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Growing up in bilingual home 'provides lasting cognitive benefits'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Growing up in a bilingual home can provide unexpected cognitive benefits later in life – especially if exposed to two or more languages from birth. UK experts found that adults who were exposed earlier to two languages in their lives were the highest performers in cognitive tests. 'Early bilinguals' – those who learn a second language as an infant or young child – have cognitive advantages over those who learn a second language later, suggesting the earlier we're exposed to two languages, the better for our brains. In the experiments, early bilinguals were found to be quicker at shifting attention and detecting visual changes compared to adults who learnt their second language later in life (late bilinguals). Both early and late bilinguals performed better than those people who spent their early lives in single-language homes.

This affordable TEMINICE fitness smart watch is getting thousands of rave reviews on Amazon

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you've made some resolutions to improve your health and fitness for 2021 or want to get the family more active during lockdown 3.0, then a fitness tracker is a brilliant gadget for helping you stay accountable. You may previously have been put off by their high price point, but thousands of Amazon shoppers have discovered an incredibly affordable option - and it's a pretty decent dupe of the more expensive models including the Fitbit Versa. The TEMINICE High-End Fitness Tracker is just £31.44 yet comes with an impressive amount of features including all-day activity tracking like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes, as well as heart and sleep monitoring. It even receives calls and notifications. The TEMINICE High-End Fitness Tracker is the number one bestselling pedometer on Amazon - and it only costs £31.44 The list of features and the full-touch colour screen has meant it's scored highly with shoppers.

5G, fintech and mega-projects: What 2021 will mean for tech in the Middle East


The MENA region is in the middle of a digital transformation, which 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated. I asked five experts to share the tech trends they see influencing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) this year, with digital payments, greater investment in AI and mobile, coupled with the need for greater focus on cybersecurity, all getting a mention. Among the things to look out for on the Middle East tech scene in 2021 is the Expo 2020 event, which is due to take place in Dubai in the UAE for six months starting from October says Matthew Reed, practice leader, Middle East and Africa & Asia Pacific, at Omdia. "The event, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will still be known as Expo 2020, is expected to showcase advanced technologies and applications including autonomous vehicles, smart city services, and space exploration, with the latter based on the UAE's launch of an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in July 2020. "Saudi Arabia also has futuristic plans and in early January it unveiled the outlines of a major new city project, The Line, a 170-kilometre urban development that will be entirely powered by renewable energy and will be "hyper-connected though a digital framework incorporating artificial intelligence and robotics, according to the launch website. "The Saudi authorities are also increasingly keen to encourage investment and growth in the country's non-oil business sector, and that is likely to accelerate efforts to upgrade connectivity and technology services for enterprises over the year ahead." The fintech landscape in MENA is rapidly evolving from a focus on digital payments to expanding access to finance, both consumer and SME lending, says Ayman Ismail, Jameel chair of entrepreneurship, The American University in Cairo. "The past three years were mostly about establishing infrastructure for digital payments.

How to Fix the Vaccine Rollout - Issue 95: Escape


At a moment when vaccines promise to end the coronavirus pandemic, emerging new variants threaten to accelerate it. The astonishingly fast development of safe and effective vaccines is being stymied by the glacial pace of actual vaccinations while 3,000 Americans die each day. Minimizing death and suffering from COVID-19 requires vaccinating the most vulnerable Americans first and fast, but the vaccine rollout has been slow and inequitable. Prioritization algorithms have led to the most privileged being prioritized over the most exposed, and strict adherence to priority pyramids has been disastrously slow. Yet without prioritization, vaccines go to those with greatest resources rather than to those at greatest risk.

The future of robotics research: Is there room for debate?


