Tech Beat by Namecheap – 2 June 2023
The media has recently given a great deal of attention to everything that AI tools like ChatGPT might spell out for the future. But less has been said about the ways artificial intelligence has the potential to help historians in solving mysteries of the past. To find out more about how AI technology could revolutionize our approaches to historical research, check out this week’s article.
In other news
- 28% of recent neuroscience papers were probably faked — and that’s before ChatGPT. The pressure to publish academic papers has led some researchers to resort to fake publications, and some of these are being published in official scientific journals. Science Alert reports that software designed to detect these made-up studies suggests that many are slipping past peer review. Researchers trained a computer to look for several red flags commonly seen in fake papers submitted to scientific journals. The tool marked 28% of papers as probably made-up or plagiarized. If this applies to all 1.3 million biomedical papers published in 2020, more than 300,000 would have been flagged.
- WordPress turned 20 on Saturday. WordPress, the open-source software running on the web, has turned 20 years old, marking a significant milestone in its history. The project boasts an impressive 112,000 contributors who have improved and energized WordPress with their passion, talent, and hard work. WordPress has given millions of users a voice and the tools to launch businesses, create jobs, and bring ideas to life. However, as WordPress enters its third decade, it faces challenges like capturing the hearts of the next generation of builders and maintaining the open web where it has thrived. The project’s 2022 annual survey showed that the respondent demographic is aging, according to WP Tavern, so ensuring that WordPress remains relevant to future generations has required some courageous leadership decisions.
- Meta sold Giphy for 87% less than what it paid. Shutterstock recently acquired Giphy from Meta for $53 million. The Register reports that this is far less than the $400 million Meta paid for the GIF library in 2020. With this purchase, Shutterstock hopes to extend its reach beyond professionals looking for stock photos. Meta will enter into an API agreement with Shutterstock so that Facebook and Messenger users can still use GIFs in conversations and posts. It’s not yet clear whether Shutterstock will paywall any of Giphy’s features. Meta was forced to sell the GIF library after an investigation from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority concluded that Giphy would give Facebook even more influence on markets.
- Google will soon offer AI-generated ad services. Google plans to roll out a free AI system for advertising clients that comes up with text and images on the spot based on what a user is searching from. According to Wired, the system is intended to save advertisers time and money on design work. Due to AI’s reputation for occasionally generating strange and even offensive content, some critics worried we might suddenly be inundated with inappropriate ads. In response, Google has said it will diligently monitor the advertising AI’s output.
- Close encounters of the academic kind. A recent survey of academics at 144 major research universities revealed that nearly one in five have reported experiences with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs), previously known as UFOs. As reported in The Register, even though they may have seen something unexplained, many academics hesitate to draw any conclusions, suggesting the UAPs could have been natural events or unknown technology. The study demonstrated that stigma is a significant barrier to further research into UAPs, and noted that NASA and the Pentagon have found no evidence of extraterrestrial involvement in UAP cases so far. The authors of the study believe that increased transparency in UAP research could benefit society as a whole, and caution that remaining silent could be unwise.
- Powering the future — with humidity? Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, have made a breakthrough in the field of sustainable energy. Vice describes how scientists have created a device capable of continuously generating electricity from ambient humidity in the air. Named the “air generator” or “Air-gen,” this ingenious device is crafted from materials perforated with holes smaller than 100 nanometers and can harness electricity from airborne water droplets, promising a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The concept behind Air-gen suggests a future where we can literally pull power out of thin air, anytime, anywhere. While still in its developmental phase, the researchers are optimistic about the vast potential of Air-gen, envisioning a future where homes, factories, and entire cities could run on this hidden electricity in the air.
Previously in Tech Beat: The problem with batteries
Your favorite battery-powered gadgets could be unintentionally contributing to a global recycling conundrum. Our increasing reliance on batteries, coupled with the lack of effective recycling programs, is leading to mountains of battery waste. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists are coming up with innovative solutions to tackle this issue. Check out our article, Are batteries becoming a problem for the world? to learn more. After all, it’s high time to recharge our commitment to our planet.
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