MIT News: Innovative face masks and medical-grade gowns to combat Covid-19 and future pandemics

MIT News: Innovative face masks and medical-grade gowns to combat Covid-19 and future pandemics. “The Pandemic Response CoLab is a joint project by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, and founding member MilliporeSigma, the life science business of Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. The Pandemic Response CoLab is an open, online collaboration platform that invites anyone, from individuals to groups, from communities to businesses, to develop actionable solutions for challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Register: Just cough into your phone, please… MIT lab thinks it can diagnose COVID-19 from the way you expectorate

The Register: Just cough into your phone, please… MIT lab thinks it can diagnose COVID-19 from the way you expectorate. “Academics claim their AI software can detect, with 98.5 per cent accuracy, whether or not someone has caught the COVID-19 coronavirus, just from the sound of their coughing. To build this software, the MIT team used three ResNet50 models, a popular convolutional neural network designed by Microsoft. They’re normally used to process images for computer vision, though in this case they’re analyzing audio.”

MIT News: MIT begins testing wastewater to help detect Covid-19 on campus

MIT News: MIT begins testing wastewater to help detect Covid-19 on campus. “The project is designed to determine if wastewater testing can be an effective early warning system for Covid-19 outbreaks on campus, and is being evaluated as a complementary tool in the Institute’s response to the pandemic, along with clinical testing, contact tracing, and other measures.”

MIT News: Revamped MIT Climate Portal aims to inform and empower the public

MIT News: Revamped MIT Climate Portal aims to inform and empower the public. “Stepping up its ongoing efforts to inform and empower the public on the issue of climate change, MIT today announced a dramatic overhaul of the MIT Climate Portal, climate.mit.edu, which provides timely, science-based information about the causes and consequences of climate change — and what can be done to address it.”

MIT News: New website features podcasts from around MIT

MIT News: New website features podcasts from around MIT. “The Office of Open Learning has created MIT Podcasts, an app that gathers all of MIT’s podcasts onto one page, with a list of new episodes updated daily. With some 30 podcasts from over a dozen departments, initiatives, offices, and clubs, the content represents a wide range of interests and expertise from across the MIT community.”

MIT News: Tackling the misinformation epidemic with “In Event of Moon Disaster”

MIT News: Tackling the misinformation epidemic with “In Event of Moon Disaster”. “This provocative website showcases a ‘complete’ deepfake (manipulated audio and video) of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon delivering the real contingency speech written in 1969 for a scenario in which the Apollo 11 crew were unable to return from the moon. The team worked with a voice actor and a company called Respeecher to produce the synthetic speech using deep learning techniques. They also worked with the company Canny AI to use video dialogue replacement techniques to study and replicate the movement of Nixon’s mouth and lips. Through these sophisticated AI and machine learning technologies, the seven-minute film shows how thoroughly convincing deepfakes can be.”

The Harvard Crimson: Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Authorities Over Rule Barring International Students from Online-Only Universities

The Harvard Crimson: Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Authorities Over Rule Barring International Students from Online-Only Universities. “Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit in District Court in Boston Wednesday morning against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to University President Lawrence S. Bacow. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar DHS and ICE from enforcing federal guidelines barring international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from staying in the United States.”

The Register: MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

The Register: MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs. “The training set, built by the university, has been used to teach machine-learning models to automatically identify and list the people and objects depicted in still images. For example, if you show one of these systems a photo of a park, it might tell you about the children, adults, pets, picnic spreads, grass, and trees present in the snap. Thanks to MIT’s cavalier approach when assembling its training set, though, these systems may also label women as whores or bitches, and Black and Asian people with derogatory language. The database also contained close-up pictures of female genitalia labeled with the C-word.”

MIT News: A Ticketmaster for science seminars

MIT News: A Ticketmaster for science seminars . “The Covid-19 pandemic has put a pause on seminars hosted physically on university campuses. But in mid-March, a small team of MIT mathematicians began to notice that institutions around the world were finding ways to continue hosting seminars, online. To virtually attend these talks, however, required hearing about them through word of mouth or digging through the webpages of individual departments or organizers. Enter researchseminars.org, a website the MIT team formally launched this week, that serves as a sort of crowdsourced Ticketmaster for science talks. Instead of featuring upcoming shows and concerts, the new site lists more than 1,000 free, upcoming seminars hosted online by more than 115 institutions around the world.”

MIT News: Reporting tool aims to balance hospitals’ Covid-19 load

MIT News: Reporting tool aims to balance hospitals’ Covid-19 load. “A group of researchers in MIT’s Computer Science and Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), working with the MIT spinoff Mobi Systems, are aiming to help level demand across the entire health care network by providing real-time updates of hospital resources, which they hope will help patients, EMTs, and physicians quickly decide which facility is best equipped to handle a new patient at any given time. The team has developed a web app which is now publicly accessible at: https://Covid19hospitalstatus.com. The interface allows users such as patients, nurses, and doctors to report a hospital’s current status in a number of metrics, from the average wait time (something that a patient may get a sense for as they spend time in a waiting room), to the number of ventilators and ICU beds, which doctors and nurses may be able to approximate.”

MIT News: Students and teachers rely on MIT teaching and learning resources now more than ever

MIT News: Students and teachers rely on MIT teaching and learning resources now more than ever. “In response to physical distancing set into motion to address the Covid-19 pandemic, MIT Open Learning has created a number of new platforms for higher education students and faculty, as well as for teachers, parents, and K-12 students, while continuing to offer its existing online education resources and courseware.”

PR Newswire: MIT Sloan models track COVID-19 spread in communities and predict patient outcomes (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: MIT Sloan models track COVID-19 spread in communities and predict patient outcomes (PRESS RELEASE). “The COVID-19 pandemic is raising critical questions regarding the dynamics of the disease, its risk factors, and the best approach to address it in healthcare systems. MIT Sloan School of Management Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas and nearly two dozen doctoral students are using machine learning and optimization to find answers. Their effort is summarized in the COVIDanalytics platform where their models are generating accurate real-time insight into the pandemic. The group is focusing on four main directions; predicting disease progression, optimizing resource allocation, uncovering clinically important insights, and assisting in the development of COVID-19 testing.”

CNET: MIT’s new face-shield design could help hospitals with PPE shortages

CNET: MIT’s new face-shield design could help hospitals with PPE shortages. “Martin Culpepper, an MIT engineering professor, led a team to design a new type of shield cut with lasers that’s foldable so it can be stacked in mass quantities and shipped in boxes by the thousands.”

Learning about artificial intelligence: A hub of MIT resources for K-12 students (MIT News)

MIT News: Learning about artificial intelligence: A hub of MIT resources for K-12 students. “In light of the recent events surrounding Covid-19, learning for grades K-12 looks very different than it did a month ago. Parents and educators may be feeling overwhelmed about turning their homes into classrooms. With that in mind, a team led by Media Lab Associate Professor Cynthia Breazeal has launched aieducation.mit.edu to share a variety of online activities for K-12 students to learn about artificial intelligence, with a focus on how to design and use it responsibly.”