Category: Data (Page 1 of 5)

Homo Conexus: where bigdata meets human context

What does it take to make better decisions? Just more data? Are you smarter now with that prosthetic brain in your pocket? Moving beyond the AR/haptic/mobile interfaces of tomorrow, we will have deep learning systems that are “designed for interruption”. Will this help to augment human decision making or lead to an ultimately annoying digital assistant in our heads?

In his book Consilience, E. O. Wilson said: “We are drowning in information…the world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” Only it won’t be people doing that synthesis, it’ll be a hybrid of humans and machines. Because after all, the right information at the right time changes your life.

See full story on Data: Emerging Trends and Technologies – O’Reilly Media

How Denmark Improves Patient Safety Through Big Data

Denmark provides alternative healthcare system based on compensation not litigation. Data collected from claims used to improve system not punish practitioners.

Denmark offers a radically different alternative, as do similar programs in other Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. To be sure, these countries have nationalized health care systems, unlike the public-private model in the U.S. But alternative responses to patient harm have been tried on a smaller scale. Virginia, for example, has a program designed to compensate for severe neurological childbirth injuries that is similar in some ways to the Danish system.

Common to all these programs is a commitment to provide information and compensation to patients regardless of whether negligence is involved. That lowers the bar of entry for patients and doesn’t pit doctors against them, enabling providers to be open about what happened.

“It’s not easy to discuss a mistake, but there has to be a very safe relationship between doctor and patient,” Hamberg said. “The most important thing in patient safety is to talk about it.”

Learn more about How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety

Hattip: Wendy

Image: Pixabay

Your DNA can be used in discriminatory ways

The ultimate concept of ‘person(al) information’ can be used to block your access to the internet. A programmer has come up with a way to block users from websites based on their DNA.

It basically worked as a log-in mechanism. The third-party program was designed to hook up to the company’s API and mine the 23andMe accounts of users who agreed to share their information, as they would agree to let apps connect to their Facebook or Twitter profiles. Websites using Genetic Access Control could scan that data for information about “sex, ancestry, disease susceptibility, and arbitrary characteristics” — and then restrict users’ access to the site based on this information.

Image: Flickr / skreck

I ‘heart’ Big Data: medical study stores 1600 heartbeats

Doctors in London have collected the digital copies of 1600 beating human hearts to be used for further studies into heart disease.

Scientists at the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Sciences Centre at Hammersmith Hospital are scanning detailed 3D videos of the hearts of 1,600 patients and collecting genetic information from each volunteer. Dr Declan O’Regan, who is involved in the heart study, said that this new approach had the potential to reveal much more than normal clinical trials in which relatively small amounts of health information is collected from patients over the course of several years. He added: “There is a really complicated relationship between people’s genes and heart disease, and we are still trying to unravel what that is. But by getting really clear 3D pictures of the heart we hope to be able to get a much better understanding of the cause and effect of heart disease and give the right patients the right treatment at the right time.”

Read it all here.

Source: BBC News

Google Now service can now use data from third party apps

The Google Now service can now be integrated with third party apps to allow more useful info to be displayed through its “cards”.

It was inevitable really and made possible easily through smartphones, that personalised big data gathering tool. You can view these new “integrations” as just a more refined contextual service being delivered to your screen, after all, if you are using these apps anyway why not centralise the information? It also allows Google into yet another stream of data collection on you, so keep that in mind.

Hattip: SMH

Facebook open-sources AI modules

Facebook AI Research (FAIR) shares deep-learning modules within the open source AI development environment Torch.

FB offers significantly faster code for use in the Torch environment. Torch is used at various academic labs as well as at Google/DeepMind, Twitter, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and many other companies.

Progress in science and technology accelerates when scientists share not just their results, but also their tools and methods. This is one of the reasons why Facebook AI Research (FAIR) is committed to open science and to open sourcing its tools.


Facebook’s algorithmic cruelty

Facebook’s Year in Review feature reminds people of things that they had hoped to forget about 2014.

But what for many may simply be an annoyance, for those who have had a bad year it can prove heartbreaking. In what he has dubbed Facebook’s “inadvertant algorithmic cruelty”, Eric Meyer, who is credited with advocating for web development standards such as cascading style sheets (CSS), was repeatedly shown images of his deceased daughter, Rebecca. “I didn’t go looking for grief this afternoon, but it found me anyway, and I have designers and programmers to thank for it,” he wrote on his personal blog. Many of the Year in Review previews were captioned: “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.”

He wasn’t the only one. A good example of why some things are better not left up to the algorithm.


At the Movies: a data analysis

The long running movie show ‘At the Movies’ rolled final credits earlier this month. Now data science brings you a analysis of the website reviews of the hosts, David and Margaret.

Feed your inner data nerd here


3D printer makes tool in space

International Space Station astronauts use 3-D printer to construct wrench from instructions sent up in an email.

The wrench was the first item to be digitally “sent” to the space station, another 21 prints were made from designs sent with the printer. An initial stage which represents a step toward cheaper and more resourceful space flight. While the space station still needs the raw material for creating objects, it does mean that they will not have to wait until the next SpaceX resupply mission for specialised equipment.

Source: BBC News

Image: NASA

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