Tag Archive | "Software"

Surgeons To Do Surgeries Without Actually Being There

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Surgeons To Do Surgeries Without Actually Being There


Research from a multi-university partnership is testing the live broadcast of surgeries from one facility to multiple others. This is not just as a teaching tool. This will allow the surgeon in your hometown to collaborate on a surgery without having to actually be in the operating room and allow doctors in remote locations could receive immediate expert support from top specialists in hospitals around the world.

Rochester Institute of Technology is collaborating with a team led by the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine that recently tested technology, which allows for the transmission of high quality, real time video to multiple locations. Using a secure, high-speed network, an endoscopic surgery at the University of Puerto Rico was broadcast to multiple locations in the United States. The experiment also included a multipoint videoconference that was connected to the video stream, allowing for live interaction between participants.

Of course, this is just a new application of an older technology used to broadcast surgeries in a more limited capacity.

“The University of Puerto Rico has been performing this type of transmission between two sites for more than a year, but we are now able to utilize a combination of technologies that allows us to transmit to multiple sites simultaneously,” notes José Conde, director of the Center for Information Architecture in Research at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.

“Being isolated geographically from major research centers, we need to use information technology to foster research collaborations with scientists around the world,” Conde adds.

“Previous efforts in telemedicine have been hampered by the quality of the video stream produced and the potential for network interruptions,” says Gurcharan Khanna, director of research computing at RIT and a member of the research team. “This test demonstrates that by using the speed and advanced protocols support provided by the Internet2 network, we have the potential to develop real-time, remote consultation and diagnosis during surgery, taking telemedicine to the next level.”

The system uses a 30-megabit-per-second broadcast quality video stream, and configured it to be transmitted via multicast using Microsoft Research’s ConferenceXP system. This system allows for extremely high resolution images.

In the future there are other, non-surgial applications avaliable for the system.

“Today, physicians often need to travel to both examine patients and conduct consultations,” says Khanna. “Given the growing capacity of Internet technologies, the development of live remote consultation with high quality video could revolutionize medicine and greatly enhance the care patients can receive while reducing overall costs to the health care system.”

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Instant Beauty Coming to A Photo of You

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Instant Beauty Coming to A Photo of You


The results of the image software, before on top, after on bottomHave you ever wondered what you would look like if you could be as beautiful as a super model? It is only human nature, at least for those of use who were born without the perfect genetics, to try and figure it out.

Well researchers at the Tel Aviv University may just give you the chance to find out, without the amazingly high bills and associated risks of getting plastic surgery. They have built a computer designed to enhance the human face, a kind of instant beautifier for your photos.  How does it do this, why with that most sexy of fields, math.

Beauty, contrary to what most people think, is not simply in the eye of the beholder,” says lead researcher Prof. Daniel Cohen-Or of the Blavatnik School of Computer Sciences at Tel Aviv University. With the aid of computers, attractiveness can be objectified and boiled down to a function of mathematical distances or ratios, he says. This function is the basis for his beauty machine.

Of course, these type of things always come with a debate.

Beauty is, after all, a quality that has captivated artists since time immemorial, and its definition has eluded even the world’s greatest philosophers. Prof. Cohen-Or sees things more scientifically.

“Beauty can be quantified by mathematical measurements and ratios. It can be defined as average distances between features, which a majority of people agree are the most beautiful,” says Prof. Cohen-Or. “I don’t claim to know much about beauty. For us, every picture in this research project is just a collection of numbers.”

I bet that you are wondering how they made up that algorythm after all turning personal preference into hard data is no easy task. Well, I will tell you how it was done:

In a study, recently published in the journal Siggraph, for  computer graphics, Prof. Cohen-Or and his graduate student Tommer Leyvand  together with two colleagues  surveyed 68 Israeli and German men and women, aged 25 to 40, asking them to rank the beauty of 93 different men’s and women’s faces on a scale of 1 to 7. These scores were then entered into a database and correlated to 250 different measurements and facial features, such as ratios of the nose, chin and distance from ears to eyes.  From this, the scientists created an algorithm that applies desirable elements of attractiveness to a fresh image.

While this technology is not on the market yet you could end up seeing it in a lot of different places like:

– The offices of plastic suregons who want to develop more natural guides for working on their patients.

– In the offices of magazines, where cover models are often used.

– In your next digital camera. Imagine looking like a model in all of your family photos.

I know what you are thinking, “Is this really a breakthrough? I bet I could do the same thing at home with photoshop.”

While you can enhance your images with photoshop there is a difference between the two methods. Unlike heavily processed Photoshop images that can make magazine cover models and celebrities unrecognizable, Tel Aviv University’s “beautification engine” is much more subtle. Observers say that the final image it produces retains an unmistakable similarity to the original picture, unless, as it turns out, you happen to be a celebrity.

“We’ve run the faces of people like Brigitte Bardot and Woody Allen through the machine and most people are very unhappy with the results,” Prof. Cohen-Or admits. “But in unfamiliar faces, most would agree the output is better.” Of course, if you are a celebrity, you could just pay for a team of professionals to air brush you, then you won’t need the software.

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Predict Human Behaviors with Your Computer

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Predict Human Behaviors with Your Computer


So do you want to:

– Find out how if your girlfriend really will flirt