작성일 : 17-06-16 12:31
The Download: Fake News Is Damn Cheap, What’s Missing From VR, and a Marimba Robot
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MIT Technology Review
06.14
The Download
What’s missing from VR? Other people.
If you’ve strapped on a VR headset, you’ll know that the technology quickly makes you forget about the real world. But until now, leaving the physical realm behind to start exploring the virtual could get lonely—after all, so few people own a headset that there aren’t too many folks to chat to. But as adoption rises, new spaces are beginning to emerge to make the virtual world more sociable. Our own Rachel Metz hung out in them to see if virtual companionship can make life in VR more fun.
A little investment in fake news goes a very long way.
By this point, it’s clear that the spread of misinformation on social networks is a real problem. Part of the issue, at least according to a report by security firm Trend Micro, is that setting up spoof websites, commissioning fake stories, and buying likes is so damn affordable. Analysis of fake news services shows that it’s possible to discredit a journalist for $55,000, instigate a street protest for $200,000, and “manipulate a decisive course of action”—like an election—for just $400,000.
The U.S. government is weighing restrictions for Chinese investment into American AI.
China has an insatiable thirst for AI, and it's helping fuel progress by investing in American machine learning—from new labs on the West Coast, to joint ventures and startup funding. But according to Reuters, many of the deals don’t require federal review. That's encouraging the U.S. government to mull new restrictions, because it thinks China may be gaining access to technologies and expertise that it could use to surpass the U.S. in its capabilities or build new defense hardware. 
Ten Fascinating Things
1
Uber is adopting a slew of cultural changes and CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence. But what does it mean for the firm's self-driving dreams?
2
Analysis of the success of the Department of Energy’s clean-energy moonshot program, ARPA-E, shows that it’s working. Will Trump still scrap it?
3
Russia’s U.S. election hacks may have been far larger in scale than we thought, affecting as many as 39 states across America.
4
In 2004, California pumped $3 billion into stem-cell research when President Bush banned federal funding. Now, it could do the same for clean energy.
5
How do you get artificially intelligent agents to learn how to cooperate? Have them wrangle pigs in Minecraft.
6
Hospitals spend vast sums of money on technologies that often don’t work together. Here’s how that could be fixed.
7
Coal demand continues to tumble: the world used 1.7 percent less in 2016 than 2015. (The U.K. led the pack, cutting consumption by 52.5 percent.)
8
Google appears to be taking a cue from Apple: it poached a veteran chip designer from the iPhone maker in a bid to build its own smartphone chips.
9
CAR-T therapy, which edits immune cells to attack tumors, is a promising cancer cure. So promising that it’s a struggle to engineer enough of the cells.
10
With four arms, eight sticks, and an AI trained on over 2 million musical motifs, this marimba-playing robot writes and plays surprisingly good tunes.
Quote of the Day
“Automated criminal justice technologies are largely privately owned and sold for profit. The developers tend to view their technologies as trade secrets.”
— Rebecca Wexler, a fellow at the Legal Aid Society, argues that a lack of transparency about the inner workings of legal software is unfair for defendants.
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Follow me on Twitter at @jme_c. Thanks for reading!
— Jamie