Workers Want Robots In Charge


Photo credit: CSAIL

That’s right. For all our fears of succumbing to robotic overlords, it turns out that we want robots to hold dominion over us — at least, when it comes to the workplace.

Even though many people believe robots and other automated systems will put many out of work (others believe they will usher in a new era of innovation and resourcefulness), research conducted by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) reveals that workers actually prefer for robots to take the lead in manufacturing tasks. The study explores the two sides of robotic workers: on the upside, they free humans from tasks characterized by the “three D’s” — tasks that are dirty, dangerous, and/or dull. Of course, if robots do assume those jobs, what’s left for humans? Oversight? Programming? Perhaps collaboration with the robots?


Researchers Create Fake Social Network To Figure Out Chinese Censorship

Internet-Censorship-in-ChinaFor those of us who spend ridiculous amounts of time on the internet, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to live in a society in which our online use was censored. I mean, all that widely available and freely posted content certainly isn’t being manipulated in any way, and there’s no censorship of content here, right? And no one believes ISPs and governments should be able to discriminate or charge certain users more… Okay, so I’m feeling a little sarcastic when it comes to Big Brother, the NSA, and net neutrality, but I have to admit that, compared to some other countries, we still have it pretty good here. According to Reporters Without borders, countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria all practice “pervasive” censorship and filter information online for political and social reasons, and even sometimes black out the news completely. Recently, Harvard and University of California San Diego researchers tried to figure out how China’s system of censorship works, and in order to figure it out, they created a fake social network.


Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Has An Iconic Villain Making His Return

Star WarsRumors about Star Wars: Episode VII have been flying fast and furious, ranging from plot details to how the new canon is going to take shape in the long run and everything in between. Lately there has been a lot of attention paid to who the villains may be. There is an old familiar face in the mix, as well as some new-jack upstarts, but now yet another report has surfaced about a surprising evildoer who could return to action.

There are potential major SPOIILERS beyond this point, that fact should be obvious.


Prometheus: Fire And Stone Trailer Sets Up Epic Comics Crossover

We’ve been hugely excited about Dark Horse’s upcoming Fire and Stone mega-event for months now, and the newest trailer for the series is only making it worse. Launching in September, Prometheus: Fire and Stone will kick off a multi-series shared storyline that will dive deep into the shared mythology of the Aliens, Predator, and Prometheus franchises. Those worlds have all been linked to varying degrees on the big screen, but Fire and Stone is set to explore the connections more thoroughly than ever before. If you haven’t already, check out the Prometheus: Fire and Stone trailer up top before we go any further.

After the first issue of of Prometheus: Fire and Stone launches in September, the four other series will unfold with an issue per week, setting up an eight-week cycle of the Prometheus book, the Aliens book, the Alien vs. Predator title, and Predator: Fire and Stone. While each of the four series will have its own storyline, characters and events from each will overlap each other, creating a larger narrative structure that will culminate in a standalone wrap-up issue after they’ve all completed their runs.


Chris Pratt Visits Sick Children In Costume As Star-Lord

PrattHospitalActors are constantly sharing stories about which props, costumes, and mementos they’ve swiped from the various productions they’ve worked on over the years. It’s a way of having a touchstone, a connection to a specific experience and period of their lives that might conjure up a sense of nostalgia even more powerfully than by watching the finished film or TV show. So it’s not surprising at all to learn that Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt stole his Star-Lord costume…but it is great to learn that his reasons for doing so were about more than just nabbing a memento. He wanted the outfit so he could bring a little joy to sick children by popping into hospitals dressed as his Guardians altar ego. And sure enough, he’s done precisely that.


Doctor Who: Three Huge Questions From The Season Premiere

WhoBreathLast night’s Doctor Who season premiere had a lot going on. Clara was dealing with a newly regenerated Doctor she’s not sure she can trust. The Paternoster Gang were on hand to help the freshly minted Twelfth Doctor investigate a most peculiar murder. And, most intriguingly, the episode introduced elements that not only hinted at the show’s future, but tied back to some memorable moments from its own past. Needless to say, we’ve got questions…big ones.


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