Technology and digital innovation are increasingly becoming the hottest trends in healthcare. The hype is largely well justified, considering the significant strides the field has made in recent years. One of the most significant areas where technology has really made an impact is in the field of cancer care and treatment. Among the most famous examples is IBM Watson, which has made vast inroads in the field of cancer. The Watson platform was developed with a broad vision to bring "data, technology and expertise together to transform health."
Healthcare is a human right, however, nobody said all coverage is created equal. Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems are already making impressive inroads into the myriad fields of medicine -- from IBM's Watson: Hospital Edition and Amazon's AI-generated medical records to machine-formulated medications and AI-enabled diagnoses. But in the excerpt below from Frank Pasquale's New Laws of Robotics we can see how the promise of faster, cheaper, and more efficient medical diagnoses generated by AI/ML systems can also serve as a double-edged sword, potentially cutting off access to cutting-edge, high quality care provided by human doctors. Excerpted from New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI by Frank Pasquale, published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. We might once have categorized a melanoma simply as a type of skin cancer.
This week, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. To commemorate the outgoing Donald Trump's four years in office, we took a look at the most absurd, bizarre, or outright dangerous things Trump has said about cybersecurity. He's also not saying them on Parler, because no one has since the far-right platform got booted by Amazon Web Services. But! Remember how hackers downloaded every public post, image, and video from Parler right before it went down? A new site called Faces of the Riot has run that trove through some machine-learning and facial-recognition software to publish thousands of images of people who were at the Capitol Hill protests--and riots--on January 6.
It is quite a complex process to create voice user interfaces that are capable of natural language understanding and require no programming experience. Now a vision and voice technologies platform has released what could be the solution to the problem. This week Santa Clara, CA-based Sensory announced the official release of VoiceHub. VoiceHub is a free online portal for creating and designing accurate voice user interfaces. Its technologies are used in consumer electronics applications including mobile phones, automotive, wearables, toys, IoT and home electronics.
Silicon Valley Robotics is pleased to announce that we are a Connector organization for the E-ROBOT Prize, and other DOE competitions on the American-Made Network. There is \$2 million USD available in up to ten prizes for Phase One of the E-ROBOT Prize, and \$10 million USD available in Phase Two. Individuals or teams can sign up for the competition, as the online platform offers opportunities to connect with potential team members, as do competition events organized by Connector organizations. Please cite Silicon Valley Robotics as your Connector organization, when entering the competition. Silicon Valley Robotics will be hosting E-Robot Prize information and connection events as part of our calendar of networking and Construction Robotics Network events.
Within two years it had been translated into 30 languages, including English, to which it introduced the word "robot." In a century-long dialogue between inventors of fictional and actual robots, engineers have for the most part been forced to play catch-up, either realizing or subverting the vision of robots first expounded in books, movies and television. Now, the reality of robots is in some areas running ahead of fiction, even ahead of what those who study robots for a living are able to keep track of. Heather Knight is an engineer, "social roboticist" and one of 13 core faculty in Oregon State University's robotics program. One day in late October, she was shocked to find the campus crawling with a fleet of autonomous, six-wheeled vehicles made by Starship Robotics.
Today, a war over the value of video game retailer GameStop's stock has caused what market guru Jim Cramer called "the squeeze of a lifetime." Howling with glee along the way, traders on the chaotic and obscene subreddit Wall Street Bets helped push GameStop's stock price up from $20 on January 11 to $73 after traditional analysts deemed the stock a clunker. While this isn't the first time Wall Street Bets has contributed to a surprising market shake-up, GameStop's unlikely trip to the moon is unique in both its velocity and allegations of harassment and hacking that accompanied it. Like other physical retailers, GameStop's business has suffered throughout the last year. Few gamers would rather hit the mall than Amazon's significantly safer "Buy Now" button.
A group of more than 30 democratic lawmakers led by Representatives Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) are calling on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to make substantive changes to their recommendation algorithms. In three separate letters addressed to the CEOs of those companies, the group makes a direct link to the January 6th US Capitol attack and the part those platforms played in radicalizing the individuals who took part in the uprising. "On Wednesday, January 6th the United States Capitol was attacked by a violent, insurrectionist mob radicalized in part in a digital echo chamber that your company designed, built and maintained," the letter addressed to Google and YouTube CEOs Sundar Pichai and Susan Wojcicki says. A letter from some Congress members to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki flexes research on how YouTube's algorithms have promoted conspiracy theories and political extremism. Citing the Capitol attacks, they request changes to its recommendations systems.
I suspect we will see OSTP emphasize tech accountability under her leadership, which will be especially pertinent to hot button AI issues like facial recognition, algorithmic bias, data privacy, corporate influence on research, and the myriad of other issues that I write about in The Algorithm. Finally, Biden's new secretary of state made clear that technology will still be an important geopolitical force. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Antony Blinken remarked that there is "an increasing divide between techno democracies and techno autocracies. Whether techno democracies or techno autocracies are the ones who get to define how tech is used…will go a long way toward shaping the next decades." As pointed out by Politico, this most clearly is an allusion to China, and the idea that the US is in a race with the country to develop emerging technologies like AI and 5G.
At a moment when vaccines promise to end the coronavirus pandemic, emerging new variants threaten to accelerate it. The astonishingly fast development of safe and effective vaccines is being stymied by the glacial pace of actual vaccinations while 3,000 Americans die each day. Minimizing death and suffering from COVID-19 requires vaccinating the most vulnerable Americans first and fast, but the vaccine rollout has been slow and inequitable. Prioritization algorithms have led to the most privileged being prioritized over the most exposed, and strict adherence to priority pyramids has been disastrously slow. Yet without prioritization, vaccines go to those with greatest resources rather than to those at greatest risk.