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Today’s news summary includes light-powered transportation (of sorts), EU’s net-zero aviation plans and how AI helps shave a few percent off of fuel consumption by optimising routes, the UK’s not-so-risky high-risk investment in science, blinding facial recognition with QR codes, CleanTech’s “pull” moment plus bigger batteries in the UK.
Floating on Light
Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light. Whilst this is a small scale demonstration, the potential of light powered transportation is rather exciting. Read more here.
UK Boosts Batteries
Winter challenges Britain’s renewable energy sources and contributes to elevated pricing. With more than 1GW of batteries online, will plans for a further 14GW make a difference and keep renewable energies viable, even when the sun drops and the wind slows? Read more here.
Disabling Facial Recognition With QR codes
Facial recognition is a frequent topic on my website, so this is particularly fun. Could a QR code that triggers an anti-virus scan render you temporarily invisible to some facial recognition systems? What could this also mean for computer vision in other scenarios, such as factories or autonomous driving? Read more here.
86% of Business leaders agree ethics in AI is a must.
This report looks at some of the ways AI adoption has been spurred by the pandemic. Interesting points I noted are that adoption has risen fastest (year on year) in three areas: recruitment, customer service and supply chains. I wonder how much of the customer service rise is chatbots, and what else there is behind that? Also, very important, 86% of leaders believe there needs to be more of a focus on ethics in AI, and surprisingly 5% believe AI needs no regulation. 🤷♂️ Read more here.
CleanTech moves From Push to Pull
Investors are seeing CleanTech moving from push to pull as more executives and middle management in corporations of all sizes look at climate and sustainability objectives with earnestness. Read more here.
EU’s net zero Aviation, AI optimises flights
There are some very interesting articles in here. The headline is about Europe’s aviation plan to be net zero by 2050. They call out a number of areas where they expect to see innovation to make this happen. One area that we should follow is electric flight. Other articles include how AI can optimise flight routes shaving 2-5% off fuel consumption. Read more here.
UK’s ‘High Risk’ Mini Gamble on Science
News that a ‘high-risk, high-reward’ research entity is being set up in the UK to decouple research from government and fund groundbreaking innovations. However, with a budget of just £800m, some question the point. Read more here.
Recycling the Unrecyclable
Small UK company partners with US giants to turn previously unrecyclable plastics back into useable oils, closing the loop on the plastic circular economy, well at least for these materials. Read more here.
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