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So Which Is It, Yanny Or Laurel?

May 16, 2018

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We all know that America is a divided country. Well, this week, it became a little more divided thanks to this word.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: Laurel.

SHAPIRO: Obviously Yanny.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's Laurel.

Last week, Spotify announced it was implementing a new policy in which it would stop promoting "hate content" and artists who engage in "hateful conduct" within its very powerful playlists and through its equally powerful suggestion algorithm. In the week since, the move has been greeted with celebration, derision and skepticism.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, dealing a symbolic blow to the FCC's new rule that remains on track to take effect next month.

The final vote was 52-47. As expected, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to overturn the FCC's controversial decision. But two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. ET

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to find and target Americans to trigger paranoia and racial biases, a former employee of the data analytics company told lawmakers on Wednesday.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Democrats are staging an insurgency of sorts today in the Senate. They're forcing a vote on net neutrality. It's a last-ditch effort to keep Obama-era regulations on internet service providers in place. Here's Senator Ed Markey last week pushing for the vote.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It was going to be historic, the leaders of the United States and North Korea sitting down for the first time to talk about peace on the Korean Peninsula. But now it might not happen, or it might happen. Who knows at this point?

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pedestrian deaths in 2016 were the highest they've been since 1990. And SUVs were responsible for a growing number of those fatalities.

A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that between 2009 and 2016, pedestrian fatalities increased in nearly every circumstance examined. But among all types of vehicles, SUVs had the biggest spike in single-vehicle fatal pedestrian crashes, and crashes were increasingly likely to involve high-horsepower vehicles.

Google's 'Duplex' Raises Ethical Questions

May 14, 2018

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

As robots continue their relentless march towards doing all kinds of things better than humans, we consider this question. Should a bot sound like a human? It's time for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF ULRICH SCHNAUSS' "NOTHING HAPPENS IN JUNE")

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he will explore other ways to punish a Chinese cellphone manufacturer, after a surprising tweet from President Trump that said the original penalty was too harsh.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that smartphone giant ZTE was losing "too many jobs in China" as a result of U.S. sanctions. He said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to find a solution.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The largest supplier of law enforcement body cameras in the U.S. is exploring pairing its cameras with new AI capabilities — including real-time face recognition.

Axon, formerly known as Taser International, sparked controversy late last month when it announced the creation of an ethics board to examine the implications of coupling artificial intelligence with its line of police products.

Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo were always bound to be overwhelmingly successful albums — returns after relatively long absences from two of the world's most well-known artists.

You've seen it in the movies for years: Security cameras find a face in a crowd, and — Enhance! — a computer comes up with a name. In real life, facial recognition was too error-prone to work that quickly, especially with live video streams.

But now the Hollywood fantasy is coming true.

The Federal Communications Commission says that its order ending an era of "net neutrality" — the rules that restrict Internet service providers' ability to slow down or speed up users' access to specific websites and apps — will take effect on June 11.

That is one day before the Senate's June 12 deadline to vote on a Congressional Review Act resolution filed by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass. The resolution aims to overturn the FCC's repeal of the Obama administration's Open Internet Order of 2015, which officially established net neutrality.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET, May 10 with a statement from R. Kelly's management team.

Here's a hypothetical: How tolerant would you be of a drone flying over your head or zooming through your backyard, if it were carrying life-saving medicine to the scene of a hard-to-reach accident?

The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to collect the answers to questions like this, and a slew of other data, in a new test project called the Integration Pilot Program.

On the first day of Google's annual conference for developers, the company showed off a robot with a voice so convincingly human that it was able to call a salon and book a haircut – never revealing that it wasn't a real person making the call.

Long before sous vide became a culinary sensation celebrated by top chefs around the world a retired Army colonel started cooking meat and vegetables in sealed plastic pouches immersed in a water bath to liven up the flavor of hospital food. But you'd be hard pressed to find his name associated with it.

A new application of artificial intelligence could help researchers solve medical mysteries ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's.

It's a 3D model of a living human cell that lets scientists study the interior structures of a cell even when they can only see the exterior and the nucleus — the largest structure in a cell. The model was unveiled to the public Wednesday by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle.

Two roads diverged in a town, and the harried, GPS-dependent commuter took the road less traveled by.

But then so did everyone else.

The rising popularity of navigation apps like Waze, in addition to Google Maps, is creating a traffic nightmare for some residential communities. Drivers looking for the quickest route around rush hour traffic are being directed through small towns, creating new congestion on side streets unequipped to handle the influx of cars.

As America heads toward the 2018 midterms, there is an 800-pound gorilla in the voting booth.

Despite improvements since Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential race, the U.S. elections infrastructure is vulnerable — and will remain so in November.

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier laid out the problem to an overflowing room full of election directors and secretaries of state — people charged with running and securing elections — at a conference at Harvard University this spring.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Today's technology demands perfection, precise and accurate measurements, perfect timing. On this week's All Tech Considered, we explore the history of perfection from 18th century England to today's Silicon Valley.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When it comes to the Olympic-style bidding for Amazon's second headquarters, the nation's capital and its neighbors could have joined together in a united front.

Instead, the District of Columbia and the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia decided to compete against each other.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to play Cupid.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARK ZUCKERBERG: It's going to be for building real long-term relationships - all right? - not just hookups.

(LAUGHTER)

Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET

Cambridge Analytica, the firm that used data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge, said Wednesday that it is "immediately ceasing all operations." The firm worked for President Trump's 2016 campaign.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Along the fortified border that divides the Korean Peninsula, soldiers in both North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that for decades helped wage a war of words — blaring propaganda over the armistice line.

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