February boasts new science, tech leaps

February boasts new science, tech leaps

OpenAI develops AI model capable of generating videos from text instructions, while Elon Musk’s Neuralink implants ‘Telepathy’ chip

By Ecem Sahinli Oguc

ANKARA (AA) – There have been many developments in the technology scene in February, from the return of Türkiye's first space traveler, Col. Alper Gezeravci, from his journey to the International Space Station with the Axiom-3 crew, and the Sora artificial intelligence model, able to produce videos using text inputs.


- Türkiye's 1st space traveler completes space journey successfully

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying the Axiom-3 (Ax-3) crew, including Türkiye's first space traveler, Col. AlperGezeravci, was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Jan. 18, 2024, at 4:49 PM Eastern (GMT2149).

Gezeravci conducted 13 different scientific experiments in space and completed his journey by returning to Earth on Feb. 9.

Italian space traveler Col. Walter Villadei said working with Gezeravci was "an incredible experience."


- Advancements in space technology heat up competition

China took major steps to improve its space technology in February, as the country launched the world's first commercial AI hypersatellite into orbit.

The country also launched a test satellite for classified communications into space, allegedly for military intelligence.

Chinese officials stated that the satellite, settled in the geostationary orbit, will be used in the experiment of multi-band and high-speed communication technologies.

They also announced that a new spacecraft will be used for crewed lunar missions, which the country plans to start in 2030.

Meanwhile, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the second H3 Launch Vehicle from the southwestern town of Kagoshima, and while entering the planned orbit, it successfully deployed microsatellites with 2.6 tons of artificial payload.

As for the US-based spacecraft maker SpaceX, the firm launched a lunar lander named "Odyssey" into space as a part of the IM-1 Mission by the US-based space exploration firm Intuitive Machines, which then made a soft landing on the Moon on Feb. 22.


- AI developments accelerate

The new AI model Sora by the US-based AI research organization OpenAI was introduced.

The Sora model can produce realistic and creative scenes as video with text or image input.

Sora produces images just like the many versions of DALL-E, another generative AI tool. However, Sora aims to offer a quality far beyond.

Although the model is still in the testing phase and only a select few people have access to the tool, Sora can create high-quality videos up to a minute long with realistic lighting, physics, cloth and fluid simulations, and more.

Sora can provide videos at full high definition 1080p in 16:9 aspect ratio, as well as at 1080 by 1920 vertically from both text and image prompts, but it can also generate images at 2048 by 2048 resolution.


- 1st person to receive chip implant controls mouse cursor using their brain

A person implanted with the "Telepathy" chip was able to control the mouse cursor of a computer through their brain activity, said Elon Musk, founder of the US-based neurotechnology firm Neuralink.

"Progress is good, and the patient seems to have made a full recovery, with no ill effects that we are aware of. The patient is able to move a mouse around the screen just by thinking," he said.

Whereas in Russia, an AI tool produced by the country's largest financial institution, Sberbank, named GigaChat, successfully completed a test for students graduating from medical school by achieving 82% success in a 100-question test, as well as completing oral exams for three separate cases for surgery, gynecology, and obstetrics.

Twenty tech companies, including Adobe, Amazon, Google, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, TikTok and X, have decided to work together to fight against the deceptive use of artificial intelligence in this year's global elections.


- Problems caused by climate change on agenda amid technological advancements

Scientists discovered that polar bears are facing starvation as they are having difficulty hunting due to the melting ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Researchers found out that polar bears are too exhausted to eat the prey they find after long hours of swimming since the sea ice is melting in late spring and early summer, the hunting season for the species.

As for researchers in Germany and the Netherlands, they have uncovered that the impact of nitrogen pollution on drinking water supplies could triple by 2050, stating that the impact of sub-basins worldwide experiencing clean water shortages would be felt predominantly in China, Central Europe, North America, and Africa.

An international study found that almost half of the Amazon Rainforest could disappear by 2050 due to drought, deforestation, and fires.


*Writing by Emir Yildirim in Istanbul

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