Tech Beat by Namecheap – 10 March 2023
In honor of International Women’s Day 2023, we wanted to highlight the United Nation’s theme for the event: DigitALL, and explore the issue of gender inequality in high tech. Read this week’s article to learn about ongoing obstacles for women in tech and how tech companies can improve company policies to level the playing field, and check out our list of organizations to follow if you’re interested in equity issues in 2023.
In other news
- Could biocomputing be the next AI? In news that’s a little too science fiction for comfort, some researchers believe “organoid intelligence” could close the gap between human and artificial intelligence. An article from TheRegister explains scientists think they could build computers from organoids — lumps of brain cells harvested from skin samples and grown in a petri dish. While AI is impressive, it isn’t as efficient as humans when it comes to learning new things and processing information. By programming organoids, scientists could create a tool to help with that.
- China restricts access to ChatGPT. Chinese regulators have clamped down on workarounds allowing citizens to access the popular AI chatbot. According to The Guardian, ChatGPT was never officially available in China but could be accessed via VPN and certain apps and programs. Following state media declaring the chatbot a tool for the US to spread propaganda, major tech firms were ordered to cut access to these programs. China is now scrambling to create its own competitor, with dozens of companies, including Alibaba and Baidu announcing plans for AI chatbots.
- Lab starts developing mushroom computers. A department of the University of the West of England in Bristol is working on integrating actual mushrooms into computer infrastructure, according to Popular Science. This project has oyster mushrooms growing on motherboards and connected to the computing infrastructure through a series of electrodes. Mushrooms have a memory as well as the ability to send and receive signals, so the researchers believe the computers of the future will combine both artificial and biological components. The complex communication system used by mushrooms is often compared with the Internet and has been dubbed the “wood wide web.” The lab in Bristol is currently the UK’s only computer science department that features a “wet lab” — or one that uses biological, chemical, and liquid matter.
- Moon to have its own time zone. Many of us know the importance of checking the time zone of friends, family, and colleagues around the world, but extraterrestrial time will be less familiar. According to NDTV, the European Space Agency (ESA) is calling for the establishment of a common lunar time, so the different bases and missions can better coordinate with Earth and spacecraft. Currently, lunar missions operate in the time zone of their original launch, but with increasing missions, the use of multiple time zones could become confusing. Time on the moon runs faster than the earth by about 56 microseconds a day, which increases the need for the establishment of a separate time zone.
- Disabled astronauts have a place in the future of space. Gizmodo reports that the winner of the magazine’s 2023 science fair, advocacy group AstroAccess, is ensuring those with disabilities can play an important role in the development of space exploration. The absence of gravity is one thing that changes the barriers for space travelers. The Parastronaut Feasibility Project from the European Space Agency also made it possible for a British paralympic athlete to become a “parastronaut” in November 2022. AstroAccess is aimed at making space accessible for everyone.
Tip of the week: Take a break from your tech
As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in our lives, it’s important that we take regular breaks from our screens. By turning away from our computers and phones for regular, short periods, we can reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote overall well-being. Here are some ideas for meaningful breaks:
- Go for a walk outside. The fresh air and nature can reduce stress and boost your emotional state.
- Create something with your hands. Spend some time drawing or doodling, pick up your knitting needles, or try origami.
- Write in a journal. Spend a few minutes writing about your worries or accomplishments, expressing gratitude, or composing a short story. Writing down your ideas by hand is a great way to process emotions and gain perspective on your life.
- Listen to music. Sit back and play your favorite music with your eyes closed.
- Cook or bake something from scratch. This isn’t just a great way to take a break from technology, but it can encourage you to eat something healthy and unprocessed.
- Pick up a book or magazine. Reading can help you reset your brain and allows you to immerse yourself in another world or experience someone else’s ideas.
- Take a nap. Sometimes the best way to recharge is to take a nap. Find a quiet, comfortable place to lie down and give yourself permission to rest and recharge.
By taking regular breaks from screens and prioritizing real-life connections, we can help ensure that technology enhances our lives rather than detracting from them.