Tech Friday (20 – 26 Nov 2020)

Weekly Tech News related to Reliance’s $3.4 Billion Deal, Whitehat Jr Suing Critics, Measuring Risk-Taking, Bioprinting Mini-Kidneys, AI Helping Understand Brain Activity, AI System Discovering New Material, Electronic Skin That Can Feel, Consumers Trusting AI Recommendations, Open Source Optical Toolbox

Note: I do not write/own any of the tech news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. India Approves Reliance’s $3.4 Billion Deal with Future Group

Source: Tech Crunch

20 Nov 2020

The Indian watchdog Competition Commission (CCI) of India said it has approved the $3.4 billion deal between the nation’s two largest retail giants, Future Group and Reliance Retail, posing a new headache for American e-commerce group Amazon, which had raised objections over the deal.

Original written by: Manish Singh

2. Byju’s-Owned Indian Startup Whitehat Jr Sues Critics

Source: Tech Crunch

22 Nov 2020

Karan Bajaj, the founder of coding platform WhiteHat Jr, has filed a defamation case against Pradeep Poonia, an engineer who has publicly criticized the firm for its marketing tactics, the quality of the courses on the platform, and aggressive takedowns of such feedback. On Monday, WhiteHat Jr, filed a similar case against Aniruddha Malpani, an investor who has shared unflattering feedback about the startup.

Original written by: Manish Singh

3. Measuring Risk-Taking – By Watching People Move Computer Mouses

Source: Ohio State University

23 Nov 2020

Researchers found that people whose mouse drifted toward the safe option on the computer screen – even when they ended up taking the risky bet – may be more risk-averse than their choice would indicate. Those who moved the mouse toward the risk before accepting the safe option may be more open to risk than it seems.

Original written by: Jeff Grabmeier

4. Cutting Edge Technology to Bioprint Mini-Kidneys

Source: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

23 Nov 2020

Researchers have used cutting edge technology to bioprint miniature human kidneys in the lab, paving the way for new treatments for kidney failure and possibly lab-grown transplants. The study saw the research team also validate the use of 3D bioprinted human mini kidneys for screening of drug toxicity from a class of drugs known to cause kidney damage in people.

5. AI Helps Scientists Understand Brain Activity Behind Thoughts

Source: Baylor College of Medicine

23 Nov 2020

A team has developed artificial intelligence (AI) models that help them better understand the brain computations that underlie thoughts. The researchers first developed a new model that can estimate thoughts by evaluating behavior, and then tested their model on a trained artificial brain where they found neural activity associated with those estimates of thoughts.

6. AI System Discovers New Material

Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

24 Nov 2020

Researchers from the have accomplished something not too far off: They developed an AI algorithm called CAMEO that discovered a potentially useful new material without requiring additional training from scientists. The AI system could help reduce the amount of trial-and-error time scientists spend in the lab while maximizing productivity and efficiency in their research.

7. More Skin-Like, Electronic Skin That Can Feel

Source: Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

24 Nov 2020

Researchers have developed a multimodal ion-electronic skin that can measure the temperature and mechanical stimulation at the same time. The research findings are characterized by making very simple structures through applying special properties of the ion conductors. Human skin is freely stretchable yet unbreakable because it is full of electrolytes, so the research team made the sensor using them.

8. When Consumers Trust AI Recommendations – or Resist Them

Source: American Marketing Association

24 Nov 2020

A new study examines how consumers respond to AI recommenders when focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) versus the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).

Original written by: Matt Weingarden

9. Researchers Develop Open-Source Optical Toolbox

Source: Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology

25 Nov 2020

A research team has developed an optical toolbox to build microscopes for a few hundred euros that deliver high-resolution images comparable to commercial microscopes that cost a hundred to a thousand times more. With open-source blueprints, components from the 3D printer, and smartphone camera, the UC2 modular system can be combined specifically in the way the research question requires.

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