ETTECHX – 05 – 06 – 07 December 2024 – Hyderabad – Telengana

Higher Education

First ‘Make in India’ sensor for alcohol detection developed by IIT Jodhpur

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur Researchers have introduced the first “Make in India” human breath sensor designed to measure alcohol levels and detect respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The device’s primary function is to measure alcohol content in the breath in drunk and driving cases. However, with some changes in sensing layers and the use of an array of sensors.

There was a greater need for the development of a quick, affordable, non-invasive health monitoring device, given the growing concerns about the adverse impact of air pollution on human health and the environment. The existing sensors are based on fuel cell-based technology or metal oxide technology.

Hence, it motivated the researchers to take up the work and develop a breath VOC sensor whose cost will be less than the existing fuel cell technology-based device.

The technology underlying this device involves an electronic nose with a room-temperature operable heterostructure, combining metal oxide with nano silicon. As the sensors interact with alcohol in the sample, they exhibit a change in resistance proportional to the alcohol concentration.

Machine learning algorithms process the data collected from the sensor array, identifying patterns of different breath components and segregating alcohol from the mixture of volatile organic compounds.

Higher Education

Odysseus becomes first private spacecraft landing on the Moon

Intuitive Machines has just made history by becoming the first private aerospace company to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface. US achieved its first touchdown on lunar surface in over 50 years as a spacecraft built and flown by the Texas-based company landed near Moon’s south pole.

Signals sent back to mission control confirmed the successful landing of the spacecraft. However, there was a delay in re-establishing communication with the lander, causing uncertainty about its condition and position.

What is Intuitive Machines?

Texan company Intuitive Machines has been contracted by the US space agency (NASA) to carry scientific instruments to the Moon’s south pole. It becomes the first American soft landing on the lunar surface since the Apollo era just over half a century ago. To date, only four other countries – the former Soviet Union, China, India, and Japan – have successfully landed spacecraft on the Moon. However, the United States remains the only country to have sent humans to the lunar surface.

The robot lander, Odysseus is the first privately owned spacecraft to achieve its goal after the Astrobotic Peregrine lander, launched by United Launch Alliance last month, failed to reach the Moon. The Nasa payload onboard the spacecraft will focus on collecting data on space weather interactions with the Moon’s surface, radio astronomy, and other aspects of the lunar environment. This information will be crucial for future landers and Nasa’s planned return of astronauts to the Moon in the coming years.

How long is the robot lander expected to operate?

The landing took place as planned at a crater called Malapert A near the moon’s south pole. The Odysseus lander is equipped with a suite of scientific instruments and technology demonstrations for Nasa and several commercial customers. It is designed to operate for seven days on solar energy before the sun sets over the polar landing site.

This successful landing represents the first controlled descent to the lunar surface by a US spacecraft since Apollo 17 in 1972. Odysseus captured several photographs during its journey to the Moon, including some “selfies” with the Earth a day after it launched.

Other recent attempts include Japanese startup ispace’s Hakuto-R mission last April, which lost contact shortly before it was set to touch down, and Israel’s Beresheet lander that crashed in 2019. Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) ran into trouble after coming down facing the wrong way last month, while last fall, Russia’s Luna 25 crashed into the Moon just before India’s Chandrayaan-3 made a successful landing.

Higher Education

Build Fortune with Warren Buffett Tips

Famous investor Warren Buffett has built a fortune worth over $120 billion through his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, where he has bought businesses and picked winning stocks for decades.

Warren Buffett is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest investors of all time. Known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, Buffett developed his wealth as a value investor, purchasing undervalued stocks with sound fundamentals for a discounted price and then holding them as long-term investments.

As the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has offered many helpful pieces of advice when it comes to investing. Here are the important finance tips by the most admired finance guru Warren Buffett:

Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving

All of us know that saving is important for a better future. But it is alarming to observe that most of us do not even save enough for emergencies. This happens due to our myopic view about personal finance. Instant gratification today matters more than saving for tomorrow. In fact, saving is perceived as sacrifice by people. Set aside money for your future goals as soon as you receive your monthly pay check.

