22.September 2018 NEW YORKNow60°F
AdminAugust 31, 2018
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2min70

We’ve all heard of the famous adage about constant things in life. It goes something like this: “There are three things that are constant in this world: change, taxes, and death.”

Well, death is indeed a constant thing for us human beings. We all die eventually, but what most of us hope for is a chance to say goodbye to our loved ones before we go. That’s where Google comes in as it presents an AI that can decrease the chances of unexpected or sudden hospital deaths.

Google AI Predicts Hospital Deaths with Staggering Accuracy

Google AI, which was developed by a group of researchers from Stanford, the University of Chicago, and UC San Francisco, uses a new type of AI algorithm in order to generate predictions about the likelihood of deaths, discharges, and readmissions of hospital patients.

Google trained the AI system by using de-identified data of 216,221 patients from two US medical centers, which means that the AI had over 46 billion data points to digest. Nonetheless, the AI was still able to link some words with an outcome (life or death, for instance) and understand how likely or unlikely someone was to die as time progressed.

The AI system first takes in various data about patients’ age, race, and gender. Then together with hospital information like previous diagnoses and lab results, the AI system makes a prediction whether a patient will die within 24 hours upon admission.

The accuracy of such prediction was said to be as high as 95%, which is 10% higher than the accuracy of models that the healthcare industry are using today. The AI system was able to produce such accurate predictions because it is fed with data that is usually out of reach for machines, such as doctor’s notes and other similar documents.

Google AI

Google AI Versus Hospitals’ Early Warning Score

The tech giant was able to test the performance of the AI algorithm on a patient that was admitted with late-stage cancer in a hospital in the city. When she was admitted, fluids were already filling her lungs.

The hospital’s Early Warning Score predicted a 9.3% chance of her dying based on her vital signs, whereas Google AI’s neural network algorithms were able to predict a 19.9% chance of death.

Unfortunately, the woman died less than two weeks later.

Evidently, Google’s algorithm is not yet perfect, but it was clearly able to predict a better death rate than the hospital’s model. Not to worry because it will, without a doubt, get better as it is exposed to more data over time.

Google AI Versus Hospitals’ Early Warning Score

What’s Great About Google AI

What really piqued the people’s interest in Google AI is that it can accept almost any type of data, which is mostly thanks to its powerful machine learning capabilities.

According to Nigam Shah, a Stanford professor, “Around 80% of development time that is spent on predictive models goes to making the data look presentable for AI.” Since Google’s system can accept different types of data, it will definitely save a substantial amount of time in this respect.

What’s Great About Google AI

Interestingly enough, Google AI can also perform other tasks other than predicting death probability; it can also estimate a patient’s stay in the hospital and the odds of them being readmitted.

The healthcare industry has certainly experienced its fair share of artificial intelligence technologies. Even so, there is still some skepticism surrounding artificial intelligence. I guess we have the movie industry to blame for that because of their portrayal of artificial intelligence in most sci-fi movies. However, we must bear in mind that AI technology has a lot to offer in various industries and sectors, especially in healthcare where it can potentially save thousands, if not millions, of lives.


AdminAugust 11, 2018
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2min213

Over time, the traffic situation in the city is becoming more and more frustrating as the population continues to explode. When it comes to driving in the city, being caught in traffic is really undesirable.

Traffic Light System

Luckily, some researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a solution. They have claimed that they have discovered a way to reduce a city driver’s travel time by up to 40%, as well as lower carbon emission, lessen congestion, and prevent accidents.

Virtual Traffic Lights and How it Works

Virtual Traffic Lights, which is an emerging vehicle-to-vehicle technology, is primarily designed for road efficiency. The concept behind it is to transfer the traffic control from fixed street signals to the cars themselves.

virtual traffic

“This technology basically buys you universal traffic control in each intersection,” Ozan Tonguz, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, explained. “The system makes traffic lights smart in the sense that it takes into consideration the number of vehicles that are present in each direction, and so it adjusts the cycle duration.”

In addition, Tonguz said that Virtual Traffic Light technology can be used as a standalone technology for traffic management. He even added, “The Virtual Traffic Light could also be used in combination with autonomous cars and congestion pricing, which is used by IBM and several other companies in different countries to mitigate congestion during rush hours.”

To explain how the technology actually works, Ozan Tonguz has provided a simple explanation: “When the driver is looking through the windshield, they’ll see that going straight is a green light, and turning right is a red light. It’s a seamless process as the driver doesn’t need to get involved in this decision-making process.”

After the driver has passed through the intersection, the virtual traffic light will automatically disappear.

