experiment

Myshkovsky iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:03 am

I've always been the shrugging type when it comes to lots of things that Facebook does that make people crazy. They change the layout, they mess with the feed — even making you noodle with your privacy settings has always seemed to me like the craven doing of business, and something where I could say yes or I could say no, the same as any business that offered good service sometimes and lousy service other times.

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Monkey See
8:24 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Finding Promising New Games In A World Of Dispiriting Sequels

A screenshot from Rollers Of The Realm.
Atlus

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:54 am

The game show at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier in June wasn't exactly staid. But it was clear that most game publishers are playing it safe — very safe. Each year, I complain about franchise-ization, a godawful game trend that makes a convention focused on the wonders of electronic entertainment a lot less fun - especially since 2014 was the year in which game makers offered more sequels than ever before.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Preschoolers Outsmart College Students In Figuring Out Gadgets

If you've noticed that kids seem to be better at figuring out these things, you're not alone.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 1:32 pm

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.

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Shots - Health News
3:25 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans And Raises Privacy Concerns

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 1:32 pm

Lauren Kay has never met her therapist in person. The 24-year-old entrepreneur found it difficult to take time off work for appointments.

So she started seeing a psychotherapist online.

"It's definitely been different," she says. Kay, who lives in New York, found her counselor through an online therapy service called Pretty Padded Room. When it's time for an appointment, all she has to do is log in to the website, click a link and start video chatting.

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