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NICE recommends insomnia app as an alternative to medication


An app which uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help people overcome insomnia has received recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Sleepio, from Big Health, uses an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to provide people with tailored therapy and provides a digital six-week self-help programme involving a sleep test, weekly interactive sessions with users encouraged to keep a diary about their sleeping patterns. Sleepio was rolled out in the south of England towards the end of 2018 and in 2019 was made available across London. NICE is recommending that the Sleepio app is used as cost-effective alternative to prescribed medication after is Medical Technologies Advisory Committee evaluated the platform. The committee concluded that Sleepio is more effective than conventional treatment options (sleep hygiene and medication) in reducing symptoms of insomnia in adults.

Artificial intelligence learns 'song' of coral reefs


England: According to new research, artificial intelligence (AI) can track the health of coral reefs by learning the "song of the reef." The research has been published in the journal, "Ecological Indicators". Coral reefs have a complex soundscape – and even experts have to conduct painstaking analyses to measure reef health based on sound recordings. In the study, University of Exeter scientists trained a computer algorithm using multiple recordings of healthy and degraded reefs, allowing the machine to learn the difference. The computer then analysed a host of new recordings, and successfully identified reef health 92 per cent of the time.

AI Program to Securely Monitor Lineside Vegetation


Artificial intelligence (AI) trials have shown that lineside vegetation may be monitored securely, inexpensively, rapidly, and at scale by identifying species of trees and other plants from images obtained by on-train cameras. Due to safety considerations, the size of Britain's 20,000-mile rail network, and the number of specialist surveyors required, monitoring flora and fauna on the side of a railway track to promote improved management of lineside ecosystems is exceedingly challenging. However, Network Rail has been collaborating with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and technology firm Keen AI to create creative ways to remotely monitor biodiversity. Researchers have shown that AI can recognize invading species by their tracks, as well as native trees that may be threatened by diseases like ash dieback. As part of Network Rail's aim to achieve biodiversity net gain on its property by 2035, this information would enable railway staff to take necessary action to better manage lineside vegetation.

Poor breeding of designer crossbred dogs could lead to unexpected health issues, vets warn

Daily Mail - Science & tech

With their fluffy coats and teddy bear-like faces, crossbreeds like Cockapoos and Goldendoodles have become a favourite with dog lovers and celebrities. But while these breeds are now some of the most popular in the UK, vets have warned that poor breeding to meet the'current craze' could lead to a surge in unexpected health and behavioural issues. Lack of regard for health during the breeding process could result in an increase in debilitating conditions such as hip dysplasia, genetic eye disease and Addison's disease in Labradoodles in the future, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) warns. Behavioural issues could also increase, including aggression and biting. 'Sadly, designer dogs often do not come from "designer" breeding programmes but are farmed indiscriminately to meet the current craze for breed-crosses with catchy names such as Frug and Jackalier,' said Dr Dan O'Neill, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC.

A robotic shoulder could make it easier to grow usable human tissue

MIT Technology Review

But growing usable human tendon cells--which need to stretch and twist--has proved trickier. Over the past two decades, scientists have encouraged engineered tendon cells and tissue to grow and mature by repeatedly stretching them in one direction. However, this approach has so far failed to produce fully functional tissue grafts that could be used clinically, in human bodies. A new study, published in Nature Communications Engineering today, shows how humanoid robots could be used to make engineered tendon tissue that is more like the real thing. "The clinical need is clearly there," says Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy from the University of Oxford, who led the team.

Synamedia Acquires Utelly To Boost Synamedia Go's Content Discovery Capabilities


Synamedia, the world's largest independent video software provider, announced the acquisition of Utelly, a UK-based privately-owned content discovery platform provider with products targeted at the entertainment industry. Its offerings include metadata aggregation, search and recommendations, as well as content management and a content promotion engine. Its SaaS-based technology is already pre-integrated with the Synamedia Go video platform and will now be embedded in the Go.Aggregate add-on pack to solve one of the major challenges viewers face: finding content across TV and apps on any screen. Utelly's technology achieves this through metadata aggregation, intelligent asset linking, AI and machine learning. By unifying data and using AI to enrich sparse data sets, Utelly provides customers with search and recommendations that enhance viewers' content discovery experiences.

Artificial Intelligence sleep app may mean an end to sleeping pills for insomniacs


A new artificial intelligence sleep app has been developed that might be able to replace sleeping pills for insomnia sufferers. Sleepio uses an AI algorithm to provide individuals with tailored cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said it would save the NHS money as well as reduce prescriptions of medicines such as zolpidem and zopiclone, which can be dependency forming. Its economic analysis found healthcare costs were lower after one year of using Sleepio, mostly because of fewer GP appointments and sleeping pills prescribed. The app provides a digital six-week self-help programme involving a sleep test, weekly interactive CBT-I sessions and keeping a diary about sleeping patterns.

Bank IT compliance: how financial services can stay compliant


Financial services compliance is a big area. Prajit Nanu, CEO of B2B payments platform Nium, says it's in everybody's interest that payment transactions are as frictionless as possible, but many commonly used payment systems carry unnecessary layers of complexity, including when ensuring regulations and compliance. He says automation can help to resolve lags arising from risk and compliance checks, which can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, particularly for those dealing with cross region, cross country checks. An automated payment platform appropriately integrated with other business software can perform these checks much more seamlessly. Nanu says: "Digital tools, such as individualised transaction profiles, coupled with the output of machine learning processes, will be able to offer real-time solutions which significantly reduce the time required for risk and compliance checks, while still allowing effective identity verification and fraud detection checks."

Microsoft AI news: Making AI easier, simpler, more responsible


We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Today is a big day for AI announcements from Microsoft, both from this week's Build conference and beyond. But one common theme bubbles over consistently: For AI to become more useful for business applications, it needs to be easier, simpler, more explainable, more accessible and, most of all, responsible. Responsible AI is actually at the heart of a lot of today's Build news, John Montgomery, corporate vice president of Azure AI, told VentureBeat. Most notable is Azure Machine Learning's preview of a responsible AI dashboard, which brings together capabilities in use over the past 18 months, such as data explorer, model interpretability, error analysis, counterfactual and causal inference analysis, into a single view.

Dyson reveals its big bet … robots

The Guardian

Dyson has signalled it is placing a "big bet" on producing robots capable of household chores by 2030, as it looks to move beyond the vacuum cleaners, fans and dryers that made its founder one of the wealthiest British businessmen. The company, founded by billionaire Sir James Dyson, on Wednesday published photographs of robot arms being used in household settings, including cleaning furniture, a claw picking up plates, and a hand-like machine picking up a teddy bear. While those may not sound like major achievements, robots still struggle with many actions that represent simple tasks for humans, such as grasping fragile objects or dealing with unfamiliar obstacles. Solving those and other problems could create new markets for the company. Dyson wants to build the UK's largest robotics research centre at its Hullavington Airfield site, close to its design centre in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.