clinical medicine


Zipline Expands Its Medical Delivery Drones Across East Africa

IEEE Spectrum

While companies like Amazon pour considerable resources into finding ways of using drones to deliver such things as shoes and dog treats, Zipline has been saving lives in Rwanda since October 2016 with drones that deliver blood. Zipline's autonomous fixed-wing drones now form an integral part of Rwanda's medical-supply infrastructure, transporting blood products from a central distribution center to hospitals across the country. And in 2018, Zipline's East African operations will expand to include Tanzania, a much larger country. Delivering critical medical supplies in this region typically involves someone spending hours (or even days) driving a cooler full of life-saving medicine or blood along windy dirt roads. Such deliveries can become dangerous or even impossible to make if roads and bridges get washed out.


Why 500 Million People in China Are Talking to This AI

MIT Technology Review

Some also use it to send text messages through voice commands while driving, or to communicate with a speaker of another Chinese dialect. But while some impressive progress in voice recognition and instant translation has enabled Xu to talk with his Canadian tenant, language understanding and translation for machines remains an incredibly challenging task (see "AI's Language Problem"). In August, iFlytek launched a voice assistant for drivers called Xiaofeiyu (Little Flying Fish). Min Chu, the vice president of AISpeech, another Chinese company working on voice-based human-computer interaction technologies, says voice assistants for drivers are in some ways more promising than smart speakers and virtual assistants embedded in smartphones.


Capital OneVoice: Apps With Smarts: The Story Behind Machine Learning

#artificialintelligence

Whether it's making your email smarter, streamlining tasks or solving the riddle of incurable diseases, AI and machine learning will probably have a huge impact in your life. Andrew Ng, former head of AI for Baidu, has said that machine learning and AI "Will also now change nearly every major industry--healthcare, transportation, entertainment, manufacturing." There's no doubt that a lot of people are starting to see how machine learning and AI might change their industries. Whether it's making your email smarter, streamlining tasks or solving the riddle of incurable diseases, AI and machine learning will probably have a huge impact in your life.


How neural networks are learning to decode information transmitted along neurons

#artificialintelligence

They say their decoder significantly outperforms existing approaches. These included a Long Short Term Memory Network, a recurrent neural network, and a feedforward neural network. "For instance, for all of the three brain areas, a Long Short Term Memory Network decoder explained over 40% of the unexplained variance from a Wiener filter," they say. But Glaser and co deliberately reduced the amount of training data they fed to the algorithms and found the neural nets still outperformed the conventional techniques.


Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression

#artificialintelligence

Instagram posts made by individuals diagnosed with depression can be reliably distinguished from posts made by healthy controls, using only measures extracted computationally from posted photos and associated metadata. In studies associating mood, color, and mental health, healthy individuals identified darker, grayer colors with negative mood, and generally preferred brighter, more vivid colors [16–19]. Instagram posts made by depressed individuals prior to the date of first clinical diagnosis can be reliably distinguished from posts made by healthy controls. The authors analyzed 118 studies that evaluated general practitioners' abilities to correctly diagnose depression in their patients, without assistance from scales, questionnaires, or other measurement instruments.


Veritas Genomics Scoops Up an AI Company to Sort Out Its *DNA*

WIRED

On August 3, sequencing company Veritas Genomics bought one of the most influential: seven-year old Curoverse. In a step forward, the company also hopes to use things like natural language processing and deep learning to help customers query their genetic data on demand. He points to a 2013 study that used polygenic testing to predict heart disease using the Framingham Heart Study data--about as good as you can get, when it comes to health data and heart disease. "They authors showed that yes, given polygenic risk score, and blood levels, and lipid levels, and family history, you can predict within 10 years if someone will develop heart disease," says Butte.


Scientists know how to make mice angry--but mice know how to keep their cool

Popular Science

Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center have taken a closer look at the roots of this rage in the mouse brain, and in a study published today in Neuron, they pinpoint the brain cells that give rise to male territorial aggression. "It's a needle in a haystack compared to the 80 million neurons in the mouse brain," says Nirao Shah, senior study author and a professor at Stanford University. When scientists activated their clusters of VMH neurons, the mice still aggressively defended their cage against intruders. But when placed in a different mouse's cage, they didn't attack, even when the VMH neurons were activated--these mice knew they were guests in someone else's home.


Featured video: A self-driving wheelchair

MIT News

Singapore and MIT have been at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development. Now, leveraging similar technology, MIT and Singaporean researchers have developed and deployed a self-driving wheelchair at a hospital. Spearheaded by Daniela Rus, the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, this autonomous wheelchair is an extension of the self-driving scooter that launched at MIT last year -- and it is a testament to the success of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, or SMART – a collaboration between researchers at MIT and in Singapore. Rus, who is also the principal investigator of the SMART Future Urban Mobility research group, says this newest innovation can help nurses focus more on patient care as they can get relief from logistics work which includes searching for wheelchairs and wheeling patients in the complex hospital network.


For Computers, Too, It's Hard to Learn to Speak Chinese

MIT Technology Review

In China today, voice assistant technology works by turning a user's voice commands into text and generating a response based on the meaning of the text. They will also have to understand emotions, since humans' decision making is not based solely on logic, notes Jia Jia, an associate professor at Tsinghua University who studies social affective computing. As of the end of 2016, Baidu claimed 665 million monthly active mobile users, and as of March this year, Alibaba had 507 million mobile monthly active users. For example, to train a neural network to understand texts in sports medicine, you could draw upon data from sports and data from medicine.


Google's AI guru says that great artificial intelligence must build on neuroscience

#artificialintelligence

Currently, most AI systems are based on layers of mathematics that are only loosely inspired by the way the human brain works. Building AI that can perform general tasks, rather than niche ones, is a long-held desire in the world of machine learning. It argues that deep learning, which uses layers of artificial neurons to understand inputs, and reinforcement learning, where systems learn by trial and error, both owe a great deal to neuroscience. The solution, Hassabis and his colleagues argue, is a renewed "exchange of ideas between AI and neuroscience [that] can create a'virtuous circle' advancing the objectives of both fields."