If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need  

Spending wisely is not being stingy but being smart and aware. Every rupee spent on unnecessary urges contributes to lost wealth. Take the example of the current EMI options on expensive smartphones. When one could do with a Rs 15,000 phone (within budget), the EMI option gives a false sense of smart decision and instead makes you buy a Rs 35,000 phone (overstretched budget).

You will not become rich by living on borrowed money

People initially think that borrowing is manageable. Borrowing should never be done without an objective assessment of future cash flow and other financial needs. One needs to have a solid plan to pay the debt back and not become its lifetime slave. A debt-free life is the best life. Shift to using debit card from credit card. Negotiate your interest rates with the banks and re-finance if necessary.

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago

Money is part of nature, it doesn’t grow overnight. However, we overestimate money we can make in a year and underestimate what we can make in 10 years. You can get benefit only if you invest for long-term and not panic seeing short-term fluctuations. Make a diversified portfolio based on your risk appetite and financial goals. Pick right financial instruments and invest regularly and persistently for the long term.

Investing without knowing increases risk

Everyone wants to make money and we all want it quick. We go for investments which promise high returns. But we fail to objectively analyse the associated higher rate of risk. Trying to hit a six on every ball with your hard-earned money is nothing short of gambling. Consult professional advisors to understand the investment pyramid, develop an investment strategy, review regularly and diversify.

Warren Buffett’s advice on building and preserving wealth is timeless and valuable no matter the size of your family or your estate.

Higher Education

What does the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility explain?

The law of diminishing marginal utility states that all else equal, as consumption increases, the marginal utility derived from each additional unit declines.

In simple terms, it means that the more of an item that you use or consume, the less satisfaction you get from each additional unit consumed or used. The change in utility gained from utilizing an additional unit of a product is known as marginal utility.

Understanding the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

According to many economists like Dr Marshall, the law of diminishing marginal utility definition is when the additional benefit that a person derives from a given increase of his stock of anything diminishes with the increase in the stock that he already has. The law states that the more we have of a commodity, the less we want to have more of it as the utility derived from every success unit of the commodity keeps on declining when more is consumed.

Vinay, for example, is starving and hasn’t consumed anything for a while. When he eventually starts to consume, the very first piece will provide him with a considerable measure of satisfaction. As he continues to eat even more meals, his hunger will wane to the extent that he no longer wants to eat.

Applying the law in business

Businesses can use this principle to structure their workforce. For example, a company may benefit from having three accountants on its staff. If there is no need for another accountant, though, hiring another accountant results in a diminished utility, as there is a minimum benefit gained from the new hire. However, if you have two accountants but no one to process paperwork, hiring a new administrative assistant has a higher level of utility than hiring a third accountant.

Limitations of the Law:

There are exceptions to the law of diminishing marginal utility.

Very small or dissimilar units

If the units of commodities are very small then the law does not operate. The unit should be similar in size, quality etc. The law of diminishing marginal utility will not operate if the units that are consumed are not similar in size and quality. The law will also not operate if the units are consumed after long breaks.

Mentally unstable people / Rare collections

People like drunkards or drug addicts will get greater satisfaction with every successive dose of liquor. Hence, the law fails to operate in these cases.

When people collect rare coins and stamps for example, in such cases the person’s satisfaction increases with every addition to his stock or collection. The law hence cannot operate.

Not applicable to money

Money is a commodity which is appreciated greatly by rich and poor. There is a saying that the more money a person has the more he wants of it, hence, the law cannot operate in the case of money.

However, the law of diminishing marginal utility helps explain why consumers are generally less and less satisfied with each additional product.

Higher Education K -12 Education

Aliens may be watching us but with a 3,000-year delay: Study

We search for extra-terrestrials in space by blasting infrared messages or sending probe satellites, but what if they are also watching us and observing major landmarks across the Earth from thousands of light years away? According to a new study, it is possible.

