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Articles related to "help"


Modified HoloLens helps teach kids with vision impairment to navigate the social world

  • This Microsoft research project uses augmented reality to help kids with vision impairment “see” the people they’re talking with.
  • This can prevent them from detecting and using many of the nonverbal cues sighted people use in conversation, especially if those behaviors aren’t learned at an early age.
  • The team, which started as an informal challenge to improve accessibility a few years ago, began by observing people traveling to the Special Olympics, then followed that up with workshops involving the blind and low vision community.
  • Microsoft’s post describing the system and the team’s work with Theo and others is worth reading for the details, but essentially Theo began to learn the ins and outs of the system and in turn began to manage social situations using cues mainly used by sighted people.

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AI can help warn about coronavirus and other potential epidemics

  • These new AI capabilities are on full display with the recent coronavirus outbreak, which was identified early by a Canadian firm called BlueDot, which is one of a number of companies that use data to evaluate public health risks.
  • The company, which says it conducts “automated infectious disease surveillance,” notified its customers about the new form of coronavirus at the end of December, days before both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) sent out official notices, as reported by Wired.
  • The idea behind BlueDot’s model (whose final results are subsequently analyzed by human researchers) is to get information to health care workers as quickly as possible, with the hope that they can diagnose — and, if needed, isolate — infected and potentially contagious people early on.
  • Metabiota, like BlueDot, uses natural-language processing to evaluate online reports about a potential disease, and it’s also working on developing the same technology for social media data.

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My toddler is learning to brush her teeth with this double-sided toothbrush — its extra bristles make the process faster and it has a choke guard for added safety

  • When the company sent me the toothbrush to test, I was happy to try anything that might make brushing Ellie's teeth easier.
  • It has a long tapered brush head, which makes it easy to get the bristles to the back of your child's mouth, and double-sided bristles, which help you brush more teeth at once.
  • Sometimes Ellie will run away from me with her toothbrush in her mouth, and the choke guard makes that tiny act of rebellion a little bit safer.
  • The choke guard is great when Ellie is trying to brush her teeth herself — and especially when she runs away from me with her toothbrush in her mouth — but I find that it can get in the way when I try to brush her teeth for her.
  • If you want to make the process of brushing your toddler's teeth a little bit easier, the Grabease can help.

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Artificial intelligence can help warn about coronavirus and other potential epidemics

  • These new AI capabilities are on full display with the recent coronavirus outbreak, which was identified early by a Canadian firm called BlueDot, which is one of a number of companies that use data to evaluate public health risks.
  • The company, which says it conducts “automated infectious disease surveillance,” notified its customers about the new form of coronavirus at the end of December, days before both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) sent out official notices, as reported by Wired.
  • The idea behind BlueDot’s model (whose final results are subsequently analyzed by human researchers) is to get information to health care workers as quickly as possible, with the hope that they can diagnose — and, if needed, isolate — infected and potentially contagious people early on.
  • Metabiota, like BlueDot, uses natural-language processing to evaluate online reports about a potential disease, and it’s also working on developing the same technology for social media data.

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Mushrooms used to be rare in Syria — but thousands of refugees are now relying on them to survive

  • Mushrooms can grow almost anywhere indoors that's dark, damp, and cool.
  • And in one Syrian refugee camp — where most families can't afford to buy meat — mushrooms are now a vital resource.
  • Nasrallah used to grow mushrooms as a hobby.
  • Now at a camp 90 miles north of his hometown, Nasrallah and his family rely on mushrooms for sustenance.
  • He packs the wet hay into a bag and spreads 5 to 10 grams of mushroom spores between each layer.
  • After 20 days in a dark, damp room, the bag is brought to a brighter room, where it's misted with more water until mushrooms begin to sprout.
  • That's because before the war, mushrooms were not a common ingredient in Syrian cooking.
  • Like Nasrallah, Mousa Ahman's nonprofit recognized that mushrooms could help feed civilians who were struggling to obtain food in the war-torn region of eastern Ghouta.

