Spotify’s AI DJ Goes Global, Robotic Sea Turtle Heads to the Ocean, and Much More!
Emerging Tech Roundup — August 11
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Google Plans to Delete Inactive Accounts, Nvidia Teams Up With Hugging Face to Offer Cloud-Based AI Training, First Evidence of ‘Quantum Superchemistry’ Observed in Lab, Robotic Sea Turtle Aims to Protect Hatchlings, Spotify’s AI ‘DJ’ Expands to 50 Countries, Slack Gets Interface Makeover, and Scientists Customize Avatars to Improve Learning in Virtual Environments.
Google Moves Forward with Plan to Delete Inactive Accounts
(CNN, August 7)
Google is set to delete inactive accounts after a two-year period, beginning on December 1. Users will receive multiple warning notifications, spanning an eight-month period before the accounts are permanently deleted. This policy change, aimed at enhancing security, targets older accounts that often lack updated security measures — making them susceptible to cyber threats like phishing and hacking.
Nvidia Teams Up With Hugging Face to Offer Cloud-Based AI Training
(Tech Crunch, August 8)
Nvidia has joined forces with AI startup Hugging Face, with the aim of enhancing accessibility to AI computing. The partnership involves Nvidia’s support for Hugging Face’s new service, named ‘Training Cluster as a Service,’ which is designed to streamline the creation of customized, generative AI models for businesses. This upcoming service will leverage Nvidia’s DGX Cloud, an all-encompassing AI “supercomputer” in the cloud, providing users with substantial GPU power, memory, AI Enterprise software, and consultations with Nvidia professionals for developing AI applications.
First Evidence of ‘Quantum Superchemistry’ Observed in Lab
(Interesting Engineering, August 8)
Scientists have achieved the first-ever evidence of “quantum superchemistry,” a predicted, but previously-unobserved phenomenon. This breakthrough was accomplished by cooling cesium atoms to ultralow temperatures and inducing chemical reactions, demonstrating accelerated reactions among particles in the same quantum state. The discovery holds promise for advancing various technologies, including quantum computing, and was made possible through the manipulation of Bose-Einstein condensates — where extremely cold atoms act as a single cohesive entity with unique behaviors.
New Robotic Sea Turtle Could Protect and Guide Hatchlings
(Engadget, August 8)
Engineers have developed a robotic sea turtle that mimics the unique gait and adaptability of real sea turtles. The robot’s design was based on zoological research on sea turtle anatomy, gait patterns, and flipper flexibility. The goal of the robot is to aid the survival of vulnerable sea turtle hatchlings by safely guiding them to the ocean, as hatchlings often face high mortality rates due to predators and environmental hazards.
Spotify’s New AI ‘DJ’ Expands to 50 Countries
(Engadget, August 8)
Spotify is expanding the beta version of its AI-powered DJ feature to 50 new countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, following its initial launch in the US and Canada. This feature is available to premium subscribers and offers algorithmic music recommendations, along with AI-generated DJ commentary. While the tool combines OpenAI’s language model technology with Sonantic’s voice generation platform to provide realistic speech, the downside is that the AI DJ only speaks English, limiting utilization for users in non-English-speaking regions.
Slack Gets Interface Makeover with a More Unified Approach Including Dedicated DMs
(Tech Crunch, August 9)
Slack has undergone a significant redesign, prompted by its decade-long evolution and its integration into the Salesforce ecosystem. The overhaul introduces features such as improved tracking of direct message threads, enhancing the visibility of relevant information. This redesign is driven by the aim to centralize information, making it more accessible and coherent, with a focus on better reflecting the current state of the product.
Customizing Avatars to Look More Like You Improves Learning in Virtual Environments
(Tech Xplore, August 9)
Researchers found that personalized virtual instructors, resembling the learner, enhance the effectiveness of acquiring new skills in virtual reality (VR). Even minor customization of avatars can significantly impact learning outcomes within virtual environments. The study underscores the importance of tailored virtual guidance to enhance learning experiences, as VR gains traction across industries for training purposes.