Machines know how the scene will end

In the future, machines will ruin movie and TV show plots for us. People who gloat about reading the books that modern entertainment is based on are only are the second worse group on the planet, following ISIS. But what if robots were just as bad?

Researchers at MIT have taught neural networks how to guess how a scene is going to play out based on a still image. They produce videos based on what they think is most likely to happen. They are getting pretty good at it, too. Some 20% of the time, they tricked humans into believing that their videos were the real outcome of the scene. This means that at some point they will be able to call the endings of scene before they happen, because they know how humans thing. Also, one day, the machines will make our most formulaic movies (superhero origin stories, romcoms, Fast and Furious sequels, etc.) for us to keep us complacent and easy to herd.

It will also mean that we can blame bad writing on machines, so that’s good.

Newest weapon: Bomb-sniffing spinach

In the not-too-distant future spinach will contact you on your smartphone, and it will have terrifying news.

Researchers at MIT have given spinach plants the ability to detect chemicals often found in landmines and other explosives, because fighting terrorism can never get too creative. According to their published work, the scientists implanted spinach plants with nanotubes (science-speak for “small tubes”). When water was sucked into the plant by its roots, that water eventually made its way into the leaves where the nanotubes were implanted. If the water contains chemicals found in mines or bombs, those nanotubes emit a near-infrared light that can be seen by smartphone cameras.

Clearly, spinach has more wartime uses than bulking up our sailors.

X-Men Origins: Magneto

MIT, which stands for Mad scientists In Training, has released new research on the recently identified part of the brain that may control morality.

As they are wont, the scientists attempted and believe they were able to magnetically disengage this region in test subjects. In various experiments, the zapped subjects would appraise morally ambiguous scenarios based on the results rather than moral concerns.

For instance: when asked if it was acceptable for a man to let his girlfriend cross the Temple of Doom bridge, zapped subjects answered that it depended on whether she crossed safely or not.

When we asked MIT students if it was safe to bombard portions of the human brain with magnetic waves, they shrugged. “Well, we did get interesting results.”

Robofish are here, and they are watching you

We often think that science will show us new ways to defeat our enemies, but we forget that in science, as with any industry, there are those who are hellbent on destroying the righteous cause. Today, we find some such scientists at MIT.

There, they are creating a school of robotic fish for no other purpose than to kill humans–other than to inspect oil and natural gas pipelines that are deep underwater. The robofish will go places that submarines can’t, and look totally normal to other fish.

Wait a minute, maybe this is a way at spying on fish. Maybe MIT is planning to make these into fish terminators!

(Courtesy of Toni A.)