Illustrating children's books with too many detailed, non-essential pictures makes it'harder for kids to focus and absorb knowledge', a study has demonstrated. Colourful pictures intended to motivate young readers may achieve the exact opposite by drawing attention away from the story text, US researchers warned. Although reading is considered a'gateway for learning', around 20 per cent of children in the UK do not meet the minimum level of literacy proficiency. Children's books typically include eye-catching illustrations to help readers visualise the characters and setting of the story. However, eye-tracking studies found that too many pictures can prove distracting.
Two shoebox-sized supercomputer satellites, built in Scotland to monitor shipping movements from low-Earth orbit, are due for launch this afternoon. Each nanosatellite has an onboard supercomputer with machine learning algorithms that can provide'hyper-accurate predictions' of the locations of boats. The the so-called'Spire' satellites will calculate their arrival times at ports to help businesses and authorities manage busy docks, the UK Space Agency said. They will join a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global ocean traffic. Two of the satellites will launch at lunchtime today and another couple will launch on an Indian PSLV rocket on November 1.
The typical American is recorded by security cameras 238 times a week, according to a new report from Safety.com. That figure includes surveillance video taken at work, on the road, in stores and in the home. The study found that Americans are filmed 160 times while driving, as there are about an average of 20 cameras on a span of 29 miles. And the average employee has been spotted by surveillance cameras at 40 times a week. However, for those who frequently travel or work in highly patrolled areas the number of times they are captured on film skyrockets to more than 1,000 times a week.
The US military is testing a smart watch and ring system capable of detecting illnesses two days before the wearer develops symptoms. Called Rapid Analysis of Threat Exposure (RATE), the project is using Garmin and Oura devices that have been program with artificial intelligence trained on nearly 250,000 coronavirus cases and other sicknesses. The system notifies the user of an oncoming illness using a scale from one to 100 on how likely it will happen over the next 48 hours. Military officials note that'Within two weeks of us going live we had our first successful COVID-19 detect.' The US military is testing a smart watch and ring system capable of detecting illness two days before the wearer develops symptoms.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can detect loneliness with 94 per cent accuracy from a person's speech, a new scientific paper reports. Researchers in the US used several AI tools, including IBM Watson, to analyse transcripts of older adults interviewed about feelings of loneliness. By analysing words, phrases, and gaps of silence during the interviews, the AI assessed loneliness symptoms nearly as accurately as loneliness questionnaires completed by the participants themselves, which can be biased. It revealed that lonely individuals tend to have longer responses to direct questions about loneliness, and express more sadness in their answers. 'Most studies use either a direct question of "how often do you feel lonely", which can lead to biased responses due to stigma associated with loneliness,' said senior author Ellen Lee at UC San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.
Amazon has unveiled a bizarre home surveillance drone that flies around your house when you're not there and keeps an eye out for intruders. Unveiled by Ring, the firm's home security arm, the Always Home Cam can fly to check if the stove is off or the window is still open while the user is away. It consists of a flying black camera, powered by rotor blades, that automatically takes off from a stationary white dock if it detects movement in the house. The drone only records when it is in the air and makes a sound when it flies, so any people in the house know it is recording. Amazon said was inspired to create a security product that could move more freely throughout the home to'give more viewpoint flexibility'.
To mark the epic 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo has announced a handful of exciting Super Mario video games, including Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Released on September 18, the new Nintendo Switch video game includes optimised versions of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, making it a great nostalgic gift for Mario fans this Christmas. It also includes the soundtracks for the three games. The remastered collection of Mario games is currently Amazon's bestselling Nintendo Switch video game and is the third bestselling title for 2020. Released in limited supply, Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available through March 31, 2021.
Amazon just gave Alexa a mind of its own by enabling it to ask humans questions. The tech giant is set to add'teachable' artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners. During the firm's annual product launch event, Amazon also introduced natural turn taking, which allows users to speak to Alexa with using a wake wording to provide'more natural and expressive' conversations. Rohit Prasad, vice president of Amazon, said: 'You can ask'Alexa, join my conversation,' and Alexa will join in the conversation to help you and friend decide what pizza to order, or get a movie recommendation for a night at home with your family.' Amazon is set to add'teachable' artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners Prasad explained that Amazon has been working years to advance Alexa, noting to teach the assistant instantaneously took three to four years to complete.
As Doctor Who, Tom Baker fought Daleks and Cybermen, robot mummies and gothic monsters -- but his latest'creature feature' has taken the form of an accolade. Australian palaeontologists have named a newly-found species of trilobite -- a segmented sea creature from 450 million years ago -- in honour of the actor. Trilobites loosely resemble woodlice -- and their closest living relatives include lobsters, crabs and scorpions. They fell extinct around 251.9 million years ago. The fossil -- 'Gravicalymene bakeri' -- was found preserved in shale rocks in Northern Tasmania that date back to the so-called'Late Ordovician' period.
A giant 60ft tall Transformer-like robot based on the Japanese anime series Mobile Suit Gundam was filmed pointing, walking and'taking the knee' during a recent test. The humanoid robot was built as part of a new attraction at Yamashita Pier by engineers at Gundam Factory in the Port of Yokohama. It was due to become the centrepiece of the factory on October 1, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the opening until later this year, operators confirmed. The Gundam anime series has sparked a multi-billion dollar industry with movies, manga, plastic models and video games. Video footage shows the massive 25 tonne robot moving its right arm and fingers, lifting its legs and kneeling while workers watch from a nearby observation deck.