Aliens are watching us and are snooping on major landmarks across the Earth while using their ultra-advanced telescopes, a new study has claimed. But there is one catch: They are not observing us in real-time. Instead, there could be a delay of at least 3,000 years due to the time that light takes to travel across space.

So, most probably, aliens are able to pick out buildings and structures built on Earth during the times of the Romans, Greeks, Indians and Egyptians.

Can Alien Civilizations Detect Humanity?
The peer-reviewed paper is published in the March 2024 edition of Acta Astronautica, titled “Are we visible to advanced alien civilizations?” According to author ZN Osmanov, a Research Affiliate at the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) institute, the maximum distance for potential detection of activities on Earth by an extra-terrestrial civilisation
is 3000 light-years, an estimate calculated on the basis of the laws of Physics.

What The Study Revealed
It means that aliens could use huge and advanced telescopes to snoop on our major landmarks of the past. The study aimed to determine our detectability by categorising alien civilisations based on their technological advancements.

These classifications are based on the capability of the alien societies to harness the energy of their local star. The proposed categories are as follows: Type-I consumes all the energy incident on a planet from its star; Type-II utilises the total energy of the star; and Type-III is an advanced society that consumes the entire galactic energy.

Why Have Aliens Never Visited Earth?

There have been various claims on the internet regarding the existence of aliens. Are aliens real? We don’t know for sure, but we want to believe. Outer space is a vast expanse that we have so much more to learn about, which is why it’s hard to flat-out deny the possibility that other intelligent life forms exist.
If life can exist—and persist—in seclusion, and in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, it’s likely that other interplanetary life forms have evolved and acclimated to conditions in space, too

Higher Education

The Role of Technology in Modern Education

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the role of technology in education has become increasingly vital. Technology has revolutionized the way we learn and has opened up new possibilities for both educators and students.

By incorporating technology into education, we can enhance accessibility and inclusivity, develop future-ready skills, promote engagement and motivation, enable data-driven education, and streamline administrative processes.

In this era of digital transformation, understanding why it is important to have technology in education is crucial for creating effective and dynamic learning environments that prepare students for success in the twenty-first century.

Nowadays, the time that students invest in learning can be utilized in the best way possible since their growth is under their control thoroughly.

Tech-savvy Teachers
In traditional learning it is sometimes difficult for students to get a concept. Digital simulations and models can help students not only better understand various disciplines, but also get acquainted with the wonders of the modern world.

Plus, technology has also proved to be a helping hand for teachers who sometimes find it hard to explain certain things within the boundaries of a physical classroom. Tech-savvy teachers are able to prepare their lessons in a more strategical manner by including different types of text, activity models, and interactive controls for students.

Effective Communication Skills
Communication is an essential part of any activity. And when it comes to education, ineffective communication is just not acceptable. Since technology has emerged, communication gaps have been bridged up and the flow of knowledge has been smoothened. Whether in a traditional or a virtual classroom, with online collaboration tools everyone can just form a community where teachers assign projects to their students in real-time and students may ask for clarifications, if any. As a bonus, peers may easily interact with each other for their subject-relevant concerns too.

Learning at one’s Own Pace
Needless to say, self-paced learning is another big advantage that students enjoy with the emergence of technology in the education industry. When they opt to learn a specific concept and confronting any difficulty, there is no need to just skip it off. Although there are some quick learners who are capable of adapting quickly, there are some others who take considerable time to absorb an idea. Such students are blessed with the idea of technology being part of their learning; now they can easily pace up with their peers with the complete understanding of developed lessons and online curriculum that is exclusively designed for them.

Research is a Vital Tool
Cloud storage has made research a lot easier for the students these days. Gone are the days when they had to go through piles of books to find a specific reference to improve their assignments and projects. With technology, research has been quite an effective tool.

