Machine learning spots treasure trove of elusive viruses


Many viruses are difficult to study because they cannot be grown in the lab.Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/SPL/Getty Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover nearly 6,000 previously unknown species of virus. The work, presented on 15 March at a meeting organized by the US Department of Energy (DOE), illustrates an emerging tool for exploring the enormous, largely unknown diversity of viruses on Earth. Although viruses influence everything from human health to the degradation of trash, they are hard to study. Scientists cannot grow most viruses in the lab, and attempts to identify their genetic sequences are often thwarted because their genomes are tiny and evolve fast. In recent years, researchers have hunted for unknown viruses by sequencing DNA in samples taken from various environments.

Second annual Women in Data Science conference showcases research, explores challenges

MIT News

Two hundred students, industry professionals, and academic leaders convened at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the second annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference on March 5. The conference grew from 150 participants last year, and highlighted local strength in academics and health care. "The WiDS conference highlighted female leadership in data science in the Boston area," said Caroline Uhler, a member of the WiDS steering committee who is an IDSS core faculty member and assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) at MIT. "This event is particularly important to encourage more female scientists in related areas to join this emerging area that has such broad societal impact." Regina Barzilay, Delta Electronics Professor of EECS, gave the first presentation on how data science and machine learning approaches are improving cancer research. Barzilay said her experiences as a breast cancer survivor motivates her work.

Uber Suspends Self-Driving Tests After Pedestrian Is Killed In Arizona

NPR Technology

Uber on Monday suspended its self-driving tests after a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber in Tempe, Ariz. Uber on Monday suspended its self-driving tests after a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber in Tempe, Ariz. A self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The incident could be the first pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle. The car was in autonomous mode but had a human riding along to take control of the vehicle if necessary, according to the Tempe Police Department.

Judge Sides With Inmate on Prosthetic Leg, Toilet Access

U.S. News

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that Cook County Jail violated the rights of an inmate with a prosthetic leg because jail staff didn't always assign him to cells that had grab bars over his toilet to give him needed mobility.

Robot Wars has been axed by the BBC again

BBC News

Robot Wars has been axed by the BBC for a second time. The show featuring duelling robots was rebooted on BBC Two in 2016 and ran for three series. Presented by Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon since its return, it is to be scrapped to "make room for new shows", the BBC said. Soon after the announcement the hashtag #BringBackRobotWars started trending on social media. Sad to confirm the BBC's decision to de-activate our House Robots.

The Best Amazon Echo Speaker (2018)


Amazon's popular Echo family of devices keeps growing. From the first can-shaped Echo, to the big-screen Echo Show, and even the cute Echo Dot, you can get Alexa into your home any number of ways. These Echo products can answer your questions, help you order essentials for your home, play all sorts of audio content, and even function as the control hub for your burgeoning smart home. These are our favorite Amazon Echos for every home and every budget. The Echo Plus is the best-sounding Echo.

AI and drones are being used to control construction projects


Californian company Skycatch is building drones that will use machine learning to map sites, plan work, and even guide autonomous construction vehicles on building sites. Clear for takeoff: According to New Scientist, over 5,000 Japanese building sites have used Skycatch drones over the past three years to map construction sites. It takes the drones 15 minutes to scan a site and make a map of its terrain--a process that takes a team of humans several days. A flying foreman: The drones use AI that has been trained on data like labeled aerial YouTube footage depicting different kinds of industrial equipment. That enables them to study footage of a building site as they fly overhead, determine where vehicles are, and suggest how they should be moved.

Ford, Once a Leader in the S.U.V. Race, Aims to Catch Up

NYT > Business Day

Earlier this decade, as the economy and auto sales rebounded, Ford executives were quick to note consumers' waning preference for midsize cars and growing attraction to S.U.V.s and lighter, more fuel-efficient versions called crossovers. But Ford was slow to introduce new variations and redesign existing models, while General Motors and Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand zoomed ahead. The push toward S.U.V.s signals a shift in emphasis for Ford. Before Mr. Hackett's arrival last May, the company had focused much of its long-term strategy on self-driving cars, and had vowed to have a car with no steering wheel in mass-production by 2021. Ford is pressing on with self-driving vehicles, but executives barely mentioned them as part of the new vehicle strategy they presented on Thursday.

NVIDIAVoice: A Crash Course in Deep Learning

Forbes Europe

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is solving problems that seemed well beyond our reach just a few years back. Using deep learning, the fastest growing segment of AI, computers are now able to learn and recognize patterns from data that were considered too complex for expert written software. Today, deep learning is transforming every industry, including automotive, healthcare, retail and financial services. Enterprises, and their leaders, looking to get started should first get familiar with the fundamentals of deep learning, and as well as understand the current challenges and how to address them. This crash course provides a starting point, as well as practical guidance on next steps.