Author Archives: Nykonenko Oleksandr

Mathematicians have solved traffic jams, and they’re begging cities to listen

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Most traffic jams are unnecessary, and this deeply irks mathematicians who specialize in traffic flow. They reserve particular vitriol for local transport engineers. “They do not have competencies in the field of system-related increases in traffic performance,” says Alexander Krylatov, a mathematics professor at St. Petersburg University. “If engineers manage to achieve local improvements, after a while, the flows rearrange and the same traffic jams appear in other places.”

Krylatov would like to solve urban traffic jams forever, so much so that he has co-authored a book of new math approaches to traffic and ways to implement them. Four takeaways:

  1. All drivers need to be on the same navigation system. Cars can only be efficiently rerouted if instructions come from one center hub. One navigation system rerouting some drivers does not solve traffic jams.
  2. Parking bans. Many urban roads are too narrow and cannot be physically widened. Traffic-flow models can indicate where parking spots should be turned into lanes.
  3. Green lanes. For cities that want to increase electric car use, special lanes should be created for electric cars, providing an incentive for their use.
  4. Digital twins. Traffic demands and available infrastructure can only be balanced with digital modeling that creates an entire “twin” of existing roadways. The software will be “an extremely useful thought tool in the hands of transport engineers.”

Traffic modeling is a complex branch of applied mathematics, partially because it assumes that drivers are selfish and pursuing their own goals, rather than any predictable or shared efforts. “Every year a considerable budget is allocated for improving roads. [Our models] suggest a set of solutions for the efficient management of these funds.”

As a student, I use public transport pretty often and sometimes traffic jams can actually influence a state of life if you have to be on time. If all roads would be controlled and gridlocks would be eliminated, in my opinion, life would be much easier.


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World’s first slaughter-free lab grown fish – A San Diego foodtech startup has grown fillets of yellowtail fish entirely from cells

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Local food tech startup BlueNalu earned industry clout with its lab-created yellowtail product, which can be served raw, acidified or cooked.

A San Diego food tech startup has grown fillets of yellowtail fish entirely from cells, making the local company one of the most scientifically advanced in the world of lab-grown seafood.

The startup, called BlueNalu, is less than 2 years old and yet it has hit a scientific milestone many researchers only dream of. In front of a small crowd gathered at San Diego Bay last month, the startup’s chef prepared the lab-created yellowtail fish in a variety of ways, from fish tacos and poke to seafood bisque.
For those unfamiliar with cell-based seafood products, they are made of real fish meat and fat — or what we call “fillets” — grown through cell cultures in a food manufacturing facility. The hope of companies like BlueNalu is to meet the demand for real fish products while addressing ethical and environmental concerns of eating fish. “We are not any more ‘lab-made’ than ketchup or Oreos,” said Chris Dammann, chief technology officer of BlueNalu, in an interview earlier this year. “They all started in a lab.”

“Our medallions of yellowtail can be cooked via direct heat, steamed or even fried in oil; can be marinated in an acidified solution for applications like poke, ceviche, and kimchi, or can be prepared in the raw state,” said BlueNalu’s CEO Lou Cooperhouse in a statement. “This is an enormous accomplishment and we don’t believe that any other company worldwide has been able to demonstrate this level of product performance in a whole-muscle seafood product thus far.”
Cooperhouse said the startup expects to launch its seafood products into a test market within two years. In addition to yellowtail, BlueNalu is also developing other finfish species, including mahi-mahi and red snapper.

Personally, I believe that lab-grown products are one important part of our future life, as more and more people are starting to fight for the rights of animals, that are being exploited to produce food products. I also made a blog about lab-grown pork which you can read here.


Cellular Aquaculture Startup BlueNalu Unveils Cell-Based Yellowtail in Culinary Demo

Dutch Startup Gets €9M to Create First Lab-Grown Pork Prototype

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The concept of lab-grown meat has been around for a long time — Churchill is known for having predicted it back in the 1930s. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Mark Post, a professor at the University of Maastricht, created the world’s first lab-grown burger.

“Mark Post took something from science fiction into the real world. Then we knew it could be done. But can it be done at scale? That’s where our technology comes in.” 

Meatable, the Dutch startup developing cruelty-free technologies for manufacturing cultured meat and has raised $10 million in financing to support its new direction. When the company unveiled its technology last year, it was one of several companies working on the production of meat derived from animal cells — a method of meat production that theoretically has a far smaller carbon emissions footprint and is better for the environment than traditional animal farming.

