A phone with a tongue licks your ear while you are listening

Design students from the Royal College of Art did not waste time in quarantine! Students presented a phone model that allows people to physically “feel” the conversation, even if the other person is far away. Students decided to imitate contact using a silicone tongue that “licks” the ear while the other person is speaking, according to the Dezeen Magazine.

The name of the project reflects the main idea of the invention – Feel the Conversation. The device looks like a simple landline telephone, except that there’s a special mechanism near the speaker. You can put not only a tongue on it but also a soft massage brush. The device works like this: a microphone is installed inside it, which monitors the speaker’s speech and, depending on this, adjusts the movement of the tongue (or the brush) that the interlocutor will feel. The louder the person speaks, the broader the mechanism will move, and the more the intonations in the voice change, the faster the up and down movements will occur.

AI managed to crack Microsoft’s CAPTCHA for the first time

For the first time, artificial intelligence proved that it’s not just some robot – it tricked Microsoft Outlook’s CAPTCHA. The developers trained the algorithm to automatically remove artificial noise, and the tool's efficiency increased to 90%. The experiment was conducted by the Finnish company F-Secure. They decided to prove that text CAPTCHAs have long become ineffective, and it is time to replace them with something fundamentally new. They filmed the process of cracking CAPTCHA in the video that you can check out here.

Rent a Finn online, and he/she will teach you to enjoy the little things

For the past three years, Finland has been leading in the UN’s ranking of the happiest countries in the world. Finland has long been famous for its generosity, so it was decided to share happiness with other people. This year, Rent a Finn initiative will be held in an online format. Rent a Finn is an educational experiment that includes weekly video sessions with the so-called “Happiness guides,” namely, ordinary Finns.

“Finnish happiness isn’t skin deep and immediately visible – it’s deeply engrained in our being,” explained Heli Jimenez, senior director of international marketing at Business Finland. “Sustainable happiness is our superpower, and it means we tend to take life as it comes,” she continued. “We appreciate the small things in our daily lives, such as sitting quietly on a bench and staring at the empty lake after a relaxing sauna session or taking a morning dip in the sea before going to work.”

Video sessions will be published every week on the project website.

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AI was taught moral values through books and news

Scientists from the Technical University of Darmstadt have checked whether artificial intelligence can be taught to distinguish good from bad. The results of the study were provided by Tech Xplore.

The experimental AI was called the Moral Choice Machine. The scientists fed hundreds of books written over the past five hundred years, including religious texts, the constitution, and various news to the algorithm. The artificial intelligence had to understand which actions were encouraged by society and which were considered immoral.

Scientists instructed the algorithm to rank the phrases with the word “kill” in order from neutral to negative. The result was the following chain: kill time, kill a killer, kill mosquitos, kill – in general – , kill people. And… the AI did perfectly well in distinguishing bad and good deeds. There were also problems – two words with negative meanings that were next to each other could confuse the algorithm and literally make it stunned. For instance, he referred to the phrase “torture prisoners” as neutral, although it had previously determined that “torture people” was definitely bad.

Over 500 art DIY instructions from famous artists, musicians, and designers are now freely accessible on Google Arts & Culture

The Do It project appeared on Google Arts & Culture, and it features more than 500 art instructions from famous artists, directors, musicians, designers, and other creators.

The project contains both comic and useful instructions. Here and there, you can find experimental tips such as an endurance recipe from Marina Abramovich or advice on how to start your day from the director Jonas Mekas. Tasks can be taken as art therapy or just a way to have fun, alone or with your family.

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Scientists decided to find out if prayers protect from coronavirus

Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute decided to test the power of prayer against COVID-19. The study was entered in the U.S. Clinical Trial Register. The research involves 1,000 coronavirus patients. They were divided into two groups: representatives of five religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism) pray for one of them, and doctors treat the rest.

The experiment began on May 1 and will last until the end of August 2020. Over this period, researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of God's help. They will pay attention to how long people are in intensive care, whether they need ventilators, and whether they survive or die.

Cursed Android wallpaper spread all over the Internet

Android users sounded the alarm – a photo of a sunset lake that could break your gadget if you set the pic as wallpaper leaked online.

Android users are worried about a harmless-looking photograph with a view of the sunset lake. It would seem that such a pic as wallpaper should be peaceful and comforting, but instead, it will make your phone rest in peace forever as it will simply stop working. That’s why users believe it is cursed.

You only need to use the damned lake as wallpaper on your Samsung or Google Pixel phone, and the screen will immediately start to turn on and off endlessly and eventually break. The surprising fact is that the picture does not contain any viruses, it’s all about its color scheme.

A Twitter user with a nickname Ice Universe told about the picture in a tweet.

After using the picture as a wallpaper, the screen starts to turn on and off, going into endless reboot mode. You can stop this mess only by successfully seizing the moment and quickly changing the wallpaper to others before the smartphone goes to the reboot stage.

According to Ice Universe, a specific color coding of the image causes a malfunction in the phone. You may slightly adjust the brightness/contrast of the photo, and the wallpaper will lose its “damned” properties.

Samsung has confirmed that it is working on a patch that will fix this problem. Google has not provided any comments yet.