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Controlling our internal world

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Olympic skaters can launch, perform multiple aerial turns, and land gracefully, anticipating imperfections and reacting quickly to correct course. To make such elegant movements, the brain must have an internal model of the body to control, predict, and make almost-instantaneous adjustments to motor commands. So-called “internal models” are a fundamental concept in engineering and have long been suggested to underlie control of movement by the brain, but what about processes that occur in the absence of movement, such as contemplation, anticipation, planning?

Using a novel combination of task design, data analysis, and modeling, MIT neuroscientist Mehrdad Jazayeri and colleagues now provide compelling evidence that the core elements of an internal model also control purely mental processes.

“During my thesis, I realized that I’m interested not so much in how our senses react to sensory inputs, but instead in how my internal model of the world helps me make sense of those inputs,” says Jazayeri, the Robert A. Swanson Career Development Professor of Life Sciences, a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the senior author of the study.

Indeed, understanding the building blocks exerting control of such mental processes could help to paint a better picture of disruptions in mental disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Internal models for mental processes

Scientists working on the motor system have long theorized that the brain overcomes noisy and slow signals using an accurate internal model of the body. This internal model serves three critical functions: it provides motor to control movement, simulates upcoming movement to overcome delays, and uses feedback to make real-time adjustments.

“The framework that we currently use to think about how the brain controls our actions is one that we have borrowed from robotics: We use controllers, simulators, and sensory measurements to control machines and train operators,” explains Reza Shadmehr, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who was not involved with the study. “That framework has largely influenced how we imagine our brain controlling our movements.”

Jazazyeri and colleagues wondered whether the same framework might explain the control principles governing mental states in the absence of any movement.

“When we’re simply sitting, thoughts and images run through our heads and, fundamental to intellect, we can control them,” explains lead author Seth Egger, a former postdoc in the Jazayeri lab who is now at Duke University. “We wanted to find out what’s happening between our ears when we are engaged in thinking.”

Imagine, for example, a sign language interpreter keeping up with a fast speaker. To track speech accurately, the translator continuously anticipates where the speech is going, rapidly adjusting when the actual words deviate from the prediction. The interpreter could be using an internal model to anticipate upcoming words, and use feedback to make adjustments on the fly.

1-2-3-Go

Hypothesizing about how the components of an internal model function in scenarios such as translation is one thing. Cleanly measuring and proving the existence of these elements is much more complicated, as the activity of the controller, simulator, and feedback are intertwined. To tackle this problem, Jazayeri and colleagues devised a clever task with primate models in which the controller, simulator, and feedback act at distinct times.

In this task, called “1-2-3-Go,” the animal sees three consecutive flashes (1, 2, and 3) that form a regular beat, and learns to make an eye movement (Go) when they anticipate the 4th flash should occur. During the task, researchers measured neural activity in a region of the frontal cortex they had previously linked to the timing of movement.

Jazayeri and colleagues had clear predictions about when the controller would act (between the third flash and “Go”) and when feedback would be engaged (with each flash of light). The key surprise came when researchers saw evidence for the simulator anticipating the third flash. This unexpected neural activity has dynamics that resemble the controller, but was not associated with a response. In other words, the researchers uncovered a covert plan that functions as the simulator, thus uncovering all three elements of an internal model for a mental process, the planning and anticipation of “Go” in the “1-2-3-Go” sequence.

“Jazayeri’s work is important because it demonstrates how to study mental simulation in animals,” explains Shadmehr, “and where in the brain that simulation is taking place.”

Having found how and where to measure an internal model in action, Jazayeri and colleagues now plan to ask whether these control strategies can explain how primates effortlessly generalize their knowledge from one behavioral context to another. For example, how does an interpreter rapidly adjust when someone with widely different speech habits takes the podium? This line of investigation promises to shed light on high-level mental capacities of the primate brain that simpler animals seem to lack, that go awry in mental disorders, and that designers of artificial intelligence systems so fondly seek.


