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UZH Magazin 2/19

UZH Magazin 2/19 (Cover)

The technologies that surround us are getting ever smarter. What does that mean for us – will computer programs and robots take control in the future? Will humans become surplus to requirements? We talked to UZH academics to find out what the future holds and to help us separate fact and fiction, the real possibilities and the fake news.

Japanese robotics engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro builds androids that can barely be distinguished from humans. The photographs in this section were taken by Maija Tammi and Cait Opperman in Ishiguro’s lab in Osaka.

Focus: Us and the Machines 

Marcel Kammermann

Humans and machines have a long history of co-existence, but artificial intelligence (AI) threatens to disrupt this delicate balance. Will machines become more intelligent than we are? Will they ultimately take over and enslave us?

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The Columbus Bacterium

Schiff auf hoher See (Gemälde)

Syphilis sailed back to Europe with the voyagers who discovered America – and stayed. With the use of penicillin, "Cupid's disease" started to die out and gradually fell into oblivion. But not for long. Having reappeared at the turn of the millennium, cases have been recorded in Switzerland too. 

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At a Glacial Pace

Hüfigletscher (Daguerreotypie)

Even though glaciers react relatively slowly to rising temperatures, Switzerland will have to adjust to a future without these magnificent ice masses. We will manage – but the challenges facing Asian countries are far greater. 

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When Our Lives Were Still in One Piece

Anna Schnitzer

What is life like for families living in exile in Switzerland? What experiences do they bring with them to their new country? And what significance do memories from their native countries hold for them now? Sociologist Anna Schnitzer takes a closer look at the life stories of immigrants.

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Fliehen wie die Antilope

Aufmarsch von Rechtsextremen in Essen

Was geschieht in unserem Gehirn und unserem Körper, wenn wir uns bedroht fühlen? Psychiater Dominik Bach erforscht, wie wir auf Angst reagieren und wie belastende Erinnerungen gedämpft werden können.

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«Verkaufte Datenseele»

Michael Latzer

Algorithmen begleiten uns, wenn wir durchs Internet surfen. Facebook oder Google setzen sie ein, um unser Verhalten zu analysieren. Kommunikationswissenschaftler Michael Latzer erforscht, was Algorithmen tun und wie sie unsere Sicht auf die Welt beeinflussen.

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Wasser spalten

Sandra Luber

Die Chemikerin Sandra Luber arbeitet an der künstlichen Photosynthese. Wenn diese gelingt, könnten auf einen Schlag grosse Klimaprobleme gelöst werden. Doch es gibt noch viele Hindernisse.

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