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Suggested readings week 24/2023

Suggested readings week 24/2023

Artificial Intelligence Act from EU: the vote

Members of the Parliament at the European Union voted the Artificial Intelligence Act a few days ago, in a landmark discussion and decision taken also against forces and opinions trying to relax public control and regulation of such technologies.

The rules that will be elaborated based on the adopted text, currently in the form of sort of a call for regulation, aim to promote human-centric and trustworthy Artificial Intelligence while protecting human rights and democracy.

While not being yet a regulation, this is one further step in the direction and will not be subject to dramatic changes in the next future. European Union wide legislation is due to be finalized by end of 2023.

...and an interview on the same topic

Four questions and interesting answers on Artificial Intelligence with Joanna Bryson, Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School. The Hertie School is a private university based in Berlin and specializing in public policy.

Signing Malware

Why should a criminal sign a piece of code that executes malware?

Signing here has the meaning of faking as legit a piece of code (software) by using a cryptographic signature that makes it appear as if it was original. By doing this it's much more feasible to penetrate the security boundaries of a corporation and install the malware as if it was an innocent upgrade of an existing application.

The same might apply to automotive and industrial, with critical updates being pushed by criminals instead of original equipment manufacturers.

Signing starts with a certificate, or a piece of information that should stay protected in the vaults of original manufacturers and developers. So you can guess why stolen or ill-gotten code-signing certificates build an attractive business model for criminals.

How life works: quantum physics and biology

A whole new way of doing science. Quantum biology is one of the most interdisciplinary fields to ever emerge.

We're accustomed at thinking that quantum effects only manifest at very small scales or temperatures, while a macroscopic collection of quantum objects (whatever is scaled at a view using normal microscopes or naked eye) is better described by the laws of classical mechanics.

Chemists can't agree on this. Basic chemical reactions at room temperature show that processes occurring within biomolecules like proteins and genetic material are indeed the result of quantum physics and effects. No less than this, and more to come as soon as another barrier (bewteen Quantum Physics and Biotechnology) gets disrupted.

Anti-Car Paradise

One of the world's biggest cities is also among the most pedestrian-friendly. Was it a coincidence?