AI-powered robot dog from Sony to monitor kids and elderly

With the capability to store data of maximum 10 people, the artificial intelligence powered robot dog from Sony’s stable will monitor kids and the elderly through two cameras, it makes it easier to keep an eye on your dear ones. The cameras are housed in the dog‘s nose and tail, along with numerous sensors, which are capable of detecting its owner and develop an understanding of its environment.AI powered robot dog from Sony to monitor kids and elderly-global-annal-bhavesh-kumar-journalist-security-safety.png

In order for the dog to function, the names and faces along with the map data need to be first registered following which reports pertaining to the said people can be accessed by the owner, on a real-time basis. The current robot dog from Sony is the second-generation version, which shares its legacy with a robot of the same name (AIBO) that was in production from 1999 till 2006.

The parents of unaccompanied kids and the family of elderly people with care needs set to majorly benefit from this household robot. The robot dog is designed to work with cloud-based AI and also recognizes gestures such as praise and stroking to better understand it’s owners behavior. And with the help of AI, develop such behaviors as it has learned during the period spent with its owner.

The sales for Aibo has been reassuring, with over 20000 units in the first six months of its launch since its launch in January last year. At $1800 (excluding taxes) and $821 for the three-year cloud subscription, you too could benefit from this innovative robot.

Source: AIBO, Mainichi

COVID-19 infection may cause thyroid disease: case study

Patients with COVID-19 may develop an inflammatory thyroid disease called subacute thyroiditis – which causes neck pain and upper tract respiratory infection, according to a new case study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The said case has emerged in a 18-year-old woman from the University Hospital of Pisa, Italy.

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Is gay conversion therapy legal for minors in Germany?

The answer to this question is no, Germany has passed legislation that bans any kind of gay conversion therapy for minors (i.e. incumbents under the age of 18 years) throughout the country.

Those found to be violating this law shall face imprisonment for a term of one year or could be fined with €30,000 ($32,535; £26,268).

Why is gay conversion therapy considered harmful?

The reason why gay conversion therapy is considered harmful is that it can lead to depression and the risk of suicide, according to research.

Under this law, any medical intervention such as shock therapy, hypnosis; or deception, coercion, and threats from parents or legal guardians is prohibited as well.

What do the critics say?

Germany’s opposition Green Party and the Left Party are of the view that the age bar to ban gay conversion therapy should be raised to 26 and 27 years respectively.

What other countries have already banned gay conversion therapy?

The gay conversion therapy has already been outlawed in Switzerland and areas of Australia, Canada, and the US.

Source: BBC

Who is the first major retailer in the US to file for bankruptcy due to coronavirus?

Neiman Marcus has become the first major retailer in the United States to file for bankruptcy due to coronavirus pandemic. It is the first retail chain to go out of business after the fall of Barneys New York, last year.

Other retailers like Lord & Taylor and J.C. Penny are known to be in the same boat as luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. The 43-store strong retail chain has received $675 million from creditors to be able to continue the business and expects to get another $750 million from bankruptcy proceedings. Neiman Marcus plans to pay-off its $4 billion debt from these receivables.

Source: NYT

Did President Trump’s personal valet tests positive for coronavirus?

One of the personal valets of President Trump, who is part of an elite military unit of the US Navy, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The test was conducted on Wednesday after he showed symptoms for coronavirus. President Trump is known to be upset after learning about this development.

The rapid coronavirus test which has been used to test the unidentified valet takes 15 minutes to test a swab sample is administered in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building which is adjacent to the West Wing on the White House grounds.

Source: CNN


How should the US prepare for the second wave of coronavirus infections?

As coronavirus struck the world, nobody had any clue about how to deal with this menace. However, when the information started pouring in, poor response and administrative delay made it hard to contain the spread of this deadly virus.

As many countries have now faced this pandemic and are now aware of the numerous ways to efficiently deal with it, they are now coming up with novel ways to counter this virus in its second phase.

The United States, which has become the epicenter of COVID-19 with the highest number of infections and resulting deaths, is now preparing for its second phase.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been at the forefront of this battle since the very beginning and has witnessed it going through its many disruptive effects on all facets of everyday life.

The key facets of Dr. Fauci’s coronavirus response in its upcoming second wave include the below:

-To arrange for enough test kits when the virus attacks again in the fall and winter.

-Also, to start covering remote locations, which were either not covered or took quite long to send swabs and receive the results later on.

