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Why do we click on some social media posts but not on others, even if we’ve taken the time to read and think about them? A new study has some answers. (Credit: Getty Images)

A new study explores why people make a “non-click” choice, a decision to not respond to some social media posts, even when they spend time as “lurkers” of the content.

For the study, published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, researchers observed 38 participants as they scrolled through their Facebook news feeds and found that the decision not to click on content was often intentional.

Study participants opted not to click to avoid sharing information with various audiences — sometimes the poster, their network of friends, or the platform itself. …

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The body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol when people are repeatedly interrupted at work, researchers report.

And yet participants in the new study did not experience an equal rise in their perceived sense of psychological stress.

According to the Job Stress Index 2020 compiled by Stiftung Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz, a Swiss health foundation, almost one-third of the Swiss workforce experience work-related stress. Should this stress become chronic, it can lead to states of exhaustion that have a negative impact on public health and carry a significant economic cost.

Researchers are developing a digital early warning system that uses machine learning to detect stress in the workplace in real time. “Our first step was to find out how to measure the effects of social pressure and interruptions — two of the most common causes of stress in the workplace,” says Jasmine Kerr, who is working at the Mobiliar Lab for Analytics at ETH Zurich. …

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“…work like this shows us that there is promise to the idea that robots can learn how to accomplish such real-world tasks in a safe and efficient way.”(Credit: hey skinny/Flickr)

With a training technique commonly used to teach dogs to sit and stay, researchers showed a robot how to teach itself several new tricks, including stacking blocks.

With the method, the robot, named Spot, was able to learn in days what typically takes a month.

By using positive reinforcement, an approach familiar to anyone who’s used treats to change a dog’s behavior, the team dramatically improved the robot’s skills and did it quickly enough to make training robots for real-world work a more feasible enterprise. …


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