A research project has analysed the Twitter discourse related to deepfakes in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022, studying almost 5,000 tweets related to these videos. Deepfakes are synthetic media that mix an original video with content generated by artificial intelligence, often with the aim of mimicking a person. The research, published in PLoS ONE, looks at the lack of literacy about deepfakes and the scepticism and misinformation that can arise when real media is mistakenly identified as fake. The authors warn that efforts to raise public awareness of this phenomenon can undermine trust in other legitimate media, that can also be seen as suspect.
Reaction: Ukrainian refugees are perceived more positively by European citizens than Syrians or Somalis
Research carried out with almost 300 participants from the United Kingdom and Malta revealed that they had more positive emotions, a willingness to help and less prejudice towards Ukrainian asylum seekers compared to Syrian or Somali refugees. According to the author, whose study is published in PLOS ONE, this is explained because “the perceived threat and negative emotions led to greater prejudice, which in turn led to a lower predisposition toward help.”
Reactions to study estimating the economic impact of the energy crisis on households around the world
A study estimates that household energy expenditure has increased by 62.6 to 112.9 % in 2022, following the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This represents an increase of 2.7 to 4.8 % of overall household expenditure. The analysis, published in Nature Energy, warns that this increase could push between 78 and 141 million people worldwide into extreme poverty.
The current climate crisis is not only leaving us with a historically warm winter and a decade of record temperatures, but is overlapping with an almost unprecedented energy crisis. Securing energy supplies in a sustainable way is now a challenge where the war in Ukraine adds to the complexity.
The mental health of refugee children in Ukraine: How can we help them regain their emotional stability?
Nearly three and a half million Ukrainians have fled their country; half of them are children. Ensuring their physical well-being is a priority, but we cannot forget the effect that war can have on children's mental health.
The European spacecraft that was to investigate whether Mars harboured life in the past will no longer fly. The satellite that was to study dark energy in the universe is delayed and a robotic telescope at the Teide Observatory stops working. Europe used to spend tens of millions of euros on scientific collaboration with Russia. But no more.
Today the International Space Station (ISS) is completely dependent on Russia to keep it in orbit. Space X spacecraft, which NASA contracts, carry astronauts but cannot propel the ISS to maintain its altitude. A new American spacecraft, Cygnus, which has already conducted a successful propulsion test, is expected to be able to do so.