-To ensure the public healthcare system is reinforced by adding more hospital beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment for the frontline healthcare workers.

-On the vaccine front, Dr. Fauci hopes a successful vaccine could emerge by as early as January 2021. The research done by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Therapeutics seems to be frontrunner which uses the genetic material of coronavirus to enhance the immune response.

Deep learning algorithms on course to become musicians of the future

With the ever-expanding horizons for artificial intelligence in numerous industries, the music industry is too witnessing innovation, which can dramatically transform it in the not so distant future.

OpenAI has created a neural network called Jukebox, which is trained using raw radio data of 1.2 million songs of different pop such as teenybop, heavy metal, hip-hop, and country among others.

Video games for one have already started using computer-generated music which is capable of playing loops and crescendos based on what a player is doing in the game.

The capabilities of Jukebox have reached such prowess by now that with a few seconds of chords and name of an artist such as Elvis Presley, Katy Perry, or Nas, it can autocomplete the remaining song. Although there’s one catch here, the algorithm at present has grown much better at producing orchestral classics as compared to rock and roll, which is due to fact that mathematical models used by AI researchers at present better complement the structure of orchestral classics.

To further understand how it has grown to such expertise is by marking millions of timestamps in a song which is much higher compared to a piece of writing which only runs in thousands i.e. OpenAI’s language generator GPT-2.

The chatbots too have gained perfection in mimicking artist voices which have lead to the filing of lawsuits by Jay-Z against deepfakes that showed him singing Billy Joel’s songs. The overall finesse of neural networks although hasn’t reached so far so as to beat humans entirely but it’s better at it every day.

Another important aspect that needs greater clarity is how intellectual property rights will shape AI in the future – making it a subject of concern because of blurring boundaries.

Source: MIT

Ammo and gun sales surging in US over corona scare

Sales surging for ammunition, small handguns and “AR-15 type” of guns in the United States. Sales ratcheting up due to political events, economic uncertainty, and supply concerns.

Source: AL.com

Why are Germany and the US are at loggerheads in the era of Covid19?

German politicians are resisting the United States’ attempt to lure coronavirus vaccine research away from Germany into the US, in hope of gaining a monopoly over the vaccine, once it is developed.
Source: Reuters

British lawyer found guilty of defaming oil trader to intelligence services

A British lawyer was found guilty of defamation and attempting extortion by a Geneva court, as he wrote letters to intelligence services of the United States and EU, such as MI5, The CIA, and the office of Director of National Intelligence – accusing his former client, an oil trader, of financing terrorism.

The said lawyer, Mathew Parish, however, intends to appeal the conviction while stating that no investigation was carried out into the claims made by him.

The defendants, Integral Petroleum and Petroforce Trading and Shipping, on the other hand, state that the allegations leveled against it are false and made to fetch around 800,000 CHF ($781,000) in fees sought by Parish.

Parish was also ordered to pay a fine of 5000 CHF ($5,121) and full legal costs of the proceedings and given a suspended sentence of one year in prison, as well.

The court also instructed Parish to see a psychiatrist.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the CIA, Britain’s interior ministry (which oversees the MI5) and the office of Director of National Intelligence did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: Reuters

Wrong acquittal in rape of minor girl reversed after 25 years by Gujarat high court

The Gujarat high court has held that the two-finger test (also known as Per Vaginal test) to check the virginity of rape victims is unconstitutional while directing the trial courts and doctors to stop the practice.

The reason cited by Gujarat high court for scrapping the medical test is because it violates the right of sexual assault victims to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity.

The said observation was made by HC on the sidelines of an appeal filed by the state court calling on to correct a mistake by a trial court in 1995 in wrongly deciding the issue of consent of a rape victim leading to the exoneration of the accused (Rameshchandra Panchal from Kadi town).

Earlier the victim was considered to be of above 16 years of age and so the sexual relations between the accused and victim were considered to have been made with consent. As a result, the accused was only held guilty of abduction u/s 363 and 366 IPC, being sentenced to seven-year imprisonment for the same.

However, later it came to light that the girl was under 16 years at the time of the crime and hence a minor; with the consent being of no significance whatsoever as she was minor.

Numerous orders from the Supreme Court of India, and recommendations by the International covenant of economic social and cultural rights 1966, a UN declaration in 1985, orders by planning commission exist to this effect.

Source: TOI

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