CES in Las Vegas is ground zero for upcoming technology and what’s cutting edge in the consumer market. Usually, top-tier brands like Samsung and Microsoft bring it with the latest TVs, gaming consoles and computers, but 2018 marks the beginning of a new era in technology — everything is changing.
If such ominous tides of change sound intimidating, the opposite is actually true. These latest trends will integrate with our daily lives and, for better or worse, change the way we interact with tech and each other. Here’s what’s to come in 2018 and beyond.
Autonomous Robots are Here
The episode “Metalhead” in season four of Black Mirror depicted a murderous, robotic dog stalking its prey in a post-apocalyptic world. The “murderous” part may be fictional, but robotic, animal-like machines are here right now, and they can do incredible things. Boston Dynamics, the robotics company that inspired the Black Mirror episode, recently debuted a robotic dog that can open doors, keep its balance when pushed, and adjust to obstacles in real time. What does this mean for us? These robots are set to become household assistants sooner than later.
AI Assistants Battle for a Place in Our Home
Speaking of household assistants, Alexa, Google, and yes, even Siri are fighting for a spot in our living room with a fleet of new smart speakers. These are high-fidelity devices that stream music from Google, Spotify and Apple Music and carry out the same commands as their smartphone counterparts — with even more connectivity to other home devices such as lights and thermostats. These devices aren’t new to 2018, but they’re commonplace in the home and the tasks they can do improve with each new version and product.
Computer Chips Cut the Cords
The CPU wars are a tale as old as the first PCs, but Qualcomm is entering the race and taking a different angle to dominate the market. The Snapdragon processor, commonly known for its powerful place in top-tier Android smartphones, is thinking bigger, better and more mobile in 2018. New 4G laptops allow you stay connected from virtually anywhere with battery power that lasts all day; they can even run Windows 10. That’s a total package that other manufacturers aren’t touching in 2018, but the market will likely demand it from everyone soon enough.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality > Reality
If there is one technological breakthrough that will completely transform our society in the next 10 to 20 years, it’s augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Both are still in their infant stages but the early results are already so incredible. Smartphones use VR for tasks like designing the layout of your next apartment by placing virtual furniture on top of the real floors of your living space while games are creating innovative ways to use AR as well (think Pokemon Go). Virtual reality, which dives much deeper into digital immersion, took its next step with the HTC Vive Pro. The new headset cuts the cords between the user and the machine to create a much more realistic experience. As time passes, this tech will only get smaller, more portable and require less of a beastly PC to function.
It’s not always easy to guess the direction of technological innovation, but that’s what makes it exciting. The advancements we’re seeing this year are astounding, and there’s no doubt that future developments will be even more impressive.
Can Laser and AI-Powered Breathalyzers Detect COVID-19 or Cancer?
Did you know that the breath we exhale contains more than a thousand distinct molecules with a unique chemical fingerprint that can contain clues about the state of things inside our bodies? That’s why medical scientists have been trying to use dogs, rats, and even bees to detect signs of diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, and others.
However, the recent advancements in breathalyzer technology are proving to be one of the most effective ways to analyze the chemical composition of our breath and deduce the presence of any diseases. The combined application of laser processing solutions and AI technology to breathalyzers has substantially improved their efficacy in detecting the presence of diseases.
Laser-Powered Breath Analyzers: A Closer Look
Laser-based breath analyzers use laser beams to interact with the molecules in a person’s exhaled breath. This interaction results in the absorption or scattering of specific wavelengths of light, which can be analyzed to identify and quantify the presence of various gases and their concentrations. Techniques like Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) or Cavity-Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy (CEAS) help achieve desired results.
Laser processing solutions are employed to develop highly sensitive and specific sensors. According to Novanta Photonics, a laser and beam steering solution can be used to overcome complex challenges for delicate applications. High-throughput imaging systems can use ultrafast laser processing to deliver solutions for complex cell-based imaging.
These sensors can detect trace amounts of gases or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath, making them invaluable for medical diagnosis (e.g., detecting biomarkers for diseases like diabetes or cancer) and alcohol breath testing.
