Melinda Gates' initiative is about getting more women into tech


Melinda Gates has been supporting the global fight against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS with her husband since 2000. And she'll continue to do so, but now she's also building her own office and dedicating resources to tackle gender inequality in the tech industry. In an interview with Backchannel, Gates said her new initiative's goal is to get more women working in technology and to get them to stay there. Gates is more than just the Microsoft founder's wife: she worked in Redmond for a decade after getting her undergrad and MBA in computer science from Duke. "I care about computer science," she told Backchannel, lamenting the fact that there were more female computer science graduates back in the '80s.

Robert W. Taylor, a pioneer of the modern computer, dies at 85.

Los Angeles Times

Robert W. Taylor, one of the most important figures in the creation of the modern computer and the Internet, has died. According to his son Kurt Taylor, the scientist died Thursday at his home in Woodside. He suffered from Parkinson's disease and other ailments. Taylor's name was not known to the public, but it was a byword in computer science and networking, where he was a key innovator who transformed the world of technology. Taylor -- an outspoken, uncompromising visionary -- was a Pentagon researcher in the 1960s when he launched Arpanet, which evolved into what we know today as the Internet.

Device warns you if you're boring or irritating

AITopics Original Links

A DEVICE that can pick up on people's emotions is being developed to help people with autism relate to those around them. It will alert its autistic user if the person they are talking to starts showing signs of getting bored or annoyed. One of the problems facing people with autism is an inability to pick up on social cues. Failure to notice that they are boring or confusing their listeners can be particularly damaging, says Rana El Kaliouby of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It's sad because people then avoid having conversations with them."

Computer Program Diagnoses Cancer

AITopics Original Links

A brain MRI shows primary central nervous system B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, visible in the middle of the image. In recent years, researchers have figured out that the constellation of diseases known as cancer is in fact hundreds of distinct diseases. Though each one may manifest itself a little differently, diagnosing the type of cancer is extremely difficult, and makes a huge difference in how doctors treat the disease. Now researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have teamed up with doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital to develop a computer model that can pull in a patient's data to suggest diagnoses to their physicians. The researchers published their work earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Wouldn't You Like Alexa Better if It Knew When It Was Annoying You?

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

What could your computer, phone, or other gadget do differently if it knew how you were feeling? Rana el Kaliouby, founder and CEO of Affectiva, is considering the possibilities of such a world. Speaking at the Computer History Museum last week, el Kaliouby said that she has been working to teach computers to read human faces since 2000 as a PhD student at Cambridge University. "I remember being stressed," she says. "I had a paper deadline, and "Clippy" [that's Microsoft's ill-fated computer assistant] would pop up and do a little twirl and say'It looks like you are writing a letter.'