AI Voice 🎤 Sweaty fear 💦 Skyscraper office 🏢!

Technology News

AI-Powered App Uses Your Voice to Detect COVID-19

Vocalis Health has been working on an AI-powered voice test app: VocalisCheck. Running on a smartphone or a computer, VocalisCheck asks the user to count from 50 to 70. The captured audio is transferred into a visual representation of their voice, a spectrogram, which is made up of 512 different features in order to make its diagnosis. The AI then compares the spectrogram to a composite image from the voice of people who’ve had COVID-19. Depending on the verdict, the user takes a traditional COVID-19 swab test to confirm the diagnosis. In clinical studies, the system showed an 81.2 percent efficacy rate in detecting COVID-19.

Kimblade Revolutionizes The Average Windshield Wiper

Nanotech has produced Kimblade to make sure your windshield always gets clean with maximum efficiency. What makes Kimblade different from others is its core material, silicone. Silicone offers a lot more durability compared to rubber or plastic, especially under high temperatures or drastic changes in the temperature. Carbon nanotube (CNT), applied to the silicone of Kimblade, is a next-generation material that has a tube-shaped atomic arrangement and has high strength, as well as thermal and electrical conductivity. Thanks to the water repellent substances it contains, Kimblade transfers water-repellent coating from the wiper squeegee to the windshield.

Science News

What does your sweat say about your emotions?

Neuroscientists found that sweat emitted at different levels of fear all caused receivers to detect fear over other emotions, even with very small doses of sweat. The levels of low, medium and high fear-sweat stimuli were indistinguishable to the receivers. But smelling the different doses of fear sweat did cause the receivers to partially pick up on the presence of fear in the sweat, as seen in their behavioral, physiological and neural levels. The amygdala and fusiform gyrus regions in the receivers, which activate during a fearful experience, were also activated by the smell of fear sweat emitted from another person.

Psychotic mice reveal what happens to the brain during a hallucination

Scientists are starting to get a clear picture of the biology behind hallcuninations thanks to a new study. The researchers did two things to the mice which are known to induce hallucinations in humans — they gave the mice ketamine, and they manipulated the mice’s expectations. Elevations in dopamine release in the striatum preceded hallucination-like behavior. The researchers also artificially boosted dopamine through a method called optogenetics which also appeared to cause the mice to have more hallucination-like events. The study shows that auditory hallucinations such as those experienced by people with schizophrenia can be studied in animal models.

Business News

London skyscraper set to become UK’s most expensive office block

A London skyscraper is poised to become the UK’s most expensive office block after being put up for sale for £1.8bn, in an acid test for whether the move to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic is expected to last. The deal for the 37-storey 100 Bishopsgate building in the heart of the financial district, which is home to the law firm Freshfields, the Royal Bank of Canada and the investment bank Jefferies, is expected to surpass the £1.3bn paid for the nearby Walkie Talkie building in 2017. The sale comes despite a shift towards working from home during the pandemic. The amount of vacant office space in London soared 75% year on year to a nine-year high last month.

Asian Manufacturing Is Surging on Strong Global Goods Demand

The world’s manufacturing heartland in east Asia is booming as global trade surges amid the recovery from the pandemic, data from several countries showed. South Korea’s exports rose the most in more than two years in March, while Japan’s large manufacturers turned optimistic for the first time since autumn 2019. Manufacturing across Asia picked up after the volatile Lunar New Year period indicating the recovery in goods production remains broadly on track. “But that doesn’t mean it’s a rising tide lifting all boats. There is still going to be pain from the chip shortage for auto exporters, and we are seeing some of this bleed into electronics.”

Miscellaneous News

Rare Super Mario Bros. game sells for a record $660,000

After being forgotten in a desk drawer for almost 35 years, a sealed copy of the Nintendo video game Super Mario Bros. sold at auction for $660,000. It’s the most ever paid for a video game, according to Heritage Auctions, which ran the sale. The Dallas-based auction company said the NES cartridge was purchased as a Christmas gift in 1986, and was untouched until the seller found it earlier this year. The unopened game was professionally graded by WataGames and had a score of 9.6/A+, which called it “the finest copy known to have been professionally graded for auction.” It is also one of the earliest copies of the game to be shrink wrapped instead of having a sticker seal.

Young couple mistakenly vandalizes $440,000 painting in South Korea

An art piece by an American graffiti artist showcased in South Korea was damaged by a couple in their 20s who thought the sets of paint and brushes laid in front of the artwork was for spectators’ use. The agency that organized the exhibition is currently negotiating with the artist to take appropriate steps. The decision to display performance equipment in front of JonOne’s work goes back to 2016. JonOne completed the artwork in question during a graffiti museum show, “The Great Graffiti,” in Seoul Arts Center at the time. When the piece was complete, it was displayed along with the props used by the artist, in the same way the display is on now.

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