Hashtag Trending Jan 10 – Robot lawyer, Lab-grown retinal eye cells, First-ever vaccine for honeybees

DoNotPay offers to pay $1 million to let their robot argue a legal case, lab-grown retina cells make retina cells, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture approves vaccines for honeybees.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, January 10th and I am your host, Samira Balsara.

DoNotPay’s robot lawyer, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 API, the force behind ChatGPT has proposed to pay $1 million to any lawyer or person with an upcoming case in front of the United States Supreme Court to wear AirPods and let their robot lawyer argue the case by repeating exactly what it says. This possibly-illegal idea, Gizmodo reported, is meant to prove that DoNotPay is capable of handling complex legal cases. It’s however unclear if even Airpods are allowed in the courtroom. Joshua Browder, who tweeted the weird proposal, said to Gizmodo that the company will never do anything against the rules. He also said that he has not heard from lawyers for Supreme Court cases but has had serious offers for Federal and Appeals court cases. DoNotPay started as a chatbot in 2015 to help people resolve basic scenarios like canceling subscriptions or appealing parking tickets. But in recent years, the company used AI to ramp up its robot lawyer’s capabilities, equipping it to dispute medical bills and successfully negotiate with Comcast. 

Source: Gizmodo

A decade after researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a way to grow organized clusters of cells that resemble the retina, a study from the same university demonstrated that these very retina cells can now reach out and complete a handshake. Reportedly, that demonstrates that the retina cells, called organoids, are ready for trials in humans with degenerative eye disorders. The key question, according to one of the researchers, remains whether the cells, grown in compact clusters for months will behave appropriately when teased apart to insert in the human eye and replace the degenerative cells.

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a conditional vaccine for honeybees, designed to protect against American foulbrood disease, a bacteria capable of destroying entire colonies, Engadget reported. The vaccine was developed by a biotech firm named Dalan Animal Health. However, beekeepers will not be jabbing bees one by one, thankfully. In fact, administering the drug involves mixing it in with the queen feed worker bees eat. The vaccine then makes its way into the “royal jelly” the drones to feed their queen. Her offspring will then be born with some immunity against the harmful bacteria.

Source: Engadget

On Saturday, the number of players concurrently in-game on video game digital distribution platform, Steam surpassed 10 million. The number of online users not necessarily playing a game reached 32 million. The milestone was reached following the holiday season and the end of one of Steam’s big sales. It also comes at a time where there aren’t any major new game releases, IGN reported. The games played most concurrently were Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, Goose Goose Duck, PubG and Apex Legends.

Source: IGN

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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