Uplifting experience

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 April, 2012, 12:00am


New trend on the web


Remember all the publicity hype last year for Siri, the voice-activated feature on the new iPhone? It lets you keep a virtual assistant right there in the palm of your hand. Sort of. On the downside, you need an iPhone 4S for it.

Or then again, you don't. Meet SimSimi.

SimSimi was created in 2002 by Korean tech company ISMaker with a text messenger acting as a digital friend. The program uses artificial intelligence software to have chats with users. Basically you're texting a robot.

SimSimi has more than 10 million responses saved on its database, which it draws on to respond in a heartbeat. Users can 'teach' the program specific responses to specific questions. SimSimi is also multilingual and speaks a variety of tongues from Chinese to English to Russian. More than 2.7 million people already use it.

The company is developing filters to wean out insults and swear words entered into the database by some users. You can turn on the Bad Expression Filter in the settings and report abusive responses.

You can chat with SimSimi on its website or through its app, which is available on both Android and Apple phones.


Top photo

The space shuttle Discovery embarked on its last flight by hitching a ride on a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

This time, however, the destination was not space. Rather, it was Washington, DC, where the retired space shuttle will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Discovery is the world's most-flown spacecraft. It was used in 39 missions and spent more than an entire year in space in total.

This week's top 10 song downloads on iTunes

1 California 27, Train

2 Making Mirrors, Gotya

3 Best of Kokua Festival, Jack Johnson & Friends

4 Love Is a Four Letter Word, Jason Mraz

5 Moving Up Living Down, Eric Hutchinson

6 The End Is Where We Begin, Thousand Foot Krutch

7 21, Adele

8 Living Things, Linkin Park

9 Tuskegee (Deluxe Edition), Lionel Richie

10 Up All Night (Deluxe Edition), One Direction


Top videos on YouTube

From the mouth of babes

What happens if you leave two children alone with only one sandwich? Surprise answer: they will share it. Action Against Hunger recorded the experiment for an ad to raise awareness of the 3.5 million children who die from hunger each year.


Safety demo comedy

An Air Asia flight attendant uses his comedic skills to enliven those boring safety demonstrations - much to the delight of passengers.


Kitty does like puppy

Ksenia the kitten shows off her inner puppy by panting like a dog. Cutest cat ever.


In other news ...

The British snack company McVitie's has developed the world's first lickable wallpaper. In an idea straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the company stuck 1,325 of its Jaffa Cakes onto the walls of a lift in London.

The result: a tasty, if potentially disturbing, ride for workers in the building.

The advertising campaign took food technicians and artists four weeks to develop. There are talks of bringing it to other places.

Great. So now there's another reason to cram as many people as possible into one lift.