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Cranberries could improve memory and ward off dementia

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Eating a small bowl of cranberries every day could help ward off dementia, research suggested today. Scientists tested giving healthy older adults the equivalent of 100g of the fruit each day. Volunteers who ate a powdered version of the fruit -- which has a notoriously bitter taste -- were found to have a better memory recall after 12 weeks. And MRI scans showed those eating cranberries had better blood flow to important parts of the brain. People given cranberries also had 9 per cent lower bad cholesterol levels, according to the University of East Anglia study.

Google's DeepMind says it is close to achieving 'human-level' artificial intelligence

Daily Mail - Science & tech

DeepMind, a British company owned by Google, may be on the verge of achieving human-level artificial intelligence (AI). Nando de Freitas, a research scientist at DeepMind and machine learning professor at Oxford University, has said'the game is over' in regards to solving the hardest challenges in the race to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI refers to a machine or program that has the ability to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can, and do so without training. According to De Freitas, the quest for scientists is now scaling up AI programs, such as with more data and computing power, to create an AGI. Earlier this week, DeepMind unveiled a new AI'agent' called Gato that can complete 604 different tasks'across a wide range of environments'. Gato uses a single neural network – a computing system with interconnected nodes that works like nerve cells in the human brain.

Forthcoming machine learning and AI seminars: May 2022 edition


This post contains a list of the AI-related seminars that are scheduled to take place between 9 May 2022 and 30 June 2022. All events detailed here are free and open for anyone to attend virtually. Note: this event runs for four days – 9-12 May. Instance-adaptive data compression: Improving Neural Codecs by Training on the Test Set Speaker: Ties van Rozendaal Organised by: University of California, Irvine The live stream is here. Kernel-based robust inference for intractable likelihood models Speaker: François-Xavier Briol Organised by: Finnish Centre for AI Zoom link is here.

Covid-19 news: Cognitive impairment equivalent to 20 years of ageing

New Scientist

Covid-19 can cause lasting cognitive and mental health issues, including brain fog, fatigue and even post-traumatic stress disorder. To better understand the scale of the problem, researchers at the University of Cambridge analysed 46 people who were hospitalised due to the infection between March and July 2020. The participants underwent cognitive tests on average six months after their initial illness. These results were compared against those of more than 66,000 people from the general population. Those hospitalised with covid-19 scored worse on verbal analogical reasoning tests, which assess an individual's ability to recognise relationships between ideas and think methodically. They also recorded slower processing speeds. Previous studies suggest glucose is less efficiently used by the part of the brain responsible for attention, complex problem-solving and working memory after covid-19. Scores and reaction speeds improved over time, however, any recovery was gradual at best, according to the researchers. This cognitive impairment probably has multiple causes, including inadequate blood supply to the brain, blood vessel blockage and microscopic bleeds caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as damage triggered by an overactive immune system, they added. "Around 40,000 people have been through intensive care with covid-19 in England alone and many more will have been very sick, but not admitted to hospital," Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London said in a statement. "This means there is a large number of people out there still experiencing problems with cognition many months later." The biological mechanism behind a rare and severe covid-19 response seen in some children may have been uncovered by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Doctors have so far been unable to identify why some children develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) in response to covid-19, which can cause symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain and heart disease.

Ocado is using an army of 2,000 robots in its East London fulfilment centre

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It may look like a nightmare sequence from a science fiction film, but a network of fast-working robots is now hard at work in East London. British grocery giant Ocado is using an army of robots at its 563,000 square foot warehouse in Erith next to the Thames to gather up items for customer orders. More than 2,000 robots are working there non-stop for 20 hours a day, each picking up to 2 million food items in a shift – far beyond the capability of a human worker. The eight-wheeled robots scoot around a giant grid-like structure called the'Hive', so-called for its honeycomb-like holes that contain inventory. Powered by an algorithm, the robots pick up crates of items to take to a human to put into shopping bags for delivery.

Royal Papworth leads AI study into heart valve disease


Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is leading a study into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose heart valve disease. Royal Papworth is working with the University of Cambridge on the research, which hopes to develop a screening tool powered by AI to help diagnose the disease before symptoms are first displayed. The research will involve thousands of patients having four heart recordings that are collected via a Bluetooth stethoscope, in addition to the conventional route of an echocardiogram. Recordings will be uploaded to a machine-learning programme, so that the University of Cambridge can build an audio database of the noises associated with heart valve diseases. Ultimately, the research aims to create an artificially intelligent stethoscope that can analyse heart murmurs to provide either a diagnosis or determine if further investigation is needed.

Resonance as a Design Strategy for AI and Social Robots


Resonance, a powerful and pervasive phenomenon, appears to play a major role in human interactions. This article investigates the relationship between the physical mechanism of resonance and the human experience of resonance, and considers possibilities for enhancing the experience of resonance within human–robot interactions. We first introduce resonance as a widespread cultural and scientific metaphor. Then, we review the nature of “sympathetic resonance” as a physical mechanism. Following this introduction, the remainder of the article is organized in two parts. In part one, we review the role of resonance (including synchronization and rhythmic entrainment) in human cognition and social interactions. Then, in part two, we review resonance-related phenomena in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). These two reviews serve as ground for the introduction of a design strategy and combinatorial design space for shaping resonant interactions with robots and AI. We conclude by posing hypotheses and research questions for future empirical studies and discuss a range of ethical and aesthetic issues associated with resonance in human–robot interactions.

Top 3 Digital Transformation Strategies of 2022


The past two years of the pandemic have been marked by a period of rapid technological change. Amidst supply chain disruptions and changes in consumer behaviours, organisations have turned to digital transformation strategies to stay agile and resilient. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that technology is the lynchpin of organisational resilience and agility. As the pandemic disrupted global supply chains, forced employees to work from home and triggered a massive shift of consumer behaviour to online channels, digital technologies have played a pivotal role in keeping organisations afloat. According to Google's State of the API Economy 2021, digital transformation was the leading business imperative of 2020, based on a survey of 700 IT decision-makers from around the world.

Former NHS AI leader joins US spy-tech firm Palantir


US surveillance-tech supplier Palantir has hired a one-time director of AI for NHSX – the former UK health service digital agency. Indra Joshi quit her role at the end of March as NHSX and NHS Digital were merged into NHS England, a non-departmental government body. Her arrival at Palantir will raise concerns among NHS watchers and privacy campaigners. Palantir largely carries out information analysis and processing work for the defense and intelligence communities, often creating bespoke solutions such as digital-profiling tools for organisations like the CIA and ICE. The firm was founded by prominent Donald Trump financier and PayPal investor Peter Thiel.

Machine learning identifies antibiotic resistant bacteria that can spread between animals, humans and environment


Experts from the University of Nottingham have developed new software which combines DNA sequencing and machine learning to help them find where, and to what extent, antibiotic resistant bacteria is being transmitted between humans, animals and the environment. The study, which is published in PLOS Computational Biology, was led by Dr. Tania Dottorini from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University. Anthropogenic environments (spaces created by humans), such as areas of intensive livestock farming, are seen as ideal breeding grounds for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and antimicrobial resistant genes, which are capable of infecting humans and carrying resistance to drugs used in human medicine. This can have huge implications for how certain illnesses and infections can be treated effectively. In this new study, a team of experts looked at a large scale commercial poultry farm in China, and collected 154 samples from animals, carcasses, workers and their households and environments.