Source: http://news.mit.edu/2019/controlling-our-internal-world-1016

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7 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Improving Healthcare

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Emerging technologies have the potential to completely reshape the healthcare industry and the way people manage their health. In fact, tech innovation in healthcare and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could provide more convenient, personalized care for patients.

It could also create substantially more value for the industry as a whole—up to $410 billion per year by 2025.

This graphic by RYAH MedTech explores the ways that technology, and more specifically AI, is transforming healthcare.

How is Technology Disrupting the Patient Experience?

Tech innovation is emerging across a wide range of medical applications.

Because of this, AI has the potential to impact every step of a patient’s journey—from early detection, to rehabilitation, and even follow-up appointments.

Here’s a look at each step in the patient journey, and how AI is expected to transform it:

1. Prevention

Wearables and apps track vast amounts of personal data, so in the future, AI could use that information to make health recommendations for patients. For example, AI could track the glucose levels of patients with diabetes to provide personalized, real-time health advice.

2. Early Detection

Devices like smartwatches, biosensors, and fitness trackers can monitor things like heart rate and respiratory patterns. Because of this, health apps could notify users of any abnormalities before conditions become critical.

Wearables could also have a huge impact on fall prevention among seniors. AI-enabled accelerometer bracelets and smart belts could detect early warning signs, such as low grip strength, hydration levels, and muscle mass.

3. Doctors Visits

A variety of smart devices have the potential to provide support for healthcare workers. For instance, voice technology could help transcribe clinical data, which would mean less administrative work for healthcare workers, giving them more time to focus on patient care.

Virtual assistants are expected to take off in the next decade. In fact, the healthcare virtual assistant market is projected to reach USD $2.8 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 27%.

4. Test Results

Traditionally, test results are analyzed manually, but AI has the potential to automate this process through pattern recognition. This would have a significant impact on infection testing.

5. Surgery / Hospital Visits

Research indicates that the use of robotics in surgery can save lives. In fact, one study found that robot assisted kidney surgeries saw a 52% increase in success rate.

Robotics can also support healthcare workers with repetitive tasks, such as restocking supplies, disinfecting patient rooms, and transporting medical equipment, which gives healthcare workers more time with their patients.

6. Rehabilitation

Personalized apps have significant care management potential. On the patient level, AI-enabled apps could be specifically tailored to individuals to track progress or adjust treatment plans based on real-time patient feedback.

On an industry level, data generated from users may have the potential to reduce costs on research and development, and improve the accuracy of clinical trials.

7. Follow-ups and Remote Monitoring

Virtual nurse apps can help patients stay accountable by consistently monitoring their own progress. This empowers patients by putting the control in their own hands.

This shift in power is already happening—for instance, a recent survey by Deloitte found that more than a third of respondents are willing to use at-home diagnostics, and more than half are comfortable telling their doctor when they disagree with them.

It’s All About the Experience

Through the use of wearables, smart devices, and personalized apps, patients are becoming increasingly more connected, and therefore less dependent on traditional healthcare.

However, as virtual care becomes more common, healthcare workers need to maintain a high quality of care. To do this, virtual training for physicians is critical, along with user-friendly platforms and intentionally designed apps to provide a seamless user experience.

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Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/7-ways-artificial-intelligence-is-improving-healthcare/

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The ‘Cyber Attacks’ Winter is Coming — straight for small firms in India Inc.

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Cyber intrusions and attacks have increased exponentially over the last decade approximately, exposing sensitive information pertaining to people and businesses, thus disrupting critical operations, and imposing huge liabilities on the economy. 

Cybersecurity is a responsibility that employees and leaders across functions must shoulder simply because it is the gospel truth – you cannot protect what you cannot see. As organizations have shifted to the work-from-home model due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s increasingly important to keep your company’s data secure. 

