Mosquitos kill more humans every year than any other animal on the planet and conventional methods to reduce mosquito-borne illnesses haven't worked as well as many hoped. So we've been hard at work since receiving this USAID grant six months ago to reduce Zika incidence and related threats to public health. Our partners at the joint FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Lab in Vienna, Austria have been working to perfect the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in order to sterilize and release male mosquitos in Zika hotspots. Releasing millions of said male mosquitos increases competition for female mosquitos, making it more difficult for non-sterilized males to find a mate. We learned last year at a USAID Co-Ideation Workshop that this technique can reduce the overall mosquito population in a given area by 90%.
Last month in Rwanda, a young woman started bleeding after giving birth by C-section. Try as they might, her doctors couldn't stop it. They'd already transfused the two units of matching blood that they had on-hand. They could have called the national blood bank in the capital of Kigali to request more, but ordering it, and sending it the 25 miles over mountainous roads to the hospital would take up to four hours. The woman didn't have that kind of time.
Amazon has taken another small autonomous step toward drone delivery. The company completed its first public United States delivery using one of its Prime Air delivery drones at a robotics conference in California on Monday. The drone lands in a field, drops off a box of sunscreen bottles, and buzzes back up into the sky. Amazon's first drone delivery took place late last year in the United Kingdom, where regulations are a bit more drone-friendly. The drone delivered an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn.
News concerning Artificial Intelligence (AI) abounds again. The progress with Deep Learning techniques are quite remarkable with such demonstrations of self-driving cars, Watson on Jeopardy, and beating human Go players. This rate of progress has led some notable scientists and business people to warn about the potential dangers of AI as it approaches a human level. Exascale computers are being considered that would approach what many believe is this level. However, there are many questions yet unanswered on how the human brain works, and specifically the hard problem of consciousness with its integrated subjective experiences.
Chatbots, an AI summit for good, AI-based cancer therapies, and Kuri the home robot are making news in today's AI Minute. Apple's HomePod and watchOS4, telepresence bots and a fake-news finding chatbot are making news in today's AI Minute. Intel's views on and recent investment in self-driving cars, Stan - France's Robot Valet, and a $12 billion biotech startup regrowing hair, are making news in today's AI Minute. AI and money laundering, robot manners, how AI may help fight ALS, and nimble robots are making news in today's AI Minute. AlphaGo, the state of Massachusetts, Apple's iPhone, and Porsche are making news in today's AI Minute.