Planned topics of issue 02/2021 – Feb 18

Space close: Feb 01, 2021

Topic and Focus “Truth”: What do we know and what do we think we know? When technology is so complex that it is put together from a puzzle of individual proofs and arguments, the boundaries of finding the truth blur – as with LIGO, the gravitational wave detector at Louisiana State University. And as long as AIs cannot distinguish between cause and effect in data analysis, they also do not help to recognize complex truths – correlation is not causality.

Expert in 5 minutes: Robots have evolved into an extensive, diverse species in the last few decades. We analyze their evolution and create a robot family tree.

Neurobiology: Covid-19 is driving us into isolation and many into loneliness. In the coming months, many warn, we will see the impact of Covid-19 on mental health on a global scale. But quantifying and even defining loneliness is difficult. Neuroscientists are now looking for traces of loneliness in our brain structures.

Environment: How should we feed ourselves safely in the future? More and more people will have to live off less and less land in the future. In addition, climate change, pathogens and, not least, political decisions are making the supply of food increasingly unpredictable and vulnerable. Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world – with virtually no agricultural land. The agriculture of the future is currently being developed there: large-scale vertical farming to feed Singaporeans.

Energy: New life for old oil and gas well fields. Geothermal energy is an elegant way to directly harness the energy contained in the earth. Since drilling costs make up the lion’s share of geothermal projects, it is economical to reuse the deep wells for oil and gas. In Germany, the first wells have been drilled in this way for several years. A significantly larger project with 10 megawatts is now starting in Lower Saxony. Additional test wells are scheduled for this year.

AI: Nobody likes to talk about AI in military use – but we do anyway, because it is urgently needed. Does the danger really come from autonomous weapons – or do the real threats lie somewhere else entirely? Interview with Ulrike Franke from the European Council in Foreign Relations.

Podcast: Ulrike Franke talks about AI in military use

✚ Extra “Digitisation”: Corona is a boost for digitalisation – also for public administration and schools? They continue to lag behind. What has been missed, what needs to change now and which technologies help.
Ad placement in the extra-topic is possible.

Topics are subject to change