Tech Friday (8 – 14 Jan 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to Twitch in 2020, Robot Displaying Empathy to a Partner Robot, Controlling Superintelligent Machines, YouTube and WhatsApp Users in India, Dark Web’s Largest Illegal Marketplace, Tweaking AI Software to Function Like a Human Brain, Amazon Academy – JEE Preparation App, Laser-Based Process to 3D Print Detailed Glass Objects, Quantum and Classical Information Processing, Robotic Swarm Swimming Like A School of Fish, WhatsApp Facing Legal Challenge in India


Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Twitch Ended 2020 With Its Biggest Numbers Ever


Source: The Verge 11 Jan 2021


Twitch had a good 2020. Events were virtual; people stayed inside. The live-streaming site managed to clock 17 billion hours watched last year, which is a full 83 percent higher than 2019’s 9 billion, according to the latest report from StreamElements and Arsenal.gg. The jump wasn’t limited to Twitch; Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming also posted their best numbers ever last year.


Original written by: Bijan Stephen

2. Robot Displays A Glimmer of Empathy to A Partner Robot


Source: Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science 11 Jan 2021


Engineers create a robot that learns to visually predict how its partner robot will behave, displaying a glimmer of empathy. This “Robot Theory of Mind” could help robots get along with other robots—and humans—more intuitively. Like a longtime couple who can predict each other’s every move, the robot has learned to predict its partner robot’s future actions and goals based on just a few initial video frames.


Original written by: Holly Evarts

3. Computer Scientists: We Wouldn’t Be Able to Control Superintelligent Machines


Source: Max Planck Institute for Human Development 11 Jan 2021


We are fascinated by machines that can control cars, compose symphonies, or defeat people at chess, Go, or Jeopardy! While more progress is being made all the time in Artificial Intelligence (AI), some scientists and philosophers warn of the dangers of an uncontrollable superintelligent AI. Using theoretical calculations, an international team of researchers shows that it would not be possible to control a superintelligent AI.

4. YouTube And WhatsApp Inch Closer to Half A Billion Users in India


Source: Tech Crunch 12 Jan 2021


In the month of December, YouTube had 425 million monthly active users on Android phones and tablets in India, according to App Annie, the data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch. In comparison, WhatsApp had 422 million monthly active users on Android in India last month.


Original written by: Manish Singh

5. Authorities Have Taken Down the Dark Web’s Largest Illegal Marketplace


Source: The Verge 12 Jan 2021


DarkMarket, reportedly the world’s largest dark web marketplace, has been taken offline by a Europol-coordinated international operation, according to authorities (via Gizmodo). German law enforcement arrested the Australian man believed to be the operator of the illegal site and seized 20 servers that hosted it, bringing an end to what had become a hotbed of illegal activity.


Original written by: Ian Carlos Campbell

6. Tweaking AI Software to Function Like a Human Brain Improves Computer’s Learning Ability


Source: Georgetown University Medical Center 12 Jan 2021


Computer-based artificial intelligence can function more like human intelligence when programmed to use a much faster technique for learning new objects, say two neuroscientists who designed such a model that was designed to mirror human visual learning. In a new paper, they explained how the new approach vastly improves the ability of AI software to quickly learn new visual concepts.

7. Amazon Makes Education Push in India With JEE Preparation App


Source: Tech Crunch 13 Jan 2021


Amazon on Wednesday launched Amazon Academy, a service that will aim to help students in India prepare for entry into the nation’s prestigious engineering colleges. The American firm is the latest entrant to this market where scores of startups and institutes have launched digital offerings in recent years.


Original written by: Manish Singh

8. Researchers Develop Laser-Based Process to 3D Print Detailed Glass Objects


Source: The Optical Society 12 Jan 2021


Researchers have developed a new laser-based process for 3D printing intricate parts made of glass. With further development, the new method could be useful for making complex optics for vision, imaging, illumination, or laser-based applications. The 3D printing approach is based on multiphoton polymerization.

9. Pivotal Discovery in Quantum and Classical Information Processing


Source: DOE/Argonne National Laboratory 13 Jan 2021


Researchers have achieved a scientific control that is a first of its kind. They demonstrated a novel approach that allows real-time control of the interactions between microwave photons and magnons, potentially leading to advances in electronic devices and quantum signal processing.

10. Robotic Swarm Swims Like A School of Fish


Source: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 13 Jan 2021


A team of researchers has developed fish-inspired robots that can synchronize their movements like a real school of fish, without any external control. It is the first time researchers have demonstrated complex 3D collective behaviors with implicit coordination in underwater robots.


Original written by: Leah Burrows

11. WhatsApp Faces Legal Challenge Over Privacy in Its Biggest Market


Source: TechCrunch 14 Jan 2021


WhatsApp is facing a legal challenge in India after a petition was filed Thursday before Delhi High Court over the upcoming change in the Facebook-owned app’s data sharing policy. The petition alleges the new terms that WhatsApp requires its roughly 450 million users in the country to accept is a violation of their fundamental rights to privacy and poses a threat to national security.


Original written by: Manish Singh


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