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Advance Tech News

Soft Robotics Shows Promising Applications

Soft robotics has been a promising yet underdeveloped field of technology since it’s inception. Rather than utilizing the rigid and heavy frames of traditional metallic robotics, much lighter and pliable materials are incorporated through soft robotics. The premise and mechanics behind the technology have failed to yield practical results since the looming constraint has been the limited strength of the material. Recently, researchers from renowned institutes Harvard and MIT have developed a new method of building soft robotics that incorporates a dense origami skeleton that enables a soft robotic machine to lift up to a thousand times it’s own weight.

Applications of this technology have tremendous potential to redefine technologically driven industries like product manufacturers, produce distributors, and virtually any field where logistic operations require fragile handling. While the prospect of improving efficiency within the manufacturing and distribution industry is coveted, such transitions is likely to require less human labor. However, this does provide a seemingly safer working environment by reducing the potential of exposure to work place incidents since soft robotics would be replacing the workforce. This also includes handling toxic and harmful chemicals that are commonplace in some production companies.

Replacing dedicated employee training programs and yearly costs of labor with programmed specialized robotics coupled with routine maintenance is an efficient solution. While traditional jobs would be replaced, the opportunity to fill in the essential technical roles that are created in such fields. Maintenance and mechanical supervision is still a vital field of employment for people but is less practical for the older workforce that is being substituted. Finding a proper transitional role for labor that’s being outsourced is a dilemma created by employers but should be resolved by other employers. What drives industries and the professional world are people so finding a way to help everyday people find employment is essential.

A Sneak Peek into CheXNet: How a Pneumonia Diagnosing Algorithm Is Taking the Medical Industry by Storm

Pneumonia is widely considered to be a fatal disease in the U.S. Not only does the illness put millions of Americans in hospitals annually but also claims at least 50,000 casualties. In essence, doctors primarily conduct a chest X-ray once a patient is suspected to suffer from the disease. With the recent technological advancement in almost every conceivable industry, Stanford researchers have made significant progress by developing an algorithm that can allegedly diagnose pneumonia on X-rays much quicker than seasoned radiologists.

 

The researchers believe that the algorithm has the unique advantage of learning from thousands of chest X-rays and provide their corresponding diagnoses. According to Pranav Rajpurkar, a key member of the Stanford Machine Learning Group, radiologists hardly get the chance to learn valuable knowledge from thousands of past diagnoses and subsequently come up with reliable patterns that can lead to successful diagnoses.

 

How It Works

 

Known as CheXNet, the algorithm is adept at diagnosing over 13 medical-related conditions such as pneumothorax and emphysema. Through the crafted expertise of the team, the algorithm operates based on a precise public dataset from the National Institute of Health, which is sufficiently backed with over 100,000 chest X-ray pictures titled with corresponding conditions. As a testament to their proficiency, the dataset has been released in conjunction with the initial diagnosis algorithm to wade off any insecurity that might crop up.

 

To test the efficiency of the algorithm, Rajpurkar and his team made the bold decision to mark a sample of 420 images proven to possess strains of pneumonia. Through this sample, the team brilliantly came up with the algorithm that could initially detect ten conditions. A week later, the algorithm had extended its scope, and could successfully diagnose over 14 infections.

 

After its successful trial phase, CheXNet has unanimously won over the hearts of radiologists from locally and beyond based on its unrivaled performance. It is definitely poised to make a huge difference in the diagnoses of illnesses like pneumonia.

 

Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/algorithm-diagnose-pneumonia-180967327/

 

Will China or Russia Win the AI Weapons Race?

The race for advanced artificial intelligence is heating up, with several countries vying for the top position, says Robert Work, former Deputy Defense Secretary.

 

In 2014, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel theorized that AI would set the course for future armed conflict, and several world powers seem to agree.

 

The military could implement AI to create more dexterous and practical training systems, data-collecting surveillance programs, hyper-effective facial recognition, life-like automated combat, and war games.

