Connect with us

Tech

‘Worm moon’, two planets to illuminate sky tonight

Published

on

You must rush to the rooftop tonight to witness the sky decorated with stunning celestial bodies. This week, the final full moon of the winter will illuminate the sky, providing skywatchers with yet another unique opportunity.

Why is it called a worm moon?

The March moon is known as the “worm moon”. It was named so by Native American tribes in the 18th century as a reference to various critters emerging from their winter dens to welcome spring. The worm moon will achieve its highest light around 7:42 am ET on Tuesday, March 7, or 5:42 pm Pakistani time. 

But, if someone were to glance up at the correct time, they might also see a breathtaking planetary phenomenon.

“What is a little more interesting now, and also visible tonight and this week, are the close and prominent positioning of Venus and Jupiter in the western sky right after sunset,” Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society told CNN in an email. “The astronomical word for this is ‘conjunction.’ These planets will be setting as the moon is rising, so they are only visible for about an hour at sunset, near the western horizon.”

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, anyone who experiences light rain on Tuesday night may also be able to see a moonbow, which resembles a solar rainbow but is created when moonlight is refracted over airborne water droplets. Look for moonbows after sunset when the sky is dark since they only occur when a full moon is low in the sky.

The worm moon is not your only opportunity to view a noteworthy space or sky occurrence. Here are this year’s full moons and meteor showers to be aware of.

Full moons and supermoons

Supermoons appear larger in the sky because they are brighter and closer to Earth than usual.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the remaining full moons in 2023 as follows:

  • April 6: Pink moon
  • May 5: Flower moon
  • June 3: Strawberry moon
  • July 3: Buck moon
  • August 1: Sturgeon moon
  • August 30: Blue moon
  • September 29: Harvest moon
  • October 28: Hunter’s moon
  • November 27: Beaver moon
  • December 26: Cold moon

Meteor showers

There are still 11 meteor showers to see this year, and light pollution-free places should be able to see them best from dusk to dawn.

Here are the peak dates as reported by CNN:

  • Lyrids: April 22-23
  • Eta Aquariids: May 5-6
  • Southern Delta Aquariids: July 30-31
  • Alpha Capricornids: July 30-31
  • Perseids: August 12-13
  • Orionids: October 20-21
  • Southern Taurids: November 4-5
  • Northern Taurids: November 11-12
  • Leonids: November 17-18
  • Geminids: December 13-14
  • Ursids: December 21-22

Tech

Humanity at risk: Musk, others ring alarm bells over hasty ‘giant AI experiments’

Published

on

By

Hundreds of celebrated artificial intelligence (AI) researchers including Tesla owner Elon Musk have undersigned an open letter recommending AI labs to revisit gigantic AI systems, ringing alarm bells over the “profound risks” these bots pose to society and humanity.

According to the letter, published by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute, AI labs are currently locked in an “out-of-control race” to develop and deploy machine learning systems “that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” said the open letter.

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.

AI engineers around the world want to make sure that these powerful AI systems should be allowed to take logical time for the researchers to make sure they were safe.

Among the signatories of the letter are author Yuval Noah Harari, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, politician Andrew Yang, and several well-known AI researchers and CEOs, including Stuart Russell, Yoshua Bengio, Gary Marcus, and Emad Mostaque. 

The letter was mainly prompted by the release of GPT-4 from the San Francisco firm OpenAI.

The company says its latest model is much more powerful than the previous version, which was used to power ChatGPT, a bot capable of generating tracts of text from the briefest of prompts.

“Therefore, we call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” says the letter. “This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

Musk was an initial investor in OpenAI, spent years on its board, and his car firm Tesla develops AI systems to help power its self-driving technology, among other applications.

The letter, hosted by the Musk-funded Future of Life Institute, was signed by prominent critics as well as competitors of OpenAI like Stability AI chief Emad Mostaque.

The letter quoted from a blog written by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, who suggested that “at some point, it may be important to get independent review before starting to train future systems”.

“We agree. That point is now,” the authors of the open letter wrote.

