Daily Mail - Science & tech


Robots stand in for university students during graduation in Japan during the coronavirus pandemic

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Colleges around the world have been forced to shut down due to the coronavirus, but a group of students in Japan are not letting the pandemic ruin their graduation. Using Newme telepresensence robots, students attending Business Breakthrough (BBT) University in Tokyo were able to walk across the stage and accept their diploma, all while self-isolating at home. The robots were dressed in a cap and gown and fitted with tablets on their heads, allowing students to show their face using Zoom. Students who attended the graduation remotely operated the robots in what is deemed the'world's first' online graduation ceremony. Four students virtually walked across the stage at the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo on March 28.


Washington becomes the first state in the US to LEGALIZE facial recognition for law enforcement

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The state of Washington has made it legal for law enforcement and other state agencies to use facial recognition. The new law makes Washington the first state in the US to legalize facial recognition software for government business. Facial recognition has been used by a number of law enforcement agencies at the city and county level, but it has never been formally legalized at either the state or federal level. Washington has become the first state in the US to officially legalize facial recognition software for law enforcement, which it says will be limited to finding missing persons, identifying the deceased, and'for the purposes of keeping the public safe' According to the law, facial recognition will be limited to a handful of uses, including efforts to'locate or identify missing persons, and identify deceased persons, including missing or murdered indigenous women, subjects of Amber alerts and silver alerts, and other possible crime victims, for the purposes of keeping the public safe.' Agencies that want to use facial recognition technology will have to file a notice of intent with the state government along with an accountability report that details how and why they need the technology, according to a report in InfoSecurity.


Artificial Intelligence could help diagnose COVID-19 using X-RAYS

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An artificial intelligence programme could be used to more quickly predict the outcome of coronavirus patients by studying X-rays of their chest. Developers at the Oxford-based data-visualisation company, Zegami, have created a machine learning model that can diagnose the virus from the images. However, the team say that in order to get better and more detailed results their AI needs to be trained on a wider range of X-ray images from infected patients. The team believe it could have an artificial intelligence system in place within a matter of weeks to study the disease if it gets enough X-ray images. Zegami CEO, Roger Noble, has written an open letter to the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust asking for more images to train the AI model.


Children that play lots of video games are more likely to be fat teenagers, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Parents letting their child play lots of video games are signing the youngster up for weight gain a decade later, a study has revealed. More than 16,000 children were tracked from age five through to age 14 and scientists assessed the relationship between video games and weight. Results revealed children who regularly played video games as a five-year-old had a higher BMI nine years later, compared to those who did not play video games. Drinking sugary drinks and irregular bedtimes also have a significant impact on children, the study found, and could partly be to blame for the weight change. The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, is the first to look at the potential effect of video game use on children's BMI over time.


Four-year-olds have the same overconfidence as bankers, study says

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Cocky children as young as four have the same levels of overconfidence as city bankers and business leaders, according to a new study. UK researchers demonstrated that high levels of confidence in one's own abilities – a trait common among high achievers – is apparent from an extremely early age. This suggests that cocky city types developed their'cognitive bias' from infancy rather than later life, they say. Researchers conducted a card game with young girls and boys with the objective of collecting as many stickers as possible, and compared their different strategies. More than 70 per cent of four-year-olds and half of five and six-year-olds were overconfident in their expectations - comparable to big shot bankers and traders.


'Fear' is the most widespread emotion on social media due to coronavirus

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Fear is spreading on social media as people share their thoughts on the deadly coronavirus and the impact of the efforts to combat it. Italian-based artificial intelligence company Expert System has been searching through tens of thousands of social media posts to track feelings towards COVID-19. They used a range of natural language systems to capture the emotional view of different English language social media posts related to the pandemic. The team plan to publish a daily update showing the changing attitudes and emotions surrounding the spread of the virus and efforts to slow it down. For the fourth day in a row fear has been the most dominant emotion expressed in posts, with all negative views increasing across the English-language world.


Men who are 'couch potatoes' are more likely to want to be muscular and hit the gym, study shows

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Experts found that men from wealthy western countries like the UK are more motivated to workout than their Nicaraguan and Ugandan counterparts. However, in all three countries, men that watch more television -- and are therefore exposed more to images of idealised bodies -- wanted to be muscular more. Men who are'couch potatoes' -- those spending a lot of time watching TV -- are more likely to want to be muscular and hit the gym, a study has found Psychologist Tracey Thornborrow of the University of Lincoln and colleagues examined British men's obsession with getting a muscular physique -- along with related phenomena like relying on protein shakes, unhealthy dieting and steroid use. Comparing British men with those from Nicaragua and Uganda, the team assessed each man's body mass index, along with their feelings about peer pressure and their ideal appearance. Participants also ranked the perceived level of muscularity of their current body and their ideal body on the so-called'Male Adiposity and Muscularity Scale.' Designed by the Person Perception Lab at the University of Lincoln, the new scale makes use of two-dimensional images created from 3D software, providing a more realistic range of body types and sizes based on measurements of real people.


Google cancels its yearly tradition of posting an April Fools' Day joke

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google is skipping its tradition of designing an April Fools' Day joke on its front page during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came from Lorraine Twohill, Google's chief marketing officer, who informed company management of the decision in an email. According to Twohill, the decision was made'out of respect' for everyone currently working to fight against the spread of COVID-19. Google will forgo its annual tradition of posting an April Fools' Day joke for the first time since the tradition began in 2000, a decision the company says was made'out of respect for all those fighting the Covid-19 pandemic' 'Under normal circumstances, April Fool's is a Google tradition and a time to celebrate what makes us an unconventional company,' Twohill wrote, according to a Business Insider report. 'This year, we're going to take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.


AI-powered app analyzes the user's voice to determine if they are infected with the coronavirus

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Americans are increasingly being spotted wearing face masks in public amid the coronavirus pandemic, as are people are around the globe. Soon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may advise all Americans to cover their faces when they leave the house, the Washington Post reported. The agency is weighing that recommendation after initially telling Americans that they didn't need to wear masks and that anything other than a high-grade N95 medical mask would do little to prevent infection any way. Research on how well various types of masks and face coverings varies but, recently, and in light of the pandemic of COVID-19, experts are increasingly leaning toward the notion that something is better than nothing. A University of Oxford study published on March 30 concluded that surgical masks are just as effective at preventing respiratory infections as N95 masks for doctors, nurses and other health care workers.


Mind-reading technology uses AI to give voice to people unable to speak

Daily Mail - Science & tech

New technology that can read minds and turn thoughts into complete sentences with the help of AI is giving hope to people who can't speak. Researchers from the University of California say their technology is able to translate brain activity into English word by word with the help of machine learning. The technology could revolutionise the way people who can't speak or move are able to communicate, as it is more natural than existing tools, the team say. It has an accuracy rate of 97 per cent - more than twice as high as other brain-signal decoding devices and works by mapping activity of neurons to words. Translating neurons to words enables it to type word sequences on a computer interface in real time - which can then be read out by a synthetic voice.