Goals of Virtual Traffic Lights

The startup company truly has something going on with this technology, and they have a very venerable set of goals like aiming for a greener environment, for instance.

The most important goal of Virtual Traffic Lights is to give people their life back. Surely, most people believe that time is precious. Time lost cannot be taken back, after all. The average driver spends 15 hours each week just commuting. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to cut that time in half and give people more time to spend with their loved ones?

Traffic signs

Since less time is being spent on the road, we have more time to spend doing what we love to do; there is increased productivity not only in work but also in the personal lives of people. That is another goal of Virtual Traffic Lights.

Another goal is to improve general safety and reduce traffic fatalities. Because the technology can effectively function as a traffic system anywhere and because traffic lights at every intersection improve safety, there is a substantial increase in safety on highways and other road segments.

As mentioned earlier, having a greener environment is also a goal of Virtual Traffic Lights. Because drivers spend less time on the road, it leads to less pollution and reduction in carbon footprint of vehicles.

Lastly, Virtual Traffic Lights hope to improve the health and quality of life of people. It cannot be denied that traffic tends to induce stress, road rage, and pollution; all of which are bad for people’s health. And so if people spend less time getting stuck in traffic, their health and quality of life are considerably improved.

When it Will Be Available in the Market

Trafic It isn’t clear yet when the Virtual Traffic Lights will be sold in the market since it hasn’t been tested in a real-world setting. In fact, the biggest obstacle of Virtual Traffic Lights is to get the government to test the system in the real world.

When asked about it, Tonguz only said, “In my mind, the argument here is so compelling, the benefits so compelling; it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.”


AdminAugust 10, 2018
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2min137

X-ray vision is one of the world’s most popular superpowers. Young boys all over the world, at some point, even wished to have this superpower but could only resign to daydreaming about it.

X-ray vision

Presently, that is about to change because, for the past ten years, scientists from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT are doing their best to bring us closer to seeing through walls.

AI that Equates to Having a Superpower

The “RF-Pose”, which is the latest project of a team of scientists at MIT, uses artificial intelligence in order to instruct wireless devices to sense people’s poses and gestures, even when they are obstructed from view.

The team uses a neural network in order to analyze radio signals, which usually bounce off people’s bodies, and then generate a dynamic stick figure that walks, sits, and stands as the person performs those actions. Moreover, the system doesn’t even have to see to know how someone is walking, sitting, or standing.

In order to train the neural network, the MIT scientists collected samples of people walking using both wireless signal pings and cameras. Now, those camera footages were processed to create stick figures to substitute real people.

The scientists complemented that data with radio waves, and that combined data was used by researchers to teach the neural network. With a deep-seated connection between the stick figures and the RF data, stick figures are successfully created based on radio wave reflections.

RF data

Fascinatingly, the camera can’t actually see through the walls. So, it is clear that the system was never explicitly trained in recognizing people on the other side of an obstacle. The only reason that it works is that the radio waves bounce off a person on the other side of a wall, just like how they would do when they’re in the same room. Moreover, the system also works with many people crossing paths.

Overcoming the Challenges

One of the hurdles that the scientists had to overcome is that a majority of neural networks are trained using data labeled by hand; for instance, a neural network that is taught to recognize dogs needs people to look at a big dataset of images and label each one as either “dog” or “not dog”. Manually labeling radio signals, on the other hand, proves to be quite difficult.

Overcoming

So as to deal with this concern, the scientists gathered images of people doing activities like standing, walking, sitting, and opening doors. Afterward, they used these images to generate stick figures, which they presented to the neural network together with the matching radio signal. This enabled the system to learn the connection between the radio signal and the stick figures of the people in the scene.

Practical Uses of RF-Pose

According to the scientists, there are quite a few practical applications for RF-Pose; one of them is to monitor diseases, such as Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy, in order to provide a better understanding of the disease and will allow doctors to make modifications to the medications correspondingly.

RF-Pose

The scientists also said that RF-Pose could also help elderly people live more independently by offering an extra security of monitoring for falls, injuries, and changes in activity patterns.

At present, the team is working with doctors to discover future applications of RF-Pose in health care. Apart from health care, the scientists state that RF-Pose could possibly be used for new classes of video games and also in search-and-rescue missions that would need help in locating survivors. Now that’s what I would call a superhero power.


AdminAugust 7, 2018
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2min79

Some of you might have a fear of cockroaches. Most times you might feel like your heart would stop or that you might want to run away whenever you see a cockroach, but what if that same cockroach is running to save you?

A team of researchers at UC Berkeley has designed a prototype of a robot that looks just like a cockroach. The robot, which is called CRAM (Comprehensive Robot with Articulated Mechanisms), is thought to be the first step in creating an extremely effective search-and-rescue robot.

fear of cockroaches

 

What Exactly is CRAM?

