#17 Digest World News about Tech, Science, Culture and Social

Every 2 weeks 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

Tech

A helping hand

News of prosthetics have often been featured in this news digest, but despite all the progress they were all limited in what the owner could control. Since they often have no muscles that would control tiny movements involved in grabbing something, holding or rotating it, prosthesis loses a lot of use. Solution comes in an interesting form of a helping AI, which takes upon itself everything the owner can’t do, leaving them responsible for more general movements. 

Olympic Games, AR

News of technologies that will be used during the Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo keep coming in. This time it is not robots serving the crowds, but a special vision mode, meant to enhance the experience for the viewers, giving them information they otherwise would not see or understand, from the speed of the runners to the details of physical performance of the athletes. 

Youtube comments – good news for a change

After a long history of poor decisions, it seems the biggest video platform has come up with something that could actually improve the communication between its users. How would it do that? By providing a little bit of context to the anonymous person leaving the comment. Presenting user’s comment history should make it much easier for the users and moderators to judge how to treat the author.

 

Science

A Nobel prize! Sort of

Everyone has heard of the Nobel Prize. Research that deserve it is serious and important. However, science is not always like that. Some research makes you laugh, before it makes you think. Can pizza cure cancer? Can surgeons be trained like dogs? Why does it feel good to scratch an itch? These and many other similar questions have been answered by the dedicated scientists and those answers have won an appropriate award.

Space elevator

The idea of using an elevator to go to space instead of a rocket is nothing new, it has been discussed and sadly discarded due to technical impossibility and qualities of the required materials. This impossibility might not be so impossible after all, as two astronomers suggest. And the way of achieving the impossible might be? Flipping the entire thing on its head, so to speak. And it is not just a suggestion, as they actually did the necessary math. And it all seems to check out.

Hacking the sleep

Sleep has always been a vital part of our lives, it has numerous benefits and if we do it wrong or don’t get enough of it, we suffer quite serious consequences. Overall, it is very mysterious and useful thing. Which is why recently scientists have started to examine the ways they could tweak it, improve it, increase the benefits while reducing the required time or making it easier to do it better. And if this sounds curious, this video is for you. 

 

Society

Voices of the Climate strike

Climate strike has taken place all over the world, with many different people joining in. But many aren’t sure what those people were protesting or why they were doing it. The Verge spoke to the protesters, asking them why they were doing it, what they wanted and how they saw the future. Their answers reveal a lot about the face of the climate change activism and who is most concerned about it today.

Troll game

With online trolling and disinformation being the hot topic these days, many are struggling with the question “How can you fight something like this?” The best remedy, as many pointed out, is an informed and educated reader capable of critical thinking. And, according to one finnish company, this skill can be taught with a game. So how do you gamify the topic of trolling and misinformation? The article has all the answers.

 

Culture

A lighthouse in the middle of the city.

There is a deeply strange landmark in London that few knew even existed. It has the most curious history, which only gets stranger as we approach the present day, with a musical instrument, which is designed to play a piece of music longer than the creator’s lifetime.

Inaccurate AI

News often feature stories of an AI used to recognize humans, but doing a poor job of it, leading to some unpleasant consequences. And as is often the case, art follows the current events and so we see an exhibition, meant to bring to the viewer the feeling one gets when being incorrectly classified by the machine. With real AI behind it the project makes it clear, how flawed the system often is and how easy it is to make a mistake.

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