While the pandemic has led to near or complete digitalization of operations amongst financial institutions, it’s also increased the potential for cyberattacks that lead to adverse financial, reputational, and/or regulatory implications for organizations. 

According to Accenture, cybercrime is said to cost businesses $5.2 trillion worldwide within five years. “With 43% of online attacks now aimed at small businesses, a favorite target of high-tech villains, yet only 14% prepared to defend themselves, owners increasingly need to start making high-tech security a top priority,” the report continues.

A recent McAfee study shows global cybercrime costs crossed US$1 trillion dollars in 2020, up almost 50% from 2018.

India too saw an exponential rise in cybersecurity incidents amid the coronavirus pandemic. Information tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) showed that cybersecurity attacks saw a four-fold jump in 2018, and recorded an 89 percent growth in 2019.

The government has set up a Cyber Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks effectively, while also operating the Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre).

Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs) are some of the highest targeted market sectors. An analysis by Can we hyperlink this: https://www.fitchratings.com/videos/exploring-bank-cybersecurity-risk-13-04-2021?mkt_tok=NzMyLUNLSC03NjcAAAF82rxN_2lbDTsEp4tfBu4tUGP7i6wyb1OGpyNY0Z8lQPhdz9C7KQ-NIriTcJqNSDyb9qfQ_essxS-TdNWMgJesb-RA4yN4t7T-XqXmVfWW4dau36SW6ZE 

“>FitchRatings in collaboration with SecurityScorecard reveals that banks with higher credit ratings exhibited better cybersecurity scores than banks with lower credit ratings. 

Bharti Airtel’s chief executive officer for India, Gopal Vittal, in a letter to the telco’s 307.9 million subscribers, detailed out how Airtel is carrying out home delivery of SIM cards and cautioned subscribers from falling prey to cyber frauds. He cautioned them against the rapid rise in cyber frauds, highly likely via digital payments. “There has been a massive increase in cyber frauds. And as usual, fraudsters are always finding new ways to trick you,” he added in the letter. 

Barcelona-based Glovo, valued at over $1 billion, that delivers everything from food to household supplies to some 10 million users across 20 countries, came under attack recently when the “hacker gained access to a system on April 29 via an old administrator platform but was ejected as soon as the intrusion was detected”, according to the company.

The attack came less than a month after Glovo raised 450 million euros ($541 million) in funding. 

According to Kaspersky’s telemetry, close on the heels of coronavirus-led pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March 2020, saw a total number of meticulously planned attacks against remote desktop protocol (RDP) jumped from 93.1 million worldwide in February 2020 to 277.4 million 2020 in March — a whopping 197 percent increase. In India, the numbers went from 1.3 million in February 2020 to 3.3 million in March 2020. In July 2020, India recorded its highest number of cyberattacks at 4.5 million.

The recent data breach at the payment firm Mobikwik, affected 3.5 million users, exposing Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as addresses, phone numbers, Aadhaar card details, PAN card numbers, and so on. The company, however, still maintains that there was no such data breach. It was only after the Reserve Bank of India’s intervention that Mobikwik got a forensic audit conducted immediately by a CERT-IN empaneled auditor and submitted the report. 

Security experts have observed a 500% rise in the number of cyber attacks and security breaches and a 3 to 4 times rise in the number of phishing attacks from March until June 2020.

These attacks, however, are not just pertaining to the BFSI sector, but also the healthcare sector, and the education sector.

Image Source: BusinessStandard.com

What motivates hackers to target SMBs? 

Hackers essentially target SMBs because it’s a source of easy money. From inadequate cyber defenses to lower budgets and/or resources, smaller businesses often lack strong security policies, cybersecurity education programs, and more, making them soft targets. 

SMBs can also be a ‘gateway’ to larger organizations. As many SMBs are usually connected electronically to the IT systems of larger partner organizations, it becomes an inroad to the bigger organizations and their data. 

