Is Mark Zuckerberg a Robot? Traffic Lights Reveal the Truth

Podcaster asks Zuckerberg to prove he's not 'Zuckerborg'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2022 7:31 AM CST

Mark Zuckerberg has long known that he comes across as, well ... not quite human, acknowledging in a 2019 interview that "historically, I've had a very hard time expressing myself. ... I just come across as robotic." One computer scientist and AI researcher recently decided to carry out a real-time experiment to gauge just how robotic the Meta CEO really is, putting him on the spot with a test we've all taken online to prove we're living, breathing people, not automatons.

"And now, dear friends, here is Mark Zuckerberg," Lex Fridman intros the 37-year-old tech giant in a podcast posted Monday, before then handing Zuckerberg a piece of paper with various pictures on it. "Can you circle all the traffic lights, please," a serious-sounding Fridman instructs Zuckerberg, referencing what's known as a CAPTCHA (or reCAPTCHA) test, where users online are asked to ID images that feature certain objects to show that they're a thinking human, not a preprogrammed bot.

Zuckerberg obliges with a huge, atypical grin on his face—but did he pass the test? Apparently so, as Fridman notes upon reviewing Zuck's paperwork, "You actually did it. That is [a] very impressive performance." Insider notes that Zuckerberg was especially mocked for his stone-faced, blank-eyed demeanor when he was grilled in front of Congress in 2018 over Facebook's role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and that he's had to endure everything from being called "Zuckerborg" to being compared to the character Data from Star Trek, a synthetic, self-aware android powered by artificial intelligence. (More Mark Zuckerberg stories.)

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