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This week in Tech: Smart cities and comedic AI


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This week we explore bi-solar leaves to help reduce pollution in cities, and comedic AI. 

Comedic machines

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a comedic AI that can form puns. He Naynun Peng and Percy Liang have used ideas from humour theory to help the machine construct amusing speech - but sadly for the AI it has only won its pun competitions with humans 10% of the time. 

Image Credit: Fun4All via Pixabay


The UN’s International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank and the UN have found that there are now more mobile phone subscriptions than people. In 2018 there were 107 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, with approximately 5.28 billion “mobile broadband” subscriptions worldwide.

Image Credit: jarmoluk via Pixabay


Scientists have created a BioSolar Leaf that, with the surface area of one tree, has the potential to collect as much carbon dioxide and release as much oxygen as 100 trees. The technology has begun to be trialled at Imperial College London’s White City campus in partnership with Arborea, with the hope to install the structures on rooftops throughout cities in the future.

The future of cities

EmNet is using military sensor technology to track water levels in sewers in Missouri to prevent untreated sewage from entering the Missouri River. Andy Shively, who is directing the upgrade, aims to distribute the water more evenly across the sewage network, potentially reducing the level of construction needed in the long run.

Image Credit: 12019 via Pixabay

You are now up to date with all things technology based - come back next week for the latest roundup and see more tech here.

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