Collaborating Authors

Which interventions work best in a pandemic?


Circles on the grounds of San Francisco's Dolores Park are designed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by encouraging social distancing. The only approaches currently available to reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are behavioral: handwashing, cough and sneeze etiquette, and, above all, social distancing. Policy-makers have a variety of tools to enable these "nonpharmaceutical interventions" (NPIs), ranging from simple encouragement and recommendations to full-on regulation and sanctions. However, these interventions are often used without rigorous empirical evidence: They make sense in theory, and mathematical models can be used to predict their likely impact (1, 2), but with different policies being tried in different places--often in complicated combinations and without systematic, built-in evaluation--we cannot confidently attribute any given reduction in transmission to a specific policy. Because many of these interventions differ from each other in terms of their economic and psychological cost--ranging from very inexpensive, in the case of interventions based on behavioral economics and psychology, to extremely costly, in the case of school and business closures--it is crucial to identify the interventions that most reduce transmission at the lowest economic and psychological cost. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are one of several methods that can be used for this purpose but surprisingly have received little attention in the current pandemic, despite a long history in epidemiology and social science.

Serology assays to manage COVID-19


In late 2019, China reported a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in Wuhan. The causative agent was identified as a new betacoronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). The virus rapidly spread across the globe and caused a pandemic. Sequencing of the viral genome allowed for the development of nucleic acid–based tests that have since been widely used for the diagnosis of acute (current) SARS-CoV-2 infections (2). Development of serological assays, which measure the antibody responses induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection (past but not current infections), took longer.

Want to participate in a protest? You may want to do this with your tech before you go

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

I have covered more than 100 protests in my tenure as a general assignment news reporter, before turning my focus to tech. Most were peaceful, but I've been caught in the midst of the melee, too – pelted with rocks, tear-gassed, and attacked by extremists co-opting nonviolent marches to create chaos nonrelated to the cause. What I learned early on, long before the days of smartphones and social media, is that keeping track of what's going on – even along the same city block – can be next to impossible. Just gathering information, law enforcement would often tell me one thing, the protest organizers another, and dozens more leaders, marchers, and watchdog groups would say something totally different. Each new hour was often a tangled mess of conflicting information and I felt like – at the end of the day – the only truth I knew for certain, was what I had seen with my own two eyes.

Connecticut Surpasses 4,000 Deaths; Lamont Fears Complacency

U.S. News

Given the recent protests against police brutality and the partial reopening of Connecticut's two large tribal casinos, Lamont said the next two weeks "will be somewhat telling" in terms of whether there will be any flare-ups of the coronavirus. Geballe said the administration remains in contact with groups forecasting potential positive cases and deaths using various models, including a Yale School of Public Health researcher who warned late last month there could be thousands more deaths by September if Connecticut reopened too quickly and the amount of interactions between people is similar to early March.

ICRA 2020 launches with plenary panel 'COVID-19: How Roboticists Can Help'


ICRA is the largest robotics meeting in the world and is the flagship conference of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. It is thus our honor and pleasure to welcome you to this edition, although the current exceptional circumstances did not allow us to organize it in Paris as planned with the glimpse and splendor that our wonderful robotics community deserves. Now, for sure, Virtual ICRA 2020, the first online ICRA, will be one of the most memorable ICRA editions ever! Our first Plenary is a hot topic panel on COVID-19 Pandemic & Robotics, moderated by Ken Goldberg and chaired by Wolfram Burgard. Join us for the virtual conference taking place May 31 to August 31 with sessions available both live and on demand.

A Tale Of Two Lines: Changes In Customer Support With The Growth In Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) is spreading in many areas. I recently described changes in customer service management. In a similar vein, customer support is changing. Some people claim it means customer support personnel will disappear while others say AI will enhance what the customer service people do. To both, I say "yes."

How Will AI Make Businesses More Advanced in 2020?


Analytics Insight predicts that the global AI market is expected to reach US$53.2 billion in 2020 and will further grow on to reach US$152.9 billion in 2023. Beyond that, businesses are bound to become even more innovative with rising AI trends this year. According to a report, AI will help with the repetitive and labor extensive tasks that people carry mostly on their machines. The extensive form filling work, generating reports, and diagrams all can be done more quickly. According to Forbes, approximately 23% of businesses have implemented Artificial intelligence into processing and product services, and more than 60 businesses are still in process. However, this number will increase by 80-90% until 2022.

Is AI Overhyped?


AI is becoming increasingly embedded in many of the things we interact with and use on a daily basis. AI is becoming increasingly more advanced over time, with some remarkable capabilities emerging over the past few years. There are many real-world, practical examples organizations and governments are using AI for their day-to-day activities. So, AI is a real thing, right? Well, on the other hand there's still substantial hype when it comes to AI.

Artificial Intelligence and Space Mining: the Gateway to Infinite Riches


What do Ted Cruz, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Goldman Sachs all have in common? They predict that the world's first trillionaire will make their innumerable fortune in space. While Cruz is not precisely sure how this will come to be, Tyson and Goldman Sachs believe that the gateway to this immense wealth is through mining asteroids. The reason why space mining is so sought after is due to what is happening here on Earth. Based on known terrestrial reserves and estimates of the growing consumption in countries, essential elements needed for modern industry and food production (such as lead, phosphorus and gold) could be exhausted within the next 60 years.

Academics call on nations to work together on A.I. and ensure it benefits all of humanity


A research group made up of academics from across the globe have published a paper arguing that "cross-cultural cooperation" on AI ethics and governance is vital if the technology is to "bring about benefit worldwide." The experts -- from Cambridge University's Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Peking University's Center for Philosophy and the Future of Humanity, and the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence -- specifically want to see cooperation across different domains, disciplines, and cultures, as well as different nations. "Such cooperation will enable advances to be shared across different parts of the world, and will ensure that no part of society is neglected or disproportionately negatively impacted by AI," wrote researcher Jess Whittlestone in a blog post this week that summarizes the paper. "Without such cooperation, competitive pressures between countries may also lead to underinvestment in safe, ethical, and socially beneficial AI development, increasing the global risks from AI." AI is poised to change the world in the coming decades as machines become increasingly competent at a range of tasks, from driving cars to discovering new drugs. But some are concerned that AI could end up being a dangerous technology if it is developed in isolated silos across different labs in different countries. In the near term, there's a genuine risk that AI could be used in warfare to power autonomous weapons, and in the long term, some have speculated that "superintelligent" machines could decide humans are no longer necessary and wipe them out altogether.