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AI: Ghost workers demand to be seen and heard

AI: Ghost workers demand to be seen and heard

Technology
Getty ImagesArtificial intelligence and machine learning exist on the back of a lot of hard work from humans.Alongside the scientists, there are thousands of low-paid workers whose job it is to classify and label data - the lifeblood of such systems.But increasingly there are questions about whether these so-called ghost workers are being exploited.As we train the machines to become more human, are we actually making the humans work more like machines?And what role do these workers play in shaping the AI systems that are increasingly controlling every aspect of our lives?The most well-established of these crowdsourcing platforms is Amazon Mechanical Turk, owned by the online retail giant and run by its Amazon Web Services division.But there are others, such as Samasource, CrowdFlower and M...
Study: Few ‘important’ genetic changes seen in COVID-19 since hop to humans

Study: Few ‘important’ genetic changes seen in COVID-19 since hop to humans

Health
March 12 (UPI) -- The genetic makeup of the coronavirus underwent few "important" changes during the first 11 months of the pandemic, despite the emergence of potentially dangerous new strains last fall, according to a study published Friday by PLOS Biology. After analyzing hundreds of thousands of sequenced virus genomes, researchers from the United States, Britain and Belgium documented little significant alteration in the virus' genetic structure since it jumped to humans. Advertisement This was the case until late in 2020 -- after nearly a year of the virus circulating widely among people in nearly every nation on Earth -- when new variants began to emerge as a result of limited immunity in people who'd already had the virus. The vaccines developed to fight off the virus should contin...
Viola Beach: ‘We should have seen them headlining the biggest festivals’

Viola Beach: ‘We should have seen them headlining the biggest festivals’

Entertainment
On 13 February 2016, Viola Beach were on the cusp of stardom.The four-piece band were in Sweden, having just played their first international gig.Everything was just starting to fall into place, with sold-out shows and slots at some of the UK's biggest festivals.But in the early hours of the morning, Jack Dakin, River Reeves, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe and their manager Craig Tarry were killed in a car crash in Stockholm that was described by the coroner as an "awful tragedy".Five years on, Lisa Leonard, whose 20-year-old son Kris was the band's frontman, said she took comfort from knowing their final hours were some of the happiest of their lives. "I want people to remember them having fun, because that's what they were doing. "I often think about how they must have felt that night. "Things...
WHO team investigating COVID in Wuhan sees data ‘no one has seen’ – and does not rule out virus escaped from a lab

WHO team investigating COVID in Wuhan sees data ‘no one has seen’ – and does not rule out virus escaped from a lab

World
The World Health Organisation team in Wuhan investigating the origins of COVID-19 say they are getting data "which no one has seen before" and are "really getting somewhere" - and have not ruled out the possibility that the virus had escaped from a lab.Dr Peter Daszak, part of the ongoing WHO mission, told Sky News: "We are seeing new information and it's good, it's very valuable stuff that is beginning to help us look at the right directions for this virus." In his first interview with a British broadcaster since arriving in China, Dr Daszak, who is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, an NGO, said that site visits were offering valuable information - especially the Huanan seafood market, where the first ever cases of COVID-19 were clustered.Live COVID updates from the UK and around the w...
A quarter of known bee species haven’t been seen in more than 20 years

A quarter of known bee species haven’t been seen in more than 20 years

Science
Jan. 22 (UPI) -- There's never been more data on the world's animal and plant populations, but despite the proliferation of public records on species abundance, many known bee species have disappeared from datasets. According to a new survey, published Friday in the journal One Earth, roughly a quarter of known bee species haven't made an appearance in public records in more than 20 years. Advertisement "With citizen science and the ability to share data, records are going up exponentially, but the number of species reported in these records is going down," first author Eduardo Zattara, biologist at the Pollination Ecology Group from the Institute for Research on Biodiversity and the Environment, said in a news release. Disappearance from the scientific record isn't proof of extinction. M...