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  • Writer's pictureSwathi Young

How Unicef is accepting computing power donations and biometric boarding at LAX airport.

This week I came across a very creative an ingenious way to accept donations that are used to mine cryptocurrency. I was also impressed by the newly introduced biometric scanning at LAX airport and finally, maybe the Black Mirror episodes are not dystopian after all!UNICEF wants you to mine cryptocurrency for charity When you think of non-profits, I am sure you don’t think of them as early adopters of emerging technologies. UNICEF is proving us wrong! In a bold move, UNICEF has launched a page where you need not donate any money at all. Instead, it lets you donate computing power to let it mine cryptocurrency. It also allows you to see where your donation is going towards Rohingya refugee children from Myanmar. The process is simple and non-intrusive since no downloads are necessary. I was happy to know that my donation went towards helping supply food, water, and vaccines to refugee children in Bangladesh.

Biometric boarding the way to go?  Artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies are no longer in the future. Lufthansa recently announced the launch of biometric boarding at LAX. You no longer have to fish out the passport and boarding pass. The boarding gates have cameras with facial recognition that compares your photograph with the image in the US Customs and Border Protection’s database in real time. This process takes only a few seconds and a test that Lufthansa carried out, boarded 350 passengers in only 20 minutes. Now, if only they start using it for security check-ins as well!

Charlie Brooker on where Black Mirror will take us next  I share a love-hate relationship with Black Mirror. I love the fact that it presents a plausible future of technology and hate it for the same reasons. In an interview, the show’s creator, Charlie Brooker speaks about the possibility of emotional machines, personal space travel and “the sharing economy”.  If you did not know, my favorite and frightening episode of Black Mirror, “Nose Dive” is already coming true in China. There is an app called Zhima Credit which combines your social data (like your friends and where you shop) where higher ratings can give you access to rent a car without a deposit and lower ratings mean that you can be banned from traveling!  Other interesting stories: #cryptocurrency #blockchain #artificialintelligence


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