MIT AI tool can predict breast cancer up to 5 years early, works equally well for white and black patients

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MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has developed a new deep learning-based AI prediction model that can anticipate the development of breast cancer up to five years in advance. Researchers working on the product also recognized that other similar projects have often had inherent bias because they were based overwhelmingly on white patient populations, and specifically designed their own model so that it is informed by “more equitable” data that ensures it’s “equally accurate for white and black women.”

That’s key, MIT notes in a blog post, because black women are more than 42 percent more likely than white women to die from breast cancer, and one contributing factor could be that they aren’t as well-served by current early detection techniques. MIT says that its work in developing this technique was aimed specifically at making the assessment of health risks of this nature more accurate for minorities, who are often not well represented in development of deep learning models. The issue of algorithmic bias is a focus of a lot of industry research and even newer products forthcoming from technology companies working on deploying AI in the field.

This MIT tool, which is trained on mammograms and patient outcomes (eventual development of cancer being the key one) from over 60,000 patients (with over 90,000 mammograms total) from the Massachusetts General Hospital, starts from the data and uses deep learning to identify patters that would not be apparent or even observable by human clinicians. Because it’s not based on existing assumptions or received knowledge about risk factors, which are at best a suggestive framework, the results have so far shown to be far more accurate, especially at predictive, pre-diagnosis discovery.

Overall, the project is intended to help healthcare professionals put together the right screening program for individuals in their care and eliminate the heartbreaking and all-too common outcome of late diagnosis. MIT hopes the technique can also be used to improve detection of other diseases that have similar problems with existing risk models with far too many gaps and lower degrees of accuracy.

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This Dominican Chimi Casserole Is a Hungover Person’s Dream

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Will It Casserole?The column where we take your delicious concepts and re-imagine them as casserole creations  

I grew up like most other Dominicans I knew—with a large, social family that was never short on excuses for gatherings and last-minute visits. In my house, there was no such thing as cooking too much food, as it meant there would be leftovers for anyone who decided to drop by later that day. Or the day after. Or the day after that.

But the chimichurri burger—which shares a name with the Argentinian oil-based condiment, but nothing else—isn’t something you’ll find in a Dominican kitchen. Also known as “chimi,” the burgers are sold at street stands throughout the Dominican Republic and in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods throughout New York City, where chimi trucks light up the late-night streets with their neon signage. It’s the perfect grab-and-go food option for clubgoers looking for a portable meal that’s heavy enough to lessen the effects of the night’s bad decisions.

The chimi also makes for a great casserole, whether you’re looking for a party dish to help soak up the liquor, or a cure for the next morning’s hangover. The burger version consists of a juicy ground pork or beef patty, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, and onions, all swimming in a special sauce between two slices of pan de agua (water bread), but we’ll be adding cheese to help keep the casserole together, and toasting and chopping the bread to mix with the meat.

The recipe’s simplicity leaves room for multitasking, so feel free to grab a Presidente, because the only thing more Dominican than drinking a beer with your chimi is turning a chimi into a casserole. To make this yourself, you will need:

For you:
1 Presidente (Dominican beer)

For the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayo
2 tsp Tabasco sauce

For the meat:
1 lb. ground beef
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 loaf of pan de agua or any other loaf of white bread (e.g., Italian)
1 whole tomato
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups shredded white cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded cheese

Consuming a chimi burger traditionally commands that the person eating is inebriated, so taking sips of Presidente—often referred to as “agua Dominicana” for both the ease and quantity in which Dominicans consume it—is an integral part of the recipe. First, mix the ketchup, mayo and Tabasco sauce in a bowl. This is the special sauce. The mix should result in a light pink color, but feel free to add a little extra ketchup, mayo or hot sauce to your liking. Every chimi vendor adds their own secret ingredient to their special sauce—from soy sauce to orange juice—but this the base.

Season the meat with garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Pound the meat into a large, thin patty, and place on a griddle over medium heat. The meat should cook for about seven minutes on one side and four minutes on the second, until it’s nicely seared and brown. Don’t worry about it overcooking the meat; the special sauce will be providing most of the flavor and moisture.

