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The Conversation, on how digital communication is less rich than in-person

The Conversation, on how digital communication is less rich than in-person

Why our screens leave us hungry for more nutritious forms of social interaction Shutterstock/LukyToky mc schraefel, University of Southampton COVID-19 has seen all the rules change when it comes to social engagement. Workplaces and schools have closed, gatherings have been banned, and the use of social media and other online tools has risen to bridge the gap. But as we continue to adapt to the various restrictions, we should remember that social media is the refined sugar of social interaction.

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The Conversation, on the moral compass of Tech billionaires

How tech billionaires’ visions of human nature shape our world Simon McCarthy-Jones, Trinity College Dublin In the 20th century, politicians’ views of human nature shaped societies. But now, creators of new technologies increasingly drive societal change. Their view of human nature may shape the 21st century. We must know what technologists see in humanity’s heart. The economist Thomas Sowell proposed two visions of human nature. The utopian vision sees people as naturally good. The world corrupts us, but the wise

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The Conversation, on nanotechnology and viruses

Coronavirus nanoscience: the tiny technologies tackling a global pandemic Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Josh Davies, Cardiff University The world-altering coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is thought to be just 60 nanometres to 120 nanometres in size. This is so mind bogglingly small that you could fit more than 400 of these virus particles into the width of a single hair on your head. In fact, coronaviruses are so small that we can’t see them with normal microscopes and require much fancier electron

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Game Development on Linux

Game Development and Linux aren’t something you’d typically hear in the same sentence but it is becoming increasingly common. More games offer Linux support, as does Steam as a platform, and using Linux as an operating system for development is becoming the preference of most developers. The Unity and Unreal engines have options to recompile your games for Linux compatibility as well as a Linux Editor. The Unity engine is much easier to deploy than the Unreal unreal engine so

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The Conversation, on use of algorithms in Government

Not just A-levels: unfair algorithms are being used to make all sorts of government decisions Adam Harkens, University of Birmingham The recent use of an algorithm to calculate the graduating grades of secondary school students in England provoked so much public anger at its perceived unfairness that it’s widely become known as the “A-levels fiasco”. As a result of the outrage – and the looming threat of legal action – the government was forced into an embarrassing U-turn and awarded

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The Conversation, on Remote working and offices or city centres

Remote working is here to stay – but that doesn’t mean the end of offices or city centres Most people will return to offices but there’s no rush. Shutterstock Jane Parry, University of Southampton When coronavirus lockdowns were introduced, the shift to remote working was sudden and sweeping. Now the British government is hoping the return to the office will be just as swift – to help the economy “get back to normal”. But pushing everyone back to the office

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The Conversation, on quantum communication and hacking

Our quantum internet breakthrough could help make hacking a thing of the past Videoflow/Shutterstock Siddarth Koduru Joshi, University of Bristol The advent of mass working from home has made many people more aware of the security risks of sending sensitive information via the internet. The best we can do at the moment is make it difficult to intercept and hack your messages – but we can’t make it impossible. What we need is a new type of internet: the quantum

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The Conversation, on loss of sleep during our working lives

We lose about 30 minutes of sleep each night of the working week, new study shows It’s recommended that most adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock Johanna Garefelt, Stockholm University For many of us, work often competes for time with sleep – which is why many of us look forward to the weekend for a chance to “catch up” on sleep. But how much sleep is lost on days when we work? Our latest

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The Conversation, on Games and moral development

Video games affect your moral development but only until you’re 18 – new study Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock, Author provided Sarah Hodge, Bournemouth University Young people have probably spent much more of their time than usual playing video games over the last few months thanks to the coronvirus pandemic. One report from telecoms firm Verizon said online gaming use went up 75% in the first week of lockdown in the US. What impact might this have on young people’s development? One area that

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Robo-Lawyers taking over? Not Quite

With the advances on technology we’ve gone through these last two decades things have changed and will keep changing in the future – one the instigators of this change is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has seen quite an advancement in a lot of sectors – automation aims to have less human assistance to fulfil the same tasks, as with automation with vehicles. Car manufacturers such as Tesla are already using Autopilot technologies to assist human drivers with day-to-day tasks and

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