Since a lot of time is saved during research, students are able to incorporate a lot of information and knowledge in their projects. Also, the acquisition of different solutions and results all over the world is now possible, which is likely the most obvious benefit a student gets in his life.

Ample Opportunities in Open Education
In this technologically revolutionized world, there are numerous free options available from different prestigious universities. No matter where you are, you can simply access the internet through your device and look for your options. Since the world of internet is bound to provide you with the best of your search results and help your education needs, your grades don’t need to suffer anymore.

There are more technological revolutions that are expected in the industry, so you need to be ready for every new update. The idea that “Education is for everyone” seems to be verified with technology’s involvement.

Higher Education

Will human life be extended to 300 years?

Discussions on human life span began when ISRO chairman Dr S Somanath said, “Research in the fields of education, medicine and pharma makes it possible to treat organs and dying cells leading to which, the human lifespan can be increased upto 200 or 300 years.” He said that the average life expectancy of a person at the time of Independence was 35 years and now it has increased to 70 years.

Longstanding debate around maximum human life span

People are fascinated by the extremes of humanity such as how long human beings can live. There are, however, far fewer “supercentenarians,” people who live to age 110 or even longer. The oldest living person, Jeanne Calment of France, was 122 when she died in 1997; currently, the world’s oldest person is 116-year-old Maria Branyas of Spain.

Scientists are actively debating whether there is a fixed limit to the human life span. Some biologists think the data shows that aging is not a disease that can be treated, but instead an inevitable process that cannot be fully stopped, whether through medical breakthroughs or other means. Some demographers have argued that there is a natural limit to life expectancy, implying that maximum ages will level off as well.

Many biologists think extending human life to that degree is currently impossible. Biologists assert that our bodies eventually reach a point after which the next disease or illness we get will kill us – that’s our maximum life span.

Could humans live forever?
But others think there’s good evidence that life spans will continue to lengthen – at least for a lucky few. Several prominent biologists and medical experts have recently published findings suggesting there is some hope for extending life spans dramatically via medical interventions. Ultrawealthy tech titans like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Google co-founder Sergey Brin are investing heavily in such research.

Some people think we may know enough in the future, possibly centuries from now. That belief is why some people have gone so far as to freeze their bodies in liquid nitrogen in the hopes that someday, humans will have the scientific knowledge to bring them back to life—for good. One company charges more than Rs 1.6 crore to preserve and store a body. But experts point out that no evidence exists that it’s even possible to revive someone who has been frozen. They say no matter how advanced technology gets, it might be impossible for our bodies to go on forever.

However, Such extreme longevity, according researches, likely will continue to rise slowly by the end of this century, and estimates show that a lifespan of 125 years, or even 130 years, is possible.

Tips for Long Life

Follow Healthy Diet
Seafood, whole grains, olive oil, fruits, and veggies are all in great abundance. The programme can also significantly reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a combination of obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and additional factors that increase your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Reduce weight
If you’re overweight, losing weight can help you avoid problems like diabetes, heart disease, and others that shorten your lifespan. Deflate that spare tyre first since belly fat is hazardous for you.

Stop Smoking
We all know quitting smoking may extend your life, but how much longer may surprise you. According to a 50-year British research, giving up at age 30 might offer you a whole decade. If you give up the habit at age 40, 50, or 60, you’ll live an additional 9, 6, or 3 years, respectively.

Higher Education

The Menace of the Modern Era: Deepfake

In the modern era, a growing menace has evolved in the name of deepfake technologies that make it possible to create evidence of scenes that never happened. Celebrities have found themselves the unwitting stars of pornography, and politicians have turned up in videos appearing to speak words they never really said. This technology could potentially be used to incite political violence, sabotage elections, unsettle diplomatic relations, and spread misinformation. This technology can also be used to humiliate and blackmail people or attack organisations by presenting false evidence against leaders and public figures.

Deepfakes use deep learning techniques, such as generative adversarial networks, to digitally alter and simulate a real person. Malicious examples have included mimicking a manager’s instructions to employees, generating a fake message to a family in distress and distributing false embarrassing photos of individuals.