The Integration of AI
Last April, a collaboration between teams from CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) called JILA achieved a significant breakthrough in the field of diagnosing diseases from our breath. They reported that they have developed a new breathalyzer powered by laser-based technology, quantum technology, and AI to detect COVID-19 quite accurately.
In the results published in the Journal of Breath Research, Qizhong Liang, a Ph.D. candidate in JILA, highlighted that this breath analysis technology could be a non-invasive test alternative to detecting COVID-19 and other diseases. The results are quick and accurate and can be derived from diverse conditions.
The team of physicists, biochemists, and biologists are trying to revolutionize the same technology to detect the presence of a wide range of diseases, including cancer. Jun Ye, a member of JILA and a physics professor, says that a patient can go to the doctor in the future, blow into a mouthpiece connected to a smartphone, and get information about their health immediately.
An Alliance To Fight COVID-19
Jun Ye’s lab reported developing ‘frequency comb spectroscopy’ technology that won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. The technology uses ultrafast laser processing to distinguish between molecules in 20028.
Even back then, this technology had the potential to identify the presence of disease biomarkers in human breath. However, the technology was not tested to diagnose illnesses due to the lack of sensitivity and the inability to link specific molecules to diseases.
Since then, the sensitiveness has been improved by using AI to detect molecule traces at the parts per trillion level. They have noticed an increase or decrease in the concentration of certain molecules that can be associated with certain health conditions. Machine learning technology can be used to analyze this information and identify patterns to generate an accurate diagnostic prediction.
The technology progressed significantly during the spread of SARS-CoV-2 when Ye enlisted the help of CU’s BioFrontiers Institute. BioFrontiers Institute is an interdisciplinary hub for biomedical research and was heading the on-campus testing program for COVID-19.
The collaboration was primarily established to develop faster alternatives to the existing testing methods for COVID-19 that had a long response time. But they also knew that the technology had an immense potential beyond COVID.
A Quick, Chemical Free, and Non-Invasive Test
The research team analyzed the breath samples of 170 students of CU Boulder who had taken a PCR test in the last 48 hours through nasal or saliva samples. Half of the samples generated a positive result, while the other half generated negative results. The entire process of collecting samples and generating results was completed within an hour.
The breathalyzer results were compared with PCR, which was the best COVID test available at the time, and the results analyzed by the breathalyzers matched the PCR results 85% of the time. For reference, any accuracy beyond 80% is considered excellent in the field of medical diagnostics. Needless to say, the team was quite happy with the accuracy of the results, especially given the time it took to analyze and generate the results.
A breathalyzer test is completely non-invasive, unlike a nasal swab test. The test also does not require the use of expensive chemicals and can even be administered to unconscious patients.
The Current Challenges
The technology still has a long way to go before it can be implemented for practical use. At the moment, the team can only understand how some molecules can be correlated to specific conditions. Also, if you were imagining a small breathalyzer like I was when reading the article, you’d be surprised. The breathalyzer being discussed is approximately the size of a large table and consists of a complex array of various components.
The scientists pass the blood sample through a tube as an ultrafast laser processing solution fires mid-infrared beams of light at a thousand different frequencies. Each laser beam is bounced back and forth between dozens of tiny mirrors so many times that the light beam ends up traveling approximately 1.5 miles.
Since each molecule absorbs light in a different way, breath samples composed of varied molecular compositions cast distinguishable shadows. The AI-based algorithm analyzes the different shadows on absorption patterns and the resulting millions of data points to generate a simple negative or positive COVID test result in a matter of seconds.
The team is trying to miniaturize the entire system to a portable size that can also be used for self-health monitoring to generate immediate results. Team members are also working with Respiratory specialists at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus on how laser-powered breathalyzers can be used to diagnose as well as understand more about diseases.
They are hoping to uncover signs of Immune responses, nutritional deficiencies, and other aspects that can aggravate or reduce diseases and their symptoms. Elsewhere, other bioscientists are trying to develop an atlas that contains maps of how each molecule in our breath can be correlated with health conditions.
While the technology is far from everyday use, the use of laser and AI-powered breathalyzers to detect diseases is an immense breakthrough in the field of medical sciences. I’m sure we will soon have access to portable breathalyzers That can be used to monitor our health issues in real time or even before the first symptoms occur.
