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COVID-19: How cell phones are helping to track future cases

Why cell phones can hold the key to tracking future cases of COVID-19 with artificial intelligence.

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Why cell phones can hold the key to tracking future cases of COVID-19 with artificial intelligence.

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TechRepublic’s Karen Roby talked with Ari Trachtenberg, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Boston University, about the work researchers are doing to help in the fight against COVID-19. The following is an edited transcript of their interview.

Ari Trachtenberg: This started with me staying at home and trying to figure out what we could possibly do to help with the COVID-19 effort. And we realized that after we plateau and we manage to get a COVID-19 under control, we’ll still need to be able to make sure that it doesn’t start spreading again. And one way to do that is to make sure we isolate people who are sick as quickly as possible and prevent them from exposing the rest of the community. We’re thinking of how to do this, and the natural solution had to do with cell phones, which are always around us and have ways to communicate with each other at short ranges.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

Karen Roby: Talk about the technology and privacy concerns, too.

Ari Trachtenberg: That’s exactly right. We are very sensitive to the fact that we already have a lot of information out there in the digital space, and we’re worried about that potentially being misused for other purposes. Our approach just has your phone, has an app on your phone, that just sends out random messages, completely random. Has no connection to your information, your location, your name, anything. And those random chirps, they’re called, can be used to then identify later whether you were around someone who ended up being sick and that that person when they get sick will report their own random numbers that they have submitted. And those random numbers, when I look and correlate them with random numbers that I’ve heard in my area, will tell me maybe I need to go get a test.

Karen Roby: And so from there, Ari, what will be the next step once you’ve compiled that information, how does it then move down the line so that people will know what to do?

Ari Trachtenberg: The idea is when you get sick, you go to your doctor or to get a test. If the test comes back positive, then you will on your own give the doctor all the numbers that you have been broadcasting around as you’ve been walking with your phone. The doctor will upload those to a central registry and everyone else who’s walking around will then look at the registry and see whether they heard your numbers anywhere. And if they did, they know that they might be sick and they need to go get a test, and then this process perpetuates itself. They go get a test if they ended up being positive, that goes up to the registry, etc.

SEE: Cybersecurity: Let’s get tactical (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Karen Roby: Talk a little more about your work.

Ari Trachtenberg: I work in cybersecurity, and in fact this is a slight tweak of existing attacks. I work on attacks and defenses, ways that malicious entities try to identify your location. And so we were aware of that and tried to design a system that was resistant to that so that you cannot be tracked, so that it cannot be determined where you are. I want to stress that the location information that you have on your phone where you are at all times is extremely personal information. It says things like where you slept last night, what kind of medical conditions you’re being treated for, depending on where you go. Who your friends are, what your political and religious interests are. This is very, very deeply personal information that needs to be guarded and we believe that this solution provides you the opportunity to protect your privacy while also sharing in helping others and yourself not get this disease.

Karen Roby: Who are you collaborating with on this effort?

Ari Trachtenberg: The original work was a collaboration with professor Ran Canetti in computer science and professor Mayank Varia also in computer science, also part of the Hariri Institute and part of the risk center. And this was a BU effort. We reached out to various other colleagues in BU. In fact, we initially discussed it with them, and now we’re actually part of a greater initiative that’s led by (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT but connected to a variety of other institutions. All of us are working together trying to get this implemented as fast as possible.

Karen Roby: How concerned are you at the moment with cybersecurity?

Ari Trachtenberg: I am very concerned with cybersecurity. Generally, malicious attackers look for situations like this where there’s widespread confusion and rules and regulations get to be broken or bent for the greater good. I’m also concerned with mission creep in the sense that it’s at times like this when we expect our governments to go through extreme measures to protect us, but those extreme measures sometimes linger on even after the extreme situation has gone away. I think it’s important to be aware of that upfront while designing a system like this to think about, making sure that it cannot be taken advantage of later on down the line, not necessarily by the government, but even by other people who just see an opportunity.

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Karen Roby talks with Ari Trachtenberg of Boston University about an app he is creating to track COVID-19 without compromising privacy. 

” data-credit=”Image: Mackenzie Burke” rel=”noopener noreferrer nofollow”>20200408-bostonuni-karen.jpg

Karen Roby talks with Ari Trachtenberg of Boston University about an app he is creating to track COVID-19 without compromising privacy. 

Image: Mackenzie Burke

Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/covid-19-how-cell-phones-are-helping-to-track-future-cases/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

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Brazil volunteer in Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine trial has died, Brazilian health authority reports

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter, according to a […]

The post Brazil volunteer in Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine trial has died, Brazilian health authority reports appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died, stating it had received data from an investigation into the matter, according to a report from Reuters

The regulator said testing of the vaccine would continue after the volunteer’s death. It provided no further details, citing medical confidentiality of those involved in trials.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian but did not say where the person lived.

