Collection of interesting tech stories from May 2023 that you probably missed.
Our co-founder, Michał Błędowski, posts a #TechBrief (short collection of relevant tech stories) every Monday on LinkedIn. We have created a summary of all the latest, most interesting Tech news from the industry, that took place in May 2023.
If you want to stay up to date on what's going on in the tech industry, including crucial cybersecurity stories, social media, innovations and finance connect with Michał on Linkedin.
Jump to any #TechBrief you like:
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed solar-powered "artificial leaves" that can convert carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into liquid fuels such as ethanol and propanol in a single step.
These fuels have a high energy density, are renewable, and produce net-zero carbon emissions, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
The technology is currently at the laboratory scale, but it represents an important step in transitioning away from a fossil fuel-based economy and could potentially provide a practical solution for producing complex chemicals directly from solar energy.
Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. has been fined a record €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) by the European Union (EU) for failing to protect personal data from US security services and violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Meta has been given a deadline of five months to suspend future data transfers to the US and six months to stop the unlawful processing and storage of transferred personal data in the US.
The fine and data transfer ban stem from a legal challenge by an Austrian privacy campaigner, Max Schrems, regarding the insufficient protection of European users' data from US intelligence agencies.
Elon Musk's Neuralink has received FDA approval to conduct its first human tests with brain-chip implants.
Neuralink aims to restore vision and mobility by connecting brains to computers, helping treat conditions like paralysis and blindness.
While the company does not have immediate plans to recruit participants, the FDA acknowledges the approval, and Neuralink intends to provide more information soon.
The event took place with industry representatives, particularly OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, supporting the regulation of AI technologies.
Concerns have been raised that this friendly relationship between industry and government could result in industry capture, where tech giants shape AI regulations to their advantage.
Critics argue that industry capture could harm smaller firms, stifle competition, and lead to weak regulations that fail to address the potential harms of AI.
While some experts support the idea of licensing or certification to promote responsible AI practices, others caution that it could concentrate power in the hands of a few and hinder innovation.
The UltraFan technology is quieter and more fuel efficient than previous models, providing a 10% improvement in efficiency over the Trent XWB engine.
Company executives consider this technology a "game-changer" for the industry.
The tests bring the aviation industry closer to its goal of achieving net zero flight by 2050, and the UK government has supported the UltraFan project.
The first contract was awarded to Elon Musk's SpaceX in 2021, and the initial missions are scheduled for later this decade.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson emphasized the need for competition and having backup options to benefit NASA and the American people.
Blue Origin has named Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper, and Astrobotic as its corporate partners for the lunar lander project.
Nasa has built an artificial intelligence model to predict where on Earth an impending solar storm would strike. The system works 30 minutes in advance and can give enough time for countries to prevent impacts of storms the critical infrastructure like power grids.
According to researchers from the American space agency’s Goddard Space Center, the AI model analyses Nasa satellite data to raise the alarm on dangerous space weather.
Solar storms happen when the Sun emits a burst of electrically charged plasma in a coronal mass ejection. These charged particles create geomagnetic storms that interfere with the protective magnetic field around the planet. This is the reason for possible blackouts and technological malfunctions of instruments on Earth.
Last week Elon Musk announced that Twitter accounts that were not active for several years are going to be archived, as it’s important to „free up abandoned handles”.
That decision was criticized online, as people don't want to lose accounts of their close ones who passed away. Twitter has a solution for that, as data won’t be permanently deleted, but rather moved to the archive.
Researchers published a new collection of reference human genome sequences in a landmark development that greatly expands on that original reference sequence. It includes genome sequences of 47 people from across the globe. The original reference primarily came from one person, although it includes components from a total of around 20 people.
The pangenome better reflects the global gene pool, so scientists will be able to use it to more accurately identify genetic variations related to the disease.
In response to growing concerns about online safety Google has made strides forward by introducing "passkeys". These exciting new authentication methods replace the old fashioned password system for improved ease of use and heightened security features.
Passkeys employ biometric data alongside local code stored on devices acting as effective safeguards against potential data breaches - therefore providing much needed reassurance for individuals using digital platforms today.
This solution is supported by key members of FIDO Alliance in recognition of its progress towards addressing vulnerabilities associated with standard passwords.
A survey conducted by the Forum for Kent A. Clark Center for Global Markets revealed that a majority of economists agree that increasing the legal liability of online platforms would effectively reduce disinformation.
They believe that holding companies accountable for user-generated content would encourage responsible publishing and minimize the dissemination of questionable information.
However, economists express uncertainty regarding the impact of stronger legal liabilities on the advertising revenue of these platforms, which plays a crucial role in their business models. While reforms may reduce user engagement and digital advertising revenue, the overall effects on platforms' bottom line remain unclear.
Innovation Fund Denmark has funded an ambitious research project aimed at developing a scalable technological solution for home based healthcare that can aid with the early detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease.
This cutting edge project utilizes an ear EEG device that closely resembles an ordinary set of headphones which helps measure the brain's electrical activity levels during restful periods like sleep.
According to existing scientific literature there are noticeable clues associated with detecting these impairments within sleep wake cycles.
This has led to the emergence of an industry that promises a longevity revolution with techniques to help us reduce inflammation and disease risk in our bodies.
Tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson is one of those who is investing millions of dollars in reducing his biological age, how old his body seems, through a daily routine of supplements, exercise, monitoring and numerous treatments.
However, lifestyle is responsible for about 93% of our longevity, and experts are investigating what a healthy lifestyle means, including exercise, fasting, good sleep, social connections, and limited alcohol intake. Finally, keeping better track of our bodies as we age can help flag health risks in advance and apply new drugs at the right time.
A group of academics from around the world have signed an open letter calling on artificial intelligence (AI) developers to learn more about consciousness. The letter argues that as AI systems become more advanced, it is essential to have a greater scientific understanding of consciousness, its relationship to AI, and how society might live alongside it.
The letter, compiled by the Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science, highlights that although AI is not currently capable of human-level consciousness, it is evolving rapidly.
The signatories, including academics from universities in the UK, US, and Europe, emphasize that the development of AI is exposing the urgent need to accelerate research in the field of consciousness science.
The FBI Director, Christopher Wray, recently asked Congress for more than $63 million to fight cyber threats in 2024. The FBI's funding request includes hiring additional staff and improving their cyber capabilities and internal network security.
Experts have praised the FBI's creative approaches to cybercrime and their success in taking down major cybercrime rings.
However, some experts worry that the requested funding may not be enough to make a meaningful impact on cybercrime and nation-state APTs.