Oct 31, 2017

What one AI's spooky storytelling says about the future with robots

Six-year-old Olivia Vlaicu, of Maywood, N.J., takes an interest in real-looking Halloween skeletons. Photo: Mel Evans / AP

A new MIT Media Lab project that generates scary stories with the help of other Twitter users is hinting at a future of AI/human collaboration, according to a Co. Design report.

  • Shelley, named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, tweets out the start to a new scary tale every hour, and invites other Twitter users to add on to her story. If a response is popular enough, Shelley continues the thread with the next sentence. The MIT team made Shelley by training "a neural network of 140,000 horror stories from the r/nosleep subreddit," a collection of original scary stories.

Why it matters: It's no easy feat to create AI that can write fluently, and Co. Design notes that Shelley "augments and complements human capacity, rather than replacing it."

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Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.