AstraZeneca shares turned negative and were down 1.7%.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/21/breaking-brazil-volunteer-astrazeneca-coronavirus-vaccine-trial-died-reuters-reports/

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Syte, an Israeli visual AI startup, raises $30M Series C funding for the world’s first product discovery platform

It’s been a while since we covered Syte, a visual AI startup that powers image search for eCommerce. A lot has changed since we last wrote about Syte back in 2018. Back then, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup partnered with the […]

The post Syte, an Israeli visual AI startup, raises $30M Series C funding for the world’s first product discovery platform appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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It’s been a while since we covered Syte, a visual AI startup that powers image search for eCommerce. A lot has changed since we last wrote about Syte back in 2018. Back then, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup partnered with the luxury fashion platform Farfetch to launch the new in-app visual search feature on iOS.

Today, Syte announced it has raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt to propel product enhancements and geographic expansion for the eCommerce startup, enabling brands around the world to grow online revenue via product discovery.

The round, which brings Syte’s total funding to $71 million, was led by Viola Ventures with additional investments from LG Tech Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures, Kreos Capital, and existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures, and KDS Media Fund.

Founded in 2014 by Helge Voss, Idan Pinto, Lihi Pinto Fryman, and Ofer Fryman, Syte is a visual AI technology provider that improves retailer’s site navigation, product discovery, and user experience by powering solutions that engage and convert shoppers. With Syte, retailers can leverage shoppers’ inspiration and existing product interest to ensure they present the right products at the right time. Syte.ai, encompasses many verticals, providing solutions for retailers, publishers, influencers, and consumers.

Syte team believes in using the power of images to empower users to search simply by tapping on any given image. Our daily life is consumed by images from our favorite retailers, eCommerce websites to social media. Our deep-learning algorithm automatically extracts every layer of an image, transforming any image into shoppable, without any tags, text, or manual work and that is what makes Syte.ai so unique.

Since the beginning of 2020, Syte has grown 22% quarter-over-quarter alongside a 38% expansion of its customer base. Compounding its steady year-over-year growth since its founding in 2015, the onset of COVID-19 and the corresponding surge in eCommerce traffic has kindled a sweeping newfound interest in Syte, as brands and retailers around the world rapidly shift to prioritize eCommerce innovation.

“In the new age of eCommerce, the brands and retailers that create truly individualized and memorable customer experiences will thrive, and our mission is to help them do so,” said Syte CEO and Co-founder, Ofer Fryman. “Our focus for 2021 and beyond will be to develop and acquire solutions that create product discovery experiences spanning the full range of our senses — visual, text, voice, and more — with an end-to-end platform that leverages visual AI and next-generation personalization across the board. This investment gives us the resources to execute this vision.”


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/21/syte-israeli-visual-ai-startup-raises-30m-series-c-funding-worlds-first-product-discovery-platform/

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Everybody dreams of owning a startup, but nobody wants to work in that

It is a common dream for everyone to start their own company, run it, and lead it to success. According to a report, approximately 70 percent of people under 25 mentioned that it’s their lifelong dream to start a company.  Startups ring a bell in mostly youths and teenagers. Now, even though everybody wants to […]

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It is a common dream for everyone to start their own company, run it, and lead it to success. According to a report, approximately 70 percent of people under 25 mentioned that it’s their lifelong dream to start a company. 

Startups ring a bell in mostly youths and teenagers.

Now, even though everybody wants to own a startup, it is true that no one prefers to work for a startup company. 

A report concluded that most people tend to choose a matured and a considerably huge company instead of startups. 

But, they can’t be blamed as it is etched in people’s minds that most startups always fail, and it will be a colossal waste to work there.

The word startup emphasized a newly born company, new ideas, and the initial stage of enormous growth. 

The typical mindset of people is that startups don’t offer job security or even offer high salaries. 

This is the reason why most people avoid working in a startup company. Now, here are a few complicated reasons why people don’t prefer startups.

  • You might not get paid: It is implied that the owners of a startup wouldn’t have acquired funding yet, and would have a limited amount of capital. Hence, a typical working culture in a startup includes the owner giving equity(1) in the business. And after a few years, the employee can gain benefits when the company reaches new heights. But, everyone has a constant fear that it might not succeed.
  • Stressful work environment: Startups usually include employees working extra. Every stage of a startup includes new challenges. You will have to work for long hours and even work on weekends to get work done. Moreover, the job would be very stressful as you will be examined in every phase and work stage.
  • Chaotic: You can’t expect a startup to follow a set of rules and etiquettes. Employees won’t have their desks, and it won’t always be silent.
  • Everything can change in a moment: Here comes the problem with stability. Imagine you would be working in a startup, and suddenly they tell you to relocate as a merger took place.

But, it is also essential to look at the pros and advantages of working in a startup. 

The enthusiasm for joining a startup should match with the excitement of starting an own company or owning a startup. This is because a startup provides a lot of experience and even act as a stepping stone for success.

Pratap is an avid reader and he wishes to give back the community something in return. He is currently pursuing Engineering in the field of Computer Science in Bengaluru. He has a genuine passion for writing and spreading it to everyone. He has a thirst for knowledge and always seeking it out and aiming to be a better version of himself.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

Note: If you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a small commission on it.

Source: https://timesnext.com/everybody-dreams-of-owning-a-startup-but-nobody-wants-to-work-in-that/

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