#14 World news digest about Tech, Science, Social and Culture

Every week ELK team picks the most captivating, forward-looking and inspiring articles from the best media around the globe to share with you in our digest. Learn what the world is talking about today! Please vote for your favorite article in the comments (and also share articles that inspired you).

Digest curated by our teacher Svyatoslav Tugeev


Who owns your digital identity?

As we interact with the digital world ever more actively, we shape our digital identity to reflect our real one more and more. It carries our preferences, our memories, and sometimes our financials. So the question of who gets to own it is very important. The answer, as always, is somewhat complicated, with many caveats.

Image credit: https://techcrunch.com

A close look at the podcasts

Podcast industry is growing faster year by year, as our preference for this form of content grows. Podcasts often offer something unique, a personal touch often lost in other media, and that shapes everything that surrounds them, including monetization. But as the industry grows, it is likely to change and evolve, with listeners getting younger, more women joining in, and celebrities trying their hand at podcasting as well. If you are curious what the future of podcasts is likely to be – check this article out.

Admitting to humans

In Silicon Valley humans taking part in data processing is a touchy subject right now. Many, if not practically all companies that work with speech recognition, have been blamed for sharing the recordings with human contractors. BBC has published an article examining the reasons for this strange situation and offering quite a reasonable solution. As well as explaining what prevented us from using it so far.



Pitch Vantablack

What can an absolutely black material be used for? Created pretty much by accident, this material remains black no matter how much light you shine on it. Its uses are quite varied, as it has appeared in many products, from watches to telescopes.

A powerful note

When exploring faraway reaches of the ocean we often encounter a simple problem. Whatever we use to monitor the depths always needs something to power it, so with all the equipment we have to lug a power source as well. And, of course, they will one day run out, requiring replacement. But this newest invention could lift that limitation, allowing us to monitor the waters with detectors, powered by sound. The same sound they would use to communicate. Curious how that works? Then check this article out.

Image credit: https://techcrunch.com



A curious choice by youtube AI

In a move couple of decades ahead of its time, YouTube content curating AI has classified videos with robots fighting each other as containing scenes of animal cruelty. It was, according to the company, a mistake, quickly ratified, but a mistake of an interesting kind nonetheless. 

A Netflix generational conflict

“Irishman”, a film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring de-aged Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, is going to be popular no matter what. However, with it Netflix faces something of an industry generational conflict. For big-name directors success means the number of theaters playing the movies, while for Netflix it is the number of viewers that see those movies. And those two criteria have come into conflict, as the way we consume movies has obviously changed.



They get younger every day

There is an interesting trend emerging in media – vloggers, authors and influencers get younger every day, raising hopes and concerns in equal measure. And as the industry changes, a specialised education for those wishing to become the next star is now on offer as well.

image credit: https://www.bbc.com

Popular destinations

It is always nice to go to Amsterdam, San Francisco or Prague and enjoy those wonderful cities. You are probably going to be joined by thousands of other tourists, however. And those who actually live there are not always happy about that fact. So how do you solve that problem, which at the same time brings a lot of income? Turns out there are several solutions, some obvious, others quite interesting. 

From fiction to fact

Science fiction has always described something that does not exist, at least yet. However, as the years went by, it started getting closer to reality, describing something that always seemed just around the corner. Still, as it got more realistic, it lost something precious and we might have lost something valuable with it as well. An ability to imagine an unlikely positive future for ourselves. 


On planting trees

And a small gift to our french speakers – a charming video on reforestation efforts, that doesn’t exactly fit into any category but I would feel remiss were I not to share it. If you don’t yet speak french but want to check it out – BBC has supplied us with easy to read subtitles throughout the entire video. And if you want to see more content in other languages – be sure to tell us!

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