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R&D Roundup: Supercomputer COVID-19 insights, ionic spiderwebs, the whiteness of AI

R&D Roundup: Supercomputer COVID-19 insights, ionic spiderwebs, the whiteness of AI

I see way more analysis articles than I might probably write up. This column collects probably the most attention-grabbing of these papers and advances, together with notes on why they could show essential on the planet of tech and startups. This week: supercomputers tackle COVID-19, beetle backpacks, synthetic spiderwebs, the “overwhelming whiteness” of AI and extra.

First off, if (like me) you missed this superb experiment the place scientists connected tiny cameras to the backs of beetles, I don’t suppose I’ve to clarify how cool it’s. But it’s possible you’ll surprise… why do it? Prolific UW researcher Shyam Gollakota and several other graduate college students have been thinking about replicating some features of insect imaginative and prescient, particularly how environment friendly the processing and path of consideration is.

The digicam backpack has a slender discipline of view and makes use of a easy mechanism to direct its focus reasonably than processing a wide-field picture always, saving power and higher imitating how actual animals see. “Vision is so essential for communication and for navigation, however it’s extraordinarily difficult to do it at such a small scale. As a end result, previous to our work, wi-fi imaginative and prescient has not been doable for small robots or bugs,” stated Gollakota. You can watch the critters in motion under — and don’t fear, the beetles lived lengthy, joyful lives after their backpack-wearing days.

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The well being and medical neighborhood is at all times making attention-grabbing strides in expertise, however it’s usually fairly area of interest stuff. These two objects from current weeks are a bit extra high-profile.

One is a brand new examine being carried out by UCLA in live performance with Apple, which particularly with its smartwatch has supplied a number of glorious knowledge to, for instance, research of arrhythmia. In this case, medical doctors are melancholy and nervousness, that are significantly harder to quantify and detect. But by utilizing Apple Watch, iPhone and sleep monitor measurements of exercise ranges, sleep patterns and so forth, a big physique of standardized knowledge may be amassed.

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