KW 12: Argo AI selects Munich Airport for testing autonomous driving technology, AI is intended to help solve war crimes, Using AI to reduce radiation exposure during PET scans


Argo AI selects Munich Airport for testing autonomous driving technology: Autonomous driving technology firm Argo AI has selected Munich Airport’s LabCampus innovation center for testing and developing its vehicles. Argo AI will build a test track at the airport under the newly signed contractual agreement with the agency and consulting service provider CBRE Group. The test track will be constructed next to the aircraft maintenance hangars in the south-western area of the airport. The airport stated that the autonomously driven vehicles will be tested in numerous traffic conditions under realistic situations.

AI is intended to help solve war crimes: Images and video recordings are becoming more and more important for the reconstruction and assessment of acts of war and violent confrontations. Such evidence is essential, especially for the investigation of war crimes. But in the digital age, aid organizations and other agencies have reached a very large number of such documents. For this reason, they are increasingly using software and artificial intelligence for their analyses, which have been trained, for example, with ammunition dummies from the 3D printer. Adam Harvey prints replicas of so-called cluster munitions based on photos and videos, photographs these dummies from all possible perspectives, in different backgrounds and in different states in order to train the algorithm to identify corresponding ammunition on photos from war zones. More than a hundred countries have pledged to stop using these bombs filled with many mini-explosive devices – but the bombs are still in use in Syria and Yemen, for example.

Using AI to reduce radiation exposure during PET scans: PET scanners are very important in researching and treating cancer, as they can reliably detect cancer cells in the body. But they only work if the patient has been given a radioactive marker beforehand, which then attaches to the tumors. Researchers at King’s College in London have now succeeded in reducing at least the dose of radioactive material required for this procedure. The crux of the matter: Fewer injected markers also mean less image data for evaluation. But for the AI, the images generated with fewer markers are still sufficient to be able to make reliable diagnoses. This is also possible because the AI is trained with thousands of already made images from PET scans. At the moment, the AI ​​only needs a quarter of the images that are normally necessary for a meaningful PET scan. In the long term, the researchers hope to train the AI ​​so well that only 0.1 millisievert radioactive markers need to be administered. That would be roughly the radiation exposure of a US-Europe flight.

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AI as the driver of the “fourth industrial revolution”: Artificial intelligence is already one of the driving innovation factors. Researchers expect AI to add around $13 trillion to gross national product annually over the next decade. Twice as much as the steam engines during the first industrial revolution or information technology during the second and even three times as much as industrial robotics in the third industrial revolution. The auditors at Deloitte explain that the majority of German companies now perceive AI as a decisive factor for “sustainable business success”: “79 percent already see this technology as very important or critical to success.” Last year, AI application sales totaled around $19 billion. By 2025, it should be a whopping 90 billion.

Evaluating the skills of surgeons with artificial intelligence: A Swiss research project at the University Hospital Bern wants to evaluate the skills and the current state of health of surgeons using AI. Because these factors are of central importance to the success of an operation and people often do not evaluate them with absolute impartiality. For this reason, the assessment of surgeons is to be automated and objectified in the future. With a newly developed, three-stage approach, the researchers are trying to make this a reality. Video material from operations, more precisely from 242 laparoscopic procedures to remove the gallbladder, is used for the analysis. First the instruments used are identified, then the respective movements are analyzed and patterns are extracted, in order to finally be correlated with the assessment by experts using a linear regression. The study was based on more than 240 of the same surgeries and 242 videos of laparoscopic procedures to remove the gallbladder. This approach is still far from being used in practice. However, the technology-based assessment offers many advantages, for example absolute objectivity, its supra-regional application and independence from time or people.

Guest contribution: How AI is changing our working world and what role career changers play in it
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The artificial intelligence boom isn’t slowing yet, with new figures showing a 34.5 percent increase in the publication of AI research from 2019 to 2020. That’s a higher percentage growth than 2018 to 2019 when the volume of publications increased by 19.6 percent.


AI and automation threaten call center industry: The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on the global call-center industry, and nowhere more than in the Philippines, the world leader in the field. Hundreds of thousands of employees in the former US colony field queries from the other side of the planet, and for the past year many of them have had to work alone from home through the night, grappling with frequent electricity outages, isolation from friends, and the snores of parents, partners, siblings, or children crammed into tight quarters. What comes after Covid-19 is likely to be even worse. The lockdowns of the past year have accelerated the shift to greater automation in responding to inquiries to lenders, insurers, and telecom operators. Callers looking for assistance with a bill or bank statement increasingly communicate with artificial-intelligence-powered bots. And when they do connect with a human, it’s more frequently in a chat window with someone who’s engaged in multiple conversations at once.

Smart speakers to receive health updates: Researchers at the University of Washington say they have developed a contactless way to screen for irregular heartbeats using ordinary smart speakers. The analysts came up with an AI-powered system that relies on sonar technology to pick up vibrations caused by nearby chest wall movements. If ever deployed, the heart-tracking technology could enhance how doctors conduct telemedicine appointments by providing data that would otherwise require wearables, health hardware or an in-person checkup.


FAU starts a research project on artificial intelligence and health literacy: How does an assistance system have to be designed in order to actually be used on a daily basis? Scientists at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) will address this question in the future. Together with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the University of Duisburg-Essen and industrial partners, an AI-based, learning assistance system is to be developed in Erlangen to support people in healthy everyday behavior.


„When AI and robots come together, interesting things happen. It’s no longer just about efficiency, but also about breaking new ground.“
Tabitha Goldstaub, author of “How to Talk to Robots. A Girls Guide to a Future Dominated by AI“.


Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel: what if AI thinks like a kid? The author Kazuo Ishiguro has won many of the biggest literary awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature. His books have been adapted into successful movies, like „The Remains Of The Day“ and „Never Let Me Go.“ His new novel returns to many of the themes from those earlier works. It’s called „Klara And The Sun“ and is a story about a small AI girl robot created to keep teens from becoming lonely.

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