Futurizonte https://futurizonte.org/wp Look at the future emerging just beyond the horizon of the present Mon, 06 Apr 2020 22:34:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 https://futurizonte.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cropped-Futurizonte-LOGO-Oct2019-32x32.jpg Futurizonte https://futurizonte.org/wp 32 32 ‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world? https://futurizonte.org/wp/we-cant-go-back-to-normal-how-will-coronavirus-change-the-world/ https://futurizonte.org/wp/we-cant-go-back-to-normal-how-will-coronavirus-change-the-world/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 22:34:07 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7116 Summary: Disasters and emergencies do not just throw light on the world as it is. They also rip open the fabric of normality. Through the hole that opens up, we glimpse possibilities of other worlds.

Original author and publication date: Peter C Baker – March 31, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Without forgetting the present not even for a minute, it is time to think about the new future.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

From the article

Everything feels new, unbelievable, overwhelming. At the same time, it feels as if we’ve walked into an old recurring dream. In a way, we have. We’ve seen it before, on TV and in blockbusters. We knew roughly what it would be like, and somehow this makes the encounter not less strange, but more so.

Every day brings news of developments that, as recently as February, would have felt impossible – the work of years, not mere days. We refresh the news not because of a civic sense that following the news is important, but because so much may have happened since the last refresh. These developments are coming so fast that it’s hard to remember just how radical they are.

Cast your mind back a few weeks and imagine someone telling you the following: within a month, schools will be closed. Almost all public gatherings will be cancelled. Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be out of work. Governments will be throwing together some of the largest economic stimulus packages in history. In certain places, landlords will not be collecting rent, or banks collecting mortgage payments, and the homeless will be allowed to stay in hotels free of charge. Experiments will be underway in the direct government provision of basic income. Large swathes of the world will be collaborating – with various degrees of coercion and nudging – on a shared project of keeping at least two metres between each other whenever possible. Would you have believed what you were hearing?

It’s not just the size and speed of what is happening that’s dizzying. It’s the fact that we have grown accustomed to hearing that democracies are incapable of making big moves like this quickly, or at all. But here we are. Any glance at history reveals that crises and disasters have continually set the stage for change, often for the better. The global flu epidemic of 1918 helped create national health services in many European countries. The twinned crises of the Great Depression and the second world war set the stage for the modern welfare state.

But crises can also send societies down darker paths. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, government surveillance of citizens exploded, while George W Bush launched new wars that stretched into indefinite occupations. (As I write this, the US military’s current attempt at reducing its troop presence in Afghanistan, 19 years after the invasion, is being slowed by coronavirus-related complications.) Another recent crisis, the 2008 financial crash, was resolved in a way that meant banks and financial institutions were restored to pre-crash normality, at great public cost, while government spending on public services across the world was slashed.

Because crises shape history, there are hundreds of thinkers who have devoted their lives to studying how they unfold. This work – what we might call the field of “crisis studies” – charts how, whenever crisis visits a given community, the fundamental reality of that community is laid bare. Who has more and who has less. Where the power lies. What people treasure and what they fear.

In such moments, whatever is broken in society gets revealed for just how broken it is, often in the form of haunting little images or stories.

In recent weeks, the news has furnished us with countless examples. Airlines are flying large numbers of empty or near-empty flights for the sole purpose of protecting their slots on prime sky routes. There have been reports of French police fining homeless people for being outside during the lockdown. Prisoners in New York state are getting paid less than a dollar per hour to bottle hand sanitiser that they themselves are not allowed to use (because it contains alcohol), in a prison where they are not given free soap, but must buy it in an on-site shop.

But disasters and emergencies do not just throw light on the world as it is. They also rip open the fabric of normality. Through the hole that opens up, we glimpse possibilities of other worlds. Some thinkers who study disasters focus more on all that might go wrong. Others are more optimistic, framing crises not just in terms of what is lost but also what might be gained. Every disaster is different, of course, and it’s never just one or the other: loss and gain always coexist. Only in hindsight will the contours of the new world we’re entering become clear.

READ the complete original article here.

