Previse 2024: Technology Concepts in News

Previse 2024: Technology Concepts in News

GS3 | Science & Technology

Table of contents

Here are some important technological concepts in the news that you should know for UPSC Prelims 2024:

The Digital Markets Act 

  • The Digital Markets Act is the European Union law to make the markets in the digital sector more fair.
  • The law will create a safer internet, enhance consumer protections, empower citizens, and ensure high quality digital services.
  • There are clearly defined criterias to identify “gatekeepers”, which are large digital platforms providing core platform services like online search engines, app stores and messenger services. 
  • This act is one of the first regulatory tools to regulate the gatekeeper power of the largest digital companies.

  • Starlink is a SpaceX project aiming to build a broadband network with a cluster of orbiting satellites.
  • It will create a low-cost, satellite-based broadband network that can provide global internet access.
  • These satellites will be placed in an altitude range between 350 km and 1,200 km in Low Earth Orbit.
  • Satellites are placed in low-earth orbits to reduce latency between a user seeking data and the server transmitting that data.

Deep Fakes

  • Deep Fakes involves the use of machine-learning algorithms to compile artificial images and audio together to replace a real person’s appearance, voice, or both and spread misinformation.
  • The term "deep fake" is short for a combination of the deep learning concept with something fake.
  • Use of machine learning models which use neural networks to manipulate images and videos are used to create deep fakes.
  • Deepfake technology is used for infamous purposes like scams and hoaxes, election manipulation, social engineering, celebrity pornography, automated disinformation attacks, identity theft, and financial fraud.

The Digital Services Act 

  • This act has made companies including Meta, Google, and Snap introduce changes to their platforms.
  • The changes include more disclosures on how they use artificial intelligence for personalized content to users and allowing them the option to opt out of being subjected to digital surveillance.
  • The legislation ensures greater accountability and transparency from large online platforms like social media networks and online marketplaces.

Protein Structure Prediction: AlphaFold

  • A London based company DeepMind has predicted the three-dimensional structures of more than 200 million proteins using AlphaFold.
  • AlphaFold is an AI-based protein structure prediction tool based on deep neural networks.
  • The main prediction is done by the black box called the hidden networks which is between the input and the output layers.
  • When protein sequences enter through one end of the AlphaFold, the predicted three-dimensional structures come out through the other.

Gene editing: Casgevy & Lyf Genia

  • Casgevy is a gene therapy for treating sickle cell disease and thalassaemia which became the world's inaugural licensed therapy based on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology.
  • Sickle cell disease and thalassaemia are caused by errors in the gene for hemoglobin and the therapy uses the patient’s own blood stem cells, which are precisely edited using CRISPR-Cas9.
  • BCL11A gene is targeted by the therapy, which is crucial for switching from fetal to adult hemoglobin.
  • Fetal hemoglobin does not carry the same abnormalities as adult hemoglobin and the therapy produces more fetal hemoglobin to alleviate the symptoms of the two conditions.

Dark Patterns

  • It is an act common in airlines and online travel websites which trick the customers into buying things they did not mean to like premium seats.
  • This is deemed to be a cybercrime and the Ministry of Civil Aviation has told the low-cost airline IndiGo to fix its website.
  • Dark patterns are deceptive design techniques used in user interfaces to manipulate or deceive users into taking certain actions or making specific choices online.
  • These patterns exploit cognitive biases and behavioral patterns to trick or mislead users.
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