Showing Archived Posts

‘OMG!’ How Technology Is Changing Personal Interaction

Posted June 23rd, 2017 at 11:40 am (UTC-4)
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Snippets of text, emojis, likes and dislikes are upending social interaction. While offering immediacy and convenience, they are taking away face-to-face body language and nonverbal cues, crucial for human communication. Technology is changing the way we communicate, “dramatically” shifting the way people relate to each other to channels like social media – a “2-dimensional medium […]

Uzbek, Other Video Game Bans Straddle Cultural Divides

Posted June 16th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Uzbekistan recently joined a long list of countries that ban video games for one reason or another. And while some games will get banned no matter the argument, an industry expert says a delicate balance is needed to satisfy local market expectations without sacrificing artistic expression. Video games may be a product of Western society, […]

AI Ethics Missing as Machine Learning Advances

Posted June 9th, 2017 at 11:53 am (UTC-4)
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Teaching a computer to “think” the way the human brain does means feeding it huge amounts of real-world data so that it can learn, analyze, predict, and solve problems. But in this brave new world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, there are no ethical guidelines, no regulations, and no parameters to govern how […]

‘CrowdGuard’ Fights India’s Sexual Violence, Bystander Apathy

Posted June 2nd, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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India has witnessed some harrowing acts of sexual and gender-based violence in recent years, some occurring in front of witnesses who watched, but did nothing. To combat this apathy, a social enterprise has come up with a crowdsourced solution that harnesses a trusted community to help people under attack. Philip Sunil Urech has seen it […]

Tech Giants Tap Into Autism Community for Fresh Talent

Posted May 26th, 2017 at 1:30 am (UTC-4)
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One percent of the world’s population is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, a group of complex brain development disabilities. Most are unemployed or under-employed. But several tech companies are now actively courting autistic workers for their unique skills, particularly suited for computing. Adults on the Autism spectrum excel with analytical skills. They have an eye […]

Junub Games Reaches for Peace as South Sudan Wages War

Posted May 19th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Political feuds and ethnic violence in South Sudan have displaced more than 1.5 million people. Among them is a software engineer determined to push past hate to promote peace through games. “Hate is one of the things that is inciting violence in South Sudan right now,” Lual Mayen, a game developer from Juba, South Sudan, […]

‘Smart Cities’ Are Not Just About Technology

Posted May 12th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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‘Smart cities’ or high-tech communities are popping up in parts of the developing world to connect citizens, spur economic development, and provide better services. But some experts caution that these smart hubs are more about sustainability and quality of life than the technology that supports them. ‘Smart cities’ is hardly a term everyone agrees on […]

Immersive Education Has Promise, but a Long Way to Go

Posted May 5th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Virtual reality (VR) technologies are slowly, albeit selectively, showing up in U.S. schools as educational tools. And there are efforts to bring them to schools in developing countries as well. But given the challenges, some experts say it is too early to even consider their impact on education. Spearheading the effort to bring virtual reality technologies […]

Hype Aside, Blockchain Could Empower Developing World

Posted April 28th, 2017 at 11:35 am (UTC-4)
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If you believe all the hype, blockchain is the next revolution that will change the world as mobile technology did in early 2000. It might. But a few hurdles need to be cleared before this digital platform can potentially empower some of the world’s poorest citizens. Simply put, blockchain is a data application or ledger […]

Blockchain? What’s Blockchain?

Posted April 20th, 2017 at 1:47 am (UTC-4)
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“I don’t even know what blockchain is,” someone recently told Techtonics. So to demystify the latest buzzword in technology, blockchain is a secure, distributed digital ledger shared among all participants. For example, parties to a transaction agree to make blockchain the official source of record, say for a land deed. So they encode the deed […]