Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for November 22, 2019

in rsslog •  3 months ago 

Upcoming uses for artificial intelligence in psychiatry; Deal between Verizon and Snapchat to showcase 5G and augmented reality; New colocation center in Nebraska to provide service for bitcoin mining and machine learning; MS Windows will support DNS over HTTPS (DoH) for encrypted name resolution; and a Steem post with photos and descriptions of the Bubble Nebula - NGC7635

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  1. Artificial Intelligence Could Help Solve America's Impending Mental Health Crisis - By improving diagnostics and interpreting medial images, artificial intelligence (AI) has already begun reshaping the medical landscape. Lacking emotional intelligence, however, robots and AI have not had much impact in psychiatry. As the baby boomer generation continues retiring en masse, however, the medical industry is imagining new uses for technology. And with AIs ability to recognize patterns, analyze data, and perform remote monitoring, experts say that it may be able to pick up on cues that humans would miss, especially because of the limited time that clinicians are able to spend with patients. Although some AI apps, like woebot are entering the field, the article suggests that it will be 5-10 more years before AI systems are a mainstream part of mental health treatment, and it may even be longer. John Torous is quoted as saying that the inclusion of AI in psychiatry is going to be an uphill challenge, but Henry A. Nasrallah is more optimistic. Nasrallah notes that speech and mental health are closely linked, and two of AIs possible uses in psychiatry include speech and language. Thus, he suggests that an AI system might be better than human clinicians at recognizing certain systems, like changes in intonation. Other possible uses of AI include distinguishing between real and fake suicide notes, or wearable devices that track sleep and physical activity. Tourous cautions, however, that "Nothing has ever been a panacea" and cautions against overblown expectations.

    Here is a video that accompanies the article:

  • Verizon and Snapchat have created a partnership to promote 5G and augmented reality - A partnership has been announced by Verizon and Snap Inc., snapchat's parent company, to combine Verizon's 5G technology with snapchat's augmented reality. This deal gives Verizon access to prime advertising in the snapchat application, and it gives snapchat wide distribution because it will come preinstalled on Verizon's 5G phones. Verizon also hopes that snapchat's augmented reality (AR) applications will showcase benefits of 5G, including low latency, high bandwidth, and fast speeds. Frank Boulben, SVP of marketing & products for Verizon Consumer Group, is quoted as saying, "5G will change the way people live, work and play and we're partnering with leading companies like Snap Inc. to create unique experiences and new offerings". Neither company would discuss the deal's financial terms.

  • Compute North Announces Nebraska Colocation Center for Bitcoin Mining - Compute North has now announced the opening of their colocation center in Kearney, Nebraska. Joining centers in Texas and South Dakota, this will be the company's third colocation center. The facility is now live, offering 100 megawatts (MW) of power for large capacity compute-users. The company says the low energy cost at the location makes it ideal for activities like bitcoin mining and training machine intelligence algorithms. Bitcoin mining is dominated by China, but this launch joins an October launch in Rockdale, Texas by Bitmain, and another November announcement by Whinstone US Inc. and Northern Bitcoin AG saying that they will launch the world's largest bitcoin mining facility in Louisiana. Related: The October announcement by Bitmain was also covered in Curating the Internet: Business and leadership micro-summaries for October 23, 2019.

  • Windows will improve user privacy with DNS over HTTPS - In a blog post, Microsoft expresses commitment to user privacy and DNS decentralization. Noting that unencrypted DNS lookups offer a snapshot into a user's browsing, the post says that many have called for DNS encryption, but would currently require DNS centralization. The post goes on to assert that DNS encryption can only be adopted in a way that retains decentralization if everyone starts making use of it. Resultantly, Microsoft says that they will update their operating system software to support DNS encryption. Here are the guiding principles that they are pursuing: Windows DNS needs to be as private and functional as possible by default without the need for user or admin configuration because Windows DNS traffic represents a snapshot of the user’s browsing history.; Privacy-minded Windows users and administrators need to be guided to DNS settings even if they don't know what DNS is yet.; Windows users and administrators need to be able to improve their DNS configuration with as few simple actions as possible.; and Windows users and administrators need to explicitly allow fallback from encrypted DNS once configured. Thus, the company will beginning working to support DNS over HTTPS (DoH) in the Windows DNS client. The post doesn't offer a time frame for when the changes will reach consumers. h/t OS news

  • STEEM The Bubble Nebula - NGC7635 - In this post, @astrophoto.kevin describes The Bubble Nebula and shows some photos that he captured. The emission nebula is found in the constellation, Cassiopeia. The bubble, from which the nebula gets its named formed from "emission of gas of a big O-star and its star winds". In addition to a direct photograph of the nebula, the post also contains a photo that obtained a closer view through the use of the drizzle zoom algorithm, and two additional photos with maps of the sky along with descriptions that provide context. The post says the photos can be used with attribution, so here is one:

    The Bubble Nebula captured with a focal length of 420mm. - photo by @astrophoto.kevin


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    AI is gonna be key to many tech developments, and particularly in decentralization. But I find psychiactric diagnosis by AI not only utterly ridiculous, but Orwellianly terrifying. I don't even think real human psychiatists are better than guessing at what consciousness is and how it goes wrong, and now their handing off their guesses to AI? Just let me check off boxes on a listicle.


    Thanks for the reply!

    I'd feel much better about psychiatry if they could eventually get to the level of identifying and treating bio-mechanical root causes, as I suspect that a number of totally unrelated physiological problems can cause similar seeming behavioral anomalies. I could definitely see AI helping with identifying those underlying root causes, although that's not what the article is about.

    As it stands now, my observation of psychiatry over the years is that - in practice - the doctors seem to try medicines until something works, and as they do, they change diagnoses to match the medicine they're trying. Then, whatever medicine eventually seems to cause improvement tells them their ultimate diagnosis. So I don't worry about them adding an AI to the diagnostic toolbox. To me, it doesn't seem like the process can get much less accurate. I don't think an AI should be the only diagnostic decision-maker, but I am ok with it being another input for consideration by a human doctor. Of course a risk with that is that doctors may come to trust the AI's too much, as we have seen with accidents that occurred during the emergence of autonomous vehicles, when their human observers were less than attentive.


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