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The Best of the Web This Week

Our news team shares their favorite stories from the week in technology news.

The Ultimate “Simpsons” Quote Machine

Behold Frinkiac, a searchable compendium of three million quotes from The Simpsons paired with stills of the exact moment in the show when they happened. It's the definitive source for those looking to drown their friends in quips from the most legendary cartoon of all time. –J. Juniper Friedman, associate Web producer

Sweatin’ to the VR

An out-of-shape tech writer dons a virtual-reality headset and gets physical with several immersive games. His conclusion: VR is about to whip gamers into shape. –Tom Simonite, San Francisco bureau chief

Japanese Firm to Open World’s First Robot-Run Farm

A shrinking population of working-age adults has made the Land of the Rising Sun a hotbed of robot industrial innovation. –Nanette Byrnes, senior editor, Business Reports

Want to Stop ISIS? Cut Their Internet

Iraq is attempting to limit ISIS by blocking the group's access to satellite Internet service. But tracing just who is using mobile satellite terminals is tricky. –Tom Simonite

Can Google’s AlphaGo Really Feel It in Its Algorithms?

Some of the most advanced AI algorithms often cannot account for their decision-making. What might that mean for the future of AI? –Will Knight, senior editor for AI and Robotics

Microsoft’s Underwater Data Center

Data centers generate tons of heat, and they chug electricity. Microsoft wants to solve both problems by putting them at the bottom of the ocean. The company has just completed testing on a prototype and has plans for a bigger version. –Michael Reilly, senior editor, news and commentary

Rise of the Squishy Robots

Scientific American and Nature describe how a wave of squishy, stretchy robots are making their way into our lives. –Rachel Metz, senior editor, mobile

 

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open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus

The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.

Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI

One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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