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Weekly Wrap

21 August 2020

This week, we’re focusing on AI and everything futuristic. There’ve been some crazy stories out there this week that we couldn’t help but add into this week’s Weekly Wrap. Why has there been so much AI news out there this week? We’re not sure, maybe people are bored without nightclubs or music festivals and are instead making breakthroughs in the world of robotics. Either way, here are our top AI related stories from this week, enjoy!

Meet the Facebook AI bots with one purpose only, to troll. 

Nobody likes a troll. Online trolls generally make social media a negative place. Thankfully the mighty giant that is Facebook, have a trick up their sleeve to try and combat online trolling. We think this is a great idea considering any article you come across on Facebook usually consists of hundreds of troll related comments underneath it.

Facebook’s idea is to create bots that mimic the behaviour of Facebook users. Some bots may get lucky and get to emulate the behaviour of friendly users who post pet pictures and share mundane but harmless motivational quotes. Other bots however, will end up on the trolling end of the spectrum, with their only purpose to seek out unwilling victims to troll. Bots only seek out other bots, so don’t worry, no real humans will be harmed in this experiment, your Facebook account is safe for now. The main benefit to this is that it will give Facebook an advantage when it comes to combating malicious users, as the company can prepare for negative behaviour before it happens. We can’t wait to hear how this unfolds and what unexpected bot on bot action lies ahead.

How do we decode Egyptian hieroglyphs in 2020? With emojis, of course. 

It’s the one use for Emojis we never knew we needed. What does the aubergine emoji REALLY mean? Probably nothing actually since the aubergine actually originated from India, which is nowhere near Egypt. 

Google has launched ‘Fabricius’, a feature within their Arts and Culture app which allows users to use their own words and emojis to translate hieroglyphs through machine learning. Fabricius is the first ever tool to be trained to decode hieroglyphs in this way, and has even been rolled out to egyptologists and archaeologists to help support their work. Whilst it’s still in the early stages, Google claims the more people who use it and input words into the system, the better Fabricius will get at translating.

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So, how does it work? Well, it’s actually pretty cool, and simple. Users upload photos of real hieroglyphs found on artefacts, Fabricius then attempts to match up the hieroglyphs with current words, phrases and emojis within its database. Sounds pretty sweet. If you need us we’ll be on Fabricius translating rude phrases into hieroglyphs like the mature adults that we are. 

Want a closer bond with your toilet? Make way for the smart toilet that remembers your butt.

We held off saying the word ‘anal printing’ in our title so we didn’t scare any readers away, but you’re this far in now so we think it’s safe to go ahead. There is a smart toilet out there that remembers your butt through your ‘anal print’ (yes it’s a thing). Kind of like fingerprints, but your butt prints. 

The great thing about this ‘smart toilet’ is that all you have to do is go about your business as usual, and the toilet anal-yses (notice the pun) your ‘output’. A video in the toilet bowl records the urine stream and analyses your white blood cell count and proteins. When you go for a number 2, the toilet analyses your output based on…density. Yep, that’s gross.

However, the outcome of having your toilet habits recorded from the worst possible angle is that it can actually be really beneficial for your health. By recording your habits, the smart toilet can detect warning signs for bladder infections, kidney disease and even cancer. Your basic porcelain toilet seems like a let down now.


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Introducing the AI billboard that was MADE for dogs to pee on it.

When you take your dog for a walk, you usually have to stop more times than necessary to wait for your furry friend to pee on absolutely everything it comes across. Bins, rocks, lamp posts are all targets for our dogs. Sponsored by Purina, an interactive advertising campaign in Paris actually encouraged dogs to pee on their billboard posts. Why, you ask? Well, the campaign aims to prevent hefty vet bills and protect dogs by detecting any health problems early on. Kind of like the smart toilet mentioned above. 

The billboard uses pheromones to attract dogs to the post, which are built with technology to analyse the dog’s urine and detect health problems, such as kidney problems, urinary infections, high cholesterol and diabetes. After running tests, the interactive screen will then show the dogs results, as well as recommendations for their diets and state whether the owner should take their dog to the vets. Now that’s an advertising campaign worth shouting about.

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