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The Buzz Report: Buzz Report: Halloween edition
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The Buzz Report: Buzz Report: Halloween edition

4:18 /

This week, our entire show is devoted to news that terrifies us, like Dolly Parton and evil artificial intelligence.

Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report. This week, a special Halloween edition, featuring NEWS THAT SCAAARES ME! Let?s jump right in. A New York Scientist has created a virtual character that he describes as ?pure evil.? Doctor Selmer Bringsjord is chairman of the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. And he?s trying to understand what evil is, and how to formally define it. So, he?s created this character, E, and he?s building in artificial intelligence so he can ask E about certain scenarios, and figure out how a truly evil person would act. Dr. Bringsjord says he knows his work is ?creepy,? but swears that he would never let E out of the virtual world he?s built for him ? at least not without the proper controls. In an article about Dr. Bringsjord in Scientific American, a colleague describes him as someone on the ?fringe? of science. So, let?s picture this for a moment. A ?fringe? scientist obsessed with defining and understanding EVIL creates a character that represents pure evil, which he endlessly refines and ultimately grants artificial intelligence. And as he becomes more and more drawn in to his work, studying his creation late into the night, perhaps, he becomes more drawn in to the character he?s created ? and that character?s awareness, intelligence, ability to manipulate its surroundings starts to grow ? I think I just wrote a movie in my head. In other news, it has been revealed that Apple has added spill detection in the keyboards of its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. This technology already exists in cell phones, it?s a little dot that lets the company know if you dunked your phone in water, and therefore your repair warranty doesn?t apply. But we hear this is the first time it?s been used in laptops. There are also unconfirmed reports that Apple?s technology is more advanced, and can tell if you spilled water, orange juice, coffee ? or whiskey in a coffee cup. They know all about me. In other scary news ? GOOGLE. [[shudder]] Dolly Parton has decided to weigh in on a debate about whether the FCC should vote to open up unused parts of the TV spectrum band, known as white space. Google, Microsoft, Intel, and others want the white space opened up for unlicensed use, so that they could use it to create new wireless broadband services. But opponents ranging from Las Vegas casino owners to mega-church TV preachers and bands oppose the move, because they fear it will interfere with television broadcasts and, in the case of the musicians, wireless microphone broadcasts. So, what?s so scary about this? Dolly Parton. Geez. Have you SEEN that woman lately? Anyway, the FCC is scheduled to vote next week. And finally, let?s have a look at what?s Clogging the Tubes. This week ? it?s the election. Obviously. But this year?s election has really had an unprecedented Internet effect ? from thousands of campaign ads and spoofs and commentary on YouTube to entire Websites like PalinAsPresident.com and Obama?s YesWeCarve.com pumpkin cutouts for Halloween. Sure, the McCain and Obama campaigns are on Twitter, but this is about you, the people, taking to the Internet in a way that didn?t happen even four years ago. It?s really amazing, it?s really inspiring, and it?s really, really scary. Why? What?s scary about this? Some of you STILL WON?T VOTE. What is WRONG with you!? Vote. You numbskulls. AND that's the Buzz Report for this week, everybody! I'm Molly Wood and thanks for watching.

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