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tv   Tomorrow Today  Deutsche Welle  June 28, 2020 2:02am-2:30am CEST

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wanted to rule our lives. and our relationship with technology is somewhat ambivalent. what improvements has abroad and what risks does opposed to our health on today's show we examine 5 g. mobile networks. and delve into the weird and wacky world of quantum computing. welcome to tomorrow today the science show d.w. . these days internet access is considered nothing less than a basic need but the more data you want the faster the connection speed you need. over the past few years the volume of digital data has risen by about 30 percent annually. transposing such
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a large quantity of information that speed requires a powerful data highway. each generation of while a cellular network has been faster than the previous one creating new capabilities the 1st generation one g. for short enabled us to make calls with cell phones. 2 g. we could send text messages to. 3 g. saw the advent of the smartphone and easy access to the web while 4 g. is speedy enough to allow us to share and stream music and film these. 5 g. promises to be much faster. the key to this development higher frequencies. in wine a cellular networks high frequency electromagnetic waves transmit data from masts to users. the frequency is the number of wave oscillations per 2nd the higher the frequency the greater the. possible bandwidth and the greater the ability to
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support high data transfer speeds. at present best talk of using bandwidth at over 24 gigahertz so-called millimeter waves this is a new development but as little is known at present about how this form of radiation affects the human body these frequencies are not licensed for use in the european union. present regulators there have only approved the use of frequencies below 6 gigahertz. so-called centimeter waves are in the same spectrum as previous wireless networks. but even with these lower bound with 5 g.'s more efficient data transfer enables download speeds of up to 2 gigabytes per 2nd more than twice 4 g.'s theoretical top speed. in addition to much faster speeds 5 g. will have other advantages too it will make data transfer up to 1000 times more
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efficient thus saving energy. response times of 30 to 50 times shorter this will enable data to be processed in almost real time. and networks are said to be more stable and offer higher user density 15 g. transmission last can connect 100 times as many devices at the same time as 4 g. . cell phones communicate better ones missing electromagnetic radiation the electromagnetic spectrum encompasses a wide range of wavelength and frequency the frequency is a measure of the energy that the wave carries at the low energy end of the spectrum other ways that mobile networks use radio waves and higher frequency microwave signals with wavelengths of a few centimeters visible than. it has wavelength in the know me so range.
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especially short wave lengths and high frequency is characterized x. rays and gamma rays this high energy part of the spectrum is known as ionizing radiation and that is potent enough to cause changes to our d.n.a. well cell phone radiation can't do that as the technology does warrant a closer look at. the u.s. national toxicology program carried out a high profile long term study on potential health hazards linked to mobile phone radiation. scientists they're exposed thousands of rats and mice to radiation 9 hours a day for 2 years. the doses of radiation were acquittal inch to what you would be exposed to if you were on the phone continually over that time. and the animals whole bodies were exposed not just their head or your. the findings of the study are summed up in
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a 260 page report among the most important results is the observation that the male rats exposed to radio frequency radiation showed more malignant brain tumors than control animals. the researchers also noted an increase in cardiac sure noma's a kind of hard tumor. this was followed soon after by another study from scientists at the ramat seanie institute in italy. here scientists exposed more than 2000 rats to radiation the levels were much lower than those used in the u.s. study the dose was the equivalent to constantly standing around 50 meters from a mobile phone mast. the animals were exposed for around 1000 hours a day throughout their lifetimes starting while still in their mother's womb until their death. the result all the animals displayed evidence.
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of brain tumors. the scientists also noticed a significant increase in heart tumors. so is mobile phone radiation hazardous to human health or can these results not be transferred to humans. those are questions that cell biologist david schumann from the university of basel has also been studying he was somewhat taken aback by the results of the 2 studies on rats so after 3 of all the awful lot of operate 1st i was surprised that we saw anything at all. the 2nd surprise was that there were also more cases of the same kind of cancer in the study from italy even though the doses there were much lower . you're still thought that if. one cause of cancer is when d.n.a. is damaged and they're not corrected by the body's natural repair mechanisms sherman wanted to find out how radiation affects human d.n.a.
