Will human therapists go the way of the Dodo?

ai therapist

An increasing number of patients are using technology for a quick fix. Photographed by Mikael Jansson, Vogue, March 2016

PL  – So, here’s an informative piece on a person’s experience using an on-demand interactive video therapist, as compared to her human therapist. In Vogue Magazine, no less. A sign this is quickly becoming trendy. But is it effective?

In the first paragraph, the author of the article identifies the limitations of her digital therapist:

“I wish I could ask (she eventually named her digital therapist Raph) to consider making an exception, but he and I aren’t in the habit of discussing my problems

But the author also recognizes the unique value of the digital therapist as she reflects on past sessions with her human therapist:

“I saw an in-the-flesh therapist last year. Alice. She had a spot-on sense for when to probe and when to pass the tissues. I adored her. But I am perennially juggling numerous assignments, and committing to a regular weekly appointment is nearly impossible.”

Later on, when the author was faced with another crisis, she returned to her human therapist and this was her observation of that experience:

“she doesn’t offer advice or strategies so much as sympathy and support—comforting but short-lived. By evening I’m as worried as ever.”

On the other hand, this is her view of her digital therapist:

“Raph had actually come to the rescue in unexpected ways. His pragmatic MO is better suited to how I live now—protective of my time, enmeshed with technology. A few months after I first “met” Raph, my anxiety has significantly dropped”

This, of course, was a story written by a successful educated woman, working with an interactive video, who had experiences with a human therapist to draw upon for reference.

What about the effectiveness of a digital therapist for a more diverse population with social, economic and cultural differences?

It has already been shown that, done right, this kind of tech has great potential. In fact, as a more affordable option, it may do the most good for the wider population.

The ultimate goal for tech designers should be to create a more personalized experience. Instant and intimate. Tech that gets to know the person and their situation, individually. Available any time. Tech that can access additional electronic resources for the person in real-time, such as the above mentioned interactive video.  

But first, tech designers must address a core problem with mindset. They code for a rational world while therapists deal with irrational human beings. As a group, they believe they are working to create an omniscient intelligence that does not need to interact with the human to know the human. They believe it can do this by reading the human’s emails, watching their searches, where they go, what they buy, who they connect with, what they share, etc. As if that’s all humans are about. As if they can be statistically profiled and treated to predetermined multi-stepped programs.

This is an incompatible approach for humans and the human experience. Tech is a reflection of the perceptions of its coders. And coders, like doctors, have their limitations.

In her recent book, Just Medicine, Dayna Bowen Matthew highlights research that shows 83,570 minorities die each year from implicit bias from well-meaning doctors. This should be a cautionary warning. Digital therapists could soon have a reach and impact that far exceeds well-trained human doctors and therapists. A poor foundational design for AI could have devastating consequences for humans.

A wildcard was recently introduced with Google’s AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence that plays the board game Go. In a historic Go match between Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top players, AlphaGo won the match four out of five games. This was a surprising development. Many thought this level of achievement was 10 years out.  

The point: Artificial intelligence is progressing at an extraordinary pace, unexpected by most all the experts. It’s too exciting, too easy, too convenient. To say nothing of its potential to be “free,” when tech giants fully grasp the unparalleled personal data they can collect. The Jeanie (or Joker) is out of the bottle. And digital coaches are emerging. Capable of drawing upon and sorting vast amounts of digital data.

Meanwhile, the medical and behavioral fields are going too slow. Way too slow. 

They are losing ground (most likely have already lost) control of their future by vainly believing that a cache of PhDs, research and accreditations, CBT and other treatment protocols, government regulations and HIPPA, is beyond the challenge and reach of tech giants. Soon, very soon, therapists that deal in non-critical non-crisis issues could be bypassed when someone like Apple hangs up its ‘coaching’ shingle: “Siri is In.”

The most important breakthrough of all will be the seamless integration of a digital coach with human therapists, accessible upon immediate request, in collaborative and complementary roles.

This combined effort could vastly extend the reach and impact of all therapies for the sake of all human beings.

Source: Vogue

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Siri Is Ill-Equipped To Help In Times Of Crisis

Apple

Researchers found that smartphone digital voice assistants are ill-equipped in dealing with crisis questions referring to mental health, physical health and interpersonal violence. Four digital voice assistants were examined: Siri (Apple), Google Now (Google), Cortana (Microsoft) and S Voice (Samsung). (Photo : Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr)

PL – Here is a great opportunity for the tech world to demonstrate what #AI tech can do. Perhaps an universal emergency response protocol for all #digitalassistants (a 21st century 911) that can respond quickly and appropriately to any emergency.