“Therefore, we call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

They called for governments to step in and impose a moratorium if companies failed to agree.

The six months should be used to develop safety protocols, AI governance systems, and refocus research on ensuring AI systems are more accurate, safe, “trustworthy and loyal”.

The letter did not detail the dangers revealed by GPT-4.

Continue Reading

Tech

AI can potentially diagnose and treat cancers: study

Published

on

By

Apart from artificial intelligence (AI) writing several essays, and passing bar exams, it is also capable of treating and detecting different types of cancers, according to a news report from Scripps News.

Researchers from the University of Toronto and Insilico Medicine used an AI database called AlphaFold and developed in just 30 days a medicine that could treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer

The study was published in the journal Chemical Science. In it, the AI system discovered the previously unexplored paths to develop a cancer medicine to treat HCC and developed a novel hit molecule that could bind the target.

In the second round, they discovered an even more powerful hit molecule, however, the researchers maintained that the drug still needs to undergo clinical testing before it can be launched to treat cancer in hospitals.

Feng Ren, the study’s co-author, said in a statement that the AI-powered AlphaFold broke new scientific ground in predicting the structure of human proteins.

“At Insilico Medicine, we saw that as an incredible opportunity to take these structures and apply them to our end-to-end AI platform in order to generate novel therapeutics to tackle diseases with high unmet needs. This paper is an important first step in that direction,” he also added.

In another study journal JAMA Network Open, the experts from the BC Cancer and University of British Columbia showed how accurately AI predicted the survivor rates of patients with cancers.

It analysed the survival rates of more than 47,000 patients from six months to three and five years.

Dr John-Jose Nunez, lead author of the research study said in a statement: “The AI essentially reads the consultation document similar to how a human would read it.”

“These documents have many details like the age of the patient, the type of cancer, underlying health conditions, past substance use, and family histories. The AI brings all of this together to paint a more complete picture of patient outcomes”, he underscored.

Nevertheless, researchers are currently at the nascent stage of exploring the full potential of AI in health care and the treatment and diagnosis of diseases, however, the studies suggest that it can potentially be promising.

“Our hope is that a tool like this could be used to personalise and optimise the care a patient receives right away, giving them the best outcome possible,” Nunez said. 

Continue Reading

Tech

Numerous mobile applications at risk of cyberattacks: study

Published

on

By

Amid increasing digitisation in the technological world, the risks of cyberattacks are increasing with every passing day. Similar concerns were expressed by a study by Promon which found out that around 81% of mobile apps can be targeted through cyberattacks, the digital information world reported.

The findings have revealed the insecurity looming over the personal data of people which can be targeted by cyber attackers.

In this study, over 350 mobile applications were analysed which revealed that every app is vulnerable to any attack.

The mobiles were those that had insecure data storage and inadequate security encryption measures. These weaknesses can be breached by the attackers to gain illegal access to the personal data of the users.

Within these devices, 84% of them were not smart to detect any malicious attempt or any potential data or security breach.

In this study, “repackaging” — a major hack — was also highlighted which allows the attackers to gain access and run the extra process which the mobile is not otherwise designed to do. This way hackers can have complete control and information over their target. Only 15% of the devices have ensured security against these measures.

As the alarming findings have raised concerns over security, it is suggested that developers should carry out security checks and identify vulnerabilities. Users are also suggested to refrain from downloading data or applications from unknown sources especially those that require sensitive access to personal information.

Recently, there has been a cyberattack on the world’s renowned automobile company.

The report came forward at a high time when there is a record number of mobile users worldwide with millions of people dependent on mobile phones for their information, banking, healthcare transport and so on. This phenomenon has activated criminals to grab the personal data of people and target them for their illegal aims.

It is highly suggested that mobile application developers ensure routine safety and security checks and be proactive in determining any gap in security. 

If is not done in a timely manner then the cost of such would be very high for individuals and overall businesses — highly dependent upon digital applications. It will cost not only information and personal data but can also result in hefty financial losses. 

Continue Reading

Trending