Tech News Review Week 10 – 17 March 2021, by Stelios Iordanis

Biotech

Putting a protein into overdrive to heal spinal cord injuries | EurekAlert! Science News

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/usmc-pap030221.php

“The field of spinal cord injury has extensively explored trying to heal the damage with stem cells that produce new neurons; whereas, in this approach, the body can make its own new neurons, rebuilding from within.

 

Discovery identifies non-DNA mechanism involved in transmitting paternal experience to offspring

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-discovery-non-dna-mechanism-involved-transmitting.html

It is now proved that environmental information can be transmitted by non-DNA molecules in the sperm, which is a breakthrough discovery revolutionizing the study of the heredity of paternal life experiences, disease transmission and prevention.

 

Researchers find a better way to measure consciousness

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-consciousness.html

In cases of consciousness disorder, the underlying technology could finetune electrical patterns through precise brain stimulation and help patients in a coma sustain a continuous level of consciousness.

 

Quantum computing

Solving 10,000 Year Google Quantum Problem in 5 Days Using 60 GPUs | NextBigFuture.com

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2021/03/solving-10000-year-google-quantum-problem-in-5-days-using-60-gpus.html

Fusing classical and NISQ quantum computations, for solving complex problems in the real-world could be the future of quantum computing.

 

Machine Learning

 

Creating a new type of computing that’s ‘naturally probabilistic’

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-naturally-probabilistic.html

Via a probabilistic simulator, we do not exactly seek to approximate a phenomenon evolution but a probability distribution of events with the corresponding accuracy.

There are other scientist groups that are developing analogous technology by applying alternative materials and paradigms.

 

Julia Computing Receives DARPA Award to Accelerate Electronics Simulation by 1,000x – Julia Computing

https://juliacomputing.com/media/2021/03/darpa-ditto/

Julia programming language is the future of AI and could overthrow python as the most popular language in this field; US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is recognizing its advantages and uses it to accelerate the simulation of Analog and Mixed-Signal circuit models via state of the art machine learning methods.

 

Algorithm Detects Deepfakes by Analyzing Reflections in Eyes

https://futurism.com/the-byte/algorithm-detects-deepfakes-by-analyzing-reflections-in-eyes

It would be interesting to observe how long it will take until countermeasures for these countermeasures will be innvented, e.g. via modified GANs ( Generativ Adversarial Neural Networks) that could fool these new  anti-deepfake ML classifiers; this is a typical arms race.

 

Maximum Entropy RL (Provably) Solves Some Robust RL Problems – The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Blog

https://bair.berkeley.edu/blog/2021/03/10/maxent-robust-rl/

A commonly-used type of Reinforcement Learning algorithm, MaxEnt (Maximum Entropy) RL, could solve very hard contemporary open robotics planning problems with significant use cases in the real world.

 

He got Facebook hooked on AI. Now he can’t fix its misinformation addiction | MIT Technology Review

https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/11/1020600/facebook-responsible-ai-misinformation

Top scientists are admitting the problematic aspects of machine learning applied in social networks, that create tension and further feeding the anger and confusion inherent in our globalized societies, nowadays.

 

Software Engineering

Music Circles: An interactive data visualization tool that helps users discover new music

https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-music-circles-interactive-visualization-tool.html

In contrast with other music recommendation systems developed in the past, Music Circles, on the other hand, distributes various songs by an artist in different clusters, based on their unique attributes and features, thus recommending them to a wider range of listeners, while being scalable to big data.

 

Electronics

New Smart Fabric Can Turn Clothing Into a Huge Screen

https://futurism.com/the-byte/smart-fabric-turn-clothing-screen

A speech-to-text display that shows a message on their shirt could allow people to communicate in a new language or assist in use cases with physical or cognitive impairments. What is more,  clothing design could advance as artists merge electronic displays into garments.