KFC Doesnt Chicken Out of Social Media Stunt

first_imgYOU GUYS. It’s happening. https://t.co/evp0hU5zqv— Edge (@edgette22) October 20, 2017Details of their private conversation were not released. But presumably it involved the promise of some kind of reward, and Edgette providing a Sioux Falls address where he could receive it.Two weeks later, a “giant” package appeared on his porch. Inside: a 2.5-foot-by-2-foot painting of Col. Sanders, Edgette, and a scenic mountain view.“There was no explanation as to why I’m piggybacking the Colonel,” Edgette told local newspaper Argus Leader. The Internet is a weird and wonderful place. Just ask Mike Edgette, the proud new owner of a gold-framed portrait of himself, holding a piece of chicken while riding on KFC founder Col. Harland Sanders’ back.The South Dakotan recently spotted a hidden Easter egg in the fast food chain’s Twitter account. [email protected] follows 11 people.Those 11 people? 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb. 11 Herbs & Spices. I need time to process this.— Edge (@edgette22) October 19, 2017Edgette’s tweet went viral, blowing the minds of social media users, and garnering attention from KFC itself. Dreams DO come true. #GiddyUpColonelThanks @kfc pic.twitter.com/a4skf7MIB4— Edge (@edgette22) November 4, 2017There was, however, 52 $5 gift cards, and a bizarre letter from the late Sanders (who died in 1980).“This is a painting that I painted, with paint. And yet, it’s somehow more than that,” according to the note, as published by the Leader. “It’s a metaphor. It’s a tribute. It’s a long-awaited payoff for those years of art classes I took from Lisa in Accounting’s weird aunt.“But above all, it’s a thank you.”The TallGrass Public Relations social media manager is still enjoying his 15 minutes of fame: Edgette has become the target of a Reddit conspiracy theory, suggesting this is all part of an elaborate marketing ploy. (To be fair, there are still some unanswered questions, like where did KFC find a photo of Edgette for its design?)KFC is no stranger to odd promotions. In the last year alone, the company introduced a romance novel, launched a sandwich into space, debuted a branded smartphone, and dropped a fried chicken-scented bath bomb.It delivered a real K.O. this fall, though, when the company started following only 11 people on Twitter: All five members of ’90s Brit-pop group Spice Girls (Geri Horner, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Victoria Beckham) and six random dudes named Herb (including Green Bay Packers cornerback Herb Waters).Get it? Eleven herbs and spices? Because KFC’s original chicken is seasoned with the Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices?Pretty clever, if you ask me. Stay on target Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterTwitter Tests Subscribe-to-Replies Feature Weirdest part of this whole thing is the @kfc Colonel adding me to @LinkedIn & endorsing me for social networking. Didn’t see that coming. pic.twitter.com/V8WRbNQRk6— Edge (@edgette22) October 21, 2017Twitter user Laurel Bartlett technically beat Edgette to the punch, having stumbled upon the corporate gag four days earlier.“I was on their page (avid fan) and got curious [about] which 11 people were lucky enough to be followed by KFC,” she wrote on the microblogging site. But, her tweet didn’t gain as much traction as Edgette’s, and she missed the opportunity for a truly epic work of art.“It’s irritating to see that guy everywhere but I’m hoping this whole thing will blow over soon,” Bartlett told Geek in an email.“The painting they made for him and his year supply of chicken would have been sweet,” she continued. “But KFC informed me via Twitter that they were sending me something in the mail so I’m curious to see what that is.”Me, too.Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Nov. 14 with comment from Bartlett.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

AI Learns to Create Drugs From Scratch

first_img McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS Artificial intelligence created at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has learned to design pharmaceutical drugs from scratch.The system, called Reinforcement Learning for Structural Evolution (ReLeaSE) is actually two neural networks—a teacher and a student.The teacher carries knowledge of chemical structures for some 1.7 million biologically active molecules. That information trickles down to the student, which proposes new medicine makeups.Think of it as learning a language: After the student masters the alphabet and its rules, they can create new words—or in this case, molecules.“If the new molecule is realistic and has the desired effect, the teacher approves,” according to ReLeaSE co-creator Alexander Tropsha, a member of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “If not, the teacher disapproves, forcing the student to avoid bad molecules and create good ones.”Pharmaceutical companies currently use virtual screening to sift through large chemical libraries and identify viable drug candidates.But, as the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy pointed out, this method works only for known chemicals. ReLeaSE can create and evaluate new molecules.“A scientist using virtual screening is like a customer ordering in a restaurant. What can be ordered is usually limited by the menu,” co-creator Olexandr Isayev said in a statement. “We want to give scientists a grocery store and a personal chef who can create any dish they want.”So far, the team (including Mariya Popova) has used ReLeaSE to design molecules with customized physical properties, like melting point and solubility in water. They also made great headway by generating new compounds with inhibitory activity against an enzyme associated with leukemia.“The ability of the algorithm to design new, and therefore immediately patentable, chemical entities with specific biological activities and optimal safety profiles should be highly attractive to an industry that is constantly searching for new approaches to shorten the time it takes to bring a new drug candidate to clinical trials,” Tropsha said.The University has applied to patent this technology, and published a proof-of-concept study in the journal Science Advances.AI is fascinating and the tech is always improving. Stay on top of it all here. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more