Week in Tech (5 – 11 Mar 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to AI – Images – Brain Data, Password-Protected Encrypted Chat Backups on WhatsApp, Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, Google’s Impact Challenge for Women, PUBG Mobile-Developer Investing in Nodwin Gaming, Detecting Fake Imagery, Overestimated iPhone 12 Mini Demand, Audi’s All-Electric Q4 e-tron, Apple Assembling iPhone 12 In India, AI Generating 3D Holograms in Real-time, Predicting VR Motion Sickness Severity, Google Monetizing GPay

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.


*Cover Pic Credit: MIT News*

1. An AI Generates Personally Attractive Images by Reading Brain Data


Source: University of Helsinki 5 Mar 2021


Researchers have succeeded in making an AI understand our subjective notions of what makes faces attractive. The device demonstrated this knowledge by its ability to create new portraits on its own that were tailored to be found personally attractive to individuals. The results can be utilised, for example, in modelling preferences and decision-making as well as potentially identifying unconscious attitudes.


Original written by: Aino Pekkarinen

2. WhatsApp Reportedly Working on Password-Protected Encrypted Chat Backups


Source: The Verge 8 Mar 2021


WhatsApp is reportedly working to increase the security of its cloud backups with a new password protection feature that’ll encrypt chat backups, making them accessible only to the user. WABetaInfo reported on the work-in-progress feature last year, and on Monday it shared screenshots of how it could be presented in the service’s iOS and Android apps.


Original written by: Jon Porter

3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Will Reportedly Include Both AMD And Intel Configurations


Source: The Verge 8 Mar 2021


According to WinFuture’s report, the AMD models will include chips from the Ryzen 4000 mobile series, including the Ryzen 5 4680U and the Ryzen 7 4980U. These aren’t AMD’s top guns; the current-gen Ryzen 5000 mobile series was announced earlier this year. The Intel models will have Intel’s latest 11th Gen CPUs, though, including the Core 15-1145G7 and the Core i7-1185G7.


Original written by: Monica Chin

4. Google Unveils $25 Million In Grants Aimed at Empowering Women and Girls


Source: TechCrunch 8 Mar 2021


Google.org’s new Impact Challenge, unveiled on International Women’s Day, is aimed at addressing systemic barriers and inequities so that women have access to economic equality, opportunity to build financial independence and pursue entrepreneurism, said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai at a virtual event.


Original written by: Manish Singh

5. PUBG Mobile-Developer Invests $22.4 Million In India’s Nodwin Gaming


Source: TechCrunch 9 Mar 2021


Krafton, the developer of popular gaming title PUBG Mobile, has invested $22.4 million in Indian esports firm Nodwin Gaming, the two firms said Tuesday as the South Korean firm looks to maintain some presence in what was once its key overseas market.


Original written by: Manish Singh

6. New Tool Makes Students Better at Detecting Fake Imagery and Videos


Source: Uppsala University 9 Mar 2021


Researchers have developed a digital self-test that trains users to assess news items, images and videos presented on social media. The self-test has also been evaluated in a scientific study, which confirmed the researchers’ hypothesis that the tool genuinely improved the students’ ability to apply critical thinking to digital sources.

7. Apple Reportedly Overestimated iPhone 12 Mini Demand, By a Lot


Source: The Verge 10 Mar 2021


Apple is cutting production of the iPhone 12 mini in the first half of this year, Nikkei Asia reports. Planned production of the smallest iPhone 12 model has reportedly been reduced by 70 percent or more in the first half of this year, making up the majority of a 20 percent cut in total iPhone 12 production. Some suppliers have been asked to temporarily stop producing iPhone 12 mini-specific components, while other parts are being reallocated to the Pro and Pro Max, Nikkei reports.


Original written by: Jon Porter

8. Audi’s All-Electric Q4 e-tron Crossover Will Have A Dynamic AR Windshield Display


Source: TechCrunch 10 Mar 2021


Audi revealed Tuesday the interior of the Q4 e-tron, the fifth electric vehicle in its lineup and part of the German automaker’s plan to launch more than 30 EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025. The Q4 e-tron has been expected for some time; it was first revealed as a concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.


Original written by: Rebecca Bellan

9. Apple Starts Assembling iPhone 12 In India


Source: TechCrunch 10 Mar 2021


Apple is beginning to assemble the iPhone 12 in India as it ramps up its production capacity in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Foxconn, a contract manufacturing partner of Apple, is assembling the iPhone 12 base model — though currently no other iPhone 12 model (Pro, Pro Max, Mini) — in the country.


Original written by: Manish Singh

10. Using Artificial Intelligence to Generate 3D Holograms in Real-Time


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 10 Mar 2021


Researchers have developed a new way to produce holograms almost instantly — and the deep learning-based method is so efficient that it can run on a laptop in the blink of an eye, the researchers say. The new method called tensor holography could enable the creation of holograms for virtual reality, 3D printing, medical imaging, and more — and it can run on a smartphone.


Original written by: Daniel Ackerman

11. Study Predicts VR Motion Sickness Severity


Source: New York University 10 Mar 2021


A new study, researchers explored why the severity of motion sickness varies from person to person by investigating sources of cybersickness during VR use. The team used VR headsets to simulate visual cues and present videos that induced moderate levels of motion sickness. They found that a person’s ability to detect visual cues predicted the severity of motion sickness symptoms. Specifically, discomfort was due to a specific sensory cue called motion parallax, which is defined as the relative movement of different parts of the environment.

12. Google Paves Way to Monetize Pay Users’ Data in India


Source: TechCrunch 11 Mar 2021


Three and a half years after launching Google Pay in India, the Android-maker is paving the way to tap its users’ transaction data for monetization purposes — though it plans to give them ample warning, and the option to opt-out. Google said on Thursday that it will roll out an update to Google Pay next week that will ask users to choose whether they wish to share data with the company.


Original written by: Manish Singh


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