Author Archives: Urban Michalina

Horoscope app using AI in astrology

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Horoscope application that knows about you more than you know about yourself.

The universe is, for most of the people, one huge enigma. After exploring it for thousands of years people still can’t say that they have discovered everything about it. There are still a lot of unknowns and mysteries scientists want to solve.

Meanwhile, people started to add some spiritual value to the stars and planets. Thousands of years ago they distinguished 12 zodiac signs, that we all probably know till now. They refer to our date of birth and are named after different constellations. They define our character and typical behaviours that most of us can relate to.

There are already a lot of apps and websites with horoscopes and zodiac signs descriptions. However, this one claims to have some advantages over others.

Co-Satr is an application which has great achievements such as over 5 million users registered and 1,1 million followers on Instagram.

Contrary to others, it asks you not only about your date of birth but also the exact time and location.”Unlike the broad and vague horoscopes you usually read in magazines, we take more than just your sun sign into account. We use a complete picture of the sky when and where you were born to generate hyper-personalized horoscopes.” It allows generating very specific information about the universe at the time of your birth.  According to their website, they are “powered by AI that merges NASA data with the insight of human astrologers.”

The app provides daily horoscopes telling you about your strong and weak points in the given day. However, most of the popularity that it gained comes from its special notifications. They are thought to be straight forward and very accurate. Although,  not every user know that they are mostly generated by Artificial Intelligence. There is a part of the content that is typed manually by humans but in the end, everything goes through algorithms and is sent by machines.

 

In an interview with NBC News Stay Tuned, the CEO Banu Guler said that they focus on honesty, simplicity and clarity of the message so as it is easy to understand for anyone and makes it easier for people to relate to it. Sometimes it may seem to be mean or hard to accept but most people find it empowering and motivating.

The app also works as some form of social media. You can add friends to share your charts, compare them and text each other to talk about it.

Surprisingly, young people are getting more and more interested in astrology these days. The $2 billion mystical service industry is still developing and thanks to apps like Co-Star we can learn that there is still a lot of space for new businesses with innovative solutions.

 

 

Resources:

https://www.costarastrology.com/

https://www.inverse.com/article/54991-costar-astrology-app-how-it-works

https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/17/co-star-astrology-app-seed-round/

https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/4/20879631/co-star-astrology-app-zodiac-signs

https://www.newsweek.com/co-star-astrology-app-instagram-1451220

http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/zodiac.htm

Contact lenses straight from sci-fi movies

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Remember people in movies using that unbelievable technology out of this world? It turns out it’s now about to become our reality.

As our world is evolving and technology is developing, everything starts to look more and more like a science fiction movie. The year 2020 just started and already seems to be all about new innovations. After smartphone, smartwatch and smart tv now it’s time for the smart contact lens.

Last week during Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mojo Vision, a startup from California, announced its newest innovation: the Mojo Lens. It is a contact lens using augmented reality to help people with sight problems. It could adjust light, contrast, zoom depending on eye defect and also help seeing in the dark.

However, it’s not only aiming at medical use. The company also says it could be used by anyone at work or in everyday life. It would show all the important information, like temperature, speed or air quality, that could be useful in, for example, firefighters’ work.

It is built with a 14,000 pixel-per-inch display adjusted to a contact lens with radio and eye movement sensors. Mojo Lens should last the whole day and recharge in the case through induction. The display is to be located in the middle, right on the pupil and will aim exactly in the fovea (a part of the retina which allows to see the clearest).

Nevertheless, this project is still far from being completed. When showing the prototype, it was not possible to experience and see all the features that Mojo Vision is promising in the final lens. People were able to put it close to the eye but not directly on it. For now, it was only possible to see some green words and numbers appearing in front of you.

However, Steve Sinclair, the Vice President of product and marketing, when talking with Fast Company ensured everyone that it is a reachable device. “We’re really confident about this working,” “We’re seeing all the pieces coming together into a product that does everything we want it to do.” All in all, even though it is still work in progress, it is definitely a huge step forward for future research and innovations.

 

 

References:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a30547074/mojo-vision-contact-lens-screen/

https://venturebeat.com/2020/01/16/mojo-vision-is-putting-an-augmented-reality-screen-on-a-contact-lens/

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/16/21067683/mojo-smart-contact-lens-augmented-reality-startup

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/16/mojo-visions-ar-contact-lenses-are-very-cool-but-many-questions-remain/

https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/mojo-vision-developing-smart-contact-lens/

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24120

Your personal BB-8 from Samsung: meet Ballie

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During the last Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Samsung introduced its new project – Ballie.

Ballie is a small, round robot the size of a handball. It is a control center made to keep guard on your house, control all your smart house devices and even keep a company of your pet.

It includes key features making the life of users easy and comfortable such as voice activation or even autonomous instant capturing allowing it to save all important moments of your life. What’s better than a device recording the first steps of your child?!

This revolutionary device is an AI-based device developed to be linked to all your other connected devices. For example, being able to turn on the TV when needed, close the blinds when the sun is shining or even turn on your speaker when you want to enjoy some music. The technology used also makes Ballie act smoothly and discreetly in order to respect your personal space and be quasi invisible in your house.

