Collaborating Authors


Agrobotics startup Root AI acquired by AppHarvest for $60M


Root AI, a Somerville, Mass.-based startup developing the Virgo harvesting robot for indoor farms, was acquired by AppHarvest for $60 million. AppHarvest is investing approximately $10 million in cash and the remaining balance in AppHarvest common shares to acquire Root AI. Founded in 2018, Root AI's 19 full-time employees are expected to join AppHarvest's technology group. Root AI co-founder and CEO Josh Lessing will take on the role of CTO for AppHarvest. He will take the lead in continuing to develop the robots and AI capabilities for the network of indoor farms AppHarvest is building.

Robots threaten jobs less than fearmongers claim


THE COFFEESHOP is an engine of social mobility. Barista jobs require soft skills and little experience, making them a first port of call for young people and immigrants looking for work. So it may be worrying that robotic baristas are spreading. RC Coffee, which bills itself "Canada's first robotic café", opened in Toronto last summer. "[T]he barista-to-customer interaction is somewhat risky despite people's best efforts to maintain a safe environment," the firm says.

Evolving AI in health care with Holographic Telepresence


AI in health care sector has evolved leaps and bounds. However, there are certain sensitive areas or domains within it, where the magic touch of AI is yet to be felt. Such a domain is that of emergency health care domains like trauma care centres. Apparently, trauma care centres are the most visited because of the rate of accidents that occur daily. May it be motorbike accidents or gunshot wounds, the victims are straight sent to trauma care hospitals every day.

LLNL Virtual Seminar Series Explores Data-Driven Physical Simulations


The rapidly growing fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become cornerstones of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) data science research activities. The Lab's scientific community regularly publishes advancements in both AI/ML applications and theory, contributing to international discourse on the possibilities of these compelling technologies. The large volume of AI/ML scientific literature can be overwhelming, so researchers sometimes organize reading groups where one person reads a paper and presents the methods and results to colleagues. For instance, the Lab has active reading groups studying ML and reinforcement learning. The Data-Driven Physical Simulation (DDPS) reading group has been meeting biweekly since October 2019.

Automated COVID-19 PCR-testing system launched

The Japan Times

The system uses robots to conduct polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, significantly reducing infection risks for technicians. "The system will reduce the burden on medical workers, who are becoming exhausted from measures aimed at preventing infections," especially as Japan braces for a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, Hiroyasu Ito, a professor at the university, said. The system, developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., is housed in a container 2.5 meters wide and 12.2 meters long, and has 13 robotic arms. It conducts all the steps required to test samples for coronavirus infections without human intervention. The university is aiming to make it possible for the system to produce test results in just 80 minutes.

Why you may be counted by a 3D camera


The vaccine rollout is being met with lifted COVID-19 restrictions inside buildings and restaurants, but this change presents a new challenge to business owners -- managing increased occupancy, while still abiding by safety restrictions. Businesses that find themselves exceeding occupancy could face fines, citations, and license suspensions. One increasingly prominent solution employs 3D counting and tracking cameras that monitor occupancy, foot traffic, and flow inside brick-and-motor locations. Regular 2D cameras and traditional counting techniques are not accurate enough. However, depth-sensing 3D cameras can provide real-time updates that increase counting accuracy by an estimated 5% to 8%, according to a spokesperson for one 3D company I spoke with, Orbbec.

Covid-19: 'Enough vaccines' for under-30s, and the future of work

BBC News

A public health worker who cared for her mum before she died with bowel cancer in April last year, aged 74, says doing so during lockdown was hard as "the system was just under so much pressure that we had to manage largely on our own". Susan Lowe, from Solihull, says she struggled to get the right pain relief medication for her mother Sheila in her final weeks, telling the BBC: "My biggest regret is that my mum died in pain." Her story reflects a survey that has found unpaid carers struggled to access pain relief during the pandemic. The government says it had taken action to support unpaid carers.

SKT to support vaccination monitoring with AI


KDCA official Na Seong-woong (left) and SKT AI service head Lee Hyun-ah hold an MOU certificate at the KDCA headquarters in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. SK Telecom, South Korea's top telecom company, is utilizing its artificial intelligence technology to support the country's health authority in monitoring recipients after COVID-19 vaccination, it said Thursday. Dubbed NUGU Vaccine Carecall, SKT's NUGU AI platform will provide guidance to those subject to vaccination through calls, and monitor any abnormal signs after shots are administered. The telecom company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Thursday. Under the MOU, medical institutions will register their lists of recipients on the NUGU Vaccine Carecall website.

A conversation on artificial intelligence and gender bias


The world celebrated Women's History Month in March, and it is a timely moment for us to look at the forces that will shape gender parity in the future. Even as the pandemic accelerates digitization and the future of work, artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a potentially helpful--or hurtful--tool in the equity agenda. McKinsey recorded a podcast in collaboration with Citi that dives into how gender bias is reflected in AI, why we must consciously debias our machine-human interfaces, and how AI can be a positive force for gender parity. Ioana Niculcea: Before we start the conversation, I think it's important for us to spend a moment assessing the amount of change that has taken place with regard to AI, and how the pace of that change has accelerated over the past few years. And many people argue that in light of the current COVID-19 circumstance, we'll feel further acceleration as people move toward digitization. I spent the past eight years in financial services, and it all started with data. Datafication of the industry was sort of the point of origin. And we hear often that over 90 percent of the data that we have today was created over the past two years. You hear things like every minute, there's over one million Facebook logins and 4.5 million YouTube videos being streamed, or 17,000 different Uber rides. There's a lot of data, and only 1 percent of that is being analyzed, as said today.

Council Post: AI's Role In Analyzing Shifting Sentiments Around Companies


Despite only being early in the year, significant events have already taken place in 2021. Mass vaccinations for Covid-19 have begun around the world, and new strains of the disease have surfaced in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. For companies, this news has had a direct impact on their ability to conduct business while further placing their pandemic response under the public microscope. How companies are being talked and written about is changing as the pandemic unfolds, and these nuances could reveal more than simply how effective an organization's marketing department is. What if shifts in sentiment could help traders make more informed financial decisions?