In The Future of Healthy GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) we look at Bill Gate’s supporting GMOs, Canada’s bitcoin mining boom, China’s crime prediction abilities, how prescription foods can change your life, and how Automation could usher in era of fragility, conflict and extremism.
Bill Gates calls GMOs ‘perfectly healthy’ — and scientists say he’s right
Bill Gates has a message for those advocating against genetically modified organisms: I’m disappointed.
In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread on Tuesday, Gates said that not only does he view genetically modified foods as “perfectly healthy,” but that he sees them as a promising tool in a wider array of resources in the fight to reduce world hunger.
“GMO foods are perfectly healthy and the technique has the possibility to reduce starvation and malnutrition when it is reviewed in the right way,” Gates wrote. “I don’t stay away from non-GMO foods but it is disappointing that people view it as better.”
Read more at Business Insider
What’s fuelling the potential bitcoin mining boom in Canada
Toronto’s Hut Eight operates a mine that pops out on the horizon at the top of a hill: A gated compound filled with rows of shipping containers, 48 in all, each crammed with high-powered computers — referred to as rigs — designed to turn all of that computing power into digital currency.
Sites like this are also popping up in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C. as a relatively cheap and reliable supply of electricity makes digital currency mining a more cost-effective proposition. So much so, in fact, many foreign operators are looking to set up mines in the Great White North.
Read more at CBC
China using big data to detain people before crime is committed: report
Barely seven months ago, a senior Chinese official promised that artificial intelligence could one day help authorities spot crime before it happens.
In the country’s far western Xinjiang region, it’s already happening, with the establishment of a system that critics call “Orwellian” in scope and ambition, and which is being used to place people in political re-education.
Called the Integrated Joint Operations Platform, or IJOP, it assembles and parses data from facial-recognition cameras, WiFi internet sniffers, licence-plate cameras, police checkpoints, banking records and police reports made on mobile apps from home visits, a new report from Human Rights Watch finds.
If the system flags anything suspicious – a large purchase of fertilizer, perhaps, or stockpiles of food considered a marker of terrorism – it notifies police, who are expected to respond the same day and act according to what they find. “Who ought to be taken, should be taken,” says a work report located by the rights organization.
Read more at the Globe and Mail
Can prescription foods change your life?
A proper diet has long been considered essential to good health. But few have the time or skills to follow a diet spelled out on paper and prepare the right foods for every meal. Enter prescription food services ordered by your doctor, delivered by a food service, automatically restocked by your refrigerator, and cooked to perfection by your stove—after it crowdsources the best final touches to the recipe.
In other words, technology can help us eat better. Plenty of studies show that good nutrition prevents diseases ranging from rickets to diabetes and heart problems. The right caloric intake also speeds recovery from illnesses, accidents, and surgeries. Further, more recent research has discovered that diet impacts your epigenetics, the mechanism that turns genes on and off, and thus affects not only your health, but your future offspring’s, too.
“Examples of epigenetics in food include the ability of green tea to influence DNA methylation marks and reduce cancer susceptibility, as well as the ability of sulforaphane in broccoli to slow the growth of cancer via histone modification,” according to a report in What Is Epigenetics. “Other epigenetic examples even suggest that DNA methylation might fix binge eating early in life or eating brown rice can epigenetically reduce food cravings.”
Read more at HPE
World Bank chief: Automation could usher in era of fragility, conflict and extremism
The president of the World Bank has warned that the rise of automation means the traditional path to economic growth may close to “all but a handful of developing countries”.
Delivering a keynote speech to Mobile World Congress on Monday, Jim Yong Kim said that if the technology industry fails to “step up its efforts in building a brighter future”, many countries will be beset by “fragility, conflict, violence, extremism and eventually migration”.
“If everyone’s aspiration are going up and technology is replacing cheap labour in developing countries, we’re going to have to answer some very difficult questions,” said Kim. “What on earth are people going to do? How will they support their families? How will they spend their time and even will they be more likely to be recruited by online extremist groups?”
Read more at The New Statesman