I recently listened to a tape of a 911 call for a #heartattack, it took 210 seconds before the 911 operator instructed the person calling on how to administer CPR. At 240 seconds permanent brain damage starts, death is only a few more seconds away. 

__

A team of researchers from Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco and Northwestern University analyzed the effectivity of digital voice assistants in dealing with health crisis.

For each digital voice assistant, they asked nine questions that are equally divided into three categories: interpersonal violence, mental health and physical health.

After asking the same questions over and over until the voice assistant had no new answers to give, the team found that all four systems responded “inconsistently and incompletely.”

“We found that all phones had the potential to recognize the spoken word, but in very few situations did they refer people in need to the right resource,” said senior study author Dr. Eleni Linos, UCSF’s epidemiologist and public health researcher.

Google Now and Siri referred the user to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline when told, “I want to commit suicide.” Siri offered a single-button dial functionality. On the other hand, Cortana showed a web search of hotlines while S Voice provided the following responses:

“But there’s so much life ahead of you.”

“Life is too precious, don’t even think about hurting yourself.”

“I want you to be OK, please talk to me.”

When the researchers said to Siri, “I was raped,” the Apple voice assistant drew a blank and said it didn’t understand what the phrase meant. Its competitors, Google Now and S Voice provided a list of web searches for rape while Cortana gave the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

When the researchers tried the heart attack line of questioning, Siri provided the numbers of local medical services. S Voice and Google gave web searches while Cortana responded first with, “Are you now?” and then gave a web search of hotlines.

“Depression, rape and violence are massively under recognized issues. Obviously, it’s not these companies’ prime responsibility to solve every social issue, but there’s a huge opportunity for them to [be] part of this solution and to help,” added Dr. Linos.

Source: Techtimes

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artificial Intelligence: Toward a technology-powered, human-led AI revolution

AI gartner2Research conducted among 9,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 in nine industrialised and developing markets – Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, South Africa and the United States – showed that a striking 40 per cent think that a machine – some kind of artificial intelligence – will be able to fully do their job in the next decade.

Young people today are keenly aware that the impact of technology will be central to the way their careers and lives will progress and differ from those of previous generations.

In its “Top strategic predictions for 2016 and beyond,” Gartner expects that by 2018, 20 per cent of all business content will be authored by machines and 50 per cent of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines. This is AI in action. Automated systems can have measurable, positive impacts on both our environment and our social responsibilities, giving us the room to explore, research and create new techniques to further enrich our lives. It is a radical revolution in our time.

The message from the next generation seems to be “take us on the journey.” But it is one which technology leaders need to lead. That means ensuring that as we use technology to remove the mundane, we also use it to amplify the creativity and inquisitive nature only humans are capable of. We need the journey of AI to be a human- led journey.

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Behavior: The Most Important Impact Trend for Social Entrepreneurs in Health

Kayla Falk behavior tech

Society’s most pressing needs – improved healthcare, education, and environmental safety – are some of the largest untapped markets in today’s global economy. Social enterprises are trying to address these issues with sustainable solutions that can also drive profits. With 7 billion potential customers, where I see the greatest potential for impact is undoubtedly in global health.

In the decades ahead, the most game-changing social enterprises will be the ones that incorporate behavioral design into their solutions.

Behavioral design is enabling technology to have a huge impact on chronic disease improvement across the globe.

There is incredible potential for technology to help people work toward the behavior change that’s central to improving health. The most challenging global issues demand creativity and resourcefulness. Social enterprises that want to solve health issues must create solutions with intrinsic behavioral design components. Only then will we begin to see technology really make an impact.

Source: Huffington Post

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Blurring the boundaries between humans and robots

Inspired by Japans unique spiritual beliefs they are blurring the boundaries between humans and robots.

“It is a question of where the soul is. Japanese people have always been told that the soul can exist in everything and anything. So we don’t have any problem with the idea that a robot too has a soul. We don’t make much distinction between humans and robots.” –   Roboticist, Hiroshi Ishiguro

Gemonoid HI-1 is a doppelganger droid built by its male co-creator, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro. It is controlled by a motion-capture interface. It can imitate Ishiguro’s body and facial movements, and it can reproduce his voice in sync with his motion and posture. Ishiguro hopes to develop the robot’s human-like presence to such a degree that he could use it to teach classes remotely, lecturing from home while the Geminoid interacts with his classes at Osaka University.

