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MIT Technology Review

The Biggest Technology Failures of 2016

From algorithms that spread fake news to glowing plants that don’t glow, here are our picks for the worst technologies of the year.

December 27, 2016

Lumosity brain games

Ever see those TV ads for “brain-training” games that will make you smarter? A San Francisco company, Lumos Labs, aggressively marketed online quizzes and memory tests under the brand Lumosity and said users would perform better in school and even postpone dementia. This October, a team of psychologists reviewing hundreds of studies concluded that brain games don’t make you smarter. By then, Lumos had already been fined $2 million by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising. “Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline,” said the FTC. “But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”