 

The government analysis group Work and Govini told CNN on Wednesday that with AI competition rising in China and Russia, the US has to step up or “fall victim to it”. In particular, the Pentagon and White House need to create a plan to increase the amount of research and development on AI technology and decide how to take advantage of AI in armed conflict.

 

According to Work, much of the decision-making will come down to autonomy.

 

Although some oppose autonomous AI, Work says that the US currently is working on primarily “narrow AI”, which still allows for human control. The analylist compared the tech to Iron Man rather than the Terminator.

 

One AI technology that the US has created, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, uses sensors to analyze data and send it to the pilot. Work names this a “perfect example of human-machine collaboration” but doesn’t believe the US is doing enough.

 

Meanwhile, Russia and China are advancing by leaps and bounds.

 

Russian President Putin noted that whichever country has the best AI will dominate the world. The Russian military has already created drones, army cars, robots, and smart missiles using AI.

 

In China, the government announced that it will make AI its highest development priority. It plans to create technology that has both military and civilian applications.

 

Work and Govini’s report finds that the US’ Department of Defense must spend more time and money on the Cloud and “advanced computing” technology if it is to keep up.

The Future of Extreme-Fast Charging With New Tech from S.A.I.T

Battery technology stands among the most significant barriers to exploration and innovation. While most of our gadgets rely on power, most of them use batteries that takes too long to charge. Today, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) has found a breakthrough. They have developed a battery technology that stores a larger capacity and provides for high-speed charging. The technology is set to benefit mobile phone users and electric cars. Currently, we have the fast-charge technology. As compared to the new advanced tech, SAIT said that the new tech charges the battery five times faster than the old-tech.

 

The New Technology

 

The new extreme fast charging technology adopts the use of a single layer of carbon atoms. The atoms are drawn from a known graphite called graphene. The carbon conducts electricity 100 times more effective than copper. On the other hand, it beats silicon and lithium in the transfer of energy at the ratio of 140:1. It’s expected that the technology will also improve the battery life and store a larger capacity as compared to the regular batteries. The lifespan of the battery is still unclear, but the high-speed technology brings convenience when topping up devices. As a result, sparing five minutes once in a while will ensure your gadget remains operational. The breakthrough, will consequently, help us in pushing tech a little further as power storage and charging inhibits growth.

 

Concept

 

The concept of the tech is similar to today’s fast charging technology where 30 minutes of charging gives you 50 percent battery power. The extreme-fast charging tech reduces the overall charging time to almost 12 minutes. According to Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, they have also developed a means of mass productions. Consequently, the price comes at an affordable rate. However, the company made no indications of using the tech on smartphones or other electric devices. Additionally, there is no information on when the technology will be ready for the consumers to use.

Real-Time States Reveal A Cool Future for Sports Fans

Professional sports teams continue their wise decisions to embrace advancements in technology. The NFL recently followed the lead of Major League Baseball by choosing to work with AWS. Those wishing to read up on real-time statistics won’t find doing so to be difficult. Checking out the AWS platform pulls away the curtain on statistics. Scores of real-time stats may be checked out without very much effort. Spots fans, journalists, number crunchers, and more may revel in the presentation of the data.

The real-time technological component changes the way in which hardcore fans can enjoy a sporting event. A viewer wishing to expand his viewing experience may do so by consistently checking stats as they change during the course of gameplay.

A segment of fans takes all the numbers and statistics associated with their favorite teams and players very seriously. Improving their knowledge about a favorite team or league enhances the ability to be smart fans. In the past, the games needed to conclude before all stats could be tabulated and published. The AWS service changes all that. For MLB and soon the NFL, intriguing changes to statistics are logged just as events unfold.

A bit of the psychology that drives fans of sports can be found in the strong interest in real-time statistics. The most ardent of fans take sporting events to heart. They watch with tremendous passion and want to be part of the mix. While they cannot join the favorite teams on the field, they can become “super fans” who help spread interest in a team or player.

Reviewing interesting statistics and then discussing those stats on social media does help build a buzz. All this translates into a collective of free publicity. Sports teams pay a lot of money for publicity. Certainly, promotional charity from scores of fans would be appreciated.

