Some of the breakthrough technologies of 2013

By Ipshita Biswas
From National Institute of Technology, Silchar
Posted Sep 26th 2013 6:00AM
Some of the breakthrough technologies of 2013
Here's a sneak peek into some revolutionary technological advances of 2013:

Memory Implants: With a target to form long-term memories, Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that is done by the neurons when they're functioning properly, this function of theirs aids us to recall experiences, happenings and knowledge for more than one minute. Thus, with the implantation of the silicon chips, prepared by Berger, into our brain, any damage caused in the ability to create long-term memories due to Alzheimer's stroke or other injury can be restored.

According to Berger, they are not putting individual memories back into the brain; instead they are installing in the capacity to generate memories. The other recent accomplishments in neuroprosthetics includes Cochlear implants, which now helps more than 200,000 people requiring hearing aids by converting sound signals into electrical signals and sending them to the auditory nerve, thus, enabling them to hear. Other achievements includes works on implanted electrodes can enable paralyzed people to move robotic arms with directions from their thoughts. It requires a mention that Theodore Berger has spent past 35 years of his career trying to comprehend the science behind the formation of memories by neurons.

Collection of analyzing data from cheap phones: Caroline Buckee, a Harvard epidemiologist, is using detailed data on population movements collected scrap by scrap from several simple mobile phones with the target to build specific new tools for fighting the spread of malaria.

Temporary Social Media: A significant control over privacy is lost due to the presence of the cloud storages. A mobile-phone app named Snapchat promises to automatically vanish the posts thus keeping no record of the social media activities. Snapchat is open to some kind of risks like images which were meant to disappear can still be saved if the recipient uses a screen-capture feature in order to take a snap of the message during the seconds it appears, though the sender is notified but till then the image would already be stored and shared.

Deep learning: Deep-learning is software which attempts to imitate the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, which includes those 80 percent of the brain which marks the area of the occurrence of thinking. The basic idea behind being that the software can replicate the neocortex's large array of neurons in an artificial neural network.
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