And while other companies taking animals out of meat production work with animal stem cells that are already destined to become muscle or fat cells, Meatable works with early-stage stem cells that have the potential to become any type of cell. The advantage is that these early-stage stem cells multiplicate faster and indefinitely. “With these stem cells, we can create large quantities of cells with unprecedented consistency,” Meatable co-founder and CEO Krijnde De Nood explained.

Controlling the fate of these stem cells had proven a challenge until now. Meatable’s technology allows the company to transform early-stage stem cells into the desired cell type with 100% efficiency.

To pursue its new path, the company has raised $7 million from a slew of angel and institutional investors and a $3 million grant from the European Commission. Angel investors include Taavet Hinrikus, the chief executive and co-founder of TransferWise, and Albert Wenger,  a managing partner at the New York-based venture firm Union Square Ventures.

Meatable’s De Nood says that the new cash will be used to accelerate the development of its prototype. The small-scale bioreactor the company had initially targeted for development in 2021 will now be ready by 2020 and the company is hoping to have an industry-scale plant online manufacturing thousands of kilograms of meat by 2025, according to De Nood.

Industrial farming is responsible for between 14% and 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to global climate change and Meatable argues that cultured (lab-grown) meat has the potential to use 96% less water and 99% less land than industrial farming.

I believe that this type of innovation may have the ability to change the future for the better as it gives people that are against killing animals to get meat, opportunity to eat meat products without harming the animals.


Facebook has shut down 5.4 billion fake accounts this year

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In a call with journalists on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that in 2019 alone, the social media company had nixed 5.4 billion fake accounts, according to CNN — two-thirds of the world’s population, and four times China’s population.

It’s a tremendous amount of fake accounts. And the trend is ticking up: only 3.3 billion fake accounts were deleted by the company throughout 2018.

“Our goal is to remove as many fake accounts on Facebook as we can,” the company said. “We prioritize enforcement against users and accounts that seek to cause harm and find many of these fake accounts are used in spam campaigns and are financially motivated.”

Facebook also reported that over the past two quarters they have enhanced their ability to discover and prevent attempts to create fake and abusive accounts.

“We can estimate that every day, we prevent millions of attempts to create fake accounts using these detection systems,” the company said. “Because we are blocking more attempts to create fake, abusive accounts before they are even created, there are fewer for us to disable and, thus, accounts actioned has declined since Q1 2019.”

Experts, analysts, and online watchdogs are preparing for a tsunami of false and misleading content to flood social media as the presidential election of 2020 approaches and Facebook is no different.

The company burned the midnight oil to get fake accounts out of the platform as it was bombarded during the 2016 campaign with disinformation from fake accounts.

In my opinion, there should be some type of verification before account creation. Social media are a great place for the scam as number of potential victims is only growing and companies nowadays try to connect with customers through social media, as people won’t understand that the profile is fake.


‘Advanced AI’ will soon manipulate social media platforms

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Twitter bots in 2019 can perform some basic functions, like tweeting content, retweeting, following other users, quoting other users, liking tweets and even sending direct messages. But even though bots on Twitter and other social media seem to be getting smarter than previous iterations, these A.I. are still relatively unsophisticated in terms of how well they can manipulate social discourse.

Elon Musk tweeted that “advanced AI” will be used to “manipulate social media” — if, he guessed, it hasn’t done so already. He added that “anonymous bot swarms” are “evolving rapidly.”

In the first tweet, Musk said that anonymous bot swarms deserved closer attention. Bots are autonomous programs that often attempt to game social media, by retweeting a specific tweet to promote it across the platform, or to spread disinformation across the platform by making it look like thousands of people are tweeting about the same bit of (fake) news. In his next tweet Musk clarified on his first warning by saying that if advanced AI (which he describes as artificial intelligence beyond the possibilities of regular bots) hasn’t already been applied to easily manipulate social media, it won’t be long before that happens.

His tweet was made just hours after The New York Times published an article showcasing a study showing that at least 70 countries have experienced digital disinformation campaigns over the past two years.

“In recent years, governments have used ‘cyber troops’ to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of “trolls” to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue,” Davey Alba and Adam Satariano wrote for the Times. “The tactics are no longer limited to large countries. Smaller states can now easily set up internet influence operations as well.”

In the documentary “Do You Trust Your Computer?”, Musk warned of the dangers of a single organization someday developing superintelligence.

“The least scary future I can think of is one where we have at least democratized AI because if one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world,” Musk said.

“At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there would be no death. It would live forever. And then you’d have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.”

I think that the problem of your security on the web will get only worse as the time goes and bots may be only one side of it. Many users are being victims of spam performed by bots and usual security methods like Captcha can’t solve this issue.