February 28th, 2021


New World Order | Weird Science

News of the Weird

By News of the Weird

Published Jan. 4, 2019

New World Order  | Weird Science
Coming soon from the state-run news agency Xinhua in China: the first artificial intelligence anchorman. "Artificial Intelligence Anchor" debuted at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, on Nov. 7. The virtual host, based on images of human news broadcasters, can have real-time news typed into its system even while it's on air. A synthesized voice reads the script. Xinhua told Time that its new anchor can work "24 hours a day ... reducing news production costs and improving efficiency." But does it have a personal catchphrase, such as "Good night, and good news"? [Time, 11/9/2018]

Duuuude! Scientists at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have created a mushroom that can produce electricity using light, Discover magazine reports. Using common button mushrooms, cyanobacteria (very adept at photosynthesis) and graphene nanoribbons (to make electrodes to transport the electricity), researchers were able to produce harvestable electricity by shining a light on their "bionic mushroom." While the amount of electricity created was small, the team noted the experiment demonstrated an "environment-friendly and green source of photosynthetic bioelectricity." [Discover, 11/7/2018]