How Technology is Changing the Way We Shop for Stringed Instruments
The music world has experienced rapid growth, and technology has played a pivotal role in reshaping how we shop. Traditional shopping methods are evolving due to technological advancements. Specifically, when it comes to purchasing stringed instruments, the impact of technology on our buying behaviors is evident.
In this article, we’ll explore the influence of technology on the way we shop for stringed musical instruments. We’ll delve into the advantages that these changes bring to the table, making the process more accessible and beneficial for music enthusiasts and aspiring musicians alike.
Gone are the days when musicians had to physically visit numerous music shops to find their desired musical instruments. Thanks to technology, online stores have made purchasing musical instruments more accessible. The convenience offered by online shopping allows people worldwide to access a wide variety of products without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Online shops like Amazon and Thomann, which provide free shipping or low-cost delivery options, have expanded customers’ choices and removed location constraints. Musicians can now search for quality instruments at reasonable prices without being limited by their geographical location.
Leveraging Augmented Reality Technology
Augmented reality (AR) introduces an exciting and innovative dimension to digital marketing, extending its applications beyond the field. This contemporary technological advancement empowers manufacturers to digitally showcase their product line-ups on smartphones and tablets, using AR apps like uSonicify App. As a result, potential buyers no longer require a physical salesroom or the presence of showroom staff. Instead, they can access detailed images of each product from anywhere with an internet connection.
Leveraging AR capabilities also gives buyers hands-on experience before making a purchase decision. This approach offers them a better understanding of crucial aspects, such as sound quality (tuning) and available finishes, among various other attributes, through virtual experiences alone.
Easy Comparison Between Products
In a landscape where numerous vendors offer strikingly similar products online, often at comparable price points across various platforms, deciding which adhesive product to select can be challenging. However, this process becomes more manageable with the utilization of comparison tools.
Platforms like Compare Button and Google Shopping offer prospective buyers the ability to compare products comprehensively. These tools provide intricate insights into every facet of each product, including details about the materials employed, sound quality assessments, and even characteristics related to specific sections. Armed with this information, individuals can make well-informed decisions about the instrument that best suits their requirements, all without unnecessary hassle.
Social Media Shopping
Connectivity plays a pivotal role in our modern world. Beyond facilitating communication, social media presents many possibilities for businesses aiming to captivate fresh clientele through sponsored posts. Moreover, the subtle product endorsements by influencers have not gone unnoticed by their followers.
For musicians and music enthusiasts alike, social media platforms offer valuable avenues for engagement. Well-known guitar brands, such as Gibson Guitars, extend the gesture of free online guitar lessons. Additionally, individuals can immerse themselves in vibrant communities centered around various musical instruments. These interactions foster a sense of belonging and maximize the value for money, should one choose to partake in such enriching experiences.
Free and Accessible Learning Opportunities
Learning musical instruments has become incredibly convenient and accessible, all thanks to the technology at our fingertips. With the option to attend online tutorials or engage in Virtual Studio Experiences through VR, the array of available resources is extensive. These advancements highlight the effectiveness of digital marketing techniques and the power of digitization, ultimately resulting in cutting-edge technologies that yield impressive results. You can comfortably absorb information from the comfort of your home, breaking free from isolating environments and nurturing your musical performance aspirations.
The benefits continue beyond learning the fundamentals through videos. Job boards and opportunities like Live Performance or Instrument Repair Apprenticeships also ensure continuous professional development. These avenues have become even more valuable in light of the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the postponement of live performances. Embracing technology facilitates learning and empowers you to pursue your musical journey in a dynamic and adaptable manner.
Technology is reshaping industries globally, and in this article, we’ve highlighted four key ways it’s profoundly impacting and revolutionizing the music instrument sector. These changes are overcoming the limitations of traditional shopping methods, bringing about a transformative shift. Enhanced access is now possible through virtual showroom tours and Augmented Reality (AR) apps. Consumers can now easily compare musical instruments, finding the perfect fit for their needs. Additionally, interactions across online music communities contribute to reducing feelings of isolation and foster a sense of camaraderie among musicians, enabling them to become more confident performers.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice embarking on your musical journey, embracing the technological advancements at your fingertips offers unprecedented accessibility. It allows you to navigate and even thrive in the industry, regardless of daily challenges. The result is the creation of incredible work, made possible through the combination of technology and dedication – truly a testament to the value of hard work.
