Informatics & Technology

Cooperation with autonomous machines through culture and emotion

People tend to be less cooperative with machines than with humans. Dr Celso de Melo, a computer scientist with the US Army Research Laboratory, and Dr Kazunori Terada, an Associate Professor at Gifu University, Japan, demonstrate how incorporating simple cultural and emotional cues, such as virtual faces showing positive or negative emotion, can help mitigate unfavourable bias toward machines and […]

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Informatics & Technology

We need to fix how we think about ergonomics

Ergonomics is a crucial but misunderstood aspect of workplace safety. Companies generally approach ergonomics aiming for legal compliance, but Anca Mocan thinks we need a different approach. Ergonomics can be as basic as workplace training and as complex as robotic automation. Mocan has created a grading system for understanding ergonomic solutions, to keep managers better informed, so that they can improve […]

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Informatics & Technology

The future of product creation is open and community-based

Professor Roland Jochem from the Technische Universität Berlin is coordinating the European research and innovation project OPENNEXT, a project that is enabling small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe to engage in communities with consumers and makers, in order to fundamentally change how products are designed, produced, and distributed. Product creation is inaccessible to most people, but open source […]

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Informatics & Technology

Cradle-to-Cradle principles change how products are designed

Industry from the very beginning has treated natural resources as essentially infinite, and the world’s capacity to accommodate waste with the same regard. As the economy becomes global, we now understand this is not true – so the way we make products also should change. EPEA Switzerland has developed ‘Reference Model Cradle-to-Cradle Design Innovations’. Their reference model works for every product […]

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Informatics & Technology

Information aggregation in Arrow-Debreu markets: An experiment

Can market prices fully disclose the true state of the world when traders have identical or homogeneous partial private information? Lawrence Choo, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and research fellow at the University of Haifa, Todd R Kaplan, Professor of Economics at the University of Exeter Business School and Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at […]

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Informatics & Technology

Using WebGIS for disaster management: An insight into the work of a defence scientist

The research of Dr Abdalla of Sultan Qaboos University explores the use of WebGIS systems for integrating remote sensing data along with other geospatial data, to investigate environmental conditions in selected coastal regions in the Sultanate of Oman. In this way, he is creating technologies that help mitigate natural disasters through assessing potential scenarios that may occur should a disaster […]

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Informatics & Technology

Quantifying layered patterns in nature, medicine, and materials

The morphology of layered anisotropic systems plays a crucial part in the development of new materials as well as in medical, forensic and biomimetic research. The ability to quantitatively describe these morphologies is required for solving scientific and engineering problems. Dr Igor Smolyar, from the National Centers for Environment Information/NOAA, Professor Tim Bromage, from New York University and Professor Dr […]

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Informatics & Technology

More and better crops: Beyond the science and access to technology

With hunger still a global problem, solutions to achieve food security are more important than ever. Plant breeding for crop improvement remains one of the answers, but the sector faces many issues that don’t involve scientific innovations within breeding itself. Processes and mindsets need to be changed in order to maximise efficiency within the sector, and some organisations are doing […]

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Informatics & Technology

Protein structure prediction with machine learning

Shuichiro Makigaki and Dr Takashi Ishida, from the Department of Computer Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology, are developing a new sequence alignment generation model that employs machine learning and dynamic programming to predict protein structures. This novel methodology can also be applied to homology detection which is fundamental to bioinformatics. A protein’s function is dictated by its three-dimensional structure. If the structure is […]

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Informatics & Technology

Crisis management: Using Artificial Intelligence to help save lives

Climate change, and humanitarian issues such as the movement of refugees can create challenges for crisis management and emergency response, particularly in developing countries. Dr Mayank Kejriwal, based at the University of Southern California is passionate about applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to social problems. He is working with colleagues to develop tools that extract critical data sent via social media […]

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