In the early days of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak, Elisa Baniassad was able to trace how new cases were spreading and plan her outings accordingly.
“When I plotted how the virus was being transmitted, I saw that it was from close contact. People weren’t getting it out on the street, they were getting it at home from their family members,” said the computer science instructor at the University of British Columbia.
Baniassad is one of a handful of people making use of the reams of data being collected and published daily around the world to help governments and citizens plan and be informed of the latest situation.
Her diagrams are published on ViriHealth.com, a website started by someone in Toronto to keep track of the information released by the provinces.
There’s a huge amount of misleading information circulating online about coronavirus – from dodgy health tips to speculation about government plans. This is the story of how one post went viral.
It’s a list of tips and advice – some true, some benign, and some possibly harmful – which has been circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and elsewhere.
Dubbed the “Uncle with master’s degree” post because of the alleged source of the information, it’s hopped from the Facebook profile of an 84-year-old British man to the Instagram account of a Ghanaian TV presenter, through Facebook groups for Indian Catholics to coronavirus-specific forums, WhatsApp groups, and Twitter accounts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has authorized the country’s internal security agency to tap into a vast and previously undisclosed trove of cellphone data to retrace the movements of people who have contracted the coronavirus and identify others who should be quarantined because their paths crossed.
Canada’s big phone companies warned MPs on a parliamentary committee Tuesday their networks aren’t yet ready to implement new anti-spoofing technology to guard against fake calls — and many existing landline phones and cellphones will need to be upgraded in order for the technology to be effective.
Representatives from Bell, Rogers and Telus appeared Tuesday before the Industry, Science and Technology House of Commons Committee that’s studying how to prevent the millions of fraudulent phone calls Canadians receive each month.
“When you design courses for online, it actually takes deliberate thought and attention as to doing it in a good way. “So if we’re asking people just to suddenly teach their in-person courses online, it will be very difficult for those instructors to offer equal quality.” What sorts of things need to be considered as you move in-person content online?
What sort of business could you set up to help move in-person service delivery (which in-class instruction is) online?
Facebook is already working with researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan, sharing anonymised data about people’s movements and high-resolution population density maps, which help them forecast the spread of the virus.
The social network is also helping partners understand how people are talking about the issue online, via tools such as Crowdtangle, which aggregate social-media posts.
In the past, Google search data has been used to track infectious diseases.
Google said its team was “working round the clock to safeguard our users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation”. How might Google be doing this?
” YouTube, meanwhile, is using its homepage to direct users to the World Health Organization and other groups, for education and information, while working to remove videos suggesting alternative cures as soon as they go live. “ How might YouTube be detecting “alternative cure” videos?
Mi’kmaq-designed software that blends 3D modelling, laser scanning and environmental data is being developed to help communities in the Atlantic region prepare for the potential catastrophic results of climate change.
The online application, developed by 3D Wave Design, a Nova Scotia-based 3D animation and communications company, allows users to simulate conditions like storm surge, inland flooding and wildfires, using real environmental, meteorological and laser scanning data.
The simulations play out over 3D representations of real communities and use accurate geographic measurements, which could help communities plan for the worst.
When Kursat Ceylan, who is blind, was trying to find his way to a hotel, he used an app on his phone for directions, but also had to hold his cane and pull his luggage.
He ended up walking into a pole, cutting his forehead.
This inspired him to develop, along with a partner, Wewalk – a cane equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), that detects objects above chest level and pairs with apps including Google Maps and Amazon’s Alexa, so the user can ask questions.
Jean Marc Feghali, who helped to develop the product, also has an eye condition. In his case his vision is severely impaired when the light is not good.
While the smart cane itself only integrates with basic AI functions right now, the aim is for Wewalk, to use information gathered from the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass installed inside the cane. It will used that data to understand more about how visually impaired people use the product and behave in general to create a far more sophisticated product using machine learning (an advanced form of AI).
Given what the “Wewalk” can do, how else could you apply this same technology?
” Currently, AI used in everyday life consists of either automating or optimising things that humans can do – whether that is detecting fraud by analysing millions of transactions, sifting through CVs to select the right candidates for a job, or using facial recognition to enable people to get through some form of security. ” In the context of the Future of Work, how does this change what you might do in the future?