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so he exposed human skin cells to the upper limit of mobile phone radiation that is currently allowed. as a control you also analyzed skin cells that weren't exposed to any radiation. to provide another comparison sherman conducted a 3rd test using radioactive radiation known to damage human d.n.a. cells and sure enough in that test the mutation of the cells occurred in the 1st 5 minutes of radiation. in the control group there was no change but interestingly in the cells exposed to mobile phone radiation there was also no change. i thought one day of exposure with a value around the upper limit and we did another experiment with higher and lower values as well we found no evidence of any effect on the genetic substance. if it given what we currently know i think we're on the safe side with our current
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upper limits so. this to say for starters the horse we can't be absolutely certain that we haven't overlooked something. because research always lags a bit behind. it. since 2011 mobile phone radiation has been categorized by the world health organization as possibly carcinogenic to humans so what does that mean exactly. that also is that means that there are certain indications but that one can't rule out that the indications are effects of the methodology so there are many substances in the category possibly which means it's not been proven that they are really carcinogenic and also to take red meat which is probably carcinogenic so fine particulate matter which is proven to be carcinogenic of the sinful these things are higher up on the scale that he too often. the fact remains that so far
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no scientific study has been able to conclude that mobile phone radiation is hazardous to human health. how times have changed over the past few decades our relationship with computers has shifted dramatically here's the brief history of the technology that has made such a difference to our lives 6 6. the 1st commercial computer appeared back in 1951 it was so big it filled an entire room in 1976 came the 1st ever apple computer this one for ordinary people. 18 years later the macintosh emerged featuring a graphical user interface. in 2001 the 1st tablets appeared on the markets could quantum computer be the next leap forward.
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in 2019 google's quantum processor completed a task faster than the most powerful supercomputer many of us it was a milestone achievement that made headlines around the world but quantum physics has actually long been a part of our lives has been thrown. in and there are many quantum phenomena that are used all the time in technology we have things in our smartphones and our computers that are based on quantum mechanics. but the idea behind a quantum processor is that we can use even weirder quantum phenomena to solve much more complicated problems of limits and there's. the computers we normally use are based on a simple binary principle each unit of information called a bit is in either one of 2 states 0 or one bits are grouped together into cells and store information destruction makes computers highly efficient calculators but quantum bits a low they also work with zeros and ones have
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a decisively different. ability. class with the classical physics every system is in a well defined state like a crying that's either heads or tails. income some physics a system can be heads and tails at the same time in life that's called superposition. and it's only when you measure or observe the system that it decides and collapses into heads or tails. with 3 classical binary bits for example it's possible to represent 8 different states or 8 different values in the course of a computation but an array of quantum bit so cubits can exist in a superposition of all possible states of the system meaning that it can represent all 8 values at the same time. and that advantage over classical systems doubles with each additional cubit. the google processes
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54 cubits allows some 9000 trillion states to be represented simple tenuously that number of grains of rice would easily end of the eiffel tower the real one that is. quantum bits because we have several of them it's important for them to be working closely together that's a property known in quantum mechanics as entanglement and they have to join up to form an entangled state that means you have a single state in which all the cubits perform together instead of each one leading its own life. before a measurement these quantum coins are in a mixed state of heads and tails but when one of the coins takes on a defined state so does the other. this is quantum entanglement one of the spookiest phenomena in quantum physics entangled objects seem to know what's
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happening to the other objects. even when they're apart this means they effectively transmit information to one another. creating entanglement between the cubits there's a huge technical challenge. and entangled quantum system is highly unstable the slightest contact with the surroundings like a collision with a molecule in the air or a photon destroys the entanglement. so quantum processes can only function in complete isolation from the outside world to date entangled states have been made to last for just several milli seconds and the usual way of realizing them involves an extremely cold environment just a few degrees above absolute 0 conditions that can only be achieved in all the bar a tree. despite these obstacles a project financed by google succeeded in building
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a quantum computer that could go down in history for the 1st time the processor called sycamore reportedly solved a mathematical problem many times faster than a classical supercomputer claiming quantum supremacies. come up with google's sycamore processor represents a major advance in quantum computing it took place last year the thing is that this quantum computer was built for a very specific problem and it can only solve that specific problem but much faster than a classical processor architecture what we'd like to see is a quantum computer that can also solve real world problems efficiently. the most experts say is likely to be decades before the 1st quantum computers could be anything like market ready. to raise a cubits are by their very nature extremely prone to error. from
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what we need is a further advance that will enable us to correct the errors. and address the really important practical problems the problem it's. an even once that's been solved the benefits of quantum computers would probably be limited to very specific applications. they'd be unbeatable when it comes to filtering out the best value from a vast number of possibilities such as searching in gigantic databases or figuring out optimal moves in chess. and some research areas would also profit from quantum computing simulating large molecules is one example that is so complex that today supercomputers can only produce approximate solutions. computers based on quantum mechanical principles would be in their element for such tasks and that could take fields like microbiology pharmacology to an entirely new level.