The team of researchers at UC Berkeley has named their creation CRAM, which is a robot prototype that has a jointed exoskeleton and a soft casing that enables it to shapeshift and squeeze into small spaces.

Similar to a cockroach, CRAM can get through areas that are less than half its height while still maintaining full speed. They can achieve this feat by using various parts of their legs to push themselves depending on their stance.

It will be a while, of course, before CRAM can manage feats like squeezing into crevices that are 1/10th of an inch, although the findings on the tests conducted on the prototype show great promise. At present, CRAM is still in the prototype stage and hasn’t been tested in any real-world setting. According to one of the researchers, the next phase is to find out which materials would be most effective in a disaster situation. In due course, CRAM may be equipped with a wider range of movement, such as the ability to turn, jump, and climb.

To ascertain how the body of the robotic cockroach responds to different situations, the researchers constructed a series of experiments. They created three custom apparatus, with each apparatus aiming to emphasize a specific element of movement: “crevice traversal”, “confined-space crawling”, and the reactions of cockroaches to “dynamic compressive forces” while moving.

The “crevice traversal” apparatus assessed the movements of the cockroach in tiny horizontal spaces, whereas the “confined-space crawling” apparatus assessed their movements in tiny vertical spaces. Based on the study, the cockroaches were able to keep on moving swiftly in horizontal spaces that are as small as 3mm and 4mm in vertical spaces.

The team also tested the exoskeleton of the cockroach by applying force on its body as it was trying to pass through a tight space. They discovered that the cockroaches can withstand a force of 300 times their body weight even when squeezing into the narrowest spaces and a force of 900 times their body weight without incurring any damage.

The findings on these tests alerted the researchers to a new form of movement, which they call “body-friction legged crawling”. The cockroaches moved efficiently when subjected to an “intermediate” level of friction by using a mixture of “body drag” and “friction-dominated leg thrust”.

The researchers captured these tests on film and in slow motion in order to see clearly what was happening to the bodies of the cockroaches while they moved. The results contributed to the conception of the design of the prototype, which is roughly the size of a person’s palm, and made of poster board and polyester.

What Exactly is CRAM?

What Inspired the Creation of CRAM?

Robert Full, who is a professor at Berkeley, and his student Kaushik Jayaram had the inspiration from the extraordinarily flexible cockroach to create a robot version with an exoskeleton that enables it to be compressed to less than half its height so that it can get through confined spaces.

In a paper that was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, both professor and student showed how a cockroach is able to get its body through tight spaces and still keep moving, owing chiefly to an exoskeleton made of soft materials.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments and eventually built a device from several folding exoskeleton-like plates. They hypothesize that its flexibility and strength could make it perfect for searching collapsed buildings.

What Inspired the Creation of CRAM?

What Makes CRAM the Perfect Rescue Robot?

Furthermore, Jayaram and Full thought that the unique way that a cockroach moves and its universal resistance to destruction make it the best design for a search-and-rescue robot since a rescue bot would need to be able to go through rubble and cramped spaces. To further prove his point, Full even stated: “Cockroaches are great at revealing nature’s secrets about design.”

The experiment also showed a significant and new trend in robotics. Many scientists and corporations are quickly becoming fascinated in soft or malleable robot designs because of the different physical benefits they present.

By now, I bet that if you happened to be trapped under a pile of trouble, this little cockroach might be the one thing you’d want to see scurrying towards you.


AdminJune 7, 2018
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2min249

With the ever-growing and rapidly-evolving technology we have today, a lot of revolutionary inventions have emerged and one of them is artificial intelligence. We can basically see it in most of our modern gadgets such as mobile phones, smartwatches, drones, self-driving cars, speakers, SIRI, and many others. But what happens if something, however remotely trivial or small, goes wrong?

The researchers at MIT Media Lab sounded a little bit scared of their latest invention: a neural network called “Norman”, whom they claim is showing thought processes that are closest to “psychopathic” than any other AI before it. Part of its introduction to the public was staged as an April Fool’s prank on the lab’s official site, on which they claimed that the AI Norman’s thought processes became permanently deranged by constant exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit. While that diagnosis may have been intentionally exaggerated, the part about Norman’s incredibly morbid point of view is terrifyingly real.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by human beings and other animals. Artificial intelligence can also be understood as an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of smart machines that work and reacts like humans. Some of them are designed for speech recognition, learning, planning, and problem-solving.

Research conducted with regard to artificial intelligence is specialized and highly technical. The main problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, perception, problem-solving, and ability to manipulate and move objects.

Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence

There are people who have negative feelings toward artificial intelligence, but what they don’t know is that it can be quite beneficial. First and most important, it produces jobs. Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence actually helps companies, such as Google and Netflix, to exist. Actually, Google alone employs more than 70,000 employees. Imagine that 70,000 people are able to have jobs that don’t involve mindless tasks; this is just one benefit of artificial intelligence, and that’s just the success it has had with one company. Artificial intelligence helps businesses grow, develop, and allocate new resources to hire more people. Another benefit that artificial intelligence provides is helping reduce the effect of some of the man’s poor decisions. Other benefits are its convenience, efficiency, and its role in promoting faster advancement in healthcare and technology.

Of course, there will also be risks involved in such advanced technologies. First on the list is that phishing scams could get even worse. They could become even more prevalent and effective thanks to AI. Also, hackers could start using AI like financial firms. Fake news and propaganda are only going to get worse. AI could make weapons more destructive.

Meet Norman, the AI Psychopath

A neural network designed by researchers at MIT Media Lab, Normal is disturbingly different from other types of artificial intelligence (AI). Norman is an algorithm that is specifically trained to understand pictures, but, like its namesake Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.

Norman’s point of view was incessantly bleak; it saw dead bodies, blood, and destruction in every image. When it was shown different inkblot drawings and asked what it saw, it answered with some really disturbing responses. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a close up of a vase with flowers” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man shot dead”. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a black and white photo of a small bird” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man getting pulled into a dough machine”. Even when it was shown colored inkblot drawings, Norman would still interpret it as “a man shot dead in front of his screaming wife” and “a man killed by a speeding driver”. Norman is quite biased towards death and destruction because that is all that it knows. AI in real-life situations can be equally biased if it was trained on flawed and bad data.

Apparently, Norman isn’t the first AI to focus on dark subject matters.  Earlier experiments such as “Nightmare Machine”, an AI that learned to recognize images that scared people and turned ordinary photos into horrific ones, and “Shelley”, an AI that was fed text from various horror stories and eventually learned to write her own original tales of terror, came before Norman.


AdminMay 31, 2018
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1min223

Nothing can beat massage by hands for aiding blood circulation and alleviating body pain.  However, because of time constraint in going to the massage spa or booking masseur home service with a fat tip, people think of alternatives solutions that can save them time, effort and money with almost the same benefits drawn. There is non-invasive high-end health equipment that is in the market since the 80’s. A motorized massage chair can do miracles for your relaxation and other health concerns.  Today’s edition became even more comfortable and fashionable and as the price goes becoming more of a competitive product. Say goodbye to irregular sleeping habits and enjoy the soothing relief using a chair massager in the comfort of your home or even at your workplace.

Therapeutic massage aids in venous and lymphatic flow clearing toxins and increasing flow of blood for revitalization. It alleviates chronic pain, relieves fatigue, and eases sore and strained muscles. It improves strength and flexibility and is considered a stress buster.  The most beneficial aspect why people prefer massage is that it produces happy hormones in form of endorphin, thus the release of tension and anxiety.  Professional therapists use soft or hard techniques to work with strained, sore muscles, just like reflexologists to the hands and feet.  These basic strokes can also be done by a motorized massage chair especially hitting pains in the back. It aligns the spinal column and reduces nerve tensions. It also aids in digestion, improves the immune system and most especially helps a person to maintain good posture.

Depending on time set, a person can enjoy a different form of massage. Other chair massagers come with a heated bag and a calm music for a warm cozy feel just like in a typical spa.  The strokes of massage vary according to your preference whether it hits hard on the upper or lower body, or squeeze the arms and legs, or for spinal decompression, or just simply a soft soothing massage set to a relaxing mode. This chair detects where shoulders are located, the spinal column and basically every part of your body. There are spinning rollers at the bottom area to massage the feet. Everything can be set through remote control.

Somehow, there are slight contraindications that should also be followed because basically there’s nothing perfect in this world. Even natural massage can also pose risks in some ways.  If one is suffering from osteoporosis or other bone ailments, caution is heeded.  Persons who are newly operated or have undergone chemotherapy radiation are not advised to undergo any message unless with a physician’s consent.  If you have unleashed or infected wounds, rashes, and skin problems, seek physician’s advice first.

Motorized Chair Massagers are not cheap, but it is a beneficial health investment.  Because it is user-friendly,   senior citizens can easily adapt to it. Its goal as a pain reliever and stressbuster delivers psychological peace of mind especially those suffering from minor depression. In this technological age, a lot of high-tech gadgets and equipment are competing in the market, so why not settle for something that can add up energy and add to life?



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