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DIGIT Tech News Roundup – 22nd of February 2019

Ross Kelly


DIGIT Tech News Roundup

This week’s edition of DIGIT’s tech news roundup features malicious AI programmes, Minecraft army barracks and Tinder for cows…

DIGIT’s Top Trending Stories

Minecraft to Teach Kids the History of Glasgow Army Base

One of the top-selling computer games of all time will help children learn about the role Maryhill played during the First World War.

Minecraft has released a free-t0-download game called Building Barracks, which lets players experience what it was like to live and work in Maryhill army base in 1914.

The immersive experience is told through the eyes of a soldier and will allow children to explore present-day landmarks and buildings found on the base, including the officers’ mess, cookhouse, base hospital and the quartermaster’s store.

Before it was decommissioned in the 1960s, the barracks was home to the Highlands Light Infantry and the Royal Highland Fusiliers. Today it is home to Cuce Housing Association’s Wyndford estate.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Edinburgh Parents Block Sick Child’s Learning Robot from Class

Parents of students at an Edinburgh school have objected to the use of a learning robot that could help a sick pupil participate in class.

Keir Wallace, from Portobello, has a rare auto-inflammatory condition that often leaves him bedridden. Wallace’s parents had hoped to use a learning robot to help him participate in classes. However, parents of his classmates at St John’s RC Primary School have rejected plans over security concerns.

Despite reassurances over the robot’s security, St John’s has banned its use, becoming the first and only school in the world to do so. The AV1 robot is cleared for use by governmental and educational organisations across Europe.

Keir’s father said he believes his son’s rights are being abused under the 2010 Equality Act.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

OpenAI Won’t Release ‘Malicious’ AI Text Generator

Researchers at San Francisco-based researcher institute OpenAI have shared details regarding the use of machine learning to create an AI capable of producing natural language.

The team claims that its new AI writing system can produce coherent articles requiring only a brief prompt – all without supervision. The technology could have the potential to improve AI writing assistants, researchers said, as well as create more capable dialogue agents and enhance unsupervised translation between languages.

Researchers have expressed concerns, however, that the new system is “too realistic” and could be used to produce highly-convincing fake news articles, spam/phishing content or even to impersonate people online.

Their concerns have prompted the team to only release a smaller version of GPT-2 along with basic sampling code.

Want to find out more about this ‘malicious’ AI? Find the original article here.

In Case You Missed It…

President Trump Calls for ‘6G’ Technology…

The rollout of 5G networks is underway across Europe and the US, with Brits set to benefit from O2, EE and Vodafone projects in 2019.

Forget 5G, though, because Donald Trump wants to skip a step and dive straight into ‘6G’. Despite being a ‘visionary business mogul’, critics have been quick to point out that on this occasion he is wrong…6G doesn’t exist (yet).

In a tweet posted on the 21st of February, the US President said: “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the US as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts or get left behind.”

While 6G appears to be the natural successor to up-coming 5G network technology, there is a long way to go until President Trump’s vision becomes a reality.

Reacting to his tweet, the Washington Post noted that a United Nations body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has been assessing what a 6G world could look like.

“The group’s name – Network 2030 – suggests that a great deal of work lies ahead,” wrote Brian Fung.

Want to find out more? Find the original article at the Washington Post.

YouTube Scrambles to Shut Down Paedophile Network

A disturbing expose by WIRED this week showed a widescale network of paedophiles operating – and communicating – on video sharing platform YouTube.

Videos uploaded to the website by children performing dance moves, yoga positions and exercises were being pounced on by paedophiles, with some posting timestamps in the comments section which showed revealing angles and positions.

In one particular video, a child’s exposed genitals could be seen. This has generated more than 400,000 views and comments. YouTube removed the video, along with many others, after WIRED informed the company.

A host of major companies, including Disney, Epic Games and Nestle have halted advertising on YouTube following claims that the platform was monetising the videos in question.

A spokesperson for YouTube said the company “aggressively enforces” policies that prohibit content that endangers children, adding: “When we find content that is in violation of our policies, we immediately stop serving ads or remove it altogether.”

Responding to the controversy, the Home Office said that technology firms must “go further and faster” in their efforts to remove sexual abuse content on their platforms.

Want to find out more? Read the original article on WIRED.

‘Tinder for Cows’ Helps Livestock Find True Love

A Tinder-style app is helping farmers in the UK find potential mating partners for their cattle. ‘Tudder’ lets farmers swipe right on cattle they like the look of – for their cows, of course.

Users are directed to a page on the SellMyLivestock website, where they can peruse offerings from around Britain’s farming industry, as well as find animal data before purchasing.

Data available to users includes information on milk yield and protein content, as well as calving potential.

Want to find out moo-re? The original article is available on The Guardian website.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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