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the famous physicist richard feynman once said if you think you understand quantum mechanics then you don't understand quantum mechanics but even if we never really understand quantum mechanics at the deepest level we can use it and work with it to create things that function in the real world. the advent of quantum computing has raised concerns about data privacy. say the widely used data encryption method which is used in online banking for instance could be easily hacked by quantum computers. the principle behind it involves factoring a very large number into just 2 large prime numbers it's a mathematical problem that today's computers still can't master with a special ability of a quantum computer to test many possibilities simple tenuously would make it solvable. still despite potential applications it's likely. the quantum
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advantage will remain limited to a small number of fields it won't change the way we use computers in everyday life so don't expect to see quantum smartphones on quantum laptops in the foreseeable future. whether it's quantum technology at all as official intelligence few of us would consider even the smartest technology to have anything resembling a soul. but what about our animal friends. and this week's new question comes from other melnyk in ukraine. do animals have a soul. first of all what is a soul many think it has feelings a conscience understanding according to religions the soul is immortal.
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there is however no concrete universal definition. the philosopher very day descant was convinced that animals were soul this beings. however recent research shows that many animals do seem pretty soulful elephants for example appear to mourn their dead often doing so within a set ritual. and countless have a favorite cruising partner they even recognize their best pal in a photo as this study shows. and all dog owners know what a whacking tell me is excitement and joy dogs have even been known to show empathy which is no real surprise after all they've been domesticated for 15000 years.
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animals. also seem to express pain and fear to mice pretend to be judged when they're in danger. starlin's warn each other when they're under threat and wasp state when they feel under attack some animal species also seem to possess a sense of self she and pansies and dolphins recognize themselves in the mirror. which is a prerequisite for what we call a psyche or soul. but unlike people animals can't express their thoughts or emotions in words. we can only guess what they might be experiencing. we still insist on treating them like objects a source of commodities like meat and various despite the fact that science shows that animals ability to think and feel strongly suggests that they have an inner
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life. if outlet is read quite a bit but only if they. do you have a science question then send it in as a text video all for sale. and if we answer it on the show we'll send you a little surprise as a thank you. come on just ask. the most science stories check out our website d w dot com slash science and do drop us an island on twitter and facebook. hey google what's on the calendar today the 1st event is a space day at kevin school. we can already communicate variability with machines even if it's not always perfect but in the future machines might also be able to identify and respond to non-verbal cues like facial expressions. recognizing emotion is one area where people excel over machines could that be
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about to change. fear. grief. joy. these actors are expressing some of the most recognized of human emotions the footage is part of a research project of the foreign warfare institute in this issue of the airline and in southern germany. the a mr develop software that will be able to identify feelings and. there are various areas of the face involve them expressing emotion different muscle movements showed joy anger grief and so on these are pretty universal to most cultures and we can teach software to identify these emotions as humans do with a very high degree of accuracy what we can do of course is to to dig deeper and to find out what someone is really thinking or if they're just pretending for. human
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emotions are highly complex and whether a certain muscle movement really does express anger joy or grief is open to interpretation but researchers believe software can be taught to link emotions to certain facial expressions. or point where we can recognise very subtle reactions the so-called emotional valence that is whether a person is assessing something positively or negatively and it's become really sensitive so we're reacting to various subtle facial reactions. the researchers also use still images the faces with clearly defined expressions to train the algorithm. but what's the point. why you train machines to identify people's feelings. and interaction between people and machines would be a typical application we are working on an exciting project at the moment where
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we're teaching robots. to recognize human emotions and the technology will be used to teach autistic kids to better understand social cues and facial expressions they often have difficulty in this area with the robots they can learn how to recognize emotions in a playful way. and. ringback they're also applications in areas like auto mobility where the technology is used to monitor the condition of drivers and passengers the point is there is to recognise emotional conditions especially those that show whether the driver is distracted or stressed or overwhelmed. but is this kind of technology open to abuse or could it lead to wrong conclusions on the part of me authorities. it's one thing for a machine to know who you are but to know how you're feeling is another. the last
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or ever be used to predict someone's intentions. there's always a certain chance of getting things wrong with facial analysis you can only ever recognise what you see. in replies. it's often the case at train stations or airports that people are stressed and don't look that relaxed and. to conclude that individual is agitated because there may be planning an attack would be fundamentally wrong. we're all on edge when we travel and. the researchers and airline and don't envision emotional analysis to be used in surveillance after all just as humans can misinterpret people's expressions so too can machines some emotions like anger and aggression are expressed in the body facial expression is only one indicator albeit the most important one. in
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this kind of technology certainly could allow you to monitor and manip. people and for this reason it's especially important to actively engage with it and to consider its potential impact. we can only do this when we have a clear grasp of the technology and its potential. and software can be trained to match certain expressions with particular feelings but to know if the subtle gestures truly do represent a certain a motion is a far bigger challenge whether you're a human or a machine. that wraps up this edition of tomorrow today. thanks for watching join us again next time for more from the world of science and technology.
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