As the field of robotics matures, our community must grapple with the multifaceted impact of our research; in this article, we describe two previous workshops hosting robotics debates and advocate for formal debates to become an integral, standalone part of major international conferences, whether as a plenary session or as a parallel conference track. As roboticists build increasingly complex systems for applications spanning manufacturing, personal assistive technologies, transportation and others, we face not only technical challenges, but also the need to critically assess how our work can advance societal good. Our rapidly growing and uniquely multidisciplinary field naturally cultivates diverse perspectives, and informal dialogues about our impact, ethical responsibilities, and technologies. Indeed, such discussions have become a cornerstone of the conference experience, but there has been relatively little formal programming in this direction at major technical conferences like the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference. To fill this void, we organized two workshops entitled "Debates on the Future of Robotics Research" at ICRA 2019 and 2020, inspired by a similar workshop at the 2018 International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).

Speed up your tasks with this AI-powered word prediction tool


TL;DR: Get relevant writing help from the Lightkey Pro Text Prediction Software, on sale for 52% off. What if you could use predictive text anywhere? That's what Lightkey Pro Software helps you do, and once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. Lightkey's artificial intelligence-powered text prediction software learns your typing patterns and gradually predicts up to a dozen words, including punctuation marks, allowing you to compose emails, write up documents, and more four times faster. It also includes over 60 content domains -- technology, business, finance, law, academia, arts and entertainment, and more -- and works in 85 different languages. As you type, Lightkey will offer relevant terms for your professional content and offer real-time suggestions for misspelled words along the way.

AI could make healthcare fairer--by helping us believe what patients say

MIT Technology Review

The paper looks at a specific clinical example of the disparities that exist in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, an ailment which causes chronic pain. Assessing the severity of that pain helps doctors prescribe the right treatment, including physical therapy, medication, or surgery. This is traditionally done by a radiologist reviewing an X-ray of the patient's knee and scoring their pain on the Kellgren–Lawrence grade (KLG), which calculates pain levels based on the presence of different radiographic features, like the degree of missing cartilage or structural damage. But data collected by the National Institute of Health found that doctors using this method systematically score Black patients far below the severity of pain that they say they're experiencing. Patients self-report their pain levels using a survey that asks about pain during various activities, such as fully straightening their knee.

Webinar on "Macro dynamics predictions in COVID-19 crisis, explained by micro intentions"


On 3 June 2020, the VUB AI Experience Centre published a webinar on the topic of the role of AI in the COVID-19 crisis, focused on macro dynamics predictions in the COVID-19 crisis, explained by micro intentions. This webinar focused on AI reinforcement learning techniques and predictive modelling, decision making in defining prevention, and exit strategies. It was led by Prof. dr. Ann Nowé from the Artificial Intelligence Lab together with Prof. dr Kurt Barbé, member of the Digital Mathematics research group and the cross-faculty Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Prof. dr Tom Lenaerts who is a member of the VUB Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Machine Learning Group of the ULB. The AI Experience Centre is a joint project of 4 VUB research groups: the Artificial Intelligence Lab, Brubotics, SMIT and ETRO, and is located on the VUB campus Etterbeek.

Google's threat to withdraw its search engine from Australia is chilling to anyone who cares about democracy Peter Lewis

The Guardian

Google's testimony to an Australian Senate committee on Friday threatening to withdraw its search services from Australia is chilling to anyone who cares about democracy. It marks the latest escalation in the globally significant effort to regulate the way the big tech platforms use news content to drive their advertising businesses and the catastrophic impact on the news media across the world. The news bargaining code, which would require Google and Facebook to negotiate a fair price for the use of news content, is the product of an 18-month process driven by the competition regulator. That legislation is currently before the Australian parliament, where a Senate committee is taking final submissions from interested parties. The Google bombshell makes explicit what has been a slowly escalating threat that a binding code would not be tenable.

Maryland Gov. Hogan pushes to reopen schools for hybrid learning

FOX News

A panel of parents give there take on the president's move to reopen schools on'Fox & amp; Friends.' Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is going all in on a push to reopen schools in the state for hybrid learning by the beginning of March. Hogan said during a news conference at St. John's College in Annapolis on Thursday that there is a growing consensus in the state and in the country that there is "no public health reason for county school boards to keep students out of schools" due to COVID-19. He argued that continuing down a path of virtual learning could lead to significant setbacks for students, especially among students of color and those from low-income families. "I understand that in earlier stages of the pandemic, that this was a very difficult decision for county school boards to make," Hogan added.