Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a so-called ‘parasitic robot’ that lives on the back of a turtle. The robot steers the turtle by offering it little rewards when it does the robots bidding. Sound familiar? For any keyboard warrior who wants to call out the researchers for animal cruelty, please consider the fact that the researchers use the exact same mechanism that keeps us glued to our various social media channels: operant conditioning. By offering small but significant rewards – new posts, likes on our own posts, more friends, or in the turtle’s…

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