A Finnish technology company has unveiled an unusual way to combat online bullying, racism and other sins of modern society: a new font that automatically converts offensive language into neutral text. How it works?
The Polite Type font team has decided to rid the world of racism, Internet trolls, cyberbullying and other forms of intolerance. The “polite” font blurs common phrases that are potentially offensive to the interlocutor, and also replaces individual harsh statements with softer words.
For example, if an offended girl in an angry fervor writes to her boyfriend “I hate you!”, Then the young man will see the following phrase: “I do not agree with you!” Or, if the main gossip of the office writes to a friend about someone, “She’s ugly,” the subscriber at the other end of the line will probably be surprised by the message “She’s unconventionally beautiful.” An attempt to write “You are a fool” will result in the appearance of the phrase “You are a fool” on the screen of the interlocutor.
As for racist statements, their font will automatically be replaced with the correct names of races and religions. Quite accusatory concepts (an idiot, a dumbass and others that cannot be mentioned in any way in a text that children can read) will be blurred.
The very case when the meaning will be understood from the context, but instead of offensive words, the interlocutors will see only diplomatic “piiii”.
Jokes aside, but such a font can really make society a little more attentive and tolerant towards the people around it. Internet trolling has reached phenomenal proportions today.
According to the UN, a third of young people experience online bullying. More than 35% of victims of this type of psychological abuse report attacks of anxiety, a fifth have problems with sleep. About one in five children do not want to go to school because of these problems.
“Our goal is to promote equality and global unity,” says Kia Haring, director of communications for tietoEVRY, which created the font. “We want bullies to reflect on their words and their real meaning …”
The polite font team also points to the fact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. Schoolchildren and students around the world went online, lost the ability to dump accumulated negativity in the outside world, stopped meeting teachers and social workers who helped them cope with negative emotions earlier, which caused many of them to vent their anger on the Internet.
The feeling of isolation and loneliness crippled not only many adults but also children. Moreover, not only those who are prone to psychological violence against others, but also the victims who also lost public support, suffered harder.
As Haring emphasizes, the younger generation suffers more from bullying, because, unlike adults, children and adolescents are sometimes not psychologically ready to reflect offensive statements in their address and have not yet learned to cope with their emotions. As a result, deep psychological scars remain in their souls for many years.
Yes, humorous teasing is a common occurrence between friends and colleagues. And this is the same “part of the game” as everyone else. But, as a rule, such statements have no real basis.
If a person deliberately insults those whom he considers, to put it mildly, unworthy to walk on planet Earth, this is a completely different story. A “polite” font could well save the world from unconscious insults, but it certainly will not save the planet from those people who are overwhelmed with hatred towards other “participants in the process.”
The team behind The Polite Type understands this and does not oppose freedom of speech.
“We believe that the right to free speech includes the right to disagree. But hate speech is the wrong way to express your disagreement. We want aggressors to understand what their actions on the Internet lead to,” the developers write on their website.
Let’s add that the new open source font works with all popular text editors. The list of 1,800 offensive words was compiled in collaboration with Finnish teenagers and some organizations that advocate for equality.
Cyberfarm 2077. YouTuber showed what a Russian cyber village could look like
On November 19, the day the Cyberpunk 2077 video game was supposed to be released, a five-minute video about a Russian cyber village appeared on YouTube. It combines the aesthetics of cyberpunk with the life of the Russian provinces.
Russian director and blogger Sergei Vasiliev made a short film that is an excerpt from the life of a fictional Russian village with the technologies of the future. The short film was shot in the style of a video blog.
“They say that Russia is a technically backward country, there are no roads, no robotics, rockets do not fly, and mail takes too long. [This is not true],” the creators say.
The main character, a farmer called Nikolai, talks about his cyber farm, where three androids work, and invites new workers to his business. The robots milk the cows, walk them and go to fetch water. Instead of a cesspool, there is a black hole in the toilets, and mail is delivered by flying wagons of the Russian Post. New technologies have also solved the problem of Russian roads – cars now fly over it, but even there are holes in the air.
The authors of the short film said that a “creative association of enthusiasts” worked on the creative, and now they “plan to release further videos in the same universe.”
German scientists have found a drink that kills coronavirus in five minutes
German scientists from the University of Ulm have discovered a natural product that kills up to 97% of the coronavirus in the body. The researchers published their work in the journal bioRxiv.
During the study, experts mixed juices with viruses at room temperature and monitored the results. It turned out that black chokeberry juice most effectively suppresses the activity of the virus in the human body – it destroys up to 97% of COVID-19 pathogens in just five minutes.
In addition, pomegranate juice can kill up to 80% of the coronavirus pathogens. The rest of natural juices and green tea can also weaken the disease, since they have an acidic environment and plant polyphenols that negatively affect the virus.
In order to get rid of 80% of COVID-19 pathogens, scientists recommended that patients rinse the oropharynx with these solutions and rinse the nasopharynx. The study adds that plant polyphenols and acidic environments have a damaging effect on viral proteins.
During the study, scientists mixed drinks with viral particles and influenza A virus (IAV), adenovirus 5 (AdV5) and SARS-CoV-2. The observation was carried out under room temperature conditions. The experts also worked on swine flu with different juices and teas.
“Preventing the initial infection or reducing the viral load of an infection can relieve symptoms, prevent spread to the lower respiratory tract or transmission to another person,” the study said.
Netflix sci-fi show about life on other planets kicks off in December
In early December, Netflix is launching a new show, Alien Worlds, dedicated to alien planets and the life that might have developed on them.
The show’s creators relied on real facts and astrobiology to imagine creatures that could inhabit the exoplanets that support life in our modern sense.
Naturally, all this is nothing more than speculation. We do not have the opportunity to send missions to these worlds, and even if we build an apparatus for flying to neighboring systems, the journey will take hundreds of years.
Therefore, scientists are counting on a new generation of telescopes and analysis systems to determine the composition of the atmosphere of exoplanets. Next year, the launch of the James Webb Telescope will take place, which will allow you to look deeper into space.
Alien Worlds premieres on December 2.
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