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New’s of the week selected by Impactscool – May 27th

27 May 2019 | Written by La redazione

The most important news about future and technology selected by Impactscool team

Artificial intelligence in search of nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion, the process that can generate energy by fusing two atoms together to form a new, heavier one – a process that occurs naturally only in the heart of the stars – once artificially obtained, could provide our world with a clean and virtually energy source unlimited. This is no small effort, harnessing the energy of a nuclear fusion requires an unprecedented ability to control the millions of degrees of plasma jets and the magnetic fields needed to obtain the reaction, a Princeton research has created an Artificial intelligence able to accomplish this complex task in no time. To date, in fact, the tests to succeed in the enterprise are monitored by a particular software, called NUBEAM, which however takes several minutes to perform the multiple calculations, making the results available only in deferred. A group of researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have trained, through machine learning, artificial intelligence to predict plasma behaviour in less than 150 microseconds, allowing scientists to monitor in time real. This technology will greatly reduce the time needed for the various experiments, possibly getting closer and closer to nuclear fusion.


Seven weights and seven measures

On May 20, something very important has changed and we have hardly noticed. The units of measurement that are the basis of our way of relating to the world, following a decision taken at the General Conference on weights and measures last November, have been changed. To be changed is their definition: until a few days ago, the mass that on Earth weighs a kilo was in relation to the famous platinum-iridium cylinder, preserved in a special insulating case at the International Bureau of Weights and Measurements in France. From now on, instead, the mass of a kilo derives from a natural constant and the same is true for the other 6 fundamental measures, the meter, the second, the candle (unit of measurement of brightness), the ampere (intensity of the electric current ), Kelvin (temperature) and mole (quantity of substance). Each of these fundamental units of measurement has been linked to a defined, precise, immutable physical constant – unlike physical, time-varying and inaccurate samples. These new definitions mean nothing to us, or at least not directly: one kg of Apples will weigh the same kg of apples. However, for the industry, research and for those who work with ever smaller and precise technologies, the ability to measure the infinitely small with greater clarity, uniformity and precision will have no small impact, reducing measurement errors and confirming observations.


Alexa will soon be able to understand our emotions

A virtual assistant should be able to understand the mood of the speaker to be able to interface with users, or at least think of Amazon. Indeed, the research teams of the e-commerce company are working to improve Alexa’s ability to recognize emotions. To do this they are exploiting an algorithm capable of learning independently, from the tone of voice, what emotions users are feeling. From the first tests, the algorithm proved more precise, compared to the methods used previously, by 3-4%.


Max-AI, the robot-sweeper

One of the most long-standing problems of recycling is that of having to divide the various waste materials, a process that requires a lot of workforces given the amount of garbage that is produced daily. Innovative solutions are always welcome, as in the case of Max-AI, a robot with two arms with special suction cups at the ends able, thanks to artificial intelligence, to recognize and separate waste according to need. The implementation of these machines could speed up and make the recycling industry more effective.

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