Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 14, 2020

in rsslog •  5 months ago  (edited)

AI means that businesses need to reinvent themselves; 10 principles for US AI regulation; Fatty tongues contribute to sleep apnea symptoms; An argument that shark-conservation scientists need to continue collecting data from dead sharks; and a Steem essay describing life with tinnitus and some possible ways to improve it

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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt, SteemPeak*, StemGeeks.


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  1. Rethinking Business Strategy in the Age of AI - HBS Working Knowledge interviews Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani about their book, Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World. In opening, the article notes the authors' claim that analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are shifting the products that companies offer and also their methods of operation. As a result, it says that businesses must reinvent themselves for growth, competition, and survival. In support of this, it notes that world-wide businesses are expected to spend $98 million on AI by 2023, a figure that is up from $38 million in 2019. Finally, it notes that during the last decade, the two authors have worked on transformation strategies with "internet pioneers like Amazon, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Facebook, as well as traditional organizations like Disney, Verizon, and NASA." Some of the interview discussion includes the note that there's an ongoing collision between the old and new models for doing business. The old model, illustrated by Hotel chains like Marriott, involves mostly human processes with some digital support sprinkled in. In contrast, the new model is illustrated by AirBnB, and it is fundamentally digital. Another example of this new model is Netflix, which built its business around digital product delivery and preference tracking, with some randomness thrown in. The authors also note that some companies are at the forefront of doing business with AI, but that no one has gotten it exactly right, and that all firms face challenges with consumer privacy, information security, and algorithm bias. Iansati argues that so far, we haven't seen much job displacement as a result of AI, but we have seen jobs shifting, and job losses might be expected to increase dramatically during a major recession. Overall, the article notes that AI represents an ongoing opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs, but also notes that some firms are having trouble figuring out exactly how to turn it into a profitable product offering. Finally, the article closes with an excerpt from the book, describing Google's 2017 shift to a true "AI first" strategy.

  2. The US just released 10 principles that it hopes will make AI safer - The White House says that all future artificial intelligence (AI) regulations need to promote the following characteristics: (i) Public trust in AI; (ii) Public participation; (iii) Scientific integrity and information quality; (iv) Risk assessment and management; (v) Benefits and costs; (vi) Flexibility; (vii) Fairness and nondiscrimination; (viii) Disclosure and transparency; (ix) Safety and security; (x) Interagency coordination. Click through for details.

  3. Fatty tongues could be main driver of sleep apnoea - Sleep apnea is a disorder that can cause breathing disturbances, loud snoring, jerky sleep, and can also lead to daytime sleepiness. In order to treat it, patients are advised to lose weight, sleep on their side, give up smoking, avoid drinking - especially near bed time, and not to take sleeping pills. Severe cases may require treatment by a sleep specialist, including use of a CPAP machine. A study that was published on January 10 reports on the results when a team of researchers from Philadelphia's Perelman School of Medicine scanned 67 patients who were obese, suffered from sleep apnea, had lost 10% of body weight, and had experienced a 30% or better improvement in symptoms. Their results indicate that the improvement in symptoms had to do with the reduction in tongue fat that corresponded with the weight loss. According to Richard J. Schwab, it's not clear why some people's bodies deposit fat in the tongues, when that portion of the mouth is vital for breathing, eating, and drinking, but he suggests that it may have something to do with genetics. He also adds that since we now know of the tongue's involvement, it gives researchers a new treatment vector to explore. So far, however, no direct methods to reduce tongue fat are known, so there is no immediate use for this knowledge. The team now plans to identify particular dietary recommendations for a focus on losing fat in the tongue. -h/t RealClear Science

  4. To Save Endangered Sharks, You Sometimes Need to Kill a Few - I'm not familiar with the background, but apparently there was a recent Twitter controversy over the use of "lethal sampling" by scientists who are working on shark conservation initiatives. This op-ed argues that sometimes it is necessary for shark researchers to work in partnership with fisherman so that they can collect valuable information from legally killed sharks. Quoting from a 2010 essay on the subject, the article says:
    Although lethal sampling comes at a cost to a population, especially for threatened species, the conservation benefits from well‐designed studies provide essential data that cannot be collected currently in any other way.
    The article goes on to welcome the non-lethal methods that are under development, but says that those techniques are nowhere near ready for deployment. Some of the necessary techniques, according to the article, include examining the vertebrae to find how long sharks live; examining the reproductive track to find out how many pups they have; and collecting biometric data like the fin to carcass ratio. Further, the article argues, it is better to collect this data from legally killed sharks that would have died anyway than to kill sharks specifically for the purpose. For this reason, it says that the the shark research fishery is an innovative partnership that has been operating since 2008.

  5. STEEM Ringing Ears: Research, My Experiences and more... - In this Steem essay, @edje discusses the experience of living with ringing ears, tinnitus, for more than two decades. The essay describes the experience as the constant presence of a high-pitched tone in the 7-8 Khz range. Further, @edje notes that the tone gets more pronounced when the mind focuses on it. For these reasons, @edje says that the key to living with it is acceptance - full acceptance. The post also discusses some treatment protocols and cell phone applications that are intended to help patients who experience tinnitus. Treatments include Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), Tinnitus specific Music Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Forms of Mindfulness, and Forms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Applications include myTinnitus, ReSound Relief, Notched Tunes, Tinnitracks, myNoise, and Tinnitus Help. Click through for descriptions and links. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @edje.)

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