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Emerging Tech Roundup — June 17
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: MIT develops a human genome map, ByteDance plans to further invest in VR, Teams diminishes echos on calls, Apple develops a tool to replace CAPTCHAs, Atomos Space plans to launch a nuclear reactor into orbit, Meta plans to mimic TikTok and Apple introduces a Photoshop-like iOS16 feature.
CRISPR-Based Map Ties Every Human Gene to Its Function
(MIT News, June 9)
Researchers at MIT have developed a “functional map of the genes in human cells” that will allow for advanced biological research. Having all of the genotype-phenotype relationships readily available will let scientists further investigate genes, even if their functions are unknown, and has potential to raise the bar for all researchers.
TikTok’s Parent Company Is Gearing Up to Invest a Lot of Money in VR
(The Verge, June 11)
TikTok parent company, ByteDance, is seemingly investing heavily in virtual reality, given its 40 new job listings for newly-acquired VR headset manufacturer, Pico. The VR headset company is also seeking a head of consumer sales candidate in the U.S., suggesting it’s expanding its reach outside of China.
Microsoft Teams Now Uses AI to Improve Echo, Interruptions, and Acoustics
(The Verge, June 13)
Microsoft has used 30,000 hours of speech data and 100,000 room acoustics to create its new AI technology, which is capable of canceling out echos on video calls. The technology diminishes echos from large, empty rooms in addition to those caused by interruptions from other participants. The technology is now live on Teams platforms, along with other minor updates.
How Apple Could Kill CAPTCHAs With Private Access Tokens
(Apple Insider, June 14)
At Apple’s 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference, they introduced the company’s plan to replace CAPTCHAs with Private Access Tokens. The server that’s asking for human confirmation would not gain any data about the user or the device they are on while Apple’s tool gives confirmation using a cryptography verification process on iOS.
Startup Plans to Launch Nuclear Reactor Into Space for First Time in Decades
(Vice, June 14)
Startup Atomos Space is planning to launch a nuclear fission reactor into orbit to better understand space nuclear power. The team is trying a different approach of keeping the fuel loads separated until reaching space, which will ensure that the device will not turn into a reactor until it’s in orbit. Atomos Space is expected to launch within five years.
Facebook Is Changing Its Algorithm to Take On TikTok, Leaked Memo Reveals
(The Verge, June 15)
As TikTok becomes increasingly more popular, its threat to Meta apps grows. Facebook is allegedly planning to mimic components of TikTok’s business plan, including feed prioritization and app design. The leaked memo suggests that Facebook plans to merge Messenger and Facebook back into one app and recommend in-feed posts from all over instead of offering posts only from those who users follow.
Apple’s Coolest iOS 16 Feature Lets You Drag Subjects Right Out of Images
(MacRumors, June 15)
Apple has showcased a new feature with Photoshop-like capabilities coming with iOS 16. With the new feature, users will be able to drag and drop components of one image onto another in a sticker-like fashion. The “Lift subject from background” capability will be available on iPhone, iPad and Mac, across multiple apps.