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Ten years from now, we won’t recognize education https://futurizonte.org/wp/ten-years-from-now-we-wont-recognize-education/ https://futurizonte.org/wp/ten-years-from-now-we-wont-recognize-education/#respond Sun, 05 Apr 2020 19:39:08 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7112 Summary: Education changed forever this week. 

Original author and publication date: Phill Casaus – April 4, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: We agree: Education changed forever this week. That means, of course, that the world has changed forever too.

{hill Casaus – Courtesy: Santa Fe New Mexican

From the article:

The only good-news story to emerge from COVID-19 this week is brought to you courtesy of the American education system.

I know, I know. American education? The punching bag for every vote-hungry politician in the past 40 years? The industry that thought sweeping change was altering classroom-desk configurations from rows to circles? The landing zone for the moonshot?

That American education? I see you’ve met.

With the help of gloved hands and a sanitary wipe, perhaps you should trade business cards again, because the novel coronavirus and the cataclysms it has caused are forcing a rusted, calcified, stuck-in-the-1890s delivery model to change overnight.

It’s not completely modernized yet and may not be for a few more years, but what you’ll see from public schools for the remainder of this calendar year is the equivalent of a day-after-Pearl Harbor moment, when the line separating possible and impossible went from miles-wide to dental floss-thin.

If you’re the parent of a school-aged kid in Santa Fe, education changed forever this week. Forced to innovate on the fly by a stay-at-home order that erased the traditional way of going to school, the district basically re-created itself. In essence, it held classes for roughly 13,000 students with the help of laptops, hot spots and hotshots — the kids, teachers and parents who basically figured out a way to make it work.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy at how well it has gone,” says Superintendent Veronica García.

Was it perfect? Not even close. Will it feel messy, perhaps not fully baked, for the remainder of this bewitched year? Almost certainly. But school, the hard-wired guidance system of our calendars, family structure and future, will continue to take place in Santa Fe and in other cities and towns across the state. If that’s not something in which to take comfort, what is?

That said, the real question for education is what to do with this moment; how to endure the disaster wrought by COVID-19 and transform it into a tool for improvement. Because that’s what this time frame really represents: The chance to examine what works, what doesn’t and what hasn’t.

READ the complete original article here.

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Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed https://futurizonte.org/wp/could-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-ed/ https://futurizonte.org/wp/could-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-ed/#respond Sun, 05 Apr 2020 19:32:13 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7109 Summary: The Coronavirus pandemic is forcing global experimentation with remote teaching. There are many indicators that this crisis is going to transform many aspects of life.

Original authors and publication date: Vijay Govindarajan and Anup Srivastava – March 31, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Education can be understood as the ability of one generation to prepare the next generation for the future of that (next) generation. In that regard, the opposite of education is poverty. The choice is ours.

Image source: HBR Staff/ Apple/ Getty

From the article:

Tectonic shifts in society and business occur when unexpected events force widespread experimentation around a new idea. During World War II, for instance, when American men went off to war, women proved that they could do “men’s” work — and do it well. Women never looked back after that. Similarly, the Y2K problem demanded the extensive use of Indian software engineers, leading to the tripling of employment-based visas granted by the U.S. Fixing that bug enabled Indian engineers to establish their credentials, and catapulted them as world leaders in addressing technology problems. Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe are all headed by India-born engineers today.

Right now, the Coronavirus pandemic is forcing global experimentation with remote teaching. There are many indicators that this crisis is going to transform many aspects of life. Education could be one of them if remote teaching proves to be a success. But how will we know if it is? As this crisis-driven experiment launches, we should be collecting data and paying attention to the following three questions about higher education’s business model and the accessibility of quality college education.

Do students really need a four-year residential experience?
Answering this question requires an understanding of which parts of the current four-year model can be substituted, which parts can be supplemented, and which parts complemented by digital technologies.

In theory, lectures that require little personalization or human interaction can be recorded as multi-media presentations, to be watched by students at their own pace and place. Such commoditized parts of the curriculum can be easily delivered by a non-university instructor on Coursera, for example; teaching Pythagoras’ theorem is pretty much the same the world over. For such courses, technology platforms can deliver the content to very large audiences at low cost, without sacrificing one of the important benefits of the face-to-face (F2F) classroom, the social experience, because there is hardly any in these basic-level courses.

By freeing resources from courses that can be commoditized, colleges would have more resources to commit to research-based teaching, personalized problem solving, and mentorship. The students would also have more resources at their disposal, too, because they wouldn’t have to reside and devote four full years at campuses. They would take commoditized courses online at their convenience and at much cheaper cost. They can use precious time they spend on campus for electives, group assignments, faculty office hours, interactions, and career guidance, something that cannot be done remotely. In addition, campuses can facilitate social networking, field-based projects, and global learning expeditions — that require F2F engagements. This is a hybrid model of education that has the potential to make college education more affordable for everybody.

READ the original complete article here.

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Talking About How We Talk About the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence https://futurizonte.org/wp/talking-about-how-we-talk-about-the-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence/ Sat, 04 Apr 2020 23:52:54 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7105 Summary: A recent analysis of how journalists have dealt with the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) suggests that reporters are doing a good job of grappling with a complex set of questions – but there’s room for improvement

Original author and publication date: Matt Shipman – April 3, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: AI and technology in general create many ethical questions. So far, there are no clear answers to those questions.

Illustration courtesy NC State News

From the article:

If you want to understand how people are thinking (and feeling) about new technologies, it’s important to understand how media outlets are thinking (and writing) about new technologies.

A recent analysis of how journalists have dealt with the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) suggests that reporters are doing a good job of grappling with a complex set of questions – but there’s room for improvement.

To learn more about the work, why they did it, and why it’s important, we talked to the researchers who did the work: Veljko Dubljević, corresponding author of the paper and an assistant professor of philosophy at NC State; Leila Ouchchy, first author of the paper and a former undergrad at NC State; and Allen Coin, co-author of the paper and a graduate student at NC State.

The paper, “AI in the headlines: the portrayal of the ethical issues of artificial intelligence in the media,” was published in the journal AI & Society on March 29.

The Abstract: This paper focuses, in part, on ethical issues related to AI technologies that people would use in their daily lives. Could you give me one or two examples?

Allen Coin: Probably the most well-known application of AI with very real ethical implications would be self-driving cars. If an autonomous car is in a situation where it has, for instance, lost control of its brakes and must either crash into a child or an adult, what should it do? If you are ‘driving’ an autonomous car and you become unconscious, and the car careens out of control and has the choice between crashing into a pedestrian, thus saving your life, or driving off a cliff, thus sacrificing your life, what should it do? What would you want your car to do in that situation?

These are real-world “Trolley Problems” that even human beings would struggle to make moral and ethical decisions about in the heat of the moment.

Another slightly more insidious example would be how human biases and prejudices seemingly have a tendency to crop up in AI applications that humans develop. Machine-learning algorithms, for instance, are touching more and more areas of human life. But these algorithms must be “trained” on real-world datasets. If the datasets represent prejudiced human behavior, even if it’s not immediately apparent or you attempt to screen it out, that may mean the resulting software is not capable of acting objectively.

An example would be HR software for large corporations that screens job applicants based on similar traits to previously successful applicants, meaning that if there was a gender or race bias when humans were making the hiring decisions then the “robot” may continue to behave with those biases when selecting candidates.

READ the complete original article here.

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“Invisibility Theory”: Scientists Develop the General Principles of New Level Stealth Technologies https://futurizonte.org/wp/invisibility-theory-scientists-develop-the-general-principles-of-new-level-stealth-technologies/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:40:23 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7100 Summary: An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS, Scientific and Technological Center of Unique Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) have developed an “invisibility theory” principle.

Original author and publication date: Phys.Org – April 1, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: According to the article, the invisibility technology is not perfect. What’s the problem? The first submarines were not perfect. The first airplanes were not perfect. The first computers were not perfect.

ANASTASIA project team. Credit: Sergey Gnuskov, NUST MISIS

From the article:

An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS, Scientific and Technological Center of Unique Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) have developed an “invisibility theory”: principles that will allow objects to pass radar signals through, without “giving out” the location. At the same time, due to the reduction in the amount of material for stealth coating, the cost of such disguise will be significantly lower. An article on the development is published in Optics Express.