A risk to Humanity?
Deepfake is a multimedia content (image or video), wherein a person’s face or body is modified to appear as a different person. Deepfakes have been around since 2017 and refer to videos, audios or images created using a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning. In its early stages of development, Deepfake AI was capable of generating a generic representation of a person. More recently, Deepfakes have used synthesized voices and videos of specific individuals to launch cyber attacks, create fake news and harm reputations.

Researchers have observed a 230% increase in Deepfake usage by cybercriminals and scammers. The technology involves modifying or creating images and videos using a machine learning technique called generative adversarial network (GAN). The AI-driven software detects and learns the subjects’ movements and facial expressions from the source material and then duplicates these in another video or image.

To ensure that the Deepfake created is as close to real as possible, creators use a large database of source images. This is why more Deepfake videos are created of public figures, celebrities and politicians. The dataset is then used by one software to create a fake video, while a second software is used to detect signs of forgery in it. Through the collaborative work of the two software, the fake video is rendered until the second software package can no longer detect the forgery. This is known as “unsupervised learning”, when machine-language models teach themselves. The method makes it difficult for other software to identify Deepfakes.

How to curb this menace?
There are laws which can be invoked to deter one from creating deep fake videos. India’s IT Rules, 2021 require that all content reported to be fake or produced using Deepfake be taken down by intermediary platforms within 36 hours.

Since the Deepfake videos of the film actress Rashmika Mandanna went viral, the Indian IT ministry has also issued notices to social media platforms stating that impersonating online was illegal under Section 66D of the Information Technology Act of 2000. The IT Rules, 2021, also prohibit hosting any content that impersonates another person and requires social media firms to take down artificially morphed images when alerted.

How to identify Deepfake content
However, as is the case with all new tech, Deepfakes have positive usages as well. The technology has been used by the ALS Association in collaboration with a company to use voice-cloning technology to help people with ALS digitally recreate their voices in the future.

Deepfakes are a fact of the present life. So consumers will have to be more careful in verifying the source of content. AI, digital stamps, and making original content tamper-proof will help, but it’s up to each of us to stop the spread of it. Ensure employees and family know about how Deepfaking works and the challenges it can pose. Educate yourself and others on how to spot a Deepfake. Make sure you are media literate and use good quality news sources.

Higher Education

The Future of Internet and Cyberworld: Metaverse

Imagine a virtual world where billions of people live, work, shop, learn and interact with each other — all from the comfort of their couches in the physical world. In this world, the computer screens we use today to connect to a worldwide web of information have become portals to a 3D virtual realm that’s palpable — like real life, only bigger and better.

Digital facsimiles of ourselves, or avatars, move freely from one experience to another, taking our identities and our money with us.

Metaverse can be defined as a ‘digital world’ where the real and virtual worlds merge with science fiction. In such a ‘world’, people can switch to different electronic devices and communicate in a virtual environment.

“Metaverse” is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction book Snow Crash. The term “metaverse” is made up of the terms “meta,” which means “beyond,” and “verse,” which comes from the word “universe.” It refers to the next-generation Internet, in which users interact with one another and software programmes in a three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality as avatars, as opposed to the traditional Internet.

Metaverse: The Virtual Universe
Metaverse is a kind of new reality universe & dimension where virtual and real can be experienced simultaneously, formed as a result of combining all virtual worlds (MMO games, virtual meetings, etc.) and content on the internet, using Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and blockchain technologies.

There are no sharp distinctions like virtual & real in Metaverse, users can access all content and experiences in Metaverse at any time and from anywhere, either in Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) mode. The virtual and real worlds are so intertwined that users can exist in both environments simultaneously with the help of their digital avatars, and their actions on both sides can affect the other in real time.

In more concrete terms, Metaverse refers to augmented reality products and services. The concept of the metaverse will come out of science fiction novels and become a part of our lives in the not too distant future.

