KW 46: AI recognizes virus infection from a cough, Making fashion more sustainable with AI, Saudi Arabia plans AI offensive


AI recognizes virus infection from a cough: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a portable surveillance tool called FluSense that leverages machine learning and real-time data to monitor flu-like illnesses and flu patterns. The device can detect coughing sounds and crowd size in real time and could add to the collection of tools used to forecast seasonal flu and other viral outbreaks. Researchers placed FluSense devices in four healthcare waiting rooms at UMass’s University Health Services clinic, collecting and analyzing more than 350,000 thermal images and 21 million non-speech audio samples. The results showed that the platform was able to accurately predict daily illness rates at the university clinic.

Database to train AI for early breast cancer detection: The humanitarian organization HIPPO AI Foundation, which was founded in Berlin last year, is working on the world’s largest open database to cure breast cancer. The “Viktoria 1.0” database is intended to collect records of breast cancer patients worldwide, with algorithms helping to recognize tumors earlier. With the help of the data, it should be possible in the future to develop better AI tools for the early detection of breast cancer. The NGO hopes that the AI can be trained in a more targeted and precise manner through a large amount of varied data.

Making fashion more sustainable with AI: German founder Anna Franziska Michel has made it her goal to make the fashion industry more sustainable. By using AI technology, her fashion label Yoona Technologie aims to produce less waste. Starting with the design process, where digitization can help make prototypes superfluous, avoid waste and use less materials. At the same time, AI can also help in planning the production quantity and thus avoid overproduction. The first well-known companies such as Ernsting’s Family are already cooperation partners.

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Saudi Arabia plans AI offensive: The Gulf monarchy of Saudi Arabia is foreseeable facing the challenge of diversifying its economy, which is still highly dependent on oil exports. Now, the Saudi Minister for Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar al-Khurayef, has announced an offensive in the field of AI in an interview with the Russian state news agency Sputnik. He says the country plans on becoming “a center for the development of innovations, high-tech and artificial intelligence” in the next few years. The plans for this are in place. Al-Khurayef said the state is already promoting numerous companies that are ready to implement the technology in their own production.

AI company wants to revolutionize the localization market: Localization is a tricky issue for all content creators. It can take significant time and resources to make their work fully accessible to folks who speak different languages. One company thinks it has cracked part of that code with an artificial intelligence system that automatically translates speech into other languages in the same speaker’s voice. Resemble AI says its Localize tool can keep voices consistent in various languages in movies, games, audiobooks, corporate videos and other formats. Google is working on similar tech.

Survey on AI penetration in medium-sized companies: As part of a study by the Research Advisory Board of the Platform Industry 4.0, researchers from the Institute for Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools (PTW) at TU Darmstadt want to find out the current state of AI penetration in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The “Artificial Intelligence in SMEs” survey aims to highlight possible gaps and deficits in the German funding landscape and to support political decision-makers in the design of future funding programs in this area. For this purpose, participants from the manufacturing industry are still being sought until the end of the year.

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According to the German Economic Institute, 62 percent of digitized companies in Germany that make most of their money from the internet hired more people between 2015 and 2017.


How to prevent discrimination with AI applications: The fear of being affected by discriminatory decisions through AI-based systems is widespread in the population. In the last few years, examples of racist or gender inequality through supposedly neutral AI systems have become known. The topic also plays an important role in the recently published general report on AI technology by the German parliament’s Enquete Commission. The most important means against it are transparent algorithms and simulations.

Top 10 AI research labs in the world: Artificial intelligence is continuously evolving and propagating across every industry. With much of the groundbreaking innovations moving the industry forward, the technology is continuously making headlines every day. Certain research institutes around the world have earned a considerable reputation. Most of them are in the United States. German institutes are still missing.


Halle University of Art researches new technologies: Although the University of Halle has numerous natural science faculties, the city’s innovation engine is in the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art. The reason for this is the laboratory for robotics and artificial intelligence there, where technology and art are scientifically brought together. The artist and computer scientist Alexa Steinbrück describes the common work basis as follows: “When students come to us and say: I want to build a model that recognizes when a chair falls over! Then we can say: Yes, it is possible! Or: No, that’s difficult. So a complexity assessment”. Ultimately, and quite incidentally, new tools and materials are created in the laboratories of the Halle Art College.


„If you look at the field of artificial intelligence in general, it quickly becomes apparent that, despite much advances in research, it is not really widespread to work with.“
MIT researcher Brian Subirana is part of the team who want to be able to detect Covid-19 infections based on the sounds of a person’s coughing. He sees political regulation as the greatest obstacle for his own software.


Robot car crashes into wall at live premiere: Apparently, AI-based robotic vehicles cannot drive as well as real people – or just as badly. During the season 1.1 beta race, a newly developed car from the SIT Acronis Autonomous team crashed into a wall right after the start of the race. It is unclear what caused the driving error in the robot car. The magazine mockingly claimed that such a mishap would never happen to a human driver, although that remains questionable. Either way: the crash test dummy on four wheels certainly did not provide an argument for the advantages of autonomous driving.

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