6 Technology Articles You Must Read Today

Written by | Technology

BM announced last week it has moved its cognitive computing system into the cloud to form the Watson Discovery Advisor, allowing researchers, academics and anyone else trying to leverage big data the ability to test programs and hypotheses at speeds never before seen.

Since Watson is built to understand the nuance of natural language, this new service allows researchers to process millions of data points normally impossible for humans to handle. This can reduce project timelines from years to weeks or days.

Imagine a solar-powered lantern that you might take camping with an umbilical cord to a power source with connections to myriad types of phones. The inability to communicate during crisis situations is debilitating, and becomes more so within days (see below).

In a separate project, Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen of Australia invented a “mesh network” that lets people in emergencies communicate via mobile even if they have no Internet connection. Users can send text messages, make calls and send files to other users nearby, creating a mobile network through a web of users. Why is this so important during times of crisis such as war zones or earthquakes? Gardner-Stephen states:

As he introduces us to the Sunlite solar-powered lantern, Lane provides a welcome reminder not only of the wonders of technology being used in developing countries, but the need for even more innovation and distribution of technology and knowledge worldwide.

Fellow Forbes contributor Roy Smythe jumps right into the question posed above. He begins by citing Hannah Arendt and referencing Stanley Milgram in support of his proposition that we can become desensitized to death. That’s not new, and Smythe makes clear that he’s not interested in that problem here. What’s interesting is Smythe’s corollary argument that the distance between healthcare providers and patients has become so great that healthcare delivery is at a “decisive turning point in history that separate[s] whole eras from each other,” to quote Arendt.

Myriad technologies create distance between patient and caregiver and all meant to make it more efficient to heal the sick. Smythe reminds us of telemedicine platforms and other forms of “virtual visits” or self-care tools. Such care will be the norm much more quickly than most would like. He cites Dr. Rushika Fernandapulle, the co-founder and CEO of Iora Health, for the position that medical care is still fundamentally human. Fernandapulle writes:

Above all, Smythe doesn’t want distant medicine to lead doctors to be desensitized by death. He draws an interesting parallel — the use of drones in war. Without boots on the ground or vivid and live battlefield images, death can become abstract and sanitized.

Last modified: February 8, 2019