A new machine learning approach to COVID-19 testing has produced encouraging results in Greece. The technology, named Eva, dynamically used recent testing results collected at the Greek border to detect and limit the importation of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases among arriving international passengers between August and November 2020, which helped contain the number of cases and deaths in the country. The findings of the project are explained in a paper titled "Deploying an Artificial Intelligence System for COVID-19 Testing at the Greek Border," authored by Hamsa Bastani, a Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions and affiliated faculty at Analytics at Wharton; Kimon Drakopoulos and Vishal Gupta from the University of Southern California; Jon Vlachogiannis from investment advisory firm Agent Risk; Christos Hadjicristodoulou from the University of Thessaly; and Pagona Lagiou, Gkikas Magiorkinis, Dimitrios Paraskevis and Sotirios Tsiodras from the University of Athens. The analysis showed that Eva on average identified 1.85 times more asymptomatic, infected travelers than what conventional, random surveillance testing would have achieved. During the peak travel season of August and September, the detection of infection rates was up to two to four times higher than random testing.
When Amazon envisioned Alexa, an AI-powered, voice-activated customer recommendation system, it was a feat that required machine learning and massive amounts of data to provide answers to conversational queries quickly, even in a noisy environment. Now, the same data analysis capabilities that enable Amazon to become hyper-familiar with consumer purchasing patterns could hold the key to reducing waste in healthcare. Think about the similarities between healthcare and retail. Both industries revolve around the consumer, and they use data to gain context into behavior and draw meaningful conclusions. In healthcare, this includes the ability to predict which consumers could develop type 2 diabetes with 95% accuracy or to pinpoint where and when the Covid-19 virus will spread and how to protect those most vulnerable.
The work as we know it today is not how it was a decade ago. We have computer systems and software making our jobs less labor-focused. Work after a decade from now won't be the same either. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics along with the disruption that came along with COVID-19 are reshaping the future of work. The coronavirus pandemic changed the physical distribution of the workforce by making employees work remotely.
The technology sector has always been the disruptor by introducing new and capable advancements in the field. Although, the rapid digital transformation has effectively disrupted technology companies around the globe. They have been revamping operational processes, creating value propositions for the customers, and innovating business models. Tech firms are strongly investing in cutting-edge technologies like AI and RPA to enhance productivity and minimize costs. According to research by Bain & Company, technology companies are 12% more likely to be disrupted than companies in retail and 25% more likely than those in financial services, two other industries that have historically gone through disruptions.
The Daily Star's FREE newsletter is spectacular! A new smartphone app designed to slash the risk of people misreading rapid Covid test results has been released. The AI-powered tech comes as 57million Covid test packs have been sent to schools ahead of the reopening in England on Monday. French researchers said up to one in five rapid Covid tests produced difficult to read pregnancy test style bands. They hoped their new xRcovid app can help boost the accuracy of the "highly subjective" readings set to take place in schools.
People have long debated what constitutes the ethical use of technology. But with the rise of artificial intelligence, the discussion has intensified as it's now algorithms not humans that are making decisions about how technology is applied. In June 2020, I had a chance to speak with Paula Goldman, Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer for Salesforce about how companies can develop technology, specifically AI, with ethical use and privacy in mind. I spoke with Goldman during Salesforce's TrailheaDX 2020 virtual developer conference, but we didn't have a chance to air the interview then. I'm glad to bring it to you now, as the discussion about ethics and technology has only intensified as companies and governments around the world use new technologies to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a transcript of the interview, edited for readability. Bill Detwiler: So let's get right to it.
Despite major disruptions from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in AI technologies grew by 40 percent in 2020 to $67.9 billion, up from $48.8 billion in 2019, as AI research and use continues to boom across broad segments of bioscience, healthcare, manufacturing and more. The figures, compiled as part of Stanford University's Artificlal Intelligence Index Report 2021 on the state of AI research, development, implementation and use around the world, help illustrate the continually changing scope of the still-maturing technology. The 222-page AI Index 2021 report, touted as the school's fourth annual study of AI impact and progress, was released March 3 by Stanford's Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. The report provides a detailed portrait of the AI waterfront last year, including increasing AI investments and use in medicine and healthcare, China's growth in AI research, huge gains in AI capabilities across industries, concerns about diversity among AI researchers, ongoing debates about AI ethics and more. "The impact of AI this past year was both societal and economic, driven by the increasingly rapid progress of the technology itself," AI Index co-chair Jack Clark said in a statement.
The Big Mac might be McDonald's most famous item, but a lot of people don't know much about it. Check out the history of the fast-food chain's beloved burger. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes to restaurants. Since many casual restaurants had to close their doors and switch to take-out only, people were ordering fast food even more than usual. And because the "grab-and-go" factor is already a perk of fast-food restaurants, it was basically a no-brainer for those who hoped grab a meal and maintain social distancing.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued an emergency authorization for a new test to detect Covid-19 infections -- one that stands apart from the hundreds already authorized. Unlike tests that detect bits of SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies to it, the new test, called T-Detect COVID, looks for signals of past infections in the body's adaptive immune system -- in particular, the T cells that help the body remember what its viral enemies look like. Developed by Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies, it is the first test of its kind. Adaptive's approach involves mapping antigens to their matching receptors on the surface of T cells. They and other researchers had already shown that the cast of T cells floating around in an individual's blood reflects the diseases they've encountered, in many cases years later.