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Language Game Inspired by Noam Chomsky's Linguistics

A new smartphone app gives a clever nod to Noam Chomsky while giving players just enough inspiration to create some pretty funny sentences.

A new smartphone app gives a clever nod to famous American linguist Noam Chomsky while giving players just enough inspiration to create some pretty funny sentences. Like endless magnetic fridge poetry, the game Sleep Furiously offers players the chance to create grammatical sentences that are wildly nonsensical.


One mode of the game gives you a defined number of moves to create the highest-scoring (read: longest) sentences. Here are the gems I came up with:

Pride follows the penguin wildly! (Hooray for penguin poetry.)

The healthy awkward ninjas collapsed! (Awkward indeed.)

Demons elevate the furniture inside him! (Probably IKEA furniture.)

Created by brother-and-sister duo Justin and Jen Helms at Playmation Studios, Sleep Furiously explores the concept that a sentence can be simultaneously grammatical, but nonsensical — the name comes from the sentence that Noam Chomsky coined to demonstrate that concept 60 years ago: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

There are three modes to the game: one timed feature sure to test your ability to construct nonsensical phrases under pressure; one mode that gives you a certain number of moves to build your sentence; and an infinite mode where you can create grammatically correct phrases until the grammarian inside of you is infinitely content.

All in all, the game is a cheerfully built puppy dream (which is also a decently scoring phrase). Sleep Furiously is available today from Apple, Google, and Amazon for iOS and Android. 

Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?

Two different experiments show hints of a 4th spatial dimension. Credit: Zilberberg Group / ETH Zürich
Technology & Innovation

Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.

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Does conscious AI deserve rights?

If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.

Videos
  • Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
  • Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
  • One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.

A new hydrogel might be strong enough for knee replacements

Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.

Lee Jae-Sung of Korea Republic lies on the pitch holding his knee during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
  • The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
  • The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
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Technology & Innovation

Predicting PTSD symptoms becomes possible with a new test

An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.

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