While the meat is cooking, slice the bread and butter it evenly. Chimis are traditionally made with pan de agua (water bread), but if you can’t get your hands on it, any loaf of white bread will do (e.g., Italian bread). Toast the bread in an oven at 350℉ for about five minutes, until a light, golden brown. Avoid over-toasting the bread since it will be going back in the oven. If timed correctly, you should be halfway through your second beer as the bread is done toasting. Once ready, cut the bread into cubes.

Next, break up the meat into small chunks using a spatula, and pour into a bowl along with the bread. You should have a roughly one-to-one meat-to-bread ratio. Pour about one third of the special sauce into the bowl and mix everything around until the bread and meat are evenly coated. Add the shredded cheese and mix again. Traditionally, a chimi doesn’t include cheese, but it’s also not usually a casserole, so I think we can give ourselves some leeway. Pour the bowl into a casserole dish greased with butter and place it in the oven for about five minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Take the dish out of the oven and layer the tomato and onion mix on top. Next, pour the shredded cabbage and carrot, and drizzle the remainder of the special sauce to your liking. Should you start feeling generous when pouring the special sauce, remember that there’s no such thing as too much.

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You should cover your selfie cam, too

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Take a look at your smartphone. Perhaps you’re reading this story on it, and the device is planted firmly in your hands. Maybe you’re on your laptop, and your phone is resting face up on your desk. Now, focus your attention on the phone’s selfie camera. Try to imagine what’s in its field of view. 

Unless your phone’s forward-facing camera has a cover on it, you may not be the only one with that picture in their mind — or on their computer screen. Unless, that is, you have a selfie-cam cover.

It wasn’t long ago that the idea of covering a laptop webcam was considered “paranoid,” as if to suggest that only the tinfoil-hat wearing would think such a measure necessary. That consensus began to shift, in part, when Mark Zuckerberg accidentally revealed that even the King of Sharing had tape obscuring the view from his laptop’s camera. 

There are real reasons to believe that hackers — both state actors and otherwise — gain access to innocent people’s computer webcams. Just ask security researcher Patrick Wardle, whose work helped uncover a 13-year-old strain of Mac malware that was developed seemingly to spy on regular people through their webcams. 

“[A] hacker built this to spy on users for probably perverse reasons,” Wardle explained to Mashable in 2017. 

So why should the selfie camera be different? Sure, it’s on a mobile device which runs on a completely different operating system than a computer, but as the disastrous iOS FaceTime bug demonstrated earlier this year even privacy-focused Apple makes mistakes. Hackers love mistakes. 

For those who don’t recall, in that aforementioned FaceTime screwup a teenager discovered that it was possible both to listen to and watch people through their iPhones — even if they had not accepted an incoming FaceTime call. 

Pretty unnerving stuff. 

Danny O’Brien, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s director of strategy, told Mashable that while the bigger issue is that people should be able to physically disable the camera’s on their devices, putting stickers on selfie cameras serves as a Band-Aid. 

“The sticker shows that there’s a problem that people are trying to solve, and it’s also an indicator of what people are worried about,” he explained over email. “There’s a particular vulnerability to
being watched, and some of the most targeted of groups, including women, are targeted expressly to get images of them.”

Of course, people like to use their selfie cameras, so knocking them out completely Edward Snowden style isn’t on most phone owners’ list of options. A sticker, on the other hand, is an easy compromise. The sticky part of a Post-it Note works great, and you can remove it with practically zero residue when you need access to that front-facing camera.

Notably, if you’re frequently taking the sticker off and putting it back on, you’ll probably need to replace it with a new one once a week. However, as you’re only using enough of the Post-it to cover the camera, a single Note will go a long way. 

And yes, (at least in this case) I practice what I preach. This writer has used the Post-it Note technique for a few years, and it works wonders. While every now and then I get some weird looks from strangers or friends when they see that I cover my selfie camera, just like with laptop webcam covers it’s likely they’ll all be doing the same before too long. 

Or, at least, they probably should. 

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Oppo’s under-display camera is now official, here’s how it works

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A recent teaser showing an Oppo phone with the front camera completely hidden under the display piqued our interest: Could the Chinese company be the first to launch a smartphone that’s all screen on the front, without any clumsy solutions such as notches or pop-up cameras?

Now, at MWC Shanghai, Oppo has officially unveiled its under-display camera tech, and while it certainly looks interesting, some questions remain. 

Oppo calls the technology USC (short for Under-Screen Camera), and claims it’s a “customized camera module that captures more light while leveraging optimized algorithms and AI learning to improve camera performance.” 

No notches, no pop-up cameras.

No notches, no pop-up cameras.

In hardware terms, Oppo uses a “highly-transparent” material for the display, claiming it strikes the balance between the display operating normally and allowing the light to pass through the screen. Oppo says the camera module itself has a “larger” aperture and sensor, as well as greater pixel size, though it’s unclear what the camera’s being compared with. 

Oppo also uses “zoning control” on the screen, controlling the pixels in the area above the camera; together these technologies allow sufficient light to pass through the screen that the under-display camera can work in typical usage scenarios, including taking selfies, face unlocking tech and video calls. 

Oppo says its USC camera is "approaching" the quality of selfie cameras seen on mainstream phones.

Oppo says its USC camera is “approaching” the quality of selfie cameras seen on mainstream phones.

Put all this together, and you get a selfie camera that — according to Oppo — “approaches” the quality seen on mainstream smartphones. We’ll read that as “not quite ready for production yet,” and indeed, Oppo doesn’t say when we’ll see the USC camera in a phone that’s actually being sold in stores. 

Still, the USC camera is an interesting development and one step forward towards a totally notch-less phone. Oppo’s launched a few innovative solutions for smartphones before, and while it typically took a while for them to reach the market, the company largely delivered on its promises. 

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The Samsung Galaxy Stick smartphone has a rolling display like LG’s TV!

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Now while this isn’t an official Samsung concept, I can’t help but really wish it was one! Combining technologies that aren’t outside the realm of possibility, the Samsung Galaxy Stick makes perhaps the best use of a flexible display. It rolls it up into a smart, dynamic scroll, making the Samsung Galaxy Stick perhaps the most interesting smartphone concept of 2019.

The scroll-esque screen is a hat-tip to Samsung’s advancements in flexible OLED displays, and when not in use, it rolls right up into the phone’s slim, hollow, wand-like body. When you need the display, it promptly comes rolling out, turning the wand into a usable smartphone, with a nifty flexible touchscreen that maintains rigidity when unfolded. The Galaxy Stick even packs a secondary slimmer display on its body, to be used for more functional elements like calls, messages, battery indicators, etc. The secondary touchscreen is permanent, showcasing notifications when the flexible screen is rolled in, and even houses an in-screen fingerprint sensor for unlocking your smartphone.

The only caveat of this piece of sheer innovative design is the fact that the Galaxy Stick packs only one primary camera on its back… a drawback that shouldn’t really be a problem, considering the Galaxy Stick sets out to solve more pressing problems, like creating a flexible-display smartphone that doesn’t crease, and that isn’t a massive brick. The rolling display format could make a pretty unique proof-of-concept. Obviously, this makes the phone incredibly vulnerable, given that the screen needs to be mounted on a delicate mechanism that helps it roll and unroll (not to mention the fact that three out of four sides of the Galaxy Stick, when opened, are an exposed OLED display with no protection). The second-most pressing problem is obviously that a smaller, more compact phone invariably means a smaller battery too, which in the case of the Galaxy Stick, isn’t enough. While phones are getting more and more powerful, batteries aren’t getting better, they’re just getting bigger… Until someone invents a more efficient and compact battery, the Galaxy Stick may remain just a concept, but don’t lose hope! Today’s concept is tomorrow’s proof-of-concept!

Designer: Pranab P Kumar

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A new study from Princeton reveals how shopping websites use ‘dark patterns’ to trick you into buying things you didn’t actually want

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black friday shopping

  • A new study from Princeton revealed that many online shopping sites use so-called "dark patterns" — manipulative design techniques intended to coerce customers into buying, even if it’s something they don’t actually want or need.
  • Researchers investigated over 10,000 sites, and found more than 1,200 e-commerce websites that manipulate customers by using fake customer testimonials, shaming customers who try to leave, and running a meaningless countdown clock.
  • Dark patterns are nothing new: Some iPhone apps have employed similar techniques to trick users into paying for subscriptions, and even Facebook has been accused of using dark patterns to get people to share data. 
  • Today, Senators Mark Warner and  held a hearing to discuss legislation that would ban the use of these dark patterns in websites with over 100 million monthly users. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Researchers at Princeton released a new study on how many online shopping sites use coercive so-called "dark pattern" techniques to trick people into spending more money.

"This is manipulating users into making decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make and buying stuff they don’t need," Gunes Acar, a research associate at Princeton who helped run the study, told Business Insider. "Showing a timer and saying you only have 5 minutes left — there’s a sense of urgency that’s questionable at best."

Acar and his team created a tool that crawled over 10,000 e-commerce sites. Ultimately, they found that more than 1,200 use "dark pattern" techniques to coerce customers into buying items or spending more time on their sites.

"This is definitely a lower limit," Acar added, since the tool focused more on text (like having the "cancel order" option say something like "no thanks, I don’t like delicious food," on a delivery website, for example) and less on manipulative design.

In all, the study identified 15 ways that shopping websites manipulate and coerce customers, by making it difficult to cancel a purchase, shaming customers when they try to leave, and authoring fake testimonials, for example. 

Many e-commerce sites work with third-party vendors to implement more manipulative designs. The study identified 22 of these vendors, noting two of them openly advertise their techniques.

The New York Times tried to replicate some of the study’s results, and found that certain websites even went as far as to show that an apparently fake customer is actively buying the items you’re looking at. 

"’On one day this month…’Abigail from Albuquerque’ appeared to buy more than two dozen items, including dresses in sizes 2, 4, 6 and 8," the Times wrote. Unfortunately, Abigail doesn’t seem to exist, the Times reported — she was apparently made up to create social pressure, and reassure customers that a real person had also bought this item.

The concept of a dark pattern isn’t unique to shopping, either: Scammers have taken advantage of similar techniques to trick people into purchasing iPhone app subscriptions, and even Facebook has been accused of using dark patterns to entice users into sharing contact information for their friends and family.

The Princeton study didn’t focus on whether or not these techniques are working, but legislation introduced by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) indicates that the concept is being taken seriously on Capitol Hill. 

On Tuesday morning, the senators held a hearing to discuss the Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act, which would ban the use of these techniques on websites with over 100 million monthly users. 

"These not only undermine the choices that are available to you on these platforms, but they also cost you money," said Katie McInnis, policy counsel at Consumer Reports, speaking at the hearing.

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This 26-year-old stared down financial ruin to raise $340 million for his delivery app that’s now beating Uber and Deliveroo in huge markets

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Oscar Pierre Gl ovo

  • Oscar Pierre is the cofounder and CEO of Glovo, a Barcelona-based delivery app with a presence in 178 cities across 23 countries.
  • As well as food delivery, the app provides various other courier services, such as pharmacy and grocery, and is known as the "anything" delivery app.
  • Since setting up Glovo in 2015, Pierre has helped the company raise $340 million, including a $170 million Lakestar-led funding round in April.
  • The 26-year-old spoke to Business Insider about the challenges he had to overcome as a young CEO in Spain, his business inspirations, and his long-term goals for Glovo.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Oscar Pierre is no ordinary 26-year-old.

To put things into perspective, Jeff Bezos – one of Pierre’s biggest inspirations – was still four years away from founding Amazon when he was the same age.

By contrast, Glovo CEO Pierre has already raised $340 million for his delivery app, which is available in 178 cities, across 23 countries. As well as operating in established markets in western Europe and Latin America, Barcelona-based Glovo has also entered emerging delivery markets in eastern Europe and west Africa.

Essentially, Glovo aims to deliver anything a city-dweller might need or want, much like the US firm Postmates. This includes food (which Pierre says represents about two-thirds of Glovo’s business), pharmaceuticals, groceries, and smartphone accessories. It means Glovo is in direct competition with firms like Uber and Amazon’s Deliveroo.

‘The idea of everything in your city being delivered – I just found it very cool’

After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2012, Pierre worked as an aerodynamics engineer in Toulouse, but eventually decided to start afresh, cofounding Glovo in early 2015 with fellow Spanish tech entrepreneur Sacha Michaud.

"I was finishing my degree in the US, and went to San Francisco for the weekend, where I saw the concept of Postmates," Pierre tells Business Insider. "The idea of everything in your city being delivered – I just found it very cool. Postmates was my inspiration."

Sacha Michaud and Oscar Pierre, co founders of delivery app Glovo

A natural entrepreneur, Pierre had already founded two online companies while studying: Zikkomo.com, a donations platform sponsoring 30 children in Malawi, and LoveItLocal.es, a website aimed at boosting local craft businesses. But Glovo was a different beast altogether.

"We started with a very broad proposition, which was basically: we’ll get you anything you want from your city," he recalls. "What we realised after two years was that, in order to build a very big company, we had to have a very good food delivery category. Food delivery was our biggest focus for some time."

Staring down financial ruin 

Today, Glovo partners with giant multinationals like McDonald’s and family-run businesses who can monetise the Glovo platform. Its revenue stood at €81 million ($92 million) in 2018, which was up 350% from €18 million in the year before. But, as recently as 2017, Glovo was staring into the abyss.

"We were famous in Spain for a while as the startup with the most [rejections] from VCs in Europe," Pierre says. "For our Series B round, we pitched to 118 funds, and all of them said ‘no.’ We very close to going bankrupt, maybe a month away," he explains.

"All our competitors were huge. Two years ago, there was no way to convince investors that we’d really be competing face-to-face with Uber Eats or Deliveroo. There was very little conviction about food delivery back then.

Read more: Amazon’s new $2 billion startup Deliveroo wants to reduce cooking to being ‘purely a hobby’ over the next decade

"Being from Barcelona was always very tough because when you only operate in Spain, you don’t have access to the VCs in London or in France. The Spanish ecosystem of VCs is very small and very risk-averse."

Hiroshi Mikitani Rakuten Amazon Japan 4

Yet, ironically, it was a company with a famous connection to Barcelona that came to Glovo’s aid. "One day, Rakuten came out of the blue and decided to invest in us," recalls Pierre.

The Japanese e-commerce giant has served as shirt sponsor of FC Barcelona, the city’s world-renowned soccer club since 2016. Were Glovo’s Barcelona roots what caught Rakuten’s eye?

"[Rakuten’s] big in Barcelona," jokes Pierre. "But, seriously, they had already invested in mobility a lot; in competitors to Uber; and they wanted to invest in delivery as well. So they picked us."

Two other funding rounds have followed, the latest of which, a €150 million ($170 million) raise led by early Spotify investor Lakestar in April, took its total funding to $340 million. And those delivery rivals that once attracted all the funding at Glovo’s expense? Well, the startup is beating them in certain markets.

Glovo is winning the war with Uber and Deliveroo in some markets

jeff bezos

"We’ve learned a lot from direct competitors," he says. "For example, when we didn’t know how to do food delivery, Deliveroo was already [present] in Spain, and Deliveroo are very good operators.

"Eventually, we ended up beating them in both Italy and Spain. We’ve always had a mentality of learning from competitors as opposed to trashing them."

"Amazon is the big [influence] for me," he adds. "In terms of how they were able to start out with something so specific; how they’ve locked their users into something a lot bigger; how they still have a startup mentality after 25 years. It’s crazy."

In a twist of fate, Glovo is now in direct competition with the company he admires after Amazon led a $575 million investment in Deliveroo last month — a deal that could see Amazon take a bigger step into the delivery market.

FILE PHOTO: A food delivery cyclist carries a Deliveroo bag in Nice, France, June 5, 2018.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

So where does Pierre see Glovo in 10 years? Does he aim to emulate Bezos and turn Glovo into an Amazon-style conglomerate?

"In the future, we’d like to go beyond delivery, and look into things like reservations," he says. "Not only restaurant reservations, but also events, ticketing, going to the cinema, and maybe integrating with mobility services. The final [space we’d like to enter] is home services: things like laundry, repairs, and cleaning services."

Though Pierre admits he worries about spreading Glovo too thinly, he says its focus will remain narrower in the short-to-medium term, adding that Glovo is not yet looking to IPO.

"We don’t see ourselves going beyond being a super delivery app for the next few years. I don’t see a big reason to have [an IPO] today. Our biggest focus at the moment is groceries, because they’re the natural first step after food.

"For now, we’re focusing on markets the big players aren’t really looking at. Delivery is a global thing. It’s not only for big, developed cities."

SEE ALSO: Spanish startup Glovo to raise funds for new Latam tech center

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