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This is What Techies Talked About in August

August 30, 2021

In this issue of the Tech Digest: an AI-powered tool to spot art forgeries, top four tech advancements to promise people longer lives (up to 200 years!), smart robots to deliver anything students want to their campuses.

Smart Robots to Perform Deliveries

Delivery robots are invading the world. Demand for these autonomous helpers has skyrocketed during this pandemic. The reason for it is clear: they significantly ease accessibility and availability during the lockdown restrictions, making social distancing easier. Moreover, they are very convenient.

A leader in this arena is Starship Technologies, which introduced its network of delivery robots in 2016. This fall, their robots are heading to college campuses. The service will be fully operational when students return for classes. Read how students will benefit from real-world experience working with robots and AI.

A Game-Changing AI Hub to Protect Endangered Animals

Last year, Australian Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers found a new way to save koalas in burning forests. Using drones, they accurately identified koala populations located in bushfire-affected areas. Now, QUT scientists have established an AI hub to expand the use of drones and infrared imaging to protect the animals in danger.

The system will allow researchers to monitor large areas with the use of drones and thermal imaging detection, and send the data back to process it immediately. Find out how the hub will help manage threatened species and increase resilience of the bushfire-affected areas and dense bushland.

Deepfakes to Help Promote Movies via Social Media

Have you ever wanted to market your movie with the help of its potential audience? The Tel Aviv-based AI startup D-ID offers exactly this opportunity: deepfake technology allows viewers to upload a photograph and then see it come to life in a personalized movie trailer.

According to D-ID CEO and cofounder Gil Perry, “The audience can engage and kind of feel the emotions of being inside the experience, the movie.” Then, of course, they can share that experience—and help market the film—by posting the trailer on social media. It's clear that personalized digital marketing campaigns are increasing in number because they can drive box-office ticket sales. Learn how the startup can help take audience engagement and personalization to new heights.

AI Enters the Art World To Help Spot Fake Paintings

Is it possible to establish the authenticity of a work of art without engaging expert opinions? Science can define a painting's age and reveal subsurface detail, but they can't directly identify its creator. That requires subtle judgments of style and technique, which, it might seem, only art experts could provide.

In fact, the task of examining patterns is well-suited to AI, in particular convolutional neural networks (CNNs). CNNs for image analysis are currently used to recognize faces and help pilot self-driving cars. Why not also use them to authenticate art? Read an exciting story about the attempts to analyze paintings with neural networks.

A Powerful Tech Antidote to Stop Aging

Would you believe that there is a real opportunity to extend our lives dramatically? Recent scientific and technological discoveries will soon translate into accessible life-extending tools. And they’ll let us break the current known age record of 122 years. What are these hi-tech advancements?

It’s all about breakthroughs in genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, healthcare hardware, and health data. Developments in the understanding and manipulation of our genes and cells, small-scale health diagnostics, and advancements in drug discovery and disease treatment are changing how we think about healthcare and aging. Read about the four main tech breakthroughs that have recently made a revolutionary contribution to our longevity.

New Ransomware Weapon to Steal Your Data

The sudden July disappearance of REvil, one of the most prolific ransomware services, has forced cybercriminals to switch to other forms of assaults. In August, cyberfraudsters turned elsewhere and adopted a new ransomware scheme that has seen a big growth in popularity. LockBit jumped up to fill the gap.

This cyberthreat uses the same tactics, tools, and procedures previously used in attempts to deliver REvil to victims. Those include exploiting unpatched firewall and VPN vulnerabilities or brute force attacks against remote desktop protocol (RPD) services left exposed to the internet. Learn more about LockBit and how to protect yourself against falling victim to it.

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