How can companies shield themselves from a potential cyberattack: 

As a response to the rising number of attacks in cyberspace, the Home Ministry of India issued an advisory with suggestions on the prevention of cyber thefts, especially for the large number of people working from home. Organizations and key decision-makers in a company can also create an effective cybersecurity strategy that’s flexible for adaptation in a changing climate too. Here are a few use cases: 

  • CERT-In conducted ‘Black Swan – Cyber Security Breach Tabletop Exercise’, in order to deal with cyber crisis and incidents emerging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from lowered security controls. 
  • To counter fraudulent behavior in the finance sector, the government is also considering setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team for the Financial Sector or CERT-Fin.
  • Several tech companies have come forth to address cybersecurity threats by building secure systems and software to mitigate issues like these in the foreseeable future. For example, IBM Security has collaborated with HCL Technologies to streamline threat management for clients through a modernized security operation center (SOC) platform called HCL’s Cybersecurity Fusion Centres. 

Some of the ways through which companies can mitigate potential risks include: 

  • Informing users of hacker tactics and possible attacks
  • Establish security rules, create policies, and an incident response plan to cover the entire gamut of their operations
  • Basic security measures such as regularly updating applications and systems
  • Following a two-factor authentication method for accounts and more

While these measures are some of the ways to be on top of your game in the cybersecurity space, they will also help in sound threat detection while helping gain better insights into attacks and prioritizing security alerts so that India is better prepared for an oncoming attack and battling any unforeseen circumstance that might result in huge loss of data, resources and more. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa Source: https://www.mantralabsglobal.com/blog/the-cyber-attacks-winter-is-coming-straight-for-small-firms-in-india-inc/

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Paris-based Shift Technology becomes the latest insurtech unicorn in France after raising €183.2 million

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Shift Technology, the French startup that has created a solution that enables its insurance clients to detect fraudulent claims, is now worth $1 billion after raising its fourth round of funding. The startup, which also operates in the UK and the US, will expand its team of data scientists, particularly in France.

The AI-based insuretech startup recently announced that it had raised $220 million or around €183.2 million in a series D from Advent International, Avenir Growth, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Iris Capital and Bpifrance. This latest funding should enable it to structure its R&D, while its offer has expanded since its foundation in 2013. Shift Technology initially focused on fraud detection, but the startup now intends to offer a tool capable of managing the entire chain. It also aims to continue its deployment in the UK and the US, strengthened by its recent unicorn status, whereby its valuation now exceeds one billion dollars.

Originally, the startup sought to facilitate the customer compensation process offered by insurers in the event of a claim – water damage, car accident, etc. Described as the number one fear of policyholders by Jeremy Jawish, CEO and co-founder of Shift Technology and, as such, a major issue for their clients. Once this brick was laid, during its first years of existence, the startup decided to go beyond declaration fraud by making its solution a decision-making aid for insurers. They now offer automated closure of claims files and detection of underwriting fraud. These complementary products are already in production with its customers, who are, to date, around one hundred in some 25 countries. This production was made possible thanks to the previous funding round of €53 million in March 2019.

Shift Technology says it has already analysed 2 billion claims on behalf of insurers since its inception. According to CEO Jeremy Jewish, they receive the data provided by insurers, as well as a number of public data about the claimant. Their algorithms read, among other things, the claim declaration before determining whether to file an appeal or carry out a check for money laundering. The Banque Postale has adopted its solution to accelerate the management of claims for its customers. So has the Axa group, which is also a user. For the latter, the aim is to “limit the manual actions that its employees have to carry out. And to satisfy its customers, Shift Technology is counting on its team of data scientists, which it claims to be “the largest in the insurance sector” and which will be further strengthened.

With 350 employees, the company says that recruitment will be the main focus of its investment strategy following its Series D. “We’re going to recruit a lot in France and a little in the US,” says Jérémy Jawish, who also wants to “approach the health insurance sub-sector more aggressively. Shift Technology says it wants to set up “the largest French centre dedicated to artificial intelligence in insurance” with 300 experts by 2023. With an underlying aim, the startup wants to show that “champions are being created in France”. CEO Jérémy Jawish adds that the COVID-19 crisis has had “a big impact” on its activities according, but has not slowed down the pace of its market openings. A pace that should remain fairly steady.

Shift Technology aims to become an international player in its market. To do this, the french company is counting on its ‘unique’ model based on a single vertical – insurance again and again. However, competition, especially in the US, is a key driver for them to stay on top of their game. As a reminder, this Series D round brings the total amount of funds raised by the company since 2013 to $320 million (nearly €267 million).

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/05/paris-based-shift-technology-becomes-the-latest-insurtech-unicorn-in-france-after-raising-e183-2-million/

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Paris-based Shift Technology becomes the latest insurtech unicorn in France after raising €183.2 million

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Published

on

shift_technology

Shift Technology, the French startup that has created a solution that enables its insurance clients to detect fraudulent claims, is now worth $1 billion after raising its fourth round of funding. The startup, which also operates in the UK and the US, will expand its team of data scientists, particularly in France.

The AI-based insuretech startup recently announced that it had raised $220 million or around €183.2 million in a series D from Advent International, Avenir Growth, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Iris Capital and Bpifrance. This latest funding should enable it to structure its R&D, while its offer has expanded since its foundation in 2013. Shift Technology initially focused on fraud detection, but the startup now intends to offer a tool capable of managing the entire chain. It also aims to continue its deployment in the UK and the US, strengthened by its recent unicorn status, whereby its valuation now exceeds one billion dollars.

Originally, the startup sought to facilitate the customer compensation process offered by insurers in the event of a claim – water damage, car accident, etc. Described as the number one fear of policyholders by Jeremy Jawish, CEO and co-founder of Shift Technology and, as such, a major issue for their clients. Once this brick was laid, during its first years of existence, the startup decided to go beyond declaration fraud by making its solution a decision-making aid for insurers. They now offer automated closure of claims files and detection of underwriting fraud. These complementary products are already in production with its customers, who are, to date, around one hundred in some 25 countries. This production was made possible thanks to the previous funding round of €53 million in March 2019.

Shift Technology says it has already analysed 2 billion claims on behalf of insurers since its inception. According to CEO Jeremy Jewish, they receive the data provided by insurers, as well as a number of public data about the claimant. Their algorithms read, among other things, the claim declaration before determining whether to file an appeal or carry out a check for money laundering. The Banque Postale has adopted its solution to accelerate the management of claims for its customers. So has the Axa group, which is also a user. For the latter, the aim is to “limit the manual actions that its employees have to carry out. And to satisfy its customers, Shift Technology is counting on its team of data scientists, which it claims to be “the largest in the insurance sector” and which will be further strengthened.

With 350 employees, the company says that recruitment will be the main focus of its investment strategy following its Series D. “We’re going to recruit a lot in France and a little in the US,” says Jérémy Jawish, who also wants to “approach the health insurance sub-sector more aggressively. Shift Technology says it wants to set up “the largest French centre dedicated to artificial intelligence in insurance” with 300 experts by 2023. With an underlying aim, the startup wants to show that “champions are being created in France”. CEO Jérémy Jawish adds that the COVID-19 crisis has had “a big impact” on its activities according, but has not slowed down the pace of its market openings. A pace that should remain fairly steady.

Shift Technology aims to become an international player in its market. To do this, the french company is counting on its ‘unique’ model based on a single vertical – insurance again and again. However, competition, especially in the US, is a key driver for them to stay on top of their game. As a reminder, this Series D round brings the total amount of funds raised by the company since 2013 to $320 million (nearly €267 million).

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/05/paris-based-shift-technology-becomes-the-latest-insurtech-unicorn-in-france-after-raising-e183-2-million/

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