The future may bring forth newer technology that further stimulates fan interaction and enthusiasm. Passionate sports fans positively do have an intriguing future to look forward to.

The Future of Self-Driving Cars Move Forward Thanks to Testing

Visions of the future often come with images of an easier life. Advancements in tech often streamline things we currently enjoy in the modern world. The concept of the self-driving car reflects the grandest visions of how tech can make transportation become incredibly easier in the future. How far off is that future of cars capable of driving by themselves? The average follower of tech news may think in terms of decades. The management at General Motors, however, present much more optimistic figures.

GM President Dan Ammann has stated the arrival of self-driving vehicles shall come in “quarters, not years.” When words such as these come from a major executive, the words resonate. A person in as high-profile of a position as Ammann wouldn’t make a hyperbolic statement if it wasn’t based on realistic expectations.

Currently, GM continues to run a massive self-driving car testing program. Measures of success are not based on mere simply functionality. GM isn’t producing a large-scale version of a radio-controlled toy. The company wants to release a revolutionary fleet of cars capable of driving all over the world. Safety, of course, remains a top concern. Efficiency stands as a top priority as well.

The testing often focuses on comparisons between self-driving cars and human performance. Interestingly, GM does not wish to merely match human performance on the road. The goal is to exceed human performance in the self-driving models. Exceeding human capabilities becomes critical for the overall potential success of self-driving cars in the market. Matching human capabilities is one thing, but the ability to exceed those capabilities creates a much stronger selling point.

Self-driving technology harkens a bold new era in transportation. It also heralds a dramatic change in the way people ride in vehicles. Turning over safety to a software program controlling a vehicle may be very difficult for a significant number of consumers. Enticements beyond the offer of added convenience become necessary to move those customers. Significantly improving human performance could be that enticement.

Advanced Technology Gives the Fight Against Cancer A Major Boost

The fight against cancer has received a significant boost after a study in Japan highlighted the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) in detecting cancer tumors before they are sufficiently advanced.

 

 

Using an AI program, researchers observed a colorectal polyp that that was magnified 500 times to enhance visibility in its variations. From these variations, researchers counter-checked the available information against existing database and the AI program could make predictions on what would happen to the polyp in a matter of seconds. The experiment recorded an 86% accuracy.

 

 

Presenting the results of the study at the United European Gastroenterology conference in Barcelona, Dr. Yuichi Mori of Showa University expressed high hopes that the results would be ” acceptable for clinical application and our immediate goal is to obtain regulatory approval for the diagnostic system,”

 

 

If approved, the diagnostic system would be significant in detecting colorectal cancer which is ranked the second deadliest form cancer after lung cancer. In its advanced stages, colorectal cancer cells can penetrate the thin tissues of the colon, rectum and intestine to find their way directly into the bloodstream.

 

 

The benign growths begin at the colon progressing gradually to cancerous tumors.

 

 

There are some procedures used to detect colorectal cancer including colonoscopy and Virtual Colonoscopy. In a colonoscopy, doctors are able to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps. A thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing known as a colonoscopy is inserted through the rectum into the colon.

 

 

In virtual colonoscopy, x-rays procedures known as computed tomography are used to make a series of pictures of the colon, which are then put together for details to show polyps and any other unusual occurrence in the colon.

 

 

With the advanced technology that the Japanese researchers are working on, the detection of colorectal cancer will be made much easier. Dr. Mori’s hopes that this technology will be put into use as soon as possible, to help save lives.

 

Tesla’s Solar Panels Restore Power to Puerto Rican Hospital

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 that his company has managed to return power to San Juan’s Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital) with its solar energy technology.

 

“Glad to help support the recovery,” Musk said in an Instagram post announcing the news.

 

The car manufacturer and energy company returned power to the hospital by donating solar panels and energy storage batteries. Musk also gave $250,000 of his own money to hurricane relief efforts on the island.

 

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, was in attendance when the solar panels were unveiled. He called the donation a “humanitarian gesture” and said that it “could be a model to follow for public or private entities that offer services critical to citizens.”

