Friday, June 1, 2012

Top Twitter Posts — Week 23: Sarcastic Computers, Robot Soldiers and Odd Occupations

Since we're pressed for time, we'll keep this week's update pretty short — or half as long, however you want to view it. Thankfully for you, loyal readers, we've plucked some twitter gems here. We hope you enjoy this week's reading list as much as we did! Be sure to follow us in the future at @BWCnews. Happy Friday!

Credit: Science Daily
1. Could Sarcastic Computer be in Our Future? via Science Daily: Language involves way more than just words. Think about all the subtle cues we pick up on to understand inference and double meanings. Well, a new research paper suggests that computers may pick up that skill in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, we know plenty of people  who could learn the art of sarcasm. I guess technology's bound to outpace them!

2. Interviews with People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs on McSweeney's: From obit writers to gondoliers to purveyors of fine rats — here's a  fascinating compilation of interviews with folks who make a living at some pretty odd jobs. Eye-opening to see what some people get paid to do. Love it!

3. Craig Venter's Bugs Might Save the World in the New York Times: Some of these tiny buggy beasts will eat up pollution. Others will make food, some fuel. Maybe another variety will combat viruses. It's a vision of the future purported by renowned thinker Craig Venter. I'd explain more, but it's best you read the beautifully written article yourself. If only because it's a good read.

Credit: AlphaDog Images courtesy of Boston Dymamics
4. Robots go to War via The Economist: As technology advances enough for the world's superpowers to send unmanned robots into battle, ethical quandaries start to proliferate. Especially since artificial intelligence makes it possible for robots to make what you could think of as judgment calls. This article nicely frames the issue. What do you think about the U.S. deploying these mechanical soldiers?

5. Improving Part Accuracy on Aerospace Manufacturing and Design: How do we make machine parts more accurate? How do you improve repeatability — and ultimately productivity? This new submission from Fanuc Robotics in the aerospace manufacturing trade publication does a nice job tackling the subject.