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Facial recognition software is becoming more and more ubiquitous, stoking concerns of privacy and permission among Americans across the country.

Now, the technology might be on the shelves in grocery stores. Unlike commonplace surveillance cameras, the coin-size lenses can detect age, gender, and possibly even one's mood in order to produce targeted ads on screens for each potential customer in real time.

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Photo Credit: Dubai Media Office.

The city of Dubai wants to get to know its three million residents well—you might even say better than they know themselves. As part of a project called Dubai 10X Initiative, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) plans to gather the DNA of each of its inhabitants with the stated goal of ending disease in its population. By creating a giant database of genetic disorders in Dubai’s population, the city hopes that researchers can develop customized treatments.

The project has three phases: First, a database will be created to build the necessary infrastructure for large-scale whole-genome sequencing. Next, artificial intelligence will accomplish the complex sequence analysis. According to the DHA, it will analyze longitudinal data to predict risks associated with genetic illnesses. The third phase will develop precision medicine in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and academia to design treatments. The hope is that such a plan will ultimately eradicate genetic diseases, or at least predict them, so that doctors can work with patients to develop treatment and prevention plans. The ultimate goal, says the DHA, is to create a “happy and healthy society.”

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The State Department is conducting a tight-lipped investigation into unusual symptoms suffered by United States diplomats and their families stationed in Havana, Cuba. Beginning in late 2016, members of the U.S. embassy community began to suffer from various symptoms, which worsened until some patients were removed to the U.S. for medical treatment. Off the record, U.S. officials have reported and experts theorize about a sonic device that caused the symptoms. Meanwhile, the official investigation continues—to determine both the purpose of the device and who was responsible.

Strange Symptoms

According to an anonymous source for the New York Times, the American diplomats’ symptoms included headaches, dizziness and hearing loss. The affected employees, who were not at the same place at the same time, suffered from what seemed like concussions. As a result of this incident, the U.S. flew a minimum of six people to the University of Miami’s hospital in 2017 for diagnosis and treatment of their unusual illness. One of the people examined at the university hospital purportedly had a blood disorder. According to one U.S. official, at least some suffered permanent hearing loss.

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[DIGEST: ABC, ScienceAlert, Payments, Independent, Government Technology]

In early August, the Wisconsin tech company Three Square Market hosted a chip party for its employees. This wasn’t about chips and dips, though. 50 employees — about half the company — agreed to have tiny microchips embedded in their hands in a group implantation event. The volunteers now have these superpowers: By waving their hand over a chip reader, they can purchase food and beverages in the company’s break room, unlock secured doors, and access computers.

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