5 Breathtaking Discoveries an IT Consultant Can Help You Make
IT stands for information technology. It’s a wide-ranging topic or niche that’s constantly changing, growing, and improving. Whatever kind of business you run, you’ll likely need some IT help sooner or later.
You can hire IT consultants whenever you need one, or you might choose to have some permanent IT staff members on your team if you feel you have the money to facilitate that.
Either way, the right IT employee or agency can help you make some truly breathtaking discoveries. We’ll talk about some of those right now.
There’s More than One Way to Handle Your IT Requirements
IT is such a vast and diverse field. You may know a bit about it, but hardly anyone knows everything.
If you’re handling some of your IT needs yourself, it might surprise you to learn there are different ways of accomplishing the same goals. If you hire an IT employee or agency, they can probably help you with that.
It will likely benefit your company if you find there are some IT options that you didn’t consider. Implementing them might save you time, money, or both.
You Don’t Need Onsite Servers
In the past, many companies that had a significant online presence needed physical servers. They required electricity to power those servers, fans to cool them, and a physical location where they could be kept.
Some companies still use physical servers, but the right IT agency or employee might convince you to use the cloud instead. Doing this may turn out to be a much more efficient system than what you have set up at the moment.
You Can Implement Remote Work
The right IT staff member or agency might also convince you that you can go to a remote worker model, whether entirely or partially. Remote work has grown in popularity, and that trend should continue.
You may find that it improves employee morale if you offer remote work as an option. You might even learn that you retain your employees better if you let them work from home.
SEO Can Be Your Secret Weapon
Those in the IT world usually know at least a little about SEO, or search engine optimization. It’s a method of optimizing your website content and doing offsite work that will get more potential customers to visit your site.
An IT worker who knows about SEO can either assist you in this area themselves, or they can help you locate someone who can. The extra sales and website visitors you should see after utilizing the right SEO strategy might astonish you.
You Can Outsource Some Work to Other Countries
Your IT support staff or an agency you hire might convince you that you can outsource some of the work you do to other countries. For instance, they may suggest outsourcing your website’s customer support to international workers who might accept more modest pay than their American equivalents would.
These possibilities are only a few of the many suggestions your IT workers might have for you.
The WGA Strike: A Prelude to the Labor War Against AI
The labor battle against artificial intelligence (AI) has begun with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, spearheaded by Hollywood writers concerned about the potential replacement of human workers by AI tools like ChatGPT. However, this strike is just the tip of the iceberg in a broader labor war that will have far-reaching consequences.
While the WGA strike primarily focuses on streaming residuals and fair compensation for TV shows and movies on streaming platforms, it also includes a section on “Artificial Intelligence.” The WGA aims to pressure the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to regulate and potentially ban the use of AI as a substitute for human workers. As AI technology becomes more prevalent and advanced, this move by the WGA is likely to be replicated by unions across different industries.
The WGA’s proposal requests the ban of AI usage for writing and rewriting source material, as well as prohibiting AI from being trained on the work of WGA writers. However, the AMPTP has rejected this proposal, offering only annual meetings to discuss technological advancements. In response, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has voted unanimously to join the strike if negotiations fail.
The concerns of these unions about the potential replacement of human writers and actors by AI are not unfounded. Recent developments, such as Netflix reserving rights to simulations of actors’ voices, demonstrate that what was once considered science fiction is becoming a reality. This not only poses a threat to the entertainment industry but also to other sectors, potentially leading to widespread unemployment and the substitution of vital services with automated systems. It is crucial for workers to draw the line now while the technology is still in its early stages, as there might not be another opportunity to reclaim what has been lost. Hollywood serves as the frontline in this battle.
The impact of AI tools on TV shows and movies may raise the question of whether audiences would even notice the use of AI. According to technologist and activist Cory Doctorow, the consequences would become apparent rather quickly. He emphasizes the uncertainty of studios’ ability to create AI-generated content due to copyright regulations, highlighting the risk of unauthorized copying if AI-produced works are not protected.
