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How Britain's oldest universities are trying to protect humanity from risky A.I.


Oxford and Cambridge, the oldest universities in Britain and two of the oldest in the world, are keeping a watchful eye on the buzzy field of artificial intelligence (AI), which has been hailed as a technology that will bring about a new industrial revolution and change the world as we know it. Over the last few years, each of the centuries-old institutions have pumped millions of pounds into researching the possible risks associated with machines of the future. Clever algorithms can already outperform humans at certain tasks. For example, they can beat the best human players in the world at incredibly complex games like chess and Go, and they're able to spot cancerous tumors in a mammogram far quicker than a human clinician can. Machines can also tell the difference between a cat and a dog, or determine a random person's identity just by looking at a photo of their face.

Using machine learning to identify different types of brain injuries


Researchers have developed an algorithm that can detect and identify different types of brain injuries. The team, from the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and CONICET, have clinically validated and tested their method on large sets of CT scans and found that it was successfully able to detect, segment, quantify and differentiate different types of brain lesions. Their results, reported in The Lancet Digital Health, could be useful in large-scale research studies, for developing more personalised treatments for head injuries and, with further validation, could be useful in certain clinical scenarios, such as those where radiological expertise is at a premium. Head injury is a huge public health burden around the world and affects up to 60 million people each year. It is the leading cause of mortality in young adults.

Councils turn to artificial intelligence to achieve UK£195mn savings - The EE


Councils in the UK expect to save over £195million (€221 million) in 2020 by introducing artificial intelligence technology techniques, according to a national survey of local authorities. Financial savings, faster resolution of enquiries, freeing up staff to focus on citizen engagement and more accurate processing are the four key reasons behind the trend, revealed in a survey of unitary, borough, county and district councils carried out by local government AI and chatbot specialists Agile Datum . Councils each expect to save an average of £300,000 (€340926) in the next 12 months through greater use of artificial intelligence and another £180,000 ( €204556), on average, through the deployment of self-learning chatbots. One in six councils are anticipating savings between £750,000 (€85231 million) and £1m (1.1 million) just around the introduction of artificial intelligence technology. In all, it amounts to savings of £195m (€221 million) across unitary, borough, district and county councils in the UK.

Fashion turns to technology to tailor sustainable solutions

Al Jazeera

Paris, France - Highlighting the growth of fast fashion - at least in the form of increasing volumes of cheap and disposable clothing - TRAID's warehouse in London was receiving around 3,000 tonnes of donated clothes every year before coronavirus hit. "We're sorting through more volume and finding less that can go into our shops than a few years ago," said Leigh McAlea, head of communications at TRAID, the United Kingdom-based clothes charity that aims to reduce the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry by encouraging people to shop second-hand. "We're seeing a lot of fast fashion items, a lot of clothes that have been barely worn or still have tags on. Items that go into our 12 charity shops have to be good enough quality to resell, whether they're Primark or Prada. We want to encourage people to buy better quality and then donate items when they have finished with them," McAlea told Al Jazeera.

Independent scientists urge UK government to delay reopening schools

New Scientist

Delaying the reopening of primary schools in England on 1 June by two weeks could halve the risk to each child of being exposed to an infectious classmate, according to a report by the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, a recently-formed group of scientists that is seeking to provide alternative advice to the UK government. The group say that modelling suggests that waiting until September would reduce this risk further, to less than the risk to children of road traffic accidents. The group is chaired by former government chief scientific advisor David King and is separate from the official SAGE committee that advises the UK government. "The crucial factor allowing school reopening around the world has been the presence of well-functioning local test, trace and isolate protocols – something that is now accepted will not be in place in England by early June," the report says. It adds that before schools can reopen, it is important to confirm that daily new ...

Navenio raises £9M in Series A funding for hospital workforce AI platform

Oxford Comp Sci

Oxford University spin-out Navenio has announced £9m in Series A funding for its efficiency-boosting location technology. The funding round was led by QBN Capital and includes G.K. Goh, Hostplus, Big Pi Ventures, Oxford Investment Consultants, as well as existing investors like Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), IP Group plc and the University of Oxford. Navenio provides infrastructure-free indoor location solutions to power a range of apps and platforms in sectors including healthcare. Hospitals, for example, can use Navenio's artificial intelligence (AI) led'intelligent workforce solution' to assign tasks to healthcare teams based on their location. This helps prioritise workload in real-time.

Return to work: Automation projects move up the agenda


As businesses slowly start reopening their doors with the ongoing imperative of sticking to stringent social-distancing rules, more organisations are likely to be willing to embrace automation projects. A new survey carried out by Internet of Things (IoT) company Pod Group shows that almost three-quarters of business leaders in the UK expect the pandemic to spark a new wave of automation in the workplace. Although most organizations were already thinking about automating some of their tasks prior to the crisis, some sectors – those that are most public-facing – are giving automation, from software bots to actual robots, a lot more consideration than before the pandemic. In arts and culture, for example, only a quarter of leaders were considering automation before COVID-19; as a result of the crisis, this proportion has now increased to three-quarters. SEE: An IT pro's guide to robotic process automation (free PDF) Similar jumps have been seen in education, healthcare or retail, highlighting how businesses expect automation technology to potentially replace a considerable proportion of their labor force over the next few years.

5 of the best artificial intelligence books you must read


Artificial intelligence (AI) is the process of teaching a computer to carry out tasks that typically only a human brain could do, but there is much more to it that trying to crunch numbers on a computer. Artificial intelligence is everywhere, from the robots manufacturing cars in factories to the smartphone in your pocket, and understanding what AI actually is will give you a better understanding of the technology that surrounds us. Professor Mark Lee is a computer scientist at Aberystwyth University. His new book, How to Grow a Robot, is all about how to design robots and artificial intelligence so that they are more social, more friendly, more playful – more human. Whether you're a beginner or deep into all things AI, as an expert in artificial intelligence, Mark's pick of science books about machine learning and intelligent algorithms will have you thinking in ones and zeros in no time.

Online dating platforms are set to offer 'digital health passports' to UK singletons

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Online dating giants are set to offer digital health passports to millions of UK singletons to prove they are free of coronavirus. Manchester-based cyber firm VST Enterprises (VSTE), is pioneering technology which it says can be used to safeguard daters when coronavirus restrictions are eased. The company says it has been approached for its digital health passports by several leading dating app companies. Tinder and Grindr are believed to be two of the dating apps that are waiting to launch them. The technology, called'VCode', would enable a doctor or nurse to upload the results of a government-approved Covid-19 test to the digital health passport.

UK needs contact strategy to prevent second wave of covid-19

New Scientist

The NHS Confederation, a membership body that represents people who commission or provide NHS services, has warned of the urgent need for a UK contact tracing strategy. "Our members are concerned that unless there is a clear strategy, then there must be a greater risk of a second wave of infections and serious health consequences," chief executive Niall Dickson wrote in a letter sent to the UK's health and social care minister Matt Hancock yesterday. "We would therefore urge you to produce such a strategy with a clear implementation plan ahead of any further easing of the lockdown." Dickson welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new commitment to trace 10,000 new coronavirus cases per day by 1 June, adding that "delivery and implementation will be critical, and we await further details." However, he said that a strategy for tracing contacts "should have been in place much sooner". An international randomised controlled trial investigating whether hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine ...