Sydney Uni taps AI for new COVID chatbot

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The University of Sydney has developed a chatbot utilising artificial intelligence (AI) to help it handle the raft of COVID-19-related student inquires it’s fielding as a result of the pandemic, which has seen classes move online, facilities closed and students unable to attend university.

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How open-source medicine could prepare us for the next pandemic

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The old drug discovery system was built to benefit shareholders, not patients. But a new, Linux-like platform could transform the way medicine is developed—and energize the race against COVID-19. At the end of March, I was supposed to attend a dinner party where the core topic of discussion was how online collaboration could tackle diseases that are traditionally ignored by Big Pharma. Instead of wine and good food, experts from the National Institutes of Health, Harvard University, Takeda Pharmaceutical, and I were forced to settle in at our home offices and dial into Zoom. In some ways, it was the perfect format to discuss how open-source tools could help find new cures. Read Full Story

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This project is bringing high-speed internet to the developing world via beams of infrared light

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The latest invention from Alphabet’s moonshot factory are giant towers that use light to send data, like a fiber-optic cable without the cable. The world is still a long way from universal connectivity: More than 3 billion people don’t have access to the internet. In remote areas, and especially in rough terrain, one challenge is the cost of infrastructure—laying out a network of fiber-optic cables is difficult and expensive. X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, is testing a new approach in India and Africa using invisible beams of light to send data over long distances without cables. Read Full Story

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I’ve been teaching leadership virtually for 8 years. Here’s why it’s so effective

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The coronavirus has put in-person leadership training on hold, but the move to all-digital sessions may actually be better—if done right. Across the board, in-person leadership development events at organizations and universities are being cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis. For many people on both sides—giving and receiving training—these communal sessions were the preferred way to get to the next level. For the rest of the year, at least, at-home digital courses will have to suffice. I suspect that once people learn how to leverage the digital world for learning, they won’t want to go back to how it was. Read Full Story

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Hospitals are starting to deploy their own coronavirus tests

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With coronavirus tests in short supply and high demand, Johns Hopkins University has launched a homegrown test. Additional labs hope to have them soon. On Friday, Johns Hopkins University announced it had successfully developed a test for COVID-19. The health system says it is currently able to process 50 tests per day. It plans to handle 180 a day by Monday, and hopes to ramp up to 1,000 a day over the next three weeks. Read Full Story

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Time to book the Rihanna suite? Universal Music Group announces a new luxury hotel chain called UMUSIC Hotels

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The first three locations for the music-focused hotel partnership with Dakia Global are Atlanta, Orlando, and Biloxi, Mississippi. Universal Music Group and investment holding company Dakia Global Enterprise made a rather brief announcement in August of a partnership to develop what they called “a new music-focused experiential hospitality category.” They promised more details at a later date. Read Full Story

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