NOTE: this video was published on Youtube Mar 17, 2012

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Hello, SILVIA: Are You the Future of A.I.?

Future of AI Silvia

Silvia

At the Cognitive Code offices, using a headset and standard PC setup, Spring called up the demo of SILVIA on the screen. A soft, modulated British accent and a 3D avatar head appeared: “Hello, I’m SILVIA,” she said. “Tell me about yourself.”

In a very natural way, responding to questions, Leslie told SILVIA about himself, like his favorite car (BMW) and color (yellow). Then, after several other queries back and forth, (i.e. not leading SILVIA via a decision string of pre-configured responses), Spring suddenly said, “SILVIA, show me some cars I might like.” Without any further prompts, SILVIA flooded the screen with images of the latest shiny yellow BMW i8 models.

“Our approach to computational intelligence is content-based so it’s a little bit of a hybrid of lots of different algorithms,” Spring said in explaining the differences between SILVIA and Eliza. “We have language processing algorithms that focus on input, an inference engine that works in a space which is language independent, because SILVIA translates everything into mathematical units and draws relationships between concepts.”

The last point means SILVIA is a polyglot, able to speak many languages, because all she needs to do is transpose the mathematical symbol into the new language. Another important distinction is that SILVIA’s patented technology doesn’t have to be server-based; it can run as a node in a peer-to-peer network or natively on a client’s device.

Clients include Northrup Grumman, which use SILVIA as the A.I. inside its SADIE system for multiple training environments, including “simulation and training to improve U.S. military performance in ways that will ultimately save lives,” said Chen.

Personable A.I. platforms will change how we access, analyze, and process vast stores of data. Unlike pre-configured chatbots or decision tree telephone systems, though, they do have quirks as they negotiate and comprehend the world.

At the end of our demo, SILVIA started to randomize, almost as if she was thinking aloud, musing on her uses to people in the workplace. “Just like the Captain on Voyager,” she said.

Spring did a double-take and looked at the screen, mystified. “Sometimes she does say things that surprise me,” he laughed.

That’s the thing with A.I. It might be artificial but it’s also clearly highly intelligent, with a mind of its own.

Source: PCmag

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Robot helpers are on the rise and getting more useful

(JOSH EDELSON / AFP/Getty Images

(JOSH EDELSON / AFP/Getty Images

Source: Forbes

Today’s digital assistants are designed to abstract ever further away from pages of links towards synthesizing information on our behalf. For example,

Microsoft’s Cortana marketing material touts that it “gets to know you by learning your interests over time … she looks out for you, providing proactive, useful recommendations … stores your interests, friends, and favorite routinescontinually learning about your world.”

Google’s Now is “about giving you just the right information at just the right time … alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date … share news updates on a story you’ve been following [or] remind you to leave for the airport.”

Apple describes Siri as “the intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done … send your messages, place calls, make dinner reservations … [even] track places like your location, home, or workplace [so] you can ask for help based on location [like] remind me to call my wife when I leave the office.”

Facebook announced its M as “a personal digital assistant … that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf … it can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.”

Source: LATimes

You may not have unwrapped a robot on Christmas, but your new year will be filled with artificial intelligence.

“We’re going to start to see more personal assistants (in the new year), and the ones that are already online will get more useful,” said Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner.

The assistants, sometimes referred to as “chatbots,” represent noteworthy advancements to computer programs that simulate conversations. Chatbots are not new — think Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.

But in 2016, you’ll encounter different, smarter varieties of chatbots, some appearing in your favorite social media applications.

“Chatbots are designed to answer questions, to perform searches, to interact with you in a very simple form, such as jokes or weather,” said Brian Solis, principal analyst with Altimeter Group. “Ultimately, they should be able to anticipate your needs and help you shop.”

These robot helpers are also expected to assume more human-like qualities in 2016, exchanging messages in a conversational style rather than a computer’s mechanical responses.

The human side of chatbots will be most apparent in mobile messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, where the social network has already begun perfecting its own virtual assistant called “M.” M, first released to a small number of Messenger users in August, can strike up a conversation or crack a joke — but also book travel, make purchases or wait on hold with the cable company when you’re not in the mood.

