Computer engineer wins 1,000 Twitter contests with Python script

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twitter-bot-contest-winnings
A simple Python script later, Hunter Scott was entered into 165,000 Twitter contests.
Photo: Hunter Scott

Computer engineer Hunter Scott wrote a Python script to enter virtually every Twitter contest started over the span of nine months. The bot ended up entering him in about 165,000 different “RT to win” contests and more importantly, he won close to 1,000. On average, he won four contests per day every day.

Woz and other big thinkers call for ban on AI weapons

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Starting a Terminator-style AI arms race is a bad idea.
Starting a Terminator-style AI arms race is a bad idea.
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Autonomous weapons that have the power to track and kill targets with Terminator-like efficiency aren’t just a Hollywood fantasy anymore.

Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and hundreds of AI and robotics researchers say the technology to build autonomous weapons that select and engage targets without human intervention is feasible within years, not decades. And we need to ban it now.

Meet the robot that will assemble your future iPhones – and everything else

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Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.
Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.
Photo: UC Berkeley Robot Learning Lab

UC Berkley researchers have hit a major milestone in the creation of usable AI. They’ve created a new set of algorithms that will allow robots to learn through trial and error — much like humans learn new tasks.

With this kind of educated automaton, there’s nothing they won’t be able to do. Think of mechanical beings assembling your next iPhone, building skyscrapers, or exploring Mars.

Is this where we see the first inklings of the robot apocalypse?

This is what new Star Wars droid BB-8 would look like in space gray

What if Jony Ive designed BB-8? Photo: Martin Hajek
What if Jony Ive designed BB-8? Photo: Martin Hajek

With its roly-poly looks and infectious personality, new droid BB-8 looks primed to be a real scene-stealer when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters at the end of the year.

And now we know what the ballsy little bot would look like if Jony Ive replaced its orange-and-white color scheme with something a little more subtle.

Once-famous robot lives quietly away from limelight

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Elektro, a robot built by Westinghouse in 1937, was a star at the World's Fair in 1939-40. Photo: Courtesy of Scott Schaut/Mansfield Memorial Museum
Elektro, a robot built by Westinghouse in 1937, was a star at the World's Fair in 1939-40. Photo: Courtesy of Scott Schaut/Mansfield Memorial Museum

America’s oldest surviving robot no longer smokes cigarettes.

Long lines of people no longer wait to see him, topless women haven’t danced around him in years and his legs have been broken since that amusement park gig.

But Elektro is home now, his head reunited with his body, cared for by a man named Scott Schaut, who is so fiercely protective that museum requests to borrow the gold robot usually end with him replying “over my dead body.”