Week in Tech (26 Mar – 1 Apr 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to AI Co-Driver, Mi Mix Fold, AI Method for Generating Proteins, Xiaomi EVs, CD Projekt Red Changing Game Development Approach, MobiKwik Investigating Data Breach, Amazon Acquiring Perpule, Next Generation of Living Robots, YouTube Hiding Dislike Counts, High-Bandwidth Wireless Brain-Computer Interface, Apple Adding Two New Siri Voices, Robot That Senses Hidden Objects


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. Artificial Intelligence as A Co-Driver


Source: University of Göttingen 26 Mar 2021


The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more common in many branches of industry and online retailing. Traditional lines of work, such as transport logistics and driving, are developing in a similar direction although mainly out of public view. Scientists at the University of Göttingen have now investigated how efficient the use of AI can be in the commercial management of trucks. Their answer: the best option is an intelligent combination of human decision-making and AI applications.

2. Xiaomi Announces the Mi Mix Fold, Its First Folding Phone


Source: The Verge 30 Mar 2021


Xiaomi has resurrected its Mi Mix series with the Mi Mix Fold, the company’s first commercial folding phone. Unlike previous outlandish Mix devices and concepts from the company, the Mi Mix Fold is a pretty conventional folding phone that uses a big-screen-on-the-inside / small-screen-on-the-outside design similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series and Huawei’s new Mate X2.


Original written by: Sam Byford

3. Unique AI Method for Generating Proteins Will Speed Up Drug Development


Source: Chalmers University of Technology 30 Mar 2021


Artificial Intelligence is now capable of generating novel, functionally active proteins, thanks to recently published work by researchers. The new results represent a breakthrough in the field of synthetic proteins. The researchers have developed an AI-based approach called ProteinGAN, which uses a generative deep learning approach. In essence, the AI is provided with a large amount of data from well-studied proteins; it studies this data and attempts to create new proteins based on it.

4. Xiaomi Joins the Ranks of Chinese Tech Giants to Work on EVs


Source: TechCrunch 30 Mar 2021


After weeks of rumors, Xiaomi officially confirmed that it is making a foray into the electric vehicle space. The Chinese smartphone and IoT giant will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate a smart EV business, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.


Original written by: Rita Liao

5. CD Projekt Red Is Changing How It Makes Games After Disastrous Cyberpunk 2077 Launch


Source: The Verge 30 Mar 2021


Polish game studio CD Projekt Red announced a sweeping restructuring plan on Tuesday, just months after the disastrous launch of its much-hyped title Cyberpunk 2077. One of the key goals of the new plan brings “a change in the way [the studio] develops video games,” according to a press release. The changes will allow CD Projekt Red to work on “multiple AAA games and expansions in parallel” starting in 2022.


Original written by: Jay Peters

6. MobiKwik Investigating Data Breach After 100M User Records Found Online


Source: TechCrunch 30 Mar 2021


MobiKwik said on Tuesday it was investigating claims of data breach after a website claimed to have exposed private information of nearly 100 million users of the Indian mobile payments startup. Over the weekend, a site on the dark web claimed it had 8.2 terabytes of MobiKwik user data. The data included phone numbers, email addresses, scrambled passwords, transactions logs and partial payment card numbers.


Original written by: Manish Singh

7. Amazon Acquires Indian Retail Startup Perpule


Source: TechCrunch 31 Mar 2021


Amazon has acquired a startup in India that is helping offline stores go online, the e-commerce group’s latest attempt to make inroads in the world’s second most populous nation where brick and mortar continue to drive more than 95% of sales.


Original written by: Manish Singh

8. Scientists Create the Next Generation of Living Robots


Source: Tufts University 31 Mar 2021


Researchers have created life forms that self-assemble a body from single cells, do not require muscle cells to move, and even demonstrate the capability of recordable memory. The new generation Xenobots also move faster, navigate different environments, and have longer lifespans than the first edition, and they still have the ability to work together in groups and heal themselves if damaged.

9. YouTube Tests Hiding Dislike Counts on Videos


Source: TechCrunch 31 Mar 2021


YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will begin testing what could end up being a significant change to its video platform: It’s going to try hiding the dislike count on videos from public view. The company says it will run a “small experiment” where it will try out a few different designs where dislike counts are no longer shown, however none will see the “dislike” button itself removed entirely.


Original written by: Sarah Perez

10. Researchers Demonstrate First Human Use of High-Bandwidth Wireless Brain-Computer Interface


Source: Brown University 31 Mar 2021


For the first time, BrainGate clinical trial participants with tetraplegia have demonstrated use of an intracortical wireless Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) with an external wireless transmitter. The system is capable of transmitting brain signals at single-neuron resolution and in full broadband fidelity without physically tethering the user to a decoding system.

11. Apple Adds Two Brand New Siri Voices


Source: TechCrunch 31 Mar 2021


Apple is adding two new voices to Siri’s English offerings, and eliminating the default “female voice” selection in the latest beta version of iOS. This means that every person setting up Siri will choose a voice for themselves and it will no longer default to the voice assistant being female, a topic that has come up quite a bit with regards to bias in voice interfaces over the past few years.


Original written by: Matthew Panzarino

12. A Robot That Senses Hidden Objects


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1 Apr 2021


Researchers have developed a robot that uses radio waves, which can pass through walls, to sense occluded objects. The robot, called RF-Grasp, combines this powerful sensing with more traditional computer vision to locate and grasp items that might otherwise be blocked from view. The advance could one day streamline e-commerce fulfillment in warehouses or help a machine pluck a screwdriver from a jumbled toolkit.


Original written by: Daniel Ackerman


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