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Perspective - Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence?


The apocalyptic idea of computer-run robots turning against the human race and taking over the planet is not something we should dismiss, but for now we should be celebrating and embracing the positive side of artificial intelligence (AI). That's the view of Professor Anthony Elliott, the author of a new book entitled "Making Sense of AI". He says AI currently does a lot of good, helping us for example in the fields of industrial robots and self-driving cars, as well as providing vital information for fighting pandemics such as Covid-19. However, he admits that with AI, "to some extent, we lose control over decision-making".

Trolley Problem, Inc review – a thrill ride into the world of ethical dilemmas

The Guardian

Should a hospital introduce a mandatory vaccination programme to stop a breakout of infant disease when one of five children will become ill from the vaccine? Should an AI company programme a self-driving car to save its passengers at any cost? Should a government torture a prisoner to extract information that is certain to save many lives? In Trolley Problem, Inc – a game named after the well-known philosophical dilemma by which an onlooker can choose to divert a runaway trolley to kill one person instead of five – you have 40 seconds to answer these and scores of other ethical quandaries. As the timer drains, a well-spoken, gently sarcastic female commentator articulates the counterargument to your intended choice.

Mairabot: A student-built robot in Nigeria

Al Jazeera

When COVID-19 hit, an enterprising group of pupils in Abuja, Nigeria, used their robotics class to design and build a simple robot to cut down on interpersonal contact in hospitals. Using only scraps they found around the classroom, they each contributed to the ideas, concept, mechanics and AI elements of their robot "Mairabot" – which earned praise from health officials and their teachers alike. Mairabot, by filmmaker Philip Okpokoro, introduces us to Nabila Abbas and her fellow students in this short, inspiring film. Philip Okpokoro is a Nigerian director and cinematographer with an impressive record in both documentary and live TV directing. He has directed a wide array of film projects from high-end live TV to intimate documentaries for global broadcasters, and has been awarded for best director of photography.

The AI revolution: Robots already helping humans deliver better care


Bright yellow and looking like a headless deer, Spot can travel across ground too risky for humans. "Built for dirt and danger," in the words of its maker Boston Dynamics, this robot is now helping humans battle a different threat: the spread of coronavirus. Equipped with an iPad and two-way radio, Spot has been making the rounds at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston since April. Medical technicians use the robot to interview patients with suspected COVID-19 remotely, with no need to don personal protective equipment. Think of it as mobile telemedicine.

There's Now an Algorithm to Help Workers Avoid Losing Their Jobs to an Algorithm


As AI and robotics continue to advance, there are concerns that machines could soon replace humans in a wide range of occupations. Now there's a new way to tell how likely your job is to be taken over by robots or AI, and what job to shift to if you are at risk. Industrial robots have been a fixture on manufacturing lines for decades, but they have generally been dumb and dangerous, incapable of operating outside of highly controlled environments and liable to injure human workers unless safely caged. Advances in AI are starting to change that though, with more nimble and aware robots starting to move from factories and warehouses into storefronts and restaurants. Social distancing requirements due to the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated this trend, fueling anxiety that an increasing number of human workers may end up getting displaced by robots.

Handheld surgical robot can help stem fatal blood loss


Matt Johnson (right) and Laura Brattain (left) test a new medical device on an artificial model of human tissue and blood vessels. The device helps users to insert a needle and guidewire quickly and accurately into a vessel, a crucial first step to halting rapid blood loss. After a traumatic accident, there is a small window of time when medical professionals can apply lifesaving treatment to victims with severe internal bleeding. Delivering this type of care is complex, and key interventions require inserting a needle and catheter into a central blood vessel, through which fluids, medications, or other aids can be given. First responders, such as ambulance emergency medical technicians, are not trained to perform this procedure, so treatment can only be given after the victim is transported to a hospital.

Could a Robot Be a Friend?


When COVID-19 first hit, I was terrified to leave my home. As the father of three and a husband of 25 years, I felt helpless to protect my family as the narrative changed seemingly day-to-day. I knew fashioning medical masks from scarves was far from ideal, so I made masks for my family, friends, and any elderly customer that wanted one, using my 3D printer and some micron-level cloth filter material intended for residential HVAC systems. Still, I felt like I had no control over what was happening. The CDC reported in 2020 that between June 24 and 30, close to 40% of adults in the U.S. reported at least one adverse mental health concern--including anxiety, depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation, among others. UK-based researchers introduced the term "COVID-19 anxiety syndrome" in Psychiatry Research, noting avoidance, worrying, daily symptom checking, and threat monitoring as key traits.

Global Big Data Conference


From self-driving cars to fraud prevention, artificial intelligence (AI) has long transcended the "buzzword" label. And two years into Covid-19, AI assumes an expanded role in the customer service landscape. For one, companies started using AI to automate customer behavior pattern analysis -- processing gigabytes of data at a velocity that humans can never match. AI can also massively boost response times, proactively detect sentiment, forecast trends and suggest action plans through natural language understanding (NLU). Despite AI's unmistakable capabilities in modernizing customer experience, its potential can be severely fettered by the rocky implementations of panicking businesses.

Chilly Drone Supply: Swoop Aero in Malawi - Channel969


Australian drone-based logistics firm Swoop Aero has succeeded in transporting crucial Pfizer vaccines in Malawi. The air supply of the vaccines, which require ultra-cold chain situations, marks a milestone for Malawi, in addition to for Swoop Aero and medical air deliveries usually, showcasing the potential the know-how has to help public well being. Over 17,280 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been efficiently delivered throughout the Southern districts of Malawi thus far, with producers corresponding to AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson making use of the prevailing Swoop Aero drone community to shortly distribute crucial vaccines to distant communities. Swoop Aero intends to ship hundreds extra vaccines as they develop into out there. "The supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines underscores the novel worth of bi-directional drone networks in Malawi," mentioned Swoop Aero CEO Eric Peck.

Japan's unemployment edges up amid record COVID-19 wave

The Japan Times

Japan's unemployment rate edged up in January as a record wave of COVID-19 infections prompted renewed restrictions that are likely to continue slowing progress in the recovery of the labor market in February and March. The jobless rate rose to 2.8% as the number of people working fell by a seasonally adjusted 190,000 from December, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to hold steady at 2.7%. A separate report offered a slightly more encouraging view of the labor market as job offers outnumbered applicants by a greater margin, a leading indicator of the employment trend. There were 120 jobs offered in January for every 100 applicants, compared with 116 positions a month earlier.