Tech News Review Week 23 February – 1 March 2021, by Stelios Iordanis

Energy

Scientists use supercomputers to study reliable fusion reactor design, operation

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-scientists-supercomputers-reliable-fusion-reactor.html

The technical challenges of Nuclear Fusion can be overcome only through international collaboration and machine learning backed by supercomputing power. When accomplished, it will be one of the highest achievements of humankind.

 

Biotech

Paralyzed Man Walks More Than 100 Miles in Powered Exoskeleton

https://futurism.com/neoscope/paralyzed-man-walks-100-miles-powered-exoskeleton

The robotic exoskeleton restored his ability to walk to a degree that he could travel about four miles while using hand-held poles to maintain his balance, while this is still experimental technology that will keep evolving for decades.

 

This Startup Wants to Tattoo Brain-Reading Electrodes on Your Skull

https://futurism.com/neoscope/tattoo-brain-reading-electrodes-skull

The envisaged technology could emit real-time EEG data for analyzing neurological conditions or brain-computer interfaces.

 

New Smart Tattoos Have Built-In Lights

https://futurism.com/the-byte/smart-tattoos-built-in-lights

The sensors could make the tattoo glow when an athlete gets critically dehydrated or when food is about to expire e.g. on fruit skins,  or when there is a change in a patient’s condition — if the tattoo was turned the other way into the skin, they could be used along with light-sensitive therapies to attack cancer cells.

 

Quantum computing

Artificial “Magnetic Texture” Induced in Graphene – May Lead to Powerful Quantum Computers

https://scitechdaily.com/artificial-magnetic-texture-induced-in-graphene-may-lead-to-powerful-quantum-computers/

Scientists paired a magnet with graphene and induced what they model as “artificial magnetic texture” in a nonmagnetic wonder material which could give a solution to one of the basic technical complexities for Quantum Computing, while also boosting the power of semiconductors, quantum computers, mass storage devices and other digital electronics.

 

A quantum computer just solved a decades-old problem three million times faster than a classical computer | ZDNet

https://www.zdnet.com/article/a-quantum-computer-just-solved-a-decades-old-problem-three-million-times-faster-than-a-classical-computer/

Scientists achieved the simulation of materials up to three million times faster than it would take with typical modern computers via D-Wave’s quantum annealing processors while observing that performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, and even reaching million-fold acceleration over the state-of-the-art.

 

Machine Learning

Why Was Google Telling People to Throw Car Batteries Into the Ocean?

https://futurism.com/the-byte/google-car-batteries-ocean

Google’s unsupervised ML algorithm often comes up with what it deems to be accurate information, based on internet corpora that match the text of the question without accuracy, context, or common sense.

 

AI Tool “Deep Nostalgia” Lets You Reanimate Your Dead Relatives

https://futurism.com/the-byte/ai-tool-deep-nostalgia-lets-you-reanimate-your-dead-relatives

This and similar concepts could help people combat grief from the loss of friends and relatives and this is just the beginning of course.

 

Google Promised Staff They’ll Be Less Evil With AI

https://futurism.com/the-byte/google-promised-staff-evil-ai

This is an indirect, borderline admission that people running multinationals cannot help to be amoralists.

 

Military Engineering

Three Words: Supersonic. Combat. Drones.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/three-words-supersonic-combat-drones

This combat drone capable of reaching supersonic speeds is clearly the future of warfare and will have a multitude of imitators very soon.

 

Aviation

Sergey Brin’s Mega-Airship to Run Off Record-Breaking Hydrogen Fuel Cell

https://futurism.com/the-byte/sergey-brin-airship-record-breaking-hydrogen-fuel-cell

The scope is clearly humanitarian, e.g. deliver humanitarian aid to those in need in hard to reach places, however, other use cases even military-related can be easily envisaged.

 

Physics

Scientists Simulate Thousands of New Universes to Understand How Ours Began

https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-simulate-thousands-universes

The scientists modelled 4,000 simulated universes, trying to see which models end up with a constructed reality that mirrors our own.

 

Cryptocurrencies

Nevada Just Letting a Crypto Firm Run Entire Town as “Innovation Zone”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/nevada-innovation-zone-crypto-town

These territories will be governed by an assigned board of three people (two of whom are appointed by the company itself). That board will have the power to determine and govern everything from taxing, to zoning, to even laws that would supersede local county ordinances.  Similar initiatives have been proposed in the context of offshore platforms, consisting of entire floating towns.