In the post-pandemic, post-Brexit world, businesses of all sorts face a range of new challenges – and many will be wondering if AI-based automation could help them win through. From adding more self-service capabilities for hotel guests through modernising e-commerce fulfilment to replacing missing workers in farming, the opportunities are many, but so are the pitfalls. Given all this, some research that we carried out last year on attitudes to AI – and in particular its subset, machine learning (ML) – is looking even more relevant now than it was then. It gives a picture not just of where AI could add value, but of key routes to get there and of hurdles that must be overcome along the way. As well as asking how our respondents perceived AI and ML, and hearing a lot of weariness with the noise and hype, we asked how well their organisations understood "the AI imperative".
Nearly three-quarters of businesses now consider artificial intelligence (AI) critical to their success, and AI continues to grow in importance across companies of various sizes and industries, according to a new report. And despite turbulent times, more than two-thirds of respondents to Appen Limited's 2020 State of AI Report do not expect any negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on their AI strategies. Nearly half of companies have accelerated their AI strategies, 20% doing so "significantly," betting their AI projects will have a positive impact on their organization's resiliency, efficiency, and innovation, according to the annual report. SEE: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise 2020: Tech leaders increase project development and implementation (TechRepublic Premium) Yet almost half (49%) of respondents feel their company is behind in their AI journey, suggesting a critical gap exists between the strategic need and the ability to execute among business leaders and technologists, Appen said. Surprisingly, respondents are not that leery of AI: The report also found that only 25% of companies said unbiased AI is mission-critical.
California is one of the hardest-hit states when it comes to coronavirus with more than 200,000 total cases. Data scientists seeking ways to help the state reopen the economy participated in a two-week 2020 COVID-19 Computational Challenge (CCC) in mid-June. The challenge was to provide guidance for risk mitigation for Los Angeles County. Additionally, the solution "must incorporate the ethical protection of individual data and respect data privacy norms." The winning teams revealed location-based COVID-19 exposure at different L.A. communities, developed apps for people to calculate their potential for infection, and delivered applicable data-driven recommendations along with L.A.'s reopening stages, officials said.
New research in Scientific Reports conducted by Washington University shows how comprehending brain activity as a network rather than by electroencephalography readings, provides more accurate identification of epileptic seizures in real-time. The study, which mixes machine learning with systems theory, was steered by lead author Walter Bomela. "Our technique allows us to get raw data, process it and extract a feature that's more informative for the machine learning model to use," Bomela stated in a news release. "The major advantage of our approach is to fuse signals from 23 electrodes to one parameter that can be efficiently processed with much less computing resources." As explained by researchers, using an EEG, epileptic seizures can be observed through irregular brain activity in the form of spikes and waves during the measurement of electrical output.
A smartphone that can warn you not to send a text while you're upset? Early in my career--back in the stone age before computers and smartphones--I worked in environments where memos were a primary means of communication. Sure, my colleagues and I could talk face-to-face, but the culture of the time was to memorialize much of our interaction in writing. Believe it or not, there were some advantages in what now seems such an archaic practice. Unlike texts and emails--where one tap of the "send" button can fill you with instant regret--the old-fashioned memo provided a cushion of safety, a chance to reconsider.
Fraym is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help aid organizations in Africa and South Asia identify populations at risk due to Covid-19 using new geospatial visualizations. Fraym identifies high-risk populations and how to best communicate with them – making it an invaluable tool for more than 40 organizations and governments fighting the pandemic, including the Nigerian CDC, Kenyan presidential office, Zambian public health policymakers and aid organizations in Pakistan. Fraym has mapped communities based on concentrations of common transmission variables and then combined this with data from household surveys and remote sensing data, to then understand how these individuals consume news at a hyper-local level. The company is providing this information, which is at a 1-square kilometer level, for free to help fight the spread of Covid19. Since March 2020, Fraym has produced more than 300 COVID-19 related data layers in nearly 20 different countries.
The coronavirus lockdown and the school closures that have resulted have had a huge impact on the education of 1.2 billion children across 186 countries. Teachers have been scrambling to keep in touch with their classes, while parents have been trying to keep bored children engaged in learning while cut off from school and fellow students. As a result, virtual classrooms, language apps, online tutoring, and online education software (and new hardware) have seen a surge popularity, with some reports suggesting the market could hit $350 billion by 2025. But can the digital revolution in education, long been promised but rarely achieved, take a step forward as a result of these changes? Speaking at the CogX 2020 conference, Rose Luckin, professor of Learner Centered Design at University College London's Knowledge Lab, argued that the only way for the industry to evolve was to build on what it has learnt recently.
Conscious travel means being mindful of the world and the people we encounter during our travels. It's about thinking differently when we travel; changing our values and perception of the world by seeing a destination through a local's eyes. The world is altering as people's mindsets are shifting. No longer content with mass tourism, people are becoming more conscious of real experiences, immersing themselves with their surroundings to establish longer-lasting connections and gain a better understanding of the world. Conscious travel's goal is to create a sustainable travel economy that gives something back to communities.
Nicole Baker who is the co-founder of biologit, an early-stage technology startup using artificial intelligence solutions for pharmacovigilance and clinical safety, took us through an interesting session on why AI is needed for monitoring safety of medicinal products at Rising 2020. Baker who started as an immunologist soon realised that there is a lot of data to read through and that's when she explored the use of artificial intelligence to bring about ease and efficiency in her pharmacovigilance work. For the uninitiated, pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other medicine-related problems. Before a medicine is authorised for use, evidence of its safety and efficacy is limited to the results from clinical trials, but after the medicine goes into public use, there can still be cases of adverse drug reactions which can be reported by doctors, nurses, and even users themselves. Pharmacovigilance involves ensuring that the patient is safe and that the medicine is not causing adverse reactions.