When detecting an object using radar, a wave signal is being sent to it, and the location of the object is being determined based on the reflected wave. Modern stealth technologies methods are aimed at ensuring that the wave reflected from the object is absorbed by the stealth coating, minimizing the response to the radar. However, the coating alone is not capable of reducing this response to zero due to a combination of factors: surface geometry, high speed of movement, progressive highly sensitive location methods, and the inefficiency of stealth coating absorption.

An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS and the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), in the framework of cooperation on the ANASTASIA project, have proposed a fundamentally new version of stealth coating, which will allow the radar signal directed to the object not to be reflected, not absorbed, but simply to pass through, as if there is no object at all. This method of disguise is based not on creating a stealth coating, but on changing the configuration of the entire system of the object.


“The stealth coating used today is far from being perfect. Such a coating is expensive, and for more efficient operation it needs the most even surface. As a result, in airplanes, for example, you have to sacrifice the aerodynamic characteristics of the device. At the same time, the absorbed signal still creates a “shadow”, i.e. a small response that can be detected by more advanced location systems.

The task of our team was to “teach” the objects not to reflect the signal, but to let it pass through thanks to the excitation of the special state of electromagnetic fields,” comments Alexey Basharin, project leader from NUST MISIS.

READ the complete original article here.

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Old human cells rejuvenated with stem cell technology https://futurizonte.org/wp/old-human-cells-rejuvenated-with-stem-cell-technology/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:28:33 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7096 Summary: Old human cells can become more youthful by coaxing them to briefly express proteins used to make induced pluripotent cells, Stanford researchers and their colleagues have found. The finding may have implications for aging research.

Original author and publication date: ImpactLab – April 2, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: At a time when we are trying just to survive we are also trying to become immortal. Perhaps both desires are one and the same.

Illustration of human cells. Source: ImpactLAB

From the article:

Old human cells return to a more youthful and vigorous state after being induced to briefly express a panel of proteins involved in embryonic development, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers also found that elderly mice regained youthful strength after their existing muscle stem cells were subjected to the rejuvenating protein treatment and transplanted back into their bodies.

The proteins, known as Yamanaka factors, are commonly used to transform adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells can become nearly any type of cell in the body, regardless of the cell from which they originated. They’ve become important in regenerative medicine and drug discovery.

The study found that inducing old human cells in a lab dish to briefly express these proteins rewinds many of the molecular hallmarks of aging and renders the treated cells nearly indistinguishable from their younger counterparts.

“When iPS cells are made from adult cells, they become both youthful and pluripotent,” said Vittorio Sebastiano, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the Woods Family Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine. “We’ve wondered for some time if it might be possible to simply rewind the aging clock without inducing pluripotency. Now we’ve found that, by tightly controlling the duration of the exposure to these protein factors, we can promote rejuvenation in multiple human cell types.”

Sebastiano is the senior author of the study, which will be published online March 24 in Nature Communications. Former graduate student Tapash Sarkar, PhD, is the lead author of the article.

“We are very excited about these findings,” said study co-author Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and the director of Stanford’s Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging.

“My colleagues and I have been pursuing the rejuvenation of tissues since our studies in the early 2000s revealed that systemic factors can make old tissues younger. In 2012, Howard Chang and I proposed the concept of using reprogramming factors to rejuvenate cells and tissues, and it is gratifying to see evidence of success with this approach.”

Chang, MD, PhD, is a professor of dermatology and of genetics at Stanford.

READ the complete original article here.

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Robots use light beams to zap hospital viruses https://futurizonte.org/wp/robots-use-light-beams-to-zap-hospital-viruses/ Tue, 31 Mar 2020 23:24:58 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7092 Summary: Using concentrated UV-C ultraviolet light, the robots destroy bacteria, viruses and other harmful microbes by damaging their DNA and RNA, so they can’t multiply.

Original author and publication date: ImpactLab – March 31, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: These intelligent, multilingual robots (resembling the robot of Lost in Space) are in the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus.

The UVD robot takes about 20 minutes to treat a room. Source: UVD Robots / ImpactLab

From the article:

“Please leave the room, close the door and start a disinfection,” says a voice from the robot.

