The world’s nuclear waste facilities are buried underground and pretty well documented. But what about thousands of years from now, when it will still be radioactive, but there’s a good possibility that our languages and cultures will have completely changed, and our present documentation is inaccessible? How will we warn future civilizations away from such dangerous sites? That question was posed to a group of scientists in the 1990s, and their brainstormed ideas were imaginative and often quite weird. Could artificial intelligence do any better? Janelle Shane (previously at Neatorama) trained a neural network on the question by feeding it the human-generated ideas. The ideas that the algorithm came back with were quite bonkers. They range from those that would more likely attract people,
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A series of very-large-scale sculptures of robots, which would be visually striking and memorable from a distance.
to the unlikely,
A massive device that would alter the flow of time and gravity in the vicinity.
to the terrifying.
A large cluster of enormous worms growing from a rocky surface, extruding bubbling fluid, and emitting audible chittering noises.