Digital insights
april 2024

Every month, our Human Digital colleagues keep you updated on the latest digital developments and news. This month, SpaceX has finally succeeded in launching their largest rocket ever, Nvidia is introducing a second Earth to predict climate, and Instagram has introduced a new option to restrict political content. 

April 4, 2024
Rik van den Buijs

"Second earth" to predict climate change

In addition to unveiling a new powerful chip, Nvidia has launched Earth-2, a digital twin of the Earth designed to predict climate change. Earth-2 simulates weather and climate to better prepare for short and long-term changes, aiming to forecast decades ahead. The cloud software runs on supercomputers and utilizes AI models, enabling predictions to be made a thousand times faster than current technologies. Announced in 2021, Earth-2 is now operational. The technology is already being utilized by institutions such as Taiwan's Central Weather Administration to enhance typhoon predictions and facilitate faster evacuations. 


Third time's the charm: SpaceX successfully launches largest rocket ever

Today, SpaceX successfully launched its Starship after two previous failed attempts. It is the largest rocket ever produced by the company. SpaceX personnel celebrated the successful launch, during which the rocket achieved orbit around Earth at an altitude of 160 kilometers. Although the Super Heavy booster initially delivered less thrust than anticipated, the rocket still reached the required altitude. SpaceX isn't stopping there; the next step is activating the Raptor engines, scheduled 40 minutes after launch. The Starship stands 120 meters tall and is 9 meters wide, designed to transport both crew and cargo between Earth, the Moon, and Mars. SpaceX also plans to use the Starship to launch satellites, as successfully demonstrated today with the opening of a door to deploy Starlink satellites. 


Europa leads the way: AI legislation approved

The European Parliament has approved the AI Act, the world's first comprehensive AI regulation. This law prohibits certain AI applications that could violate residents' rights, such as indiscriminate scraping of facial images for facial recognition, emotion recognition in the workplace, manipulation of human behavior, and social scoring. The use of biometric identification systems by the police is also restricted, except in urgent cases and with judicial authorization. AI systems must become more transparent, indicating when AI is being used and labeling AI-generated content. Risky AI systems require more safeguards, including human oversight. The law will come into effect after approval by all EU member states, with a transition period of six months for prohibited applications and one year for general AI systems. 


Playing chess with brain implant assistance

Neuralink, Elon Musk's company, has demonstrated its brain implant in action for the first time. In a livestream on the social network X, a fully paralyzed man was shown using the implant to control a computer mouse and play chess. He reported that he could also play Civilization VI for hours using the implant, albeit with breaks to recharge. The tester likened the experience to using the Force in Star Wars: he thinks about where the mouse should move, and it happens automatically. While this isn't the first instance of thoughts being converted into mouse movements, it marks a significant milestone for Neuralink. Elon Musk shared the video and described the technology as 'telepathy'. 


New on Instagram: restriction on political content

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Threads, has rolled out a new setting that defaults to limiting the display of political content for users. The option to restrict political content can be found in the account settings under 'Content Preferences'. Meta's goal is to show users fewer political posts, aligning with what the company says is the preference of the majority of users. The change comes after Meta faced criticism over its platforms' influence on election campaigns and handling of political advertisements. Instagram's head, Adam Mosseri, has indicated that the negative aspects of political content outweigh the benefits. Currently, this setting is not yet available on Facebook, possibly due to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections where Meta expects significant revenue from political ads. 


This site uses anonymous cookies. Click on "Agree" if you agree to the use of cookies, or click on "Change" to determine your preferences.
This site uses anonymous cookies.