All Posts Tagged as 'Tech'
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CHINA HAS CREATED A RACIST A.I. TO TRACK MUSLIMS
The Chinese government is using facial-recognition software to “track and control” a predominantly Muslim minority group, according to a disturbing new report from The New York Times. The Chinese government has reportedly integrated artificial intelligence into its security cameras to identify the Uighurs and appears to be using the information to monitor the persecuted group. The report, based on the accounts of whistleblowers familiar with the systems and a review of databases used by the government and law enforcement, suggests the authoritarian country has opened up a new frontier in the use of A.I. for racist social control—and raises the discomfiting possibility that other governments could adopt similar practices.
Two people familiar with the matter told the Times that police in the Chinese city of Sanmenxia screened whether residents were Uighurs 500,000 times in a single month. Documents provided to the paper reportedly show demand for the technology is ballooning: more than 20 departments in 16 provinces sought access to the camera system, in one case writing that it “should support facial recognition to identify Uighur/non-Uighur attributes.” This, experts say, is more than enough to raise red flags. “I don’t think it’s overblown to treat this as an existential threat to democracy,” Jonathan Frankle, an A.I. researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Times. “Once a country adopts a model in this heavy authoritarian mode, it’s using data to enforce thought and rules in a much more deep-seated fashion than might have been achievable 70 years ago in the Soviet Union. To that extent, this is an urgent crisis we are slowly sleepwalking our way into.”
The Risks of Getting a Tattoo Are Rare, But Real. Here's What to Know
Nearly three in 10 Americans have a tattoo, yet ink is still somewhat stigmatized. Many job seekers and office workers hide their body art rather than risk disapproval from higher-ups.
Research also finds that tattoo stigma is widespread. A recent study, published in the journal Stigma and Health, found that when hypothetical patients with HIV or lung cancer had tattoos, others were more likely to blame them for their high health care costs compared to tattoo-free folks with the same illnesses. The study provides “initial evidence that tattooed individuals face health disparities,” the study authors write.
Medical scopes still causing superbug infections and deaths, FDA says
Three people died and 45 people developed infections from contaminated endoscopes, the US Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
The reports of contamination are with a side-viewing duodenoscope used for a medical procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP. "These flexible lighted scopes are vital for minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat conditions of the pancreas and bile duct," said Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
The reusable scopes, which are made by three manufacturers -- Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc., Olympus Medical Systems Corporation and Pentax of America -- are known to be difficult to decontaminate. They have been linked to deadly outbreaks of the superbug carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. The contamination issues result from damaged scopes and improper decontamination.
Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell Alexa
Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening.
Sometimes, someone is.
Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.
A 3-year-old boy repeatedly entered the wrong password, locked up his dad's iPad until 2067
Let's just call this reason No. 580 not to leave your kids alone with technology: They might lock you out of it.
That's what happened over the weekend to Evan Osnos, a staff writer at The New Yorker and a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
He put out a tweet -- or a cry for help -- letting the world know of the little situation his toddler put him in.
"Uh, this looks fake but, alas, it's our iPad today after 3-year-old tried (repeatedly) to unlock. Ideas?" Osnos tweeted. A photo of the iPad's screen noted the device was disabled. It also had this mind-blowing message: "Try again in 25,536,442 minutes."
New Technique Alters Your Facial Appearance Without Surgery
A new type of medical procedure could help replace some kinds of painful, invasive surgeries.
By using electrical current and 3D-printed molds, doctors figured out how to soften and re-shape cartilage without making a single incision — a development that could significantly shorten the recovery time for medical procedures and make the whole process less painful.
Prepare to leave laptop and liquids in carry-ons as TSA's new scanners roll out across U.S.
The Transportation Security Administration is bringing new 3D security scanners nationwide, which means your next airport experience could go a lot smoother.
TSA began testing the "computed tomography" machines at airports in Phoenix and Boston in June 2017. Since then, the machines have been expanded to 12 more locations.
In a press release, TSA announced 300 new systems will be deployed at more airports nationwide thanks to a $96.8 million contract.
The biggest perk for travelers? You may not have to take your laptop, liquids and other materials out of your carry-on bag for inspection in the coming years.
Grindr Will Be Auctioned Off Due to National Security Concerns
A Chinese company that owns Grindr is being forced to sell the popular dating app following pressure from the U.S. government due to security risks.
Grindr, the world's largest app for queer people, will now be auctioned off, according to Reuters. Investment firm Cowen has already started shopping for buyers at Grindr executives’ request.
