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The Lobster, a warped fairy tale about our dating obsession

To state a fact in ordinary language is to permit a doubt concerning the statement. – R.F. “Tody” Hamilton (press agent, Barnum & Bailey) There is a sequence towards the end of The Lobster in which two characters, initially drawn together by the same physical defect, are trying to find new shared ground. One of them has recently lost the condition that has made them seem compatible, and her partner attempts, through trial and error, to figure out what else they might have in common: Can she play the piano? Speak German? Does she like berries? As their incompatibilities accumulate,…

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News

Welcome to the adolescence of AI

Artificial intelligence does not have the cuddliest of reputations. It is either coming for your livelihood or, if movies are to be believed, your life. Google, however, has unearthed a new problem: Its AI is too friendly—much, much too friendly. In early November, the advertising (and search, and web) giant introduced “Smart Reply,” a feature in its Inbox app that could automatically reply to basic emails. “Machine learning is used to scan emails and understand if they need replying to or not, before creating three response options,” Wired’s James Temperton explained. He continued: “An email asking about vacation plans, for…

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Make friends and hack reality when Else Heart.Break() drops on September 24th

Else Heart.Break() makes me want to smoke cigarettes. It’s not that I don’t value my health. It’s that being a smoker seems to be the easiest way to people’s hearts in the game. If you smoke, you can say “yes” when strangers ask if you have either a) a lighter, or b) a smoke. With that icebreaker a whole range of social possibilities open up. “So, what’s your story?” the person might ask as they take their first drag, thanking you between pursed lips. You’ve met someone because you both smoke and now you’re chatting. The alternative is remaining seated…

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Tough Love Machine: a puzzle of 8-bit companionship

Like relationships themselves, representing the struggles of love in a digital format can be difficult. Andrew Morrish does just that in his newest game, Tough Love Machine.Tough Love Machine offers up a simple premise: unite two hearts. Like so many puzzle games before it, in execution this becomes a challenge as you move the hearts around obstacles using independently controlled left and right “hands,” never letting them fall offscreen to their demise. in the game, as in love, “There is no undo button.” The room is silent when you begin, all 8-bit neon on a solid black background. The intro…

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News

Blow your haters a big fat smooch in Kissing Foes

In the age of social media toxicity, people need a plan of action for dealing with hater McFrowny Faces now more than ever. There seems to be two divergent paths in the quest to conquer a hater: either go into battle mode and attempt to defeat your foe, or kill ’em with kindness. One of the most disarming things you could possibly say to someone trying to eviscerate you emotionally is, “Wanna make out?” Offering a sign of love to your attacker—right as they’re leaning in to rip out your throat—works almost the same as a slap: a sudden and…