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Dec 28, 2016 10:50 AM EST

MIT Review's Biggest Tech Failures Of 2016


The year 2016 has seen leaps and bounds in technology but it also has its share of failures, some of which you might not have heard about. From brain quizzes that prevent dementia to bioluminescent plants, here are some of the biggest technology failures of 2016 according to the MIT Technology Review.


This one must have been the most prominent since they are the most visible because of their aggressive marketing campaign. Their quizzes and personality tests were presented neatly with a high quality feel to it that no one really thought they have not been backed by science. However, a group of psychologists reviewed their brain games and concluded that they don't make you smarter as the company claims. The Federal Trade Commission has since then fined the company behind it $2 million for false advertisements.

Tay, Miscrosoft's Hate-Spewing AI

In March 2016, Microsoft proudly launched its teenage AI chatbot named Tay. It was equipped with an algorithm that will learn real-world conversation and be able to chat like a human. Within 24 hours of its launch, Tay indeed sounded like a human but she was quite a rebel who soon spouted hate messages against almost everyone.

The Most Expensive Gene Therapy Drug

A gene therapy startup called UniQure claimed that they have developed the first gene therapy drug to cure one of the rarest diseases known to man, the lipoprotein lipase deficiency where patients suffering from it don't process fat correctly. The drug became a failure right after the company announced that it is available for $1 million. Furthermore, it was discovered that the drug was only administered to a single patient causing scientists to question its efficacy.

The Self-Destructing Phone

Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Need we say more? The phone was very hazardous that planes refused entry to anyone who carries them unless they leave them.

The Supposedly Bioluminescent Plant

A Kickstarter campaign promising to genetically engineer a simple houseplant into a glow-in-the-dark flora attracted a lot of attention and became one of the most successful campaigns on the crowdfunding platform. Before long, the project was able to raise almost half a million US dollars from more than 5,000 backers. The money has long been gone yet the 'bioengineers' still have no bioluminescent plant to show of.

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