Sources say that the Committee on Foreign Investment grew agitated at Chinese ownership in part because the international sale skirted the committee’s review. Gaming company Beijing Kunlun bought a majority stake in Grindr, which operates out of West Hollywood, in 2016, and then acquired the entire company in 2017.
However, the federal agency immediately raised national security concerns about the financial situation. Now the committee is sounding the alarm over Chinese ownership of applications that track information on U.S. citizens through a forced sale.
Neuroscientists Explain How Music Can Lower Anxiety
Neuroscientists Explain How Music Can Lower Anxietyanxiety
After a stressful day, nothing feels better than getting in the car and turning the radio on full blast to drown out the problems in our lives. For centuries, people have turned to music to lift their spirits when they feel sad or need to lower anxiety; in the modern world, music plays a more important role than ever.
Studies continue to show that music helps lower stress levels and results in decreased stress when faced with a difficult task. Without music, would life even be worth it? It’s difficult to imagine a world devoid of any kind of music; luckily, we can always put in our headphones and drift away into a different world.
Power of Positivity
THESE SCIENTISTS ARE 3D-PRINTING NEW BODY PARTS FOR ATHLETES
A team of bioengineers has successfully 3D-printed tissues they believe doctors could one day implant into patients to help heal the knee, ankle, and elbow injuries that have ended the careers of countless athletes.
“I think this will be a powerful tool to help people with common sports injuries,” Rice University researcher Sean Bittner said in a press release — though the impact of the group’s work could extend far beyond the turf or pitch.
Are We Ready For An Implant That Can Change Our Moods?
Our thoughts and fears, movements and sensations all arise from the electrical blips of billions of neurons in our brain. Streams of electricity flow through neural circuits to govern these actions of the brain and body, and some scientists think that many neurological and psychiatric disorders may result from dysfunctional circuits.
As this understanding has grown, some scientists have asked whether we could locate these faulty circuits, reach deep into the brain and nudge the flow to a more functional state, treating the underlying neurobiological cause of ailments like tremors or depression.
The idea of changing the brain for the better with electricity is not new, but deep brain stimulation takes a more targeted approach than the electroconvulsive therapy introduced in the 1930s. DBS seeks to correct a specific dysfunction in the brain by introducing precisely timed electric pulses to specific regions. It works by the action of a very precise electrode that is surgically inserted deep in the brain and typically controlled by a device implanted under the collarbone. Once in place, doctors can externally tailor the pulses to a frequency that they hope will fix the faulty circuit.
AI can predict when someone will die with unsettling accuracy
Medical researchers have unlocked an unsettling ability in artificial intelligence (AI): predicting a person's early death.
Scientists recently trained an AI system to evaluate a decade of general health data submitted by more than half a million people in the United Kingdom. Then, they tasked the AI with predicting if individuals were at risk of dying prematurely — in other words, sooner than the average life expectancy — from chronic disease, they reported in a new study.
The predictions of early death that were made by AI algorithms were "significantly more accurate" than predictions delivered by a model that did not use machine learning, lead study author Dr. Stephen Weng, an assistant professor of epidemiology and data science at the University of Nottingham (UN) in the U.K., said in a statement. [Can Machines Be Creative? Meet 9 AI 'Artists']
The innovations of Medical Technology in relieving Depression
One can feel depression and express it in a different manner. Science is researching on it and trying to help people to get relief from this mental condition. There is already much advancement with current medical and psychological therapies. The resistant cases i.e. patients who do not get benefit from current possible therapies may require the use of electric shock in a therapy called Electroconvulsive therapy.
There is one step forward in the treatment of depression and Medical technology has introduced several devices to help people with depression.
Teen screen time linked to feelings of loneliness: The importance of spending time with friends
More California students may be banned from using cellphones at school under new bill
California students could be restricted or banned from using smartphones at school under a bill by a state lawmaker who says the devices can interfere with classroom learning.
The measure by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) would require school boards to adopt policies that limit or prohibit the use of cellphones on school grounds, leaving it up to them what their rules would do.
“To the extent that smartphones are becoming too much of a distraction in the classroom, I think every school community needs to have that conversation as to when is too much of a good thing getting in the way of educational and social development,” Muratsuchi said Wednesday after introducing the bill.
Many school districts have already banned the use of cellphones, said Muratsuchi, a former Torrance school board member.
Robotic Pets Are Helping Dementia Patients