Israel's tech sector has long punched above its weight. Although only home to a population of about nine million people, Israel is set to become a 2020s tech powerhouse. As ZDNet has previously noted, some of the factors shaping that growth include a high level of investment in R&D – 4.6% of GDP in 2017 – and among the highest per-capita indicators for venture capital and startups in the world. "In 2016 alone," Deloitte reports, "Israeli startups raised a record $4.8bn from investors, while high-tech and startup companies were sold for $10.02bn through acquisitions or IPOs." Alongside this level of investment, compulsory military service introduces many young people in Israel to technology, developing skills and tools that often cross over into civilian uses. Here are three Israeli tech companies that have adapted to the COVID crisis and confronted some of the key challenges the pandemic has presented.
Imagine if voice technology could be used to diagnose diseases! This could be a reality if voice tech is used to identify non-speech sounds, such as coughs. This focus is of particular interest at the moment as the world's governments rally resources to protect populations against COVID-19. This is one area of focus for this week's guest, Prof. Ami Moyal, President, Afeka Tel Aviv College of Engineering, Israel. Prof. Ami also talks about the future of voice technology and what we should be teaching children for them to be successful in the world.
The White House's recent decision to allow the sale of advanced weapons systems to the United Arab Emirates highlights the deliberate shift in US policy towards the UAE after it signed "normalisation" accords with Israel. Why would the UAE want American drones as it already has dozens of Chinese armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its inventory? And why has the United States now agreed to these sales, overcoming its traditional reticence to sell sophisticated weapons to other countries? Chinese armed drones have made a significant effect on the battlefields across the Middle East and North Africa. They have been used to assassinate Houthi rebel leaders in Yemen, kill ISIL-affiliated fighters in the Sinai, and for a time help Khalifa Haftar dominate the battlespace in Libya.
Catching abnormalities on a medical image is important, but case backlogs often mean radiologists are cut short on how long they can spend with each one. Enter Aidoc, a 4-year-old Israel-based startup providing artificial intelligence tools for radiologists. The company secured an additional $20 million for its Series B funding led by Square Peg Capital, which initially led the round that began in April 2019. The new funds bring the Series B round to $47 million and gives Aidoc a total of $60 million raised to date, according to Crunchbase data. If the AI detects something, the tools alert the radiologist, Aidoc co-founder and CEO Elad Walach told Crunchbase News. "What has happened in recent history is that scanners have become cheaper, so now there is more imaging, which is overloading a radiologist's workflow," he said.
"Rich and vibrant in texture, it again draws on this ensemble's deep palette of vocal colours" – Gramophone Magazine New York, NY (September 17, 2020) -- GRAMMY-nominated vocal quartet New York Polyphony announces the release of Aleph Earth, a groundbreaking audiovisual work developed in collaboration with the University of Oregon's Artificial Intelligence Creative Practice Research Group (AICP). A poignant statement on the global climate crisis, the project uses as a soundtrack New York Polyphony's world premiere recording of Spanish Renaissance composer Francisco de Peñalosa's Lamentationes Jeremiae Feria V from their critically acclaimed September 2019 album on BIS Records, Lamentationes. Aleph Earth premiered at the 2020 Currents New Media Festival in August and September, and is available for presenters to book as a virtual concert or educational event through Opus 3 Artists. In creating the 12-minute visual presentation, AICP drew inspiration from Lamentationes Feria V's compositional complexity, as well as the subject matter of the text. "It's a setting of the poetic reflections of the Prophet Jeremiah on the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC," explains New York Polyphony's bass and University of Oregon music professor Craig Phillips.
At the beginning of May, confident that the coronavirus curve was safely flattened, Israel sent its children back to school. Within weeks, more than 200 new Covid-19 cases were diagnosed in Jerusalem alone, linked to a single infected "super spreader" teacher who taught in several schools. As a new school year begins, Israel's capital city is trying various strategies to avoid a repeat of that public-health catastrophe. One solution it will use is a mathematical model that predicts -- with no physical testing or patient contact – who's likely to be infected and with what specific respiratory virus. "The idea is to mathematically model the way infectious diseases move in the community," explains EDAS Healthcare CEO Guy Livne. EDAS stands for Electronic Diagnosis And Surveillance.
The United Arab Emirates' Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have agreed to work together, UAE state news agency WAM said on Sunday. The memorandum of understanding follows the UAE's decision a month ago to normalize relations with Israel. Both countries have said they hope normalized ties will bring economic and technological benefits. The MoU is the first signed between Israeli and UAE higher education bodies, WAM said, intending to "advance the development and use of artificial intelligence as a tool for progress. Spheres of possible collaboration include academic exchanges, conferences, sharing computing resources and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for artificial intelligence, WAM said.
DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates' Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have agreed to work together, UAE state news agency WAM said on Sunday. The memorandum of understanding follows the UAE's decision a month ago to normalize relations with Israel. Both countries have said they hope normalised ties will bring economic and technological benefits. The MoU is the first signed between Israeli and UAE higher education bodies, WAM said, intending to "advance the development and use of artificial intelligence as a tool for progress". Spheres of possible collaboration include academic exchanges, conferences, sharing computing resources and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for artificial intelligence, WAM said.
Old-fashioned police forensics analysis met hi-tech computer algorithms in a new study of 2,500-year-old pottery sherds, in which Tel Aviv University researchers conclude that literacy was widespread enough for the fledgling People of the Book to have penned parts of the Bible in the 7th century BCE. "The high literacy rate detected within the small Arad stronghold… demonstrates widespread literacy in the late 7th century BCE Judahite military and administration apparatuses, with the ability to compose biblical texts during this period a possible by-product," write the researchers. This is the first study to combine forces between AI algorithms and human forensics know-how, the researchers note. The study, "Forensic document examination and algorithmic handwriting analysis of Judahite biblical period inscriptions reveal significant literacy level," was published September 9 in the prestigious online PLOS journal. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up The study combines high-resolution imaging methods and complex computer algorithms with trusted police handwriting analysis to prove that the examined 18 texts had no fewer than 12 different authors way back in circa 600 BCE.