As per the concept of Metaverse, many users can freely trade goods and services using the platform’s currency and transaction method, implying that virtual money can be used in the form of bits to replace money in the real world. From virtual-reality glasses to software to digital goods, emerging online realms promise new ways to make big bucks.

How will Metaverse affect the future?
These Technologies will have the biggest impact on Metaverse Development in the forthcoming years.

Artificial intelligence.
Internet of things.
Extended reality, including virtual reality and augmented reality.
Brain-computer interfaces.
3D modeling and reconstruction.
Spatial and edge computing.
It is hard to say how long it might take and how real it will appear once the adoption of Metaverse is achieved. In the exhilarating landscape of today’s technological advancements, we stand on the cusp of 2024 with heightened expectations, invigorated by the generative AI (artificial intelligence) surge of 2023. We can agree that AI will indeed change the world.

Higher Education

Painting a Picture of Your Data: Visual Analytics

Whether you’re a marketer, data analyst, or business owner, incorporating the latest trends into your data visualization strategy can help you communicate complex data in a clear, concise, and visually appealing manner. By keeping up with the latest trends and tools, businesses can create impactful visual stories that leave a lasting impression on their audience, enhance their brand image, and achieve their business goals. Let us explore the latest developments, advancements, and future possibilities in the field of visual analytics.

What is Visual Analytics?
Visual analytics is a powerful form of reasoning that combines data analytics with interactive visual interfaces. By using interactive visual representations of data, users can easily interpret large volumes of information and uncover the hidden insights within. Unlike simple data visualizations, which answer the “what” questions, such as “What are the trends?” visual analytics digs deeper, answering the “why.”  Over the years, visual analytics has developed from simple charts and graphs to sophisticated interactive dashboards and immersive virtual reality experiences.

Integration of AI and ML
One of the most exciting developments in visual analytics is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. These technologies enable the system to learn from patterns and trends in data, providing more accurate and insightful visualizations. AI-powered visual analytics tools can also automate the process of data exploration, making it easier for users to find meaningful insights.

Reaching wide range of Audience
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another trend that is shaping the future of visual analytics. With NLP, users can interact with visualizations using natural language commands or queries. This eliminates the need for complex queries or programming skills, making visual analytics more accessible to a wider audience.

The Revolution of AR and VR:
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are no longer confined to the gaming and entertainment industries. These immersive technologies are now being used in visual analytics to create interactive and engaging experiences. With AR and VR, users can visualize data in three-dimensional space, allowing for a deeper understanding of complex relationships and patterns.

Strengthening Collaboration through Visual Analytics
Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in the world of visual analytics. With the ability to share and collaborate on visualizations in real-time, teams can work together to uncover insights and make data-driven decisions. Collaborative visual analytics tools allow multiple users to and interact with visualizations simultaneously, fostering a more collaborative and efficient work environment.

Growing Demand for Mobile:
With the rise of mobile devices, there is a growing demand for mobile-friendly visual analytics solutions. Users want to access and analyse data on the go, without being tied to a desktop computer. Visual analytics tools are adapting to this trend by providing responsive designs and mobile apps, allowing users to access and interact with visualizations anytime, anywhere.

Awareness of Ethical Dimensions
As visual analytics becomes more powerful, it is important to consider the ethical implications of its use. Privacy concerns, data security, and biases in algorithms are some of the important ethical challenges that need to be addressed. As we welcome the possibilities of visual analytics, we should also make sure that it is used responsibly and ethically.

Increasing Job Opportunities
With the demand for talented professionals in the field of analytics which is on the rise, individuals who possess the relevant skills and expertise are in high demand. As a result, experts can significantly enhance their career prospects, explore new job opportunities, and command higher salaries.

Visual analytics has changed the way we see and understand data. It has the ability to present complex information in a visually appealing and easily understandable format. It helps organizations make better, data-driven decisions. As technology continues to advance, latest trends emerge, it is essential to stay updated with the new developments in the competitive world.