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coronavirus pandemic

Boston Dynamics' Spot the robot dog remotely measuring patients' vitals amid coronavirus pandemic

Boston Herald

Spot the robot dog is ready to see you now for your contact-free vitals. Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital are exploring a new way to lower the risk for health-care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic -- by using Boston Dynamics' Spot the robot dog to remotely measure patients' vital signs. "In robotics, one of our goals is to use automation and robotic technology to remove people from dangerous jobs," Henwei Huang, an MIT postdoctoral researcher, said in a statement. "We thought it should be possible for us to use a robot to remove the health-care worker from the risk of directly exposing themselves to the patient." Using four cameras mounted on the dog-like robot, the researchers have shown that they can measure skin temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation in healthy patients.

NHS gets £50m in AI funding for digital pathology


The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £50m funding for three digital pathology and imaging artificial intelligence (AI) centres in Coventry, Leeds and London. The centres were set up in 2018 with funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Two other centres are located in Oxford and Glasgow. The three centres to share the latest tranche of funding will deliver digital upgrades to pathology and imaging services across an additional 38 NHS trusts, said the department. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: "I am determined we do all we can to save lives by spotting cancer sooner. Bringing the benefits of artificial intelligence to the front line of our health service with this funding is another step in that mission."

UAE Press: Artificial intelligence key to UAE's growth


ABU DHABI, 24th August, 2020 (WAM) -- A UAE daily has said that the world is facing many challenges as it fights the global coronavirus pandemic, noting that full-on efforts are being made around the world to find a solution to the coronavirus. "One such method of curbing the virus is through the use of artificial intelligence, AI" said Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday, quoting Dr. Mohammad Yaqub, Assistant Professor at MBZUAI and research fellow at the University of Oxford, as highlighting the role of AI in the current fight against COVID-19 and how it can be applied to help identify future pandemics and halt their spread," The newspaper added, "The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to be prepared for high-impact disruptive events. AI and academic research are proving to be important tools in overcoming the coronavirus and future pandemic mitigation. "AI can predict future infections; facilitate healthcare solutions; accelerate research to understand and treat COVID-19, and even predict the impact of government policy decisions." During a webinar, Dr. Yaqub said that AI could make post-pandemic recovery quicker, easier and more robust.

IT companies step up reskilling of employees as they prepare for post-pandemic scenario


IT and IT services companies in India have stepped up reskilling of employees as they race to grab business in the post-pandemic environment where clients are demanding new digital expertise. Companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Accenture, Zensar Technologies, among others, have embarked on a massive upskilling drive to make sure their workforce in India is ready for the next-level jobs. The training being imparted is in the fields of cloud technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, cyber security, Internet of Things (IoT), user experience (UX) and digital networking, among others. Infosys, which has around 240,000 employees, has seen a 1.5 times increase in reskilling of workforce in the April-June period compared with the previous quarter. Krishnamurthy Shankar, executive vice president at Infosys, told ET that "the need for reskilling has been exacerbated in the post-Covid scenario with new-age digital skills becoming indispensable" to clients.

5 emerging tech terms you should know from Gartner's 25th Hype Cycle report


Health Passports are shifting digital twin tech to humans and the composable enterprise is making it possible for business to stay nimble during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 influenced many of the 30 technologies in Gartner's 25th Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report. Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner, said that this was the first time in the history of the report that a new piece of technology reached 20% market penetration in less than a year. China and India are using Health Passport mobile apps to indicate the level of infection risk of the holder. Red is a confirmed case o f COVID-19; yellow means the person should be in quarantine; and green means free to travel.

Developer jobs: Demand for programming language Python falls amid pandemic


There have been significantly fewer interviews available for Python developers and front-end engineers since March 1 during the coronavirus pandemic, according to online developer hiring platform HackerRank. The numbers aren't positive for highly educated data scientists who have, over the past few years, helped make Python one of the most popular programming languages in the world, along with JavaScript and Java. Although data-science candidates have been in hot demand thanks to more organizations adopting machine learning and artificial intelligence, since March 1, interviews for Python developers have declined by 27%, according to HackerRank. Interviews for front-end engineers have also declined by 34% while interviews for full-stack engineers have fallen by 5%. HackerRank's data is based on online job interviews with around 35,000 developers since March 1, 2020.

Companies Step Up Distribution Automation Under Pandemic Strains WSJD - Technology

Now the company is stepping up its use of automation. The company is installing 26 more piece-picking robots at its main U.S. distribution centers, making it the latest company to deepen its logistics technology investments as the coronavirus pandemic upends sales channels and supply chains. The kiosk-size units from robotics provider Kindred Systems Inc. use mechanical arms, computer vision and artificial intelligence to sort through piles of apparel. They provide steady labor to help workers organize orders and reduce crowding on the warehouse floor, where the company said one human can manage multiple robots instead of standing next to other associates. "During non-Covid times, if demand grew by 50% I would go hire 300 more people," said Shekar Natarajan, senior vice president of global inventory and supply chain logistics for American Eagle Outfitters, which said e-commerce sales for its American Eagle and Aerie brands shot up after stores closed in March.

Intellivision video game system reboot delayed amid coronavirus pandemic, now due in April 2021

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

A delay in the arrival of the rebooted Intellivision video game console. The Intellivision Amico, the modern reboot of the iconic Intellivision video game console, which had been scheduled to hit the market Oct. 10, now is scheduled for release April 15, 2021. Because of production challenges during the pandemic, the company decided to push back the system's launch. Not to do so would have compromised quality assurance, said Intellivision Entertainment CEO Tommy Tallarico during an online event Wednesday. "Ultimately our date is going to be determined by specific quality criteria that the team has defined and not a moment before," he said.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Breaking Artificial Intelligence and How to Fix It


As covid-19 disrupted the world in March, online retail giant Amazon struggled to respond to the sudden shift caused by the pandemic. Household items like bottled water and toilet paper, which never ran out of stock, suddenly became in short supply. One- and two-day deliveries were delayed for several days. Though Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would go on to make $24 billion during the pandemic, initially, the company struggled with adjusting its logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering higher-priority items. Under normal circumstances, Amazon's complicated logistics are mostly handled by artificial intelligence algorithms.

If you stay at a hotel during the pandemic, a robot may deliver wine to your door or clean your room

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Picture this: You use your hotel's app on your phone to ask for extra towels. Your phone rings and you hear that your delivery is ready. Open the door and you find a 3-foot-tall bellhop has arrived with your linens. Were you picturing a robot? Because at certain Hilton and Marriott hotels across California, a robot is what you'd find.