 

This move came as a result of Rossello’s discussion with Musk on Twitter back on October 5, when the CEO mused about how his company’s solar panels could help the island. The governor quickly responded, and Musk since then has made good on his promises to help Puerto Rico’s recovery.

 

Puerto Rico has been struggling since it was hit by Hurricane Maria on September 20. 75 percent of its power grid is still down, and recovery could cost as much as $5 billion by the time everything is restored. The island’s isolation from the rest of the United States makes this especially difficult.

 

David Begnaud, a CBS News correspondent, says that the Hospital del Niño’s new solar farm can generate 200 kilowatts of solar power and store 500 kilowatts more, which is enough to cover the daily operations of the facility.

 

The Hospital del Niño provides care for up to 3,000 children from around Puerto Rico and has 35 permanent residents who live there due to chronic conditions.

 

The executive director of the hospital, Maria Lopez, says that they would like to negotiate with Tesla about keeping the new system permanently once the island’s energy crisis comes to an end.

 

Toyota testing new autonomous car in California

If there is any doubt that self-driving cars are coming, then you need only look at the number of car companies that are trying to come up with their own kind of autonomous cars. Toyota is the latest company to roll out their own line of cars and they have started some substantial testing of this technology at a well known proving ground in Concord, California.

Techcrunch reports that Toyota’s research institute is going through the testing phase of its autonomous vehicle tech. The cars Toyota is working on were being driven at the GoMentum Station, which is a 5,000-acre test track that is geared specifically for self-driving technology. The area has been cut out specifically so that these kinds fo cars can be driven around and put through their paces without any danger of damage or injuries being done.

GoMentum is one of 10 of these facilities that exist throughout the country and most of them as the Concord site is, are accessible by any companies that want to give their tech a testing. There is of course, the notion that other firms will be able to see what exactly is being tested, but there are security steps put in place so companies can breathe a little easier on issues like that.

The U.S. Department of transportation has been fully supportive of these sites in the recent past, precisely because it will help drive advancements in the technology in general. There will also be a kind of baseline when it comes to this tech. There’s very little doubt that the federal government has a dog in the race when it comes to making sure that all companies that want to come up with tech in this area, do so correctly.

The testing sites like GoMentum are there for firms like Toyota so that their advancements will allow for safe and secure self-driving cars. The time when these will be all over the road is coming quickly.

Scientists Reveal Void Within Great Pyramid of Giza

Think of the oldest piece of architecture you can imagine. Whether we’re being scientifically accurate or not, you might have thought of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This legendary Wonder of the World was built at some point between 2509 BC and 2483 BC. You’d imagine that by now scientists know everything there is to know about the great structure however a recent discovery has researchers everywhere raising their eyebrow. Scientists were able to use cosmic rays in order to reveal a large void within the Great Pyramid.

The massive void found within the Great Pyramid was found by a group of scientists that were tracking particles known as muons. It was revealed in the November 2nd, 2017 issue of Nature Magazine that the researchers had unveiled what they believe could be a new passage or a new chamber. The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as Khufu’s pyramid, was studied by the Heritage Innovation Preservation as well as the team undertaking the ScanPyramids program. Mehdi Tayoubi, President and Leader of the aforementioned organizations, said: “The void is there.”

Despite the excitement conjured forth by such a discovery, some researchers were loathe to let it amount to much. The Egyptology as a whole decided to turn their noses ever so slightly up toward it. Zahi Hawass, a famous Egyptologist said, “It’s very clear what they found as a void doesn’t mean anything at all.” Hawass is a former minister in Egypt with a post at the antiquities and focus on excavations. Hawass may rightly be hesitant to endorse the new discovery due in large part to how Tayoubi’s team works.

Tayoubi works closely with fellow researchers but they avoid taking on any Egyptologists. Their goal is to look at the Pyramid of Giza with ‘fresh and maybe a naive eye’. In studying this way, Tayoubi’s team is able to avoid preconceived notions to get a more unbiased and potentially accurate outlook on whatever it is that they are studying.