Five for Friday: Onward and Upward
We have pulled ourselves together following last week's turmoil and are ready to focus on the many things that need our collective attention as we move forward.
With that in mind and with a holiday all about gratitude ahead, let's focus on some happy news.
1. From Healthcare IT News -- Did you know that the Best Hospital IT Departments awards were just given out?! Me, either! This article offers a glimpse at the winners and the very cool things they're doing. As you might expect from IT departments, this means a lot of initiatives to use the immense amount of data going through a hospital's database in order to provide better care without sacrificing confidentiality.
2. From Nanowerk -- Engineers at [The] Ohio State are creating foil-based LEDs that can be used in portable UV lights to purify drinking water, medical equipment, and much more. Not only will this lighter, less expensive technology make these lights better for the environment, they have enormous implications for areas of the world that need tools like these to save and improve lives.
3. From WTOP -- With an aggressive goal of "50 percent renewable energy powering the Amazon Web Services global infrastructure by the end of 2017", Amazon has just signed on to power its data centers with solar power. Here comes the sun, indeed.
4. From WIRED -- Have you ever wanted to know how machine learning really worked but just didn't have time for that astrophysics Ph. D.? Same. Luckily for us, Google just rolled out AI Experiments, 'an online collection of tools and games designed to help you understand the inner workings of machine learning'. Don't worry, Google's still mining a bunch of data from everything you do with it, even when you're playing Pictionary with a robot. (<-- Google knows that's a heart, btw.)
5. From Fortune -- Ok, so this one doesn't fall squarely in my "let's mine some happy news from the heap" theme, but I find this a very interesting topic (as does my business partner lawyer): What about the ethics of self-driving cars? If a car has to make a decision (about veering off the road and potentially into a tree to avoid a pedestrian, for example) how do you ethically program it to make the 'right' decision? What is the right decision? Questions upon questions and a lot of absent case law. I'm putting this in the "good news" category because it's important to remember we control the robots (for now, anyway...), so let's put serious time and thought into how we want them to reflect us.
We are taking next week off to give thanks with our families and friends. We'll see you in December!