the robots are coming

Artificially Intelligent Robot Scientists Could Be Next Project for Google’s AI Firm

Are AI scientists in our future? (Pixabay/geralt)

In late October, we wrote about the Neural Turing Machine, a Google computer so smart it can program itself. In the time since, it’s become clear that this is only the beginning and we should expect a lot more from DeepMind Technologies, the little-known startup acquired by Google who developed the human-like computer and sports the mission “Solve intelligence.”

In discussing DeepMind Technologies’s delve into the future of computers with MIT, founder Demis Hassabis detailed the company’s research and mentioned that he wants to create “AI scientists.” Read More

the robots are coming

Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself

Are we closer to AI? (Wikipedia)

In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science.

One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to fear, as computers will always need a programmer to tell them what to do.

Today’s news brings us to the Neural Turing Machine, a computer that will combine the way ordinary computers work with the way the human brain learns, enabling it to actually program itself. Perhaps my CS friends should reevaluate their position? Read More

Survey Says

A Third of Americans Respond to Computer Problems With Yelling, Obscenities and Even Punches


For shame: A recent survey suggests that it’s actually quite common to respond to computer problems with vulgarities and even physical abuse.

Americans turning to violence and obscenities? Never.

Hot Hardware reports on the results of a Harris Interactive study commissioned by Crucial, which found that 36 percent of respondents who’ve recently dealt with Read More


Microsoft Creates Crowdfunding Campaign So You Don’t Have to Buy Your Own Damn Computer

This could be yours, college kids!

If you think the products on Kickstarter were terrible, just wait until you see how Microsoft completely ruined (disrupted?) the crowdsourcing paradigm.

Introducing Chip In, a program from the computer giant that lets college students amass donations from people that go toward the purchase of a shiny, new PC. Microsoft said it will ~chip in~ 10 percent of the price on “select” (read: Acer) PCs. Read More

This Happened

Today’s Tweens Demand Double Beds So They Can Snuggle With Their Laptops

Kids these days. (Photo: Deep Roots at Home)

Trading in your twin bed for a sleepover-friendly double bed in a childhood rite of passage–one that allows you to stretch out among your pile of big girl CDs, magazines and clothes.

But tweens today may not ever know this meaningful transition, because sales for twin beds are dropping. Instead, kids are demanding double size beds early on so that they can comfortably sprawl out in bed next to their computers. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

The Inimitable Christopher Walken Says He Doesn’t Have a Computer. Why Would He?

"WHAT?" -- everyone. (screencap)

What does actor Christopher Walken have in common with rap legend DMX? Apparently neither gives a single, solitary fuck about keeping up with the Internet.

Last Night, Mr. Walken appeared on the Daily Show to promote his latest flick. Noting that Mr. Walken is hard to get hold of, Jon Stewart asked whether he’s a technofile. “No, I missed all that,” the oddball actor replied. Read More

The Future Will See You Now

Researchers Plan Test to Determine Once and For All Whether We’re Living Inside the Matrix


Possibly stoned NASA scientists have already conjectured that we may live inside a computer, much to the delight of Matrix fans. Now, researchers at the University of Washington–a state which just legalized recreational marijuana!–are planning the first-ever test to determine whether or not our world really is a super sophisticated computer simulation. Duuuuude.
Read More


Booting Up: How Did Color Go From Wind-Down to Apple Acquisition in Just One Day?

Rise and shine! (Photo:

Twitter is blocking its first account: Tweets from the neo-Nazi group Besseres Hannover are no longer viewable in German. [Quartz]

For a company that hasn’t done a damn thing, Color Labs inspires a lot of rumor-mongering. Yesterday the talk was all about whether the startup was winding down. Today, the scuttlebutt suggests Apple might buy the ill-fated photo-sharing startup. [The Next Web]

Pour one out for the concept of “going online,” which is increasingly archaic and soon to be utterly foreign to the youngs, like cassettes and modesty. [AllThingsD]

Please share Betabeat’s delight in this collection of “wonderfully ridiculous” movie computers. Obviously, the supposedly state-of-the-art hunk of junk from the 1974 classic The Towering Inferno takes the cake. [Wired]

Silicon Valley has its very own cover band, composed of VCs and entrepreneurs. But what did you expect? We live in a world where Dennis Hopper once did an Ameriprise commercial. [Wall Street Journal]