Biomechanical models of the speech apparatus show that labiodentals incur about 30% less muscular effort in the overbite and overjet configuration than in the edge-to-edge bite configuration. This difference is not present in similar articulations that place the upper lip, instead of the teeth, against the lower lip (as in bilabial "m," "w," or "p"). Our models also show that the overbite and overjet configuration reduces the incidental tooth/lip distance in bilabial articulations to 24 to 70% of their original values, inviting accidental production of labiodentals. The joint effect of a decrease in muscular effort and an increase in accidental production predicts a higher probability of labiodentals in the language of populations where overbite and overjet persist into adulthood. When the persistence of overbite and overjet in a population is approximated by the prevalence of agriculturally produced food, we find that societies described as hunter-gatherers indeed have, on average, only about one-fourth the number of labiodentals exhibited by food-producing societies, after controlling for spatial and phylogenetic correlation.
Modern health systems can treat and cure more diseases than ever before. New technology is bringing innovation to old treatments. Yet significant quality, access and cost issues remain and our health systems are becoming increasingly unsustainable. The emergence and increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will have a significant impact on healthcare systems around the world. How will AI and robotics define New Health?