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01 / 05
India’s Farmers Are Now Getting Their News from AI Anchors

Bloomberg | Communications

India’s Farmers Are Now Getting Their News from AI Anchors

“The virtual anchors Krish and Bhoomi provide weather forecasts, commodity prices, farming trends and updates on agri-research and state welfare programs to millions of farmers through Doordarshan’s Kisan channel. In Hindi, ‘kisan’ means farmer. The animated AI bots take the script and deliver it in natural tones.

For now, the tireless and ageless news-reading bots unveiled last month are limited to Hindi, the most prominent of India’s nearly two dozen official languages. In time, the promise is that AI will help them speak 50 languages and thus address a wider swath of the population.

Generative AI — which synthesizes text, images, audio or video based on prompts — is being used to fine-tune scripts and instantly translate content and interviews. Using a text prompt, the system can write a TV script or create a representative image to go with a story. With a few minutes of audio, such systems can also clone a voice. And it’s only the beginning.”

From Bloomberg.

The Guardian | Space

Scientists Design Spacesuit That Turns Urine into Drinking Water

“A sci-fi-inspired spacesuit that recycles urine into drinking water could enable astronauts to perform lengthy spacewalks on upcoming lunar expeditions.

The prototype, modelled on the ‘stillsuits’ in the sci-fi classic Dune, collects urine, purifies it and can return it to the astronaut through a drinking tube within five minutes.

The suit’s creators hope it could be deployed before the end of the decade in Nasa’s Artemis programme, which is focused on learning how to live and work for prolonged periods on another world.”

From The Guardian.

The Guardian | Scientific Research

Researchers Reconstruct Mammoth’s Genetic Code in Unprecedented Detail

“Researchers have reconstructed the genetic code of the woolly mammoth in unprecedented detail after discovering fossilised chromosomes in the skin of a 52,000-year-old carcass preserved in the Siberian permafrost.

The mammoth’s lavish mane led researchers to name it after Chris Waddle, the mulleted former England footballer. It became freeze-dried on death, a process that preserved the 3D structure of the chromosomes in the animal’s skin.

Armed with the ancient genetic material, scientists were able to assemble the mammoth genome, determine that it had 28 pairs of chromosomes, and see genes that were switched on or off, details that are crucial for understanding what it meant to be a mammoth.”

From The Guardian.

BBC | Scientific Research

The Sperm Whale ‘Phonetic Alphabet’ Revealed by AI

“From elephants to dogs, modern technology is helping researchers to sift through enormous datasets, and uncover previously unknown diversity and complexity in animal communication. And Ceti’s researchers say they, too, have used AI to decode a ‘sperm whale phonetic alphabet’.

In 2005, Shane Gero, biology lead for Ceti, founded The Dominica Sperm Whale Project to study the social and vocal behaviour of around 400 sperm whales that live in the Eastern Caribbean. Almost 20 years – and thousands of hours of observation – later, the researchers have discovered intricacies in whale vocalisations never before observed, revealing structures within sperm whale communication akin to human language.”

From BBC.

Forbes | Science & Technology

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Prepares to Implant Second Human Patient

“Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink will one day bestow ‘cybernetic superpowers’ on people and allow them to control robots with their mind, the tech billionaire claimed Thursday, offering a futuristic and unrealistic forecast for the opaque company’s next steps after he delivered a rare update and revealed plans to implant a second human patient within ‘the next week or so.'”

From Forbes.