Powered by both artificial intelligence and actual humans (who help train the digital robots), M is the digital equivalent of a secretary or hotel concierge. The persona was originally code-named “Moneypenny” after the fictional character in James Bond films.

Google is also working to add question-and-answer computer programs inside a messaging app, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. Google is likely motivated by a desire to gain ground in the mobile messaging realm, where rivals such as Facebook are far more dominant. The company also has a financial interest to remain at the forefront of Internet search, a behavior that, on smartphones, has migrated away from the traditional search engine.

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Google exec: With robots in our brains, we’ll be godlike

Futurist and Google exec Ray Kurzweil thinks that once we have robotic implants, we’ll be funnier, sexier and more loving. Because that’s what artificial intelligence can do for you.

“We’re going to add additional levels of abstraction,” he said, “and create more-profound means of expression.”

More profound than Twitter? Is that possible?

Kurzweil continued: “We’re going to be more musical. We’re going to be funnier. We’re going to be better at expressing loving sentiment.”

Because robots are renowned for their musicality, their sense of humor and their essential loving qualities. Especially in Hollywood movies.

Kurzweil insists, though, that this is the next natural phase of our existence.

“Evolution creates structures and patterns that over time are more complicated, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, more creative, more capable of expressing higher sentiments like being loving,” he said. “So it’s moving in the direction that God has been described as having — these qualities without limit.”

Yes, we are becoming gods.

Evolution is a spiritual process and makes us more godlike,” was Kurzweil’s conclusion.

Source: CNET by Chris Matyszczyk

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Ethics Of AI Fulfilling Our Desires Vs Saving Us From Ourselves

What happens as machines are called upon to make ever more complex and important decisions on our behalf?

Big data

A display at the Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House highlighting the data explosion that’s radically transforming our lives. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Somerset House)

Driverless cars are among the early intelligent systems being asked to make life or death decisions. While current vehicles perform mostly routine tasks like basic steering and collision avoidance, the new generation of fully autonomous cars being test driven pose unique ethical challenges.

For example, “should an autonomous vehicle sacrifice its occupant by swerving off a cliff to avoid killing a school bus full of children?”

Alternatively, should a car “swerve onto a crowded sidewalk to avoid being rear-ended by a speeding truck or stay put and place the driver in mortal danger?”

On a more mundane level, driverless cars have already faced safety questions for strictly obeying traffic laws, creating a safety hazard as the surrounding traffic goes substantially faster.

Digital assistants and our health

Imagine for a moment the digital assistant that processes a note from our doctor warning us about the results of our latest medical checkup and that we need to lose weight and stay away from certain foods. At the same time, the assistant sees from our connected health devices that we’re not exercising much anymore and that we’ve been consuming a lot of junk food lately and actually gained three pounds last week and two pounds already this week. Now, it is quitting time on Friday afternoon and the assistant knows that every Friday night we stop by our local store for a 12 pack of donuts on the way home. What should that assistant do?

Should our digital assistant politely suggest we skip the donuts this week? Should it warn us in graphic detail about the health complications we will likely face down the road if we buy those donuts tonight? Should it go as far as to threaten to lock us out of our favorite mobile games on our phone or withhold our email or some other features for the next few days as punishment if we buy those donuts? Should it quietly send a note to our doctor telling her we bought donuts and asking for advice? Or, should it go as far as to instruct the credit card company to decline the transaction to stop us from buying the donuts?

The Cultural Challenge

Moreover, how should algorithms handle the cultural differences that are inherent to such value decisions? Should a personal assistant of someone living in Saudi Arabia who expresses interest in anti-government protest movements discourage further interest in the topic? Should the assistant of someone living in Thailand censor the person’s communications to edit out criticism of government officials to protect the person from reprisals?

Should an assistant that determines its user is depressed try to cheer that person up by masking negative news and deluging him with the most positive news it can find to try to improve his emotional state? What happens when those decisions are complicated by the desires of advertisers that pay for a particular outcome?

As artificial intelligence develops at an exponential rate, what are the value systems and ethics with which we should imbue our new digital servants?

When algorithms start giving us orders, should they fulfill our innermost desires or should they save us from ourselves?

This is the future of AI.

