News of the week selected by Impactscool – July 9th, 2018
9 July 2018 | Written by La redazione
The most important news on technology and the future, selected from all over the web for Impactscool’s readers
The six astronauts who are living on the international space station now have a new crewmate. It’s called Cimon, Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, and it’s a robot with artificial intelligence, arrived on board the ISS with the last refuelling load sent with SpaceX. Round, slightly bigger than a volleyball, Cimon is equipped with a screen on one side and is able to interact with his human “colleagues” and move, thanks to a system of 14 fans, into the space station. The robot was developed by the German space agency and represents the first experiment of human-machine cooperation in space. Astronaut Alexander Gerst will take care of him on the ISS, while on Earth IBM will continue to monitor and update Cimon’s “brain”. I wonder if this will be the first step in a long and fruitful collaboration between men and robots in space, a scenario that recalls what happened with R2-D2 “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”.
Once again Facebook has been at the center of the media debate for issues related to the privacy of its users. In this case, however, it seems that there was only a misunderstanding. The object of the dispute is a new technology, whose patent was filed December 12, 2016 and published June 14, 2018, which, according to the “conspiracy”, would allow Facebook to “spy on us” when we watch something online or on TV, through our smartphone. According to some interpretations of the patent, in fact, this technology would be able to automatically activate the phone through some hidden audio messages, record environmental sounds and send them to Facebook for advertising purposes. The reality of the facts, however, is very different: according to what the documents say, the system could be defined as a sort of Shazam of advertising, able to record the environment around itself when the device (not necessarily a smartphone) captures a signal and recognizes what is being transmitted through a previously constructed database. In the patent, therefore, Facebook never talks about automatic activation of the microphone or even smartphones. Moreover, colossus of social networks has already announced that it will not develop this technology. A false alarm, therefore, probably dictated by the recent past of Facebook. It is clear, however, that this technology, in the wrong hands, could be potentially dangerous. But it is certainly not the only one.
The National Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems, presented in Rome, is composed of over 600 researchers from around 40 universities. The Laboratory is led by Rita Cucchiara, professor of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and promoted by the National Inter-university Consortium for Computer Science. The Laboratory proposes itself as a point of reference for the start-ups of the sector and wants to collaborate with the industrial world. In a country like Italy, full of great researchers, there wasn’t a reality that could be a glue to the different institutions and that allowed the country to keep up with the world’s giants in the industry, such as China and the United States. Good news, not only for research but also for the business world.