Big Tech &
Google details AI that classifies chest X-rays with human-level accuracy (3 minute read)
Using machine learning to analyze chest X-rays is difficult because the clinical labels required to train these algorithms are obtained through rule-based natural language processing or human annotation, both of which introduce inconsistencies and errors. Researchers at Google have devised AI models to spot collapsed lungs, nodules and masses, fractures, and airspace opacities. The models were able to diagnose patients at a 'radiologist-level' of performance. Google has previously created AI models for detecting lung cancers and eye diseases. The researchers hope that this study will lay the groundwork for more advanced detection systems.
Microsoft planning second next-gen Xbox that’s cheaper and less powerful (2 minute read)
Microsoft will launch two next-generation Xbox consoles for the 2020 holiday season. A cheaper, less powerful Xbox codenamed 'Lockhart' and flagship console called 'Anaconda' will replace the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Anaconda will be able to generate 10 teraflops of graphical power. Lockhart will not have a disc drive and will display graphics at 1440p instead of 4k. Both consoles will feature an SSD drive. Prices have not yet been announced, but it is likely that Microsoft will offer a subscription service bundle.
Rivers could generate thousands of nuclear power plants worth of energy, thanks to a new ‘blue’ membrane (4 minute read)
Scientists have created a new membrane that, if scalable, could eventually generate an estimated 2.6 terawatts every year. The membrane is able to use the mixing of salt and freshwater to generate energy. When saltwater mixes with fresh water, the movement of ions generates electricity. The first attempts at creating the membrane in 2013 failed as the scientists could not create the required materials, even though their experiments showed that the theory was correct. A new technique has now allowed for the creation of the material. The scientists are continuing to develop the technology as they believe that the new membrane is not yet at its maximum potential.
China gene-edited baby experiment 'may have created unintended mutations' (2 minute read)
The gene-editing performed on Chinese twins in order to immunize them against HIV may have had unintended mutations. He Jiankui had targeted the CCR5 gene in twins Lulu and Nana as studies had shown that a mutation in CCR5 was present in people who were naturally immune to HIV. Follow-up studies have shown that the team failed to produce the correct CCR5 variant. CRISPR is an imperfect tool as it can lead to unwanted or off-target edits. Its use in humans remains highly controversial. The parents had trouble seeking fertility treatment as the father was HIV positive, and this may have motivated them to participate in the study. Researchers in the study have made it difficult to identify the family.
Programming, Design & Data Science
shdoc (GitHub Repo)
shdoc converts comments to produce markdown documentation. Developers can write markdown code in comments using function tags. An example of the function tags and output is available.
EfficientDet (GitHub Repo)
EfficientDet is an object detection package for Keras and Tensorflow. Pretrained weights files are available. A few example outputs are provided.
Long Live the Multiverse! (4 minute read)
Multiverse theory has existed for centuries, and many prominent figures have debated the existence of multiple universes. As our understanding of our universe evolved, so did our theory of multiple universes. The discovery of other galaxies expanded the size of our universe, and its possibilities, significantly. If the big bang was followed by a burst of rapid expansion, these events could have happened in other areas of space as well. While multiverse advocates have been right in the past, it doesn't mean that multiverse theory is correct. Multiverse theory can not be tested, but it can be used as a prediction for other theories that can be tested.