Beware Interesting Ideas

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People share ideas because they are either interesting or true, and Sam Atis argues that it’s unlikely for an idea to be both. He cites the idea that COVID-19 vaccination rates in Ohio saw a significant increase thanks to the state’s vaccine lotteries. The reasoning was that anti-vaxxers tend to overestimate the probability of highly unlikely events (like winning lotteries) happening. But interesting as this idea was, the research said otherwise; a paper revealed that Ohio didn’t see increased numbers of COVID-19 vaccinations due to the vaccine lotteries. Read full article here

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AI Predicts Crime A Week In Advance With 90 Per Cent Accuracy

An artificial intelligence model built by Ishanu Chattopadhyay and his colleagues analysed crime data in Chicago from 2014 to 2016 and managed to predict future levels of crime down to the nearest 300 metres, a week before they actually happened. While extremely useful, this artificial intelligence has been shown to expose racial prejudice in law enforcement. Hopefully, as the study’s data and methodology have been made available for others to evaluate, these prejudices can be avoided in the next iteration. Read full article here

Technology

Automated Identification Of Chicken Distress

Did you know that chickens make distinct sounds when they’re stressed? Chicken raisers painstakingly identify these calls manually to figure out how their chickens are faring—a sort of state of the chicknation, if you will. However, those days of manual identification might be nearing an end after a group of researchers developed an AI primed to identify stressed chicken noises. Called light-VGG11, the AI seems like a promising solution for those with large flocks of chickens after it accurately identified chicken distress calls among other recorded chicken calls. Read full article here

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