“It says it in Chinese as well now,” Simon Ellison, vice president of UVD Robots, tells me as he demonstrates the machine.

Through a glass window we watch as the self-driving machine navigates a mock-hospital room, where it kills microbes with a zap of ultraviolet light.

“We had been growing the business at quite a high pace – but the coronavirus has kind of rocketed the demand,” says chief executive, Per Juul Nielsen.

He says “truckloads” of robots have been shipped to China, in particular Wuhan. Sales elsewhere in Asia, and Europe are also up.

“Italy has been showing a very strong demand,” adds Mr Nielsen. “They really are in a desperate situation. Of course, we want to help them.”

Production has been accelerated and it now takes less than a day to make one robot at their facility in Odense, Denmark’s third largest city and home to a growing robotics hub.

Glowing like light sabres, eight bulbs emit concentrated UV-C ultraviolet light. This destroys bacteria, viruses and other harmful microbes by damaging their DNA and RNA, so they can’t multiply.

It’s also hazardous to humans, so we wait outside. The job is done in 10-20 minutes. Afterwards there’s a smell, much like burned hair.

“There are a lot of problematic organisms that give rise to infections,” explains Prof Hans Jørn Kolmos, a professor of clinical microbiology, at the University of Southern Denmark, which helped develop the robot.

“If you apply a proper dose of ultraviolet light in a proper period of time, then you can be pretty sure that you get rid of your organism.”

He adds: “This type of disinfection can also be applied to epidemic situations, like the one we experience right now, with coronavirus disease.”

READ the complete original article here.

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Earth’s own evolution used as guide to hunt exoplanets https://futurizonte.org/wp/earths-own-evolution-used-as-guide-to-hunt-exoplanets/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 23:53:48 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7088 Summary: Cornell astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet’s evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth’s own geologic epochs.

Original author and publication date: Blaine Friedlander – March 25, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Since Earth is the only planetary evolution we know (and not even totally), we should use it to find exoplanets, with the understanding that things could have happened very differently in other places.

This artistic depiction shows exoplanet Kepler-62f, a rocky super-Earth size planet, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech

From the article:

Cornell astronomers will use them as spectral templates in the hunt for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems in the approaching new era of powerful telescopes.

“These new generation of space- and ground-based telescopes coupled with our models will allow us to identify planets like our Earth out to about 50 to 100 light-years away,” said Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy and director of the Carl Sagan Institute.

For the research and model development, Kaltenegger, doctoral student Jack Madden and Zifan Lin ’20 authored “High-Resolution Transmission Spectra of Earth through Geological Time,” published March 26 in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“Using our own Earth as the key, we modeled five distinct Earth epochs to provide a template for how we can characterize a potential exo-Earth – from a young, prebiotic Earth to our modern world,” she said. “The models also allow us to explore at what point in Earth’s evolution a distant observer could identify life on the universe’s ‘pale blue dots’ and other worlds like them.”

Kaltenegger and her team created atmospheric models that match the Earth of 3.9 billion years ago, a prebiotic Earth, when carbon dioxide densely cloaked the young planet. A second throwback model chemically depicts a planet free of oxygen, an anoxic Earth, going back 3.5 billion years. Three other models reveal the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere from a 0.2% concentration to modern-day levels of 21%.

“Our Earth and the air we breathe have changed drastically since Earth formed 4.5 billions years ago,” Kaltenegger said, “and for the first time, this paper addresses how astronomers trying to find worlds like ours, could spot young to modern Earth-like planets in transit, using our own Earth’s history as a template.”

In Earth’s history, the timeline of the rise of oxygen and its abundancy is not clear, Kaltenegger said. But, if astronomers can find exoplanets with nearly 1% of Earth’s current oxygen levels, those scientists will begin to find emerging biology, ozone and methane – and can match it to ages of the Earth templates.

“Our transmission spectra show atmospheric features, which would show a remote observer that Earth had a biosphere as early as about 2 billion years ago,” Kaltenegger said.

READ the complete original article here.

