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News of the week selected by Impactscool – March 12, 2018

12 March 2018 | Written by La redazione

The most important news on technology and the future, selected from all over the the web for Impactscool’s readers


Otter: A new Artificial Intelligence recognizing (and transcribing) any voice

AISense, a California company specialized in Artificial Intelligence, has launched Otter on the market: an application that can record and transcribe any type of voice conversation. The peculiarity of this software is that, thanks to complex algorithms, it manages to recognize voices, reporting in the transcription not only what is said but also who is saying it. This Artificial Intelligence, in fact, records the audio of the conversation and analyzes it in real time: if more people alternate in the discussion, the parts of the speech are identified and divided automatically, based on who has pronounced them. It is also possible to program the application to perform searches by theme or by keyword, instructing it on the terms or phrases to identify.
A few weeks after its release, Otter is enjoying great success among journalists, secretaries, students, professionals and researchers: anyone who needs to transcribe an interview, a meeting or a conference from today has one more ally. This is a concrete example of how technology can replace the human being in the most boring and repetitive tasks.


Is the fish in your plate fresh? The blockchain reveals it to you

In 2016, Oceana, an association created to monitor the state of health of the oceans, drafted a shock report: about 33% of the fish we consume is not properly labeled. In fact, frauds affecting the fish market are numerous and widespread, partly because they are hard to find. To overcome this problem, Intel has developed Hyperledger Sawtooth: an innovative project that exploits the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. The idea is to apply small chips / sensors to the freshly caught fish, so as to monitor its movements, humidity and storage temperature. In this way every restaurateur or fishmonger can guarantee its customers the quality and origin of the fish purchased, also showing the chronology of the cold chain and since when the fish has been caught. To avoid any kind of fraud or modification, the data and information collected by the sensors will be transmitted and stored using the blockchain technology. By doing so it is possible to ensure the truthfulness of every data and to know exactly what we are eating and what we are paying for. The applications of this technology are not limited only to fish products but are able to improve the whole food chain: thanks to the blockchain, for example, scanning a jar of tomato sauce with our cell phone, we can know the history, the movements and the place of production, with enormous improvements from the point of view of the quality and the safety of food.


Technology and open source scientific discoveries

Víctor Buso, an Argentinian blacksmith with a passion for astronomy, has accomplished an incredible task. In fact, while testing his new telescope, the amateur astronomer succeeded in capturing one of the rarest events in the cosmos: the birth of a supernova. To understand the exceptional nature of the event, just think that the odds of observing such a phenomenon are less than one in ten million. With its small 40 cm diameter telescope, Buso observed and recorded the exact moment when, in a galaxy 80 million light years away, a star exploded, turning into a supernova. The data obtained from this analysis provide the astronomers with several indications on the evolution and the structure of the supernovae: this is very valuable information, because it can only be obtained through direct observation of events. Besides the extraordinary scientific result, this story is an evident example of how, thanks to the diffusion of increasingly advanced technologies, collaboration between amateur and professional researchers not only is possible but also can lead to discoveries and results otherwise unthinkable.

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