Top Technology News December 17 23 Telecom Bill Apple Vision Pro AI Joe Biden Google Maps Insomniac Games Spider Man

Artificial intelligence (AI) predicts fortunes and even the day of your death. Telecommunications Bill, 2023 gets passed by the Parliament. Spider-Man creator Insomniac Games falls victim to a major data leak. The world of technology news was dominated by these headlines, and more, over the past week. Here’s a deeper look. 

Telecom Bill Passed

The Rajya Sabha approved the Telecommunications Bill, 2023, on Thursday through a voice vote, closely following its passage in the Lok Sabha the previous day. The newly sanctioned law paves the way for spectrum allocation for satellite-based Internet services, exempting companies like OneWeb (supported by Airtel), Starlink (owned by Elon Musk), and Kuiper from Amazon, from the obligation to participate in auctions.

This parliamentary endorsement marks a pivotal moment as it replaces outdated regulations dating back a century, signaling a concerted effort to modernize connectivity and embrace emerging services, particularly in the realm of satellite broadband. The timing of this move is noteworthy, occurring just months before the impending general elections.

With over 1.17 billion telephone connections and 881 million Internet subscribers, India stands as a vast market for telecom services. The approved telecom bill specifically grants permission for spectrum allocation for satellite-based services, dispensing with the auction requirement. This strategic shift is expected to bolster the growth of satellite broadband services in the most populous country globally.

Advocates for this administrative approach to spectrum allocation include major players such as OneWeb, Starlink, and others, who have championed the idea of an “administrative process” over traditional auctions. Despite initial opposition from Reliance Jio, a key player aspiring to compete with global counterparts through its indigenous satellite broadband service, the company has now aligned itself with the administrative model for spectrum allocation. This legislative milestone reflects a forward-looking approach to telecommunications policy in India.

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AI Can (Apparently) Predict Future

In a groundbreaking research paper recently published in Nature Computational Science, scientists unveil a novel perspective on predicting life outcomes through the application of artificial intelligence (AI). The study introduces a unique fortune-telling algorithm, powered by extensive data derived from the life experiences of millions of individuals. This algorithm aims to predict various aspects of an individual’s future, including projected lifetime earnings and the likelihood of premature mortality. The integration of this innovative approach blends machine learning with social sciences, signifying a noteworthy trend in contemporary research endeavours.

Matthew Salganik, a sociologist affiliated with Princeton University and unaffiliated with the current study, highlights the potential significance of the method. He proposes that if proven effective across diverse societies, the algorithm could become a valuable tool for social scientists to scrutinize the impact of traits and events on an individual’s destiny. Salganik underscores that the study’s findings raise more questions than answers, creating an opportunity for further exploration and inquiry into the intricate dynamics of life predictions through AI algorithms.

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ALSO READ: Biden Administration Initiates Public Input For AI Safety Standards And Testing

Apple Vision Pro Set For Launch

Anticipating the imminent debut of Apple’s Vision Pro mixed-reality headset in February, recent reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reveal increased manufacturing activities in China in recent weeks. With a target for customer availability by the end of January, the official launch is set to take place the following month.

As part of the lead-up to the launch, Apple has engaged with software developers, encouraging them to conduct thorough tests on their applications designed for the upcoming headset. This proactive step signals the proximity of the release. The report also explores the challenges faced by Apple in preparing for the Vision Pro’s introduction and the corresponding measures taken to adequately equip stores for the event.

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Google Maps Becomes ‘Fuel Efficient’

In a move aimed at addressing the growing concern among drivers in the nation regarding fuel efficiency, Google India unveiled its latest feature on Tuesday – the fuel-efficient routing feature for Google Maps. Having been rolled out globally between October 2021 and September 2023, this innovative feature is credited with averting over 2.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions on a global scale. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to the removal of approximately 500,000 fuel-dependent cars from the roads for an entire year.

Commencing from January of the upcoming year, users of Google Maps in India will have the opportunity to utilize the fuel-efficient routing feature tailored for both four-wheelers and two-wheelers. This enhancement aims to provide users with more sustainable travel options. It is noteworthy that India and Indonesia will be the initial countries to experience the inclusion of two-wheelers in the fuel-efficient routing feature.

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Spider-Man Creators Face Massive Leak

Insomniac Games, the developer known for creating popular titles like Ratchet & Clank and Marvel’s Spider-Man, has fallen victim to a ransomware attack orchestrated by the hacking collective Rhysida. The group, having threatened to expose sensitive information unless their monetary demands were met, has now followed through on their ultimatum by disclosing a comprehensive Marvel-centric gaming roadmap devised by Insomniac Games for the next ten years.

The leaked information indicates that Insomniac Games is actively engaged in the development of six upcoming titles, each associated with its respective anticipated release timeframe. “Marvel’s Venom” is earmarked for a debut in the fiscal year 2025, followed by “Marvel’s Wolverine” in the fiscal year 2026. Subsequently, “Marvel’s Spider-Man 3” is set to hit the shelves in the fiscal year 2028, while an unnamed Ratchet & Clank installment is projected for release in the fiscal year 2029. Casting our gaze further into the future, an untitled Marvel’s X-Men game is on the horizon for the fiscal year 2030, accompanied by an undisclosed new intellectual property anticipated to be unveiled between the fiscal years 2031 and 2032.

It’s worth noting that only one of these titles has officially been announced, sparking a wave of curiosity and speculation within the gaming community. The notion of a clandestine Venom game had been circulating, fueled by remarks from Tony Todd, the voice actor for the character, who hinted at unused dialogue in Spider-Man 2. The leaked details trace back to an internal presentation held in July of the current year, underscoring the fluid nature of game development plans and emphasizing that release timelines are subject to change.

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That’s it from the world of tech headlines this week. Stay tuned to this space for more top stories next week.

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