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Health Insurance Telemarketers Programmed a Robot to Lie and Insist It’s Human

No, guys. Teaching robots to lie is bad for our health. Way to go.

We're not sure if we're more scared by a robot that tries to convince people it's human or by the fact that a company thought it was a good idea to fool people like that. A robot with a human voice that called itself "Samantha West" has been calling people in an effort to sell health insurance, because robots need their human slaves to be healthy.

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Chinese Zoo Tries to Pass Off Dogs as Lions, Leopards, Timberwolves

Okay, that last one is kind of close, but still, come on, guys.

Weekend at Bernie's: silly movie, not a challenge in outlandishness. Seems pretty obvious. Yet one zoo didn't seem to think so. They decided to just tell everyone that a dog was a lion, because no one could figure it out unless it started barking or something, because people are stupid. So, insightful readers: three guesses what happened next.

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Squirrels Teach Robots To Lie, Nobody Questions Whether That’s A Good Idea

Disappointed that your Roomba can't clean your house while also telling you that you that shirt your girlfriend hates looks great on you? Researchers at Georgia Tech are working hard to solve that problem by teaching robots to lie, and they're taking lessons in lying from some of nature's most deceptive animals -- squirrels. Because hey, what could possibly go wrong with that plan, which you can see in action below?

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People Are More Likely to Lie When They're Texting

A recent study conducted by researchers at Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia has shown that, when given a good reason to lie, someone who is communicating via text message is way more likely to lie than others. The test involved setting up 170 college students in a mock stock exchange of sorts, where half the group acted as brokers and the other half as buyers. The lying came in when the researchers got a little bit of real money involved and gave the brokers inside information they could use to make a little more green and stiff the buyers. Of course, pulling it off required lying to the buyer, and the text messagers seemed to be way more OK with that.

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Study: Magnets Can Make You Less Likely to Lie

New research from Estonian scientists Inga Karton and Talis Bachmann shows that lying can be somewhat impeded by magnetic fields applied to specific areas of the brain. As crazy as that sounds, it is built upon previous work that showed that part of the brain acts as a moral compass and can be influenced by magnetic fields. So, first with the caveats: In their research, participants subjected to the magnetic fields could still lie, they were just less likely to do so in a spontaneous situation. In the experiment, 16 subjects were shown colored discs and told that they could either lie or tell the truth about what color they saw. The researchers then applied transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left or right dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and observed the results. They found that the magnetic stimulation seemed to sway the response of the participants toward more truth-telling or lying.

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