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Category: Big Data & Data Visualization

Robotics | IoT

Hacking Our Smart Devices Is Way Too Easy—Here’s How to Fix That

Smart-television maker Vizio agreed to pay a penalty this month for spying on 11 million customers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the company captured second-by-second information on what customers viewed, combined it with their gender, age and income, and sold it to third parties. How much was the fine for Vizio, which has sales in excess of […]

Europe’s TREASURE Will Be the King of All GPSs

Today, most of us carry the world in our pockets. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)—what most people typically just call GPS—aren’t simply about sending geo-located tweets from our favorite restaurants. Countless industries rely on high-precision navigation, from agriculture to construction. The brave new world of self-driving cars and Amazon booty delivered by drone is largely […]

Our Health Data Can Save Lives, But We Have to Be Willing to Share

Organ donation has saved countless lives, but could donating our personal data have an even more transformative impact on healthcare? The potential impact of Big Data and machine learning on healthcare is only just beginning to become apparent. Barely a month goes by without researchers unveiling algorithms giving human doctors a run for their money […]

Big Data Is Helping Us See Environmental Problems in a Whole New Light

You don’t have to be a member of Greenpeace to see that the planet, its ecosystems and its wildlife are under threat. Climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, pollution—the list of human-caused insults to the environment is long. It’s the classic problem of being unable to see the forest for the trees. However, in the last […]

Google’s New AI Gets Smarter Thanks to a Working Memory

“The behavior of the computer at any moment is determined by the symbols which he is observing and his ‘state of mind’ at that moment.” – Alan Turing Artificial intelligence has a memory problem. Back in early 2015, Google’s mysterious DeepMind unveiled an algorithm that could teach itself to play Atari games. Based on deep neural nets, the AI impressively mastered nostalgic favorites such as Space Invaders and Pong without needing any explicit programming —… read more

We’ll Soon Trust AI More Than Doctors to Diagnose Disease

It probably goes without saying, but medicine has improved a lot in modern times. No one would willingly go back to the days of sketchy anesthetics and experimental surgery. We know a lot more about what ails the body and how to treat disease. But could we do better? Sure. Some conditions yet confound doctors. Patients still suffer. As much as the situation has improved—some things haven’t changed a bit. “If you go into your… read more

Why Are Millions of People Ditching Their Wearable Devices?

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others, meanwhile, measure their heartrate on their wrists. The latter group is growing exponentially, ushering in a multi-billion-dollar wearables market, from watches that count steps and heartbeats to ear buds that monitor a woman’s body temperature to calculate the ideal time to procreate. Probably one of the most successful and well-known brands, Fitbit, sold more than 21 million products in 2015, according to a wearables market analysis… read more

A Computer Can Now Translate Languages as Well as a Human

Have you ever been in a situation where knowing another language would have come in handy? I remember standing on the platform at Tokyo Station watching my train to Nagano — the last train of the day — pulling away without me on it. What ensued was a frustrating hour of gestures, confused smiles, and head-shaking as I wandered the station looking for someone who spoke English (my Japanese is unfortunately nonexistent). It would have… read more

Will Letting AI Make Our Decisions Be the Best Decision We Make?

I confess: while writing this, I was intermittently procrastinating by browsing the overwhelming number of wireless headphone options on the market. As you may have heard, Apple just killed the headphone jack on their new generation of iPhones, leaving only a single port. This means a solid pair of wireless earbuds will be a must if you want to charge and listen to music at the same time. And those puppies aren’t cheap. How to… read more

Why Big Data Is Much More Personal Than You Think

Most people think of big data as some amorphous cloud of information. Even a definition everyone agrees on is hard to pin down. What makes data ‘big’? Most rely on the three V’s to define it: “huge in volume, high in velocity, and diverse in variety”. In her recent Aeon piece, Why Big Data is Actually Small, Personal and Very Human, Rebecca Lemov, an associate professor of the history of science at Harvard University, argues that what… read more