50 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Modern Technologies

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1Virtual Reality Injury

A 31-year-old man was diagnosed with a fractured cervical spine caused by virtual reality gaming due to rapid movement and the headset weight. Visual stimulus removed the brain’s awareness of the perceived threat to self-harm allowing increased rotation of the spine.


2. In 2019, Estonia started using AIs to adjudicate small claims disputes of less than €7,000 (about US$8,000), in order to clear a backlog of cases.


3. Silicon transistors in modern computer chips are getting less than 10nm wide, which is more than 400x smaller than a red blood cell. We are reaching the theoretical minimum size of silicon transistors, at which point quantum mechanics prevents them from working properly.


4. The difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is that in ML, the system learns from data. It does not make its own decisions. In AI, the system makes decisions. ML is one of the many goals of AI. AI has multiple goals like reasoning, computer vision, robotics, machine learning, etc.


5. 5G is 1,000 times faster than 4G with 100 times less latency.


63D Printed Bones

Colorado researchers have 3D printed miniature Lego-style bone bricks that can heal broken bones. The blocks, which are the size of a flea, help regrowth and can be interlocked like toy bricks. They hope to scale the technology and use it to supply laboratory-made organs for human transplant.


7. Google's Artificial-Intelligence Bot says the purpose of living is ‘to live forever.’


8. Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems that would take a classical computer longer than the age of the universe.


9. The US Navy replaced expensive and clunky periscope controls on submarines with Xbox 360 controllers, which reduced training time from hours to minutes.


10. GPS location data was purposely reported inaccurately prior to the year 2000 for security purposes as part of US military policy called “selective availability.”


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112020 Breakthroughs

Ever since 2003, MIT has published an annual list of 10 breakthroughs in technology. 2020's list included anti-aging drugs, AI-discovered molecules, and hyper-personalized medicine.


12. GeoFraming is an ad targeting tactic where companies track you through your devices based on venues you've visited like a concert or stadium as far as 6 months in the past, then geolocate your home address and target ads to your home IP address with no opt-in.


13. Li-Fi is a potential replacement for Wi-Fi, which uses LED light to transmit data with speeds of up to 200 gigabits per second.


14. In 1991, the Chinese government made developing e-bikes an official technology goal. Electric bike sales went from 150,000 in 1999 to 21 million in 2007, a growth in sales that is unmatched by any other mode of transportation in China


15. Earth Simulator is one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet with nearly 35 trillion operations per second and it's used to model Earth's Climate.


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16Book Reading AI

Reading books makes AI smarter than reading tweets. “OpenAI Transformer”, an artificial intelligence language model, is trained with 7000 books since it allows the model to associate related information better than as it would be the case if it would be trained with tweets.


17. Joseph Weizenbaum, one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence, later became one of its leading critics when he found his secretary getting very emotionally involved with ELIZA, a chatbot that he himself programmed.


18. The Xbox Underground was a group of teenage hackers who hacked into Epic Games, stole Gears of War 3 source code, and then hacked into Microsoft to steal project Durango (Xbox one) and make their own Xbox One.


19. Virtual reality has been in use since 1994 to help individuals struggling with PTSD and depression. These early systems combined VR technology and exposure therapy to treat various behavioral and psychological issues.


20. The term GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) was popularized by Nvidia in 1999 after it marketed the GeForce 256 as “the world's first GPU.”


21Airwave Bandwidth

Due to the increase of wireless devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other wifi-capable devices, we're actually running out of airwaves to transmit bandwidth.


22. A 2019 study revealed some plants emit unique ultrasonic sounds when stressed. Measuring between 20-150 kHz, tomato and tobacco plant sounds were fed into a machine learning model and researchers were able to use their intensity and frequency to distinguish between dryness or physical harm.


23. The first documented IoT (Internet of things) cyber-attack which happened between Dec 2013 to Jan 2014 involved over 100,000 smart appliances such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions, and at least one refrigerator.


24. AlphaGo, the AI that beat the world’s best (human) Go player in 2016, consumed one megawatt of power while playing the game, enough to power about 100 homes for a day.


25. A single gram of synthetic DNA contains 250 PERABYTES of storage capacity and can be copied endlessly for free. This is enough storage to theoretically store every bit of datum ever recorded by humans in a container about the size and weight of a couple of pickup trucks (this information is as of 2017).

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