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microsoft/ApplicationInspector

  • Microsoft Application Inspector is a software source code analysis tool that helps identify and surface well-known features and other interesting characteristics of source code to aid in determining what the software is or what it does.
  • Application Inspector is different from traditional static analysis tools in that it doesn't attempt to identify "good" or "bad" patterns; it simply reports what it finds against a set of over 400 rule patterns for feature detection including features that impact security such as the use of cryptography and more.
  • Application Inspector can help identify feature deltas or changes between component versions which can be critical for detecting injection of backdoors.
  • Basically, we created Application Inspector to help us identify risky third party software components based on their specific features, but the tool is helpful in many non-security contexts as well.

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Directly nabs $20M led by Samsung to help make customer service chatbots more intelligent, adds new CEO

  • Directly — which has built a platform to help train companies’ chatbots by crowdsourcing experts and analysing chatbot usage to better “teach” the AI systems underpinning them — has raised $20 million in funding led by Samsung NEXT (Samsung’s VC arm), with participation also from Industry Ventures, AvidBank, and existing investors M12 (Microsoft’s VC), Costanoa Ventures, True Ventures and Northgate.
  • It seems ironic that tech giants like Microsoft and Samsung, which have put a significant amount of investment into acquiring businesses and organically building their own customer-facing AI systems — Samsung’s Bixby is built in part through the acquisition of Viv and a multitude of other related deals; ditto Microsoft’s Cortana — would rely on another company to help these along, but the role that Directly occupies somewhat sits outside the core technology, which needs computer vision, natural language processing, a larger machine learning engine to process all of the inbound data and more.

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Facebook is reportedly restricting its employees' travel to China amid coronavirus concerns

  • Facebook is taking no half-measures when it comes to the coronavirus.
  • According to anonymous sources who spoke to Bloomberg, Facebook has halted all non-essential travel to China by its staff, with the restrictions having come into force on Monday.
  • Cases have been reported in at least 16 countries around the world, including the US, Canada, France, and Australia, with over 4,500 reported in China alone.
  • The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and has since spread throughout China and beyond.
  • Wuhan's mayor has said around 5 million people evacuated the city before it was quarantined, with roughly 9 million remaining in the city post-quarantine.
  • It's possible that Facebook will proactively seek to help curb the coronavirus if it continues to spread.

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AI can help find illegal opioid sellers online. And wildlife traffickers. And counterfeits.

  • Now the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is investing in an artificial intelligence-based tool to track how “digital drug dealers” and illegal internet pharmacies market and sell opioids (though online transactions are likely not a large share of overall illegal sales).
  • New AI-based approaches to clamping down on illegal opioid sales demonstrate how publicly available social media and internet data — even the stuff you post — can be used to find illegal transactions initiated online.
  • Meanwhile, Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook all told Recode they’re now using automated or AI-based technology to flag or investigate content that violates their policies, including illegal opioid sales.

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H1 Insights is giving the healthcare industry the ultimate professional database

  • With the healthcare industry on a mission to digitize and analyze every conceivable datapoint it can to wring more efficiencies out of its incredibly fragmented and broken system, for Katz, there’s no opportunity that seems more obvious than giving the industry data on its own professionals.
  • The idea may sound like nothing more than creating a LinkedIn for healthcare professionals, but building an accurate account of the professional ecosystem could be a huge help to businesses as diverse as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, insurers, and, eventually, consumers.
  • Conversations between the two soon hit upon the lack of transparency around what research was happening at what universities and which clinical trials were underway at which hospitals.
  • While Katz says the transparency can help solve a number of healthcare’s drug development and discovery problems, he’s wary about creating others.
  • With the accelerator’s help, H1 Insights wants to take its business global and develop applications for the pharmaceutical industry, care providers and ultimately consumers.

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