To understand the potential of AI tools and their legal implications, it is necessary to grasp their underlying mechanisms. The current popular large language model, ChatGPT, operates based on generative AI, specifically a generative pretrained transformer (GPT). It utilizes extensive text data from the internet to respond in a manner that resembles human interaction. However, these AI models have limitations, including a knowledge cutoff and a tendency to generate nonsensical responses when faced with unfamiliar topics. Users often find ways to circumvent these limitations.
While GPT-4, the latest language model by OpenAI, excels at summarizing vast amounts of data, it struggles to create original content. Although it can generate ideas by reorganizing existing information, it cannot produce entirely new concepts. Thus, allowing chatbots in writers’ rooms or replacing human writers entirely would signify an industry that has exhausted its creative ideas.
The impact of generative AI extends beyond Hollywood. Other sectors, including technology companies like IBM and retail businesses like Wendy’s, are exploring AI’s potential to replace human employees. The growing influence of AI is predicted to affect at least a quarter of the American workforce within the next five years, leading to widespread job transformations.
Furthermore, non-unionized creative industries are already experimenting with AI in their writing processes. Some video game studios have expressed interest in utilizing AI to generate dialogue, raising concerns about the accessibility of opportunities for young creatives.
In conclusion, the WGA strike against AI tools represents the beginning of a broader labor conflict. If left unaddressed, the rise of AI could have significant ramifications for the workforce across various industries. As AI technology continues to advance, it is crucial for workers and unions to assert their rights and protect their jobs before it is too late.
Unveiling The Ways People Use AI on YouTube
YouTube has become a virtual playground for content creators and viewers worldwide. Beyond the entertaining videos and vast array of channels, an intriguing aspect lies hidden beneath the surface: the remarkable ways people are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the platform and how individuals are harnessing its capabilities to enhance their content creation and engagement.
Video Editing and Enhancements:
AI-powered video editing tools have gained traction on YouTube, revolutionizing the way creators produce and refine their content. These tools employ machine learning algorithms to automatically enhance video quality, stabilize shaky footage, adjust lighting and color grading, and even generate subtitles. This AI-driven video editing not only saves creators time but also enables them to deliver polished and professional-looking videos to their audience.
Content Generation and Recommendations:
AI has also made its mark on content generation, with some creators using AI algorithms to generate scripts, captions, and even video ideas. By leveraging natural language processing and deep learning models, creators can explore new content avenues, automate repetitive tasks, and tap into the vast potential of AI-generated suggestions. This technology augments creativity and opens doors for unique and engaging content creation.
Video Transcription and Translation:
With the help of AI, video transcription and translation have become more accessible and efficient. Content creators can utilize AI-powered tools to automatically transcribe their videos, making them accessible to a broader audience, including those with hearing impairments. Additionally, AI translation services enable creators to reach a global audience by automatically translating their video content into multiple languages, fostering inclusivity and expanding their viewership.
Audience Engagement and Analytics:
AI-driven engagement tools have transformed the way creators interact with their audience on YouTube. Chatbots powered by natural language processing can facilitate real-time engagement, answering viewer questions and providing personalized responses. Moreover, AI-driven analytics platforms enable creators to gain insights into their audience’s behavior, preferences, and demographics, aiding in the development of tailored content strategies and fostering stronger connections with viewers.
AI technology plays a significant role in copyright protection on YouTube. Content ID, YouTube’s proprietary AI system, scans uploaded videos and compares them against a vast database of copyrighted material. This automated process helps creators and copyright holders identify unauthorized use of their content and take appropriate actions, preserving intellectual property rights in the digital landscape.
YouTube’s vast ecosystem has provided fertile ground for AI to flourish, surprising us with its myriad applications. From video editing and content generation to transcription, translation, audience engagement, and copyright protection, AI is enhancing the way creators produce, share, and interact with content on the platform. As AI continues to advance, we can expect further innovation and transformative applications that empower creators and revolutionize the YouTube experience. The surprising ways people are utilizing AI on YouTube remind us of the ever-expanding possibilities technology offers, shaping the future of content creation and engagement.
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