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World's Largest Radio Telescope Being Built in Australia

Plus, Intel's deepfake detector works with 96 percent accuracy, Bob Dylan "signs" copies of his latest book with an autopen and robots learn to catch themselves when they fall.

schematic of large satellite dishes across a desert landscape


Construction of the world’s largest radio telescope kicked off in Australia in December. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory will include 131,072 antennas in Australia’s western region and is projected to map space about 135 times faster than existing telescopes. Another portion of the SKA, built with 197 radio dishes, is already in use at Meerkat National Park in South Africa. The combined array is expected to help study the early universe, dark energy and potentially even extraterrestrial life. Completion is anticipated by 2028.
Source: New Atlas


Intel has introduced what it says is the first real-time deepfake detector and claims it has a 96 percent accuracy rate. Called FakeCatcher, the product analyzes “blood flow” in the pixels to determine whether an image is real or a clever digital reproduction of a person’s likeness. It uses a method called photoplethysmography that measures the amount of light reflected by blood in living tissue. Signals are collected from 32 locations on a face, then the system maps them as real or fake, returning a result in milliseconds.
Source: VentureBeat


Robot behaviors just continue to get more human-like. Researchers at the University of Lorraine in France have developed a “Damage Reflex,” or D-Reflex, system to help a humanoid robot catch its balance if one of its legs is broken. It’s a neural network based on 882,000 training simulations that taught a TALOS bot to prop itself up on a wall three out of four times it was injured. So far D-Reflex only works with stationary robots, but researchers eventually want it to work while the robots are in motion and able to grab objects besides walls for support.
Source: Engadget


That was the price for a signed copy of Bob Dylan’s latest book The Philosophy of Modern Song when it was released in November. But fans who forked over the money were disappointed to learn that Dylan himself hadn’t signed their books. Instead, he did it with the help of an autopen, a device that isn’t new — the brand Dylan used is at least 60 years old — but which replicates a handwritten signature, saving people like celebrities from spending hours signing their names over and over. Dylan said he used the autopen while experiencing a bout of vertigo and issued a formal apology to fans. Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher, refunded buyers’ money.
Source: Gizmodo
Lauren Kinkade is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 15 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.