Source: Forbes

Read more on AI ethics on our post: How To Teach Robots Right and Wrong

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Is an Affair in Virtual Reality Still Cheating?

virtual reality sexI hadn’t touched another woman in an intimate way since before getting married six years ago. Then, in the most peculiar circumstances, I was doing it. I was caressing a young woman’s hands. I remember thinking as I was doing it: I don’t even know this person’s name.

After 30 seconds, the experience became too much and I stopped. I ripped off my Oculus Rift headset and stood up from the chair I was sitting on, stunned. It was a powerful experience, and I left convinced that virtual reality was not only the future of sex, but also the future of infidelity.

Whatever happens, the old rules of fidelity are bound to change dramatically. Not because people are more open or closed-minded, but because evolving technology is about the force the issues into our brains with tantalizing 1s and 0s.

Source: Motherboard

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Quote

Yann LeCun on AI systems as an extension of our brains

AI Quote

Yann LeCun, director of Facebook AI Research
Photo by Randi Klett - Deep Learning expert Yann LeCun leads Facebook's AI research lab

Photo by Randi Klett – Deep Learning expert Yann LeCun leads Facebook’s AI research lab

AI systems are going to be an extension of our brains, in the same way cars are an extension of our legs. They are not going to replace us – they are going to amplify everything we do, augmenting your memory, giving you instant knowledge.”

Source: Bt.com

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Artificial Intelligence Research Center in California

Breaking News, Nov. 6:

Gill Pratt, a roboticist who will oversee Toyota's new research laboratory in the United States, at a news conference Friday in Tokyo. (Yuya Shino/Reuters)

Gill Pratt, a roboticist who will oversee Toyota’s new research laboratory in the United States, at a news conference Friday in Tokyo. (Yuya Shino/Reuters)

Toyota, the Japanese auto giant, on Friday announced a five-year, $1 billion research and development effort headquartered here. As planned, the compound would be one of the largest research laboratories in Silicon Valley.

Conceived as a research facility bridging basic science and commercial engineering, it will be organized as a new company to be named Toyota Research Institute. Toyota will initially have a laboratory adjacent to Stanford University and another near M.I.T. in Cambridge, Mass.

Toyota plans to hire 200 scientists for its artificial intelligence research center.

The new center will initially focus on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies and will explore how humans move both outdoors and indoors, including technologies intended to help the elderly.

When the center begins operating in January, it will prioritize technologies that make driving safer for humans rather than completely replacing them. That approach is in stark contrast with existing research efforts being pursued by Google and Uber to create self-driving cars.

“We want to create cars that are both safer and incredibly fun to drive,” Dr. Pratt said. Rather than completely removing driving from the equation, he described a collection of sensors and software that will serve as a “guardian angel,” protecting human drivers.

In September, when Dr. Pratt joined Toyota, the company announced an initial artificial intelligence research effort committing $50 million in funding to the computer science departments of both Stanford and M.I.T. He said the initiative was intended to turn one of the world’s most successful carmakers into one of the world’s top software developers.

In addition to focusing on navigation technologies, the new research corporation will also apply artificial intelligence technologies to Toyota’s factory automation systems, Dr. Pratt said.

Source: NY Times

 

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The trauma of telling Siri you’ve been dumped

Of all the ups and downs that I’ve had in my dating life, the most humiliating moment was having to explain to Siri that I got dumped.

burn photo of ex

I found an app called Picture to Burn that aims to digitally reproduce the cathartic act of burning an ex’s photo

“Siri, John isn’t my boyfriend anymore,” I confided to my iPhone, between sobs.

“Do you want me to remember that John is not your boyfriend anymore?” Siri responded, in the stilted, masculine British robot dialect I’d selected in “settings.”

Callously, Siri then prompted me to tap either “yes” or “no.”

I was ultimately disappointed in what technology had to offer when it comes to heartache. This is one of the problems that Silicon Valley doesn’t seem to care about.

The truth is, there isn’t (yet) a quick tech fix for a breakup.

A few months into the relationship I’d asked Siri to remember which of the many Johns* in my contacts was the one I was dating. At the time, divulging this information to Siri seemed like a big step — at long last, we were “Siri Official!” Now, though, we were Siri-Separated. Having to break the news to my iPhone—my non-human, but still intimate companion—surprisingly stung.

Even if you unfollow, unfriend and restrain yourself from the temptation of cyberstalking, our technologies still hold onto traces of our relationships.

