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June 5, 2015

What Would Happen If All Our Satellites Were Suddenly Destroyed?

Since their inception 60 years ago, satellites have gone on to become an indispensable component of our modern high-tech civilization. But because they're reliable and practically invisible, we take their existence for granted. Here's what would happen if all our satellites suddenly just disappeared.

Read the entire article at io9.

How Chess Has Changed Over The Last 150 Years

The rules of chess have remained consistent since the early 19th Century, but that doesn't mean our approach to the game has stayed the same. Here are some intriguing and surprising ways the Game of Kings has changed its shape over the past 150 years.

The history of chess dates back 1,500 years, but it wasn't until the introduction of competitive chess in 1834 that the rules were solidified. Since that time, players of all calibers have diligently worked to find new and better ways of winning.

Read the entire article at io9.

The White House Supports A Proposed Ban On Editing The Human Germline

In the wake of news that scientists in China modified the DNA of human embryos, a number of scientists and bioethicists have called for a global moratorium on experiments that could alter the human germline. The White House has come out in support of such a ban — for now.

Animals Are Now "Sentient Beings" According To New Zealand Law

Earlier this month, a change was made to New Zealand's Animal Welfare Amendment Bill stating that animals — like humans — are "sentient" beings.

An Artificial Intelligence Is Being Taught To Simulate Anger

Data scientists from New Zealand are teaching an AI to learn anger. Sounds crazy, but the idea is to help companies deal with common customer complaints.

Tech firm Touchpoint Group is using machine learning to help its AI system recognize — and even simulate — anger. Called Radiant (a name taken from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series), the purpose of the AUD $500,000 project (USD $404,000) is to develop an automated system that can defuse angry customer service calls. Once complete, the system will be capable of generating over a hundred million (!) angry interactions. Touchpoint's data scientists are hoping to build a system that can autonomously find the best response to typical customer complaints.

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