Thibault Camus / AP

Facebook's artificial intelligence lab has developed an animated bot capable of mimicking human responses to conversation by training it using footage from hours of Skype conversations, per New Scientist.

  • One big problem: AI's biggest hurdle has been the uncanny valley, a state in which robots read to humans as almost realistic but still undeniably artificial.
  • Facebook's researchers plotted 68 different facial reactions that take place during a conversation into the bot, which eventually learned the "correct" ways to respond to conversational cues. Volunteers judged the bot and a human to be equally natural during conversation.
  • Why it matters: The bot is only still approximating — through repeated machine learning — what it thinks a conversational response should be, rather than holding a genuine conversation. Science still has a long way to go until such technologies can develop their own personalities or be tailored to response to specific situations.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Report: Goldman to settle DOJ probe into Malaysia's 1MDB for over $2B

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Goldman Sachs has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay over $2 billion for the bank's role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The settlement, expected to be announced within days, would allow Goldman Sachs to avoid a criminal conviction in the U.S. over the bribery and money laundering scandal that saw three of its former bankers banned for life from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve Board.

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.

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