News of the week selected by Impactscool – June 11th, 2018
11 June 2018 | Written by La redazione
The most important news on technology and the future, selected from all over the web for Impactscool’s readers
A research carried out by a team of the University of California-Los Angeles, UCLA, and published in the eNeuro magazine, could open new perspectives in the study of memory. The group of scientists, in fact, would be able to transfer a memory from a sea snail to another one, through RNA filaments. The experiment consisted in subjecting the snails to short shocks at regular intervals, in order to stimulate a defensive reaction in them. So, the biologists took Rna filaments from the “shocked” snails and transplanted them into a new group that, although not trained, showed a behaviour that looks like the one of the first group of snails. Somehow the snails seemed to remember what in reality they had not lived.
Although we are still far from having discovered the mechanisms of memory, this study could open new fields of research for human beings, who may one day be able to modify, improve or delete memories. This, in addition to opening science fiction scenarios on rapid learning or on the archiving of our lives, could offer new therapies to deal with Alzheimer’s disease or post-traumatic stress disorder.
We were all surprised to listen to Google Duplex booking the hairdresser and the restaurant in a very plausible manner. But what if artificial intelligence were used to counterfeit videos and statements by politicians or other influential figures? Using the so-called generative adversarial networks, GAN, it is possible to create incredibly realistic artificial images, which are also worrying the American government. The US Department of Defense, in fact, is funding a project to prove if the fake videos and audios, generated by artificial intelligence systems, could soon be impossible to distinguish from the real ones. In the coming months, the best digital forensics experts will compete to generate convincing images and audio through AI and will also try to develop tools that automatically recognize fakes.
We could be facing an evolution of fake news, much more dangerous and difficult to cope with.
Europe has said enough to the plastic, in particular to the single use: after the bags, in fact, could be cotton swabs, cutlery and straws to be banned. It is precisely this wastes that are more present in our beaches and in our seas, with enormous damage to the ecosystem and to the health of the entire planet. Furthermore, by 2025, Member States will have to collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles. According to Brussels, the new directive will avoid the emission of 3.4 million tons of CO2, avoid environmental damage that cost the community 22 billion euros and will save 6.5 billion euros to citizens.
The hope is that these new rules will also stimulate the search for sustainable materials that can replace plastic in other sectors.