Scientists grow human brain tissue in mice


Brain "organoids" made from stem cells are a promising way to study the brain, but the longest they've survived in a petri dish is just five weeks. Researchers from the Salk Institute recently implanted a bean-sized brain organoid into a mouse, and covered it with a transparent window. The material was able to get a blood supply from the mouse and survived for up to 233 days, displaying the same properties and growth as if it were in a newborn. It's a big advance for organoids and could help scientists study and treat mental illness and brain injuries. The Salk team figured they could keep the cells alive for a longer period if they could just get a consistent blood supply to them.

A.I. spots epilepsy seizures in advance - Futurity


You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license. Researchers report that they've used a mobile, brain-inspired processor to analyze brain signals from retrospective patient data and successfully predict an average of 69 percent of seizures across all patients with artificial intelligence. The research could help pave the way for personalized seizure prediction for patients with epilepsy. "Our algorithm also allows for instantaneous and easy adjustment, giving patients the flexibility to control how sensitive and in advance the warning is…" With a third of epilepsy patients worldwide currently living with unpredictable seizures that are not adequately controlled through medication or otherwise. This research could dramatically improve the lives of 250,000 Australians and 65 million people worldwide, says Mark Cook, director of the University of Melbourne's Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering and director of neurology at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne.

5 Inspirational Startups Using AI and Chatbot Technology


Sage have reported that this global trend is boosting international collaboration between startups across all continents, such as the European Commission-backed Startup Europe Comes to Africa (SEC2A) which was held in November 2017. While the majority of chatbots are being created to assist business industry, from hospitality and retail to banking and services, developers around the world are also finding innovative and inspirational ways to use chatbots to improve society. Here are some of our favorites. Developed to assist Nigerian students preparing for their secondary school exam, the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), SimbiBot is a chatbot that uses past exam questions to help students prepare for a variety of subjects. It offers multiple choice quizzes to help students test their knowledge, shows them where they went wrong, and even offers tips and advice based on how well the student is progressing.

Neurosurgeon Eric Leuthardt: 'An interface between mind and machine will happen'


Dr Eric C Leuthardt, 45, is a neurosurgeon at Washington University in St Louis. He is also the co-founder of NeuroLutions, a research laboratory developing direct interfaces between mind and computer. Leuthardt is pioneering the use of electrical brain implants to help restore motor function to the paralysed limbs of stroke victims. He is also helping to develop electrode systems that can directly decode the unspoken "inner voice" of the mind, and use it to direct external action; for example, Leuthardt's subjects have been able to control the cursor of a Space Invaders video game just by thinking. He has published two science fiction novels aimed at "preparing society for the changes" that his work predicts.

BenevolentAI gets $115M to harness AI for new drug discovery


BenevolentAI, a UK company using artificial intelligence for drug development, has raised $115 million in new funding, mostly from undisclosed investors in the United States. Existing backer Woodford Investment Management also participated in the round, which brings the company's total funds raised to over $200 million. "We are very pleased with the response to the fundraising," Ken Mulvany, founder and chairman of BenevolentAI, said in a statement. "It reflects the rapidly growing global interest in the AI pharmaceutical sector and the recognition of our place as the dominant player within it. We have come a very long way since we founded the business in 2013.

Artificial intelligence firm valued at £1.4bn after latest funding round


British artificial intelligence firm BenevolentAI has raised 115 million US dollars (£80.8 million) in a move valuing the group at two billion US dollars (£1.4 billion) and marking one of the largest funding rounds in the sector. BenevolentAI, which uses artificial intelligence to make new drug discoveries, secured the funding from investors largely based in the US, as well as from existing backers including star fund manager Neil Woodford's Woodford Investment Management. The latest funding round means BenevolentAI has now raised more than 200 million US dollars (£141 million) since its launch in 2013. It said it would put the latest cash towards ramping up its drug development, broadening the disease areas on which it focuses and advance these programmes to the clinic. The group – Europe's largest private AI company – will also use some of the funds to further develop its self-learning system, while also helping the firm to expand outside the pharmaceutical sector to other science-based industries, such as energy storage and agriculture.

Under the hood: Suicide prevention tools powered by AI


Suicide is the second most common cause of death for people ages 15-29. Research has found that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is for those in distress to hear from people who care about them. Facebook is well positioned -- through friendships on the site -- to help connect a person in distress with people who can support them. It's part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook. We recently announced an expansion of our existing suicide prevention tools that use artificial intelligence to identify posts with language expressing suicidal thoughts.

Differences in equipment and procedures complicates machine learning


Differences in imaging equipment, procedures and protocols can dramatically affect the performance of deep machine learning when analyzing brain tumors, according to a new study in Medical Physics. Automatic brain tumor segmentation from MRI data using deep learning methodologies has gained steam in recent years. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs), a type of deep learning algorithm, are commonly used for segmentation of brain tumors, and provider organizations have recently begun sharing images to increase the data to work with. However, providers often use different imaging equipment, image acquisition parameters and contrast injection protocols, which could cause institutional bias; a CNN model trained on MRI data from one organization may stumble when tested on MRI data from another. The researchers, from the Radiology Department at Duke University School of Medicine, used MRI data of 22 glioblastoma patients from MD Anderson Cancer Center and 22 glioblastoma patients from Henry Ford Hospital to assess how CNN models worked with their own and each other's MRI data.

Mind-reading A.I. algorithm can work out what music is playing in your head


Most of us have used apps like Shazam, which can identify songs when we hold up our phone up to a speaker. But what if it was possible for an app to identify a piece of music based on nothing more than your thought patterns. Perhaps not, according to a new piece of research carried out by investigators at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014, researcher Brian Pasley and colleagues used a deep-learning algorithm and brain activity, measured with electrodes, to turn a person's thoughts into digitally synthesized speech. This was achieved by analyzing a person's brain waves while they were speaking in order to decode the link between speech and brain activity.

BenevolentAI Grabs $115 Million to Advance its Drug Development Programs BioSpace


The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in drug development has been ramping up and investors are taking keen notice of the growing trend. This morning London-based BenevolentAI snagged $115 million to give it a total of about $200 million in its coffers. BenevolentAI, which is applying artificial intelligence to develop new medicines for hard to treat diseases, said it will use the funds from the financing round to advance its artificial intelligence driven drug development programs. The company also said it will use the financing to broaden the disease areas on which it focuses, and extend its AI platform capabilities even further. Some of the proceeds from the financing round will be used to explore other science-based industries, including agriculture and energy storage, the company said.