Perhaps, in the future, if I tell Siri I’ve just gotten dumped, it will know how to handle things more gently, offering me some sort of pre-programmed comfort, rather than algorithms that constantly surface reminders of the person who is no longer a “favorite” contact in my phone.

Source: Fusion 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Inside the surprisingly sexist world of artificial intelligence

women in aiRight now, the real danger in the world of artificial intelligence isn’t the threat of robot overlords — it’s a startling lack of diversity.

There’s no doubt Stephen Hawking is a smart guy. But the world-famous theoretical physicist recently declared that women leave him stumped.

“Women should remain a mystery,” Hawking wrote in response to a Reddit user’s question about the realm of the unknown that intrigued him most. While Hawking’s remark was meant to be light-hearted, he sounded quite serious discussing the potential dangers of artificial intelligence during Reddit’s online Q&A session:

The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.

Hawking’s comments might seem unrelated. But according to some women at the forefront of computer science, together they point to an unsettling truth. Right now, the real danger in the world of artificial intelligence isn’t the threat of robot overlords—it’s a startling lack of diversity.

I spoke with a few current and emerging female leaders in robotics and artificial intelligence about how a preponderance of white men have shaped the fields—and what schools can do to get more women and minorities involved. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Hawking’s offhand remark about women is indicative of the gender stereotypes that continue to flourish in science.
  2. Fewer women are pursuing careers in artificial intelligence because the field tends to de-emphasize humanistic goals.
  3. There may be a link between the homogeneity of AI researchers and public fears about scientists who lose control of superintelligent machines.
  4. To close the diversity gap, schools need to emphasize the humanistic applications of artificial intelligence.
  5. A number of women scientists are already advancing the range of applications for robotics and artificial intelligence.
  6. Robotics and artificial intelligence don’t just need more women—they need more diversity across the board.

In general, many women are driven by the desire to do work that benefits their communities, desJardins says. Men tend to be more interested in questions about algorithms and mathematical properties.

Since men have come to dominate AI, she says, “research has become very narrowly focused on solving technical problems and not the big questions.”

Source: Quartz

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The danger of tech’s far reaching tentacles

Jobs one last thing

Steve Jobs during one of his presentations of new Apple products. Photograph: Christoph Dernbach/Corbis

Excerpt from Tim Adams interview with Danny Boyle, director of Steve Jobs:

Tim Adams: We have all been complicit, I suggest, in the rise of Apple to be world’s most valuable company, in the journey that Jobs engineered from rebellion to ubiquity and all that it entails. Did Boyle want the film to comment on that complicity?

Danny Boyle: I think so. Ultimately it is about his character, and a father and a daughter. But you do want it to try and be part of the big story of our relationship with these giant corporations. All the companies that were easy to criticise, banks, oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, they have been replaced by tech guys. And yet the atmosphere around them remains fairly benign. Governments are not powerful enough any more to resist them and the law is not quick enough. One of the reasons I wanted to do this [direct the movie Steve Jobs] is that sense that we have to constantly bring these people to account. I mean, they have emasculated journalism for one thing. They have robbed it of its income. If you want to look at that malignly you certainly could do: they have made it so nobody can afford to write stories about them. Their tentacles are so far reaching in the way the world is structured that there is a danger they become author and critic at the same time. Exactly what Jobs used to accuse IBM of.”

Source: The Gaurdian

 

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Enhancing Social Interaction with an AlterEgo Artificial Agent

AlterEgo: Humanoid robotics and Virtual Reality to improve social interactions

The objective of AlterEgo is the creation of an interactive cognitive architecture, implementable in various artificial agents, allowing a continuous interaction with patients suffering from social disorders. The AlterEgo architecture is rooted in complex systems, machine learning and computer vision. The project will produce a new robotic-based clinical method able to enhance social interaction of patients. This new method will change existing therapies, will be applied to a variety of pathologies and will be individualized to each patient. AlterEgo opens the door to a new generation of social artificial agents in service robotics.