“We want Ballie to keep our secrets,” Samsung consumer electronics CEO H.S. Kim told attendees. “We want an AI we can trust. We are working hard to bring all of this [to Ballie].”

During the presentation, Kim showed how Ballie can interact with its users and home devices. People could see how it is moving on its own, coming to its owner (H.S. Kim in this case), pairing and controlling air purifier or even making sounds as if it wants to communicate with us. This makes it the perfect companion for its users’ daily life.

However, this project is still kept at some point a mystery. There is no release date or precise cost of Ballie given so far. Nevertheless, what we know for now are the main abilities of this robot and its future availability in various colors.

 

References:

https://news.samsung.com/us/samsung-ballie-ces-2020/

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/07/tech/samsung-ballie-ces-2020/index.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7859615/Samsung-unveils-tiny-robot-Ballie-follows-users-acts-personal-AI-assistant.html

https://mashable.com/article/samsung-ballie-robot-ces/?europe=true

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMjTMr11Kkk

Artificial neuron about to heal chronic diseases

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Scientists from the University of Bath have lately created an artificial neuron that could change the lives of numerous people.

For many years researchers and scientists were trying to find a cure for chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s or heart failure. Now they finally came up with a way to possibly heal all of those related to nervous systems with the help of a device smaller than a fingertip.

It is basically an artificial neuron with silicon chip that can imitate real living neurons in our bodies.

But what really is a neuron? It is a cell in a nervous system. It receives and transports electric impulses with information throughout the body.  There are about 100 billion of them in our bodies and failure of at least one of them can change your life completely from what it was right before. On the other hand, if anything happens to your neurons it could be life-changing to have technology that could fix it and help your life get back to how it was.

“Until now neurons have been like black boxes, but we have managed to open the black box and peer inside […] Our work is paradigm-changing because it provides a robust method to reproduce the electrical properties of real neurons in minute detail”, said Alain Nogaret from the University of Bath.

They have demonstrated two types of artificial neurons (respiratory and hippocampal). To test them they tried about 60 protocols and compared how artificial chips react comparing to the real ones. 94% of attempts ended up successfully.

Even though it still needs years to possibly start being used in medical treatments, it is a huge step forward in technology and creates new possibilities for future researchers.

 

 

References:

https://newatlas.com/science/first-artificial-neurons-ever-created-chronic-brain-disease/

https://singularityhub.com/2019/12/06/first-ever-artificial-neuron-could-let-us-repair-brain-injuries-with-silicon/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/sciencetechGhost/video-2061980/Video-University-Bath-scientists-reveal-cases-artificial-neurons.html

 

Best Chinese hackers successfully hack Safari, Chrome and Office 365

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Less than one week ago there was a hacking competition in the city of Chengdu, China. Many fine Chinese hackers gathered to compete in the Tianfu Cup event.

Ethical hackers from China have a long history of success. However, since 2018 it is forbidden for Chinese experts to attend any events like this one abroad. Because of that, the Tianfu Cup competition took place last year for the first time and ended with great success. Best hackers earned more than $1 million in total for their achievements.

This year, during the two-day contest on 16 and 17 November, hackers try to find flaws in different software and use them to take over the given app using vulnerabilities that nobody has ever seen before.

During the first day, there have been 32 hacking attempts done by 11 different teams. Thirteen of them ended with success,  seven failed and 12 were abandoned because of different reasons.

In 13 successful  results, we can find software such as:

  • Safari (1 successful exploit)

  • Microsoft Edge (3 successful exploits)

  • Office 365 (1 successful exploit)

  • qemu-kvm + Ubuntu (1 successful exploit)

  • Adobe PDF Reader (2 successful exploits)

  • D-Link DIR-878 Router (3 successful exploits)

The second day was not as busy as the first one. There were 16 hacking sessions scheduled, half of them actually took place and only one ended with failure. Security experts had to give up on eight of them due to different circumstances as in the previous day.

The seven successful attempts were as following:

  • Adobe PDF Reader (2 successful exploits)

  • D-Link DIR-878 (4 successful exploits)

  • VMWare Workstation (1 successful exploit)

In the failed exploits security experts did not manage to hack things such as iPhone 11 Pro or Windows Server 2019. The winning Team 360Vulcan gave up hacking the iPhone 11 Pro that was scheduled for the end of the tournament. However, they still manage to win the competition and earn $ 382,500 for their achievements.

In cybersecurity, this kind of competition plays a big role in improving safety. After white hat hackers successfully hack anything,  companies owning these devices or software are informed about the situation in order to be able to fix it and develop their products in the future.

 

 

References:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/chrome-edge-safari-hacked-at-elite-chinese-hacking-contest/

https://adware.guru/tianfu-cup-hackers-competition/

https://threatpost.com/tianfu-cup-round-up-safari-chrome-d-link-routers-and-office-365-successfully-hacked/150335/

http://www.tianfucup.com/