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What are You Looking At? ‘Virtual’ Communication in the Age of Social Distancing https://futurizonte.org/wp/what-are-you-looking-at-virtual-communication-in-the-age-of-social-distancing/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 23:42:26 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7085 Summary: First-of-its-kind Study Explores Phenomenon of Visual Cues and Live Video Interactions

Original author and publication date: Florida Atlantic University – March 30, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: We need to relearn how to talk now that we are no longer talking face to face.

For the study, researchers focused on three areas of interest, which they used for fixation analyses: full face (purple), eyes (red) and mouth (blue). Florida Atlantic University

From the article:

From health care to education to media, social distancing across the globe due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the need to conduct business “virtually” using Skype, web conferencing, FaceTime and any other means available. With this expansive use of mobile and video devices, now more than ever, it is important to understand how the use of these technologies may impact communication. But are all forms of online communication alike?

In a first-of-its-kind study, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University demonstrate that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them. People are very sensitive to the gaze direction of others and even 2-day-old infants prefer faces where the eyes are looking directly back at them. The phenomenon known as “gaze cueing,” a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of “shared” or “joint” attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location. The ability to do this is what makes humans unique among primates.

Throughout almost all of human history, conversations were generally conducted face-to-face, so people knew where their conversational partner was looking and vice versa. Now, with virtual communication, that assumption no longer holds – sometimes people communicate with both cameras on while other times only the speaker may be visible. The researchers set out to determine whether being observed affects people’s behavior during online communication.

For the study, published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, co-authors Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology, a member of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and a member of FAU’s Brain Institute (I-BRAIN), and Michael J. Kleiman, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at FAU, compared fixation behavior in 173 participants under two conditions: one in which the participants believed they were engaging in a real-time interaction and one in which they knew they were watching a pre-recorded video.

The researchers wanted to know if face fixation would increase in the real-time condition based on the social expectation of facing one’s speaker in order to get attention or if it would lead to greater face avoidance, based on social norms as well as the cognitive demands of encoding the conversation.

Similarly, they wanted to know where participants would fixate on the face. Would it be the eyes more in the real-time condition because of social demands to make eye contact with one’s speaker? Or, in the pre-recorded condition, where the social demands to make eye contact are eliminated, would participants spend more time looking at the mouth in order to encode the conversation, which is consistent with previous studies showing greater mouth fixations during an encoding task.

Results of the study showed that participants fixated on the whole face in the real-time condition and significantly less in the pre-recorded condition. In the pre-recorded condition, time spent fixating on the mouth was significantly greater compared to the real-time condition.

There were no significant differences in time spent fixating on the eyes between the real-time and the pre-recorded conditions. These findings may suggest that participants are more comfortable looking directly at the mouth of a speaker – which has previously been found to be optimal for encoding speech – when they think that no one is watching them.

READ the complete original article here.

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Privacy rights may become next victim of killer pandemic https://futurizonte.org/wp/privacy-rights-may-become-next-victim-of-killer-pandemic/ Sun, 29 Mar 2020 16:24:13 +0000 https://futurizonte.org/wp/?p=7081 Summary: The coronavirus pandemic has led to the creation of apps and tracking systems to track people’s movements.

Original author and publication date: Rob Lever – March 29, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: No more privacy? It seems that, if we want to survive, privacy will go away. Or perhaps it already did.

Source: Techxplore.com

From the article:

Digital surveillance and smartphone technology may prove helpful in containing the coronavirus pandemic—but some activists fear this could mean lasting harm to privacy and digital rights.

From China to Singapore to Israel, governments have ordered electronic monitoring of their citizens’ movements in an effort to limit contagion. In Europe and the United States, technology firms have begun sharing “anonymized” smartphone data to better track the outbreak.

These moves have prompted soul-searching by privacy activists who acknowledge the need for technology to save lives while fretting over the potential for abuse.

“Governments around the world are demanding extraordinary new surveillance powers intended to contain the virus’ spread,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in an online post.

“Many would invade our privacy, deter our free speech, and disparately burden vulnerable groups of people. Governments must show that such powers would actually be effective, science-based, necessary, and proportionate.”

The measures vary from place to place. Hong Kong ordered people arriving from overseas to wear tracking bracelets, and Singapore has a team of dedicated digital detectives monitoring those living under quarantine.

READ here the complete original article.

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