The previous yr’s high know-how information included tales concerning the launch of secret Facebook paperwork, developments in robotics and the rise of NFTs. Here is a glance again at some of these tales.
In October, a former Facebook worker accused the corporate of ignoring its personal analysis findings. A Facebook investigation had discovered that its merchandise and insurance policies can hurt customers. The former information scientist, Frances Haugen, primarily based her accusations on secret Facebook paperwork she offered to media organizations and the U.S. Congress.
The paperwork grew to become generally known as “The Facebook Papers.” Haugen mentioned the paperwork confirmed Facebook can amplify hate and misinformation and gas political divisions. The paperwork additionally steered the corporate was conscious that its Instagram service might hurt the psychological well being of women and younger girls.
Haugen mentioned Facebook had been dishonest in public declarations about its efforts to struggle hate speech and misinformation. The firm denied it had purposefully pushed content material “that makes individuals indignant for revenue.” Facebook additionally denied that it ignored analysis on the attainable results of its merchandise.
A video of dancing robots that went viral in early 2021 demonstrated the human-like skills of the machines. Three robots, produced by American know-how firm Boston Dynamics, took half within the full dance performance.
The chairman of Boston Dynamics, Marc Raibert, admitted the video was enjoyable to observe. But he mentioned the true success behind the experiment was the precious classes the challenge taught his group.
Boston Dynamics introduced one other robotic, known as Stretch, which was designed for just one job – to maneuver containers in massive storage buildings. The firm mentioned the robotic can transfer about 800 containers, weighing as much as 23 kilograms every, in a single hour.
In Hawaii, one other Boston Dynamics robotic was deployed by police to search out individuals with excessive physique temperatures in a homeless shelter within the capital, Honolulu. The effort was geared toward figuring out homeless people who could be contaminated with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In September, Italian researchers reported results from an experiment that examined how a robotic’s eyes could make the machines higher join with people. They mentioned the experiment confirmed that appears from a robotic can trick individuals into pondering they’re socially interacting with a human. They famous that the expertise can have an effect on an individual’s decision-making course of and change how people react to robots.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics announced plans to mass produce 1000’s of human-like robots, known as humanoids. The firm mentioned the coronavirus pandemic had elevated demand for robots designed to help and work together with people.
Rise of NFTs
One robotic designed by Hanson, known as Sophia, helped create a brand new kind of paintings, known as an NFT, or non-fungible token. This form of digital artwork gained reputation in 2021.
An NFT relies on blockchain know-how, which can also be used with digital cash. An NFT might be connected to a chunk of digital paintings or different issues in digital kind. It can be utilized to supply proof that the items are actual. While anybody can view the work, the customer has official possession rights over the items.
In March, American artist Beeple sold an NFT for almost $70 million via Christie’s Auction and Private Sales. It was the primary sale by a significant public sale home of artwork that didn’t exist in bodily kind.
Even the person credited with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, decided to sell an NFT that included laptop code he used to create the beginnings of the web.
The NFT included 9,555 traces of code Berners-Lee used to begin the World Wide Web. It additionally contained an animation of the code being written and a letter he wrote describing his ideas on the code and his course of for creating it. The NFT bought for $5.4 million.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
We need to hear from you. Write to us within the Comments part, and visit our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
amplify – v. to make a sense or opinion stronger or clearer
blockchain – n. a system used to make a digital file of all cryptocurrency exercise
public sale – n. a public sale at which issues are bought to the individuals who supply to pay essentially the most
code – n. written directions for a pc
animation – n. a means of making a video or film through the use of a collection of drawings, laptop graphics, or pictures of objects