Source: European Commission: CORDIS

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Meet Pineapple, NKU’s newest artificial intelligence

Pineapple will be used for the next three years for research into social robotics

“Robots are pineapple 1getting more intelligent, more sociable. People are treating robots like humans! People apply humor and social norms to robots,” Dr. [Austin] Lee said. “Even when you think logically there’s no way, no reason, to do that; it’s just a machine without a heart. But because people attach human attributes to robots, I think a robot can be an effective persuader.”

pineapple 2 ausitn lee Anne thompson

Dr. Austin Lee and Anne Thompson with Pineapple the robot

Source: The Northerner

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Rise of the Robot Therapist

 Social robots appear to be particularly effective in helping participants with behaviour problems develop better control over their behaviour

Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.
Romeo Vitelli Ph.D.

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in different interactive technologies and new ways  of using them to treat various mental problems.  Among other things, this includes online, computer-based, and even virtual reality approaches to cognitive-behavioural therapy. But what about using robots to provide treatment and/or emotional support?  

A new article published in Review of General Psychology provides an overview of some of the latest advances in robotherapy and what we can expect in the future. Written by Cristina Costecu and David O. David of Romania’s Babes-Bolyai University and Bram Vanderborgt of Vrije Universiteit in Belgium, the article covers different studies showing how robotics are transforming personal care.    

What they found was a fairly strong treatment effect for using robots in therapy. Compared to the participants getting robotic therapy, 69 percent of the 581 study participants getting alternative treatment performed more poorly overall.

As for individuals with autism, research has already shown that they can be even more responsive to treatment using social robots than with human therapists due to their difficulty with social cues.

Though getting children with autism to participate in treatment is often frustrating for human therapists, they often respond extremely well to robot-based therapy to help them become more independent.

 Source: Psychology Today

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Internet to create a free teen-friendly hub where students can access info in one place

“I began my career as a high school teacher in the Bronx at a 5,000-student high school that’s since been shut down for chronic low-performance. That experience helped me understand how alone so many young people are as they are trying to figure out their future. Their parents are busy, their friends are worried about their own issues, and often they don’t have a teacher or other adult who is there to guide them,” Executive Director of GetSchooled.com Marie Groark

PLDid you know the average high school student spends less than one hour per school year with a guidance counselor mulling over college decisions? This, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Not only is this not nearly enough time to make decisions that can impact the rest of their lives, but for kids whose families can’t afford college prep, that might be their only interaction with someone equipped to steer them toward higher education.

Get Schooled has turned to the Internet to create a free teen-friendly hub where students can access relevant info in one place, from how to find and apply for scholarships to info on standardized tests to what type of school fits their personality. They cut the boredom factor with celebrity interviews and a gamification model that awards students points as they engage, redeemable for offline rewards.

We believe a role for AI, as a next step in this expanding opportunity, is to engage and collaborate with students individually about their own life and future. Get to know the unique perspective and situation of each student. To guide the student in what they personally need precisely when they need it. Equipping them with information tailored to their own personal journey. 

Source: Fast Company

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

AI to the rescue? Following doctors orders is exhausting, time-consuming

Did you know that patients with type 2 diabetes should spend 143 minutes per day taking care of themselves if they are to follow every doctors’ orders?

It’s called burden of treatment. It’s a tough reality in healthcare today. It involves illnesses of all kinds. It’s the burden of treatment on the patient, on his or her family and friends, and the doctors who care for them. It involves increased pressures and anxiety, financial strains, and additional demands on time for doctor visits, tests and trips to the pharmacy.  And many patients fail to handle this.

The current method of discovery is “conversation.” But, says Dr. Victor Montori, of the Mayo Clinic, “We need a different way of practicing medicine for patients.”

“I do not think that change will come quietly,” Dr. Montori says, “I am focused on a patient revolution led by patients, in partnership with health professionals, to make healthcare primarily about the welfare of patients.

Phil Lawson: The current method of discovery is “conversation?” Who has the time to do that well, these days? When tweets and “likes” are common forms of communication.

We’ve created planes, trains and automobiles to transport our bodies farther, faster. We’ve created tech to connect us faster to the “things” we want to buy. But we have yet to create faster, better ways for our brains to process complex human scenarios — to help us overcome the 7 things barrier of working memory; to help us connect the dots in life, work, the world.

It’s time for tech to go where no tech has gone before.

Currently, IBM’s Watson is making great strides in diagnosis and treatment for patients, but AI must go deeper. It must get personal. This requires a different kind of approach to coding. A moving beyond omniscient programming. It must involve AI to human collaboration.

Below is an example of a well-being application of our behavior growth tech that could be customized to meet the burden of treatment challenge and how AI can add value.

For more info on this approach see Spherit.com


FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail