Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for November 28, 2019 (Thanksgiving edition)

in rsslog •  3 months ago  (edited)

A robot prototype that's designed to improve microsurgery for things like eyes and aneurisms; An AI start-up that aims to upend radiology; An argument that bitcoin is the key to ethical AI; While Facebook is removing record amounts of "hate speech", for many languages, the process still depends on human reporting; and a Steem post announcing a new waivio.com feature to add images to hashtags


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  1. Robot prototype shows promise for microsurgery on eyes and aneurysms - A new robot by Nabil Simaan and his team offers the ability to perform both macro-motions (large scale motions) and micro-motions (small scale motions) on the order of one micron or less. For context, a micron is 1/25,400 of an inch. According to the article, "The miniaturization and range of motion would allow precise control during procedures on complex aneurysms, tiny veins and arteries, nerves and the delicate structures of the eye, the inner ear and the vocal cords." Simaan terms the robots, continuum robots with equilibrium modulation (CREM). Previous continuum robots use worm-like motion to achieve macro-motion, but this variant adds micro-motion through the addition of inexpensive actuators. Wires can modulate the equilibrium state by sliding in and out of the robot's tube-shaped backbone. Testing is also under way to enable a sort of "optical ultrasound" to do imaging from within the tissue.

    Here is a video (you may want to turn on closed-captioning due to the audio quality):

h/t Communications of the ACM


  • A self-driving car pioneer teamed up with a doctor to create a healthcare AI startup that just raised $16.5 million to upend radiology - Self-driving car pioneer, David Stavens has teamed up with NYC radiologist, Alexander Kagen to launch Nines Radiology. One of the company's products, Emergent Neuro Suite, is supposed to help radiologists prioritize their time by identifying the medical images that are most urgently in need of treatment, so that they can receive faster diagnoses. The product is currently under FDA review, and the firm has received $16.5 million in start-up funding. Another of the firm's products lets radiologists examine images and provide diagnoses from remote locatoins. It is estimated that this latter offering, teleradiology, will represent an $11.5 billion industry by 2026. Stavens is quoted as saying, "The driving force of my career has been applying advanced technology to solve problems that affect humanity."

  • Op Ed: Bitcoin Is the Key to Ethical AI - In an Op-Ed, Phil Chen argues that artificial intelligence algorithms are nearly worthless without vast amounts of data, and that the people who provide the data should be compensated for it and have a say in how it is used. He also argues that there is a power imbalance between the handful of AI/Data companies who currently control the use of data, and all the billions of people that provide it. He goes on to say that Bitcoin's immutable ledger provides a way to trace ownership and use of data, and its cryptocurrency offers a way to compensate people for the use of their data. In conclusion, he argues that a model of true ownership can give people a voice that's as powerful as any of the largest corporations.

  • Facebook Says It’s Removing More Hate Speech Than Ever Before. But There’s a Catch - Two weeks ago, Facebook released some information about its on-platform censorship. This article says that the company blocked 7 million instances of so-called, hate speech in the third quarter of 2019, which is an all-time high, and up by about 3 million from the second quarter. Twenty percent of those were reported by users, and 80% were detected by AI. The article notes that Facebook's algorithms work in more than 40 languages, and the company relies on human reports to identify hate speech in other languages. The article says that minorities are most impacted by this disparity, drawing on the example of India, with its 800 languages and 1.2 billion people. Of those 800 languages, 22 are officially recognized by the Indian government, but Facebook's algorithms are only able to scan four, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Tamil.

  • STEEM Waivio: How to add an icon to a hashtag on Steem - This post by @grampo contains video and textual instructions for adding an image to a Steem hashtag when using waivio.com as a front end. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @grampo.)


  • Happy Thanksgiving!


    to people who are celebrating the holiday

    Here is a video that may help to kick-off your holiday season:

    Because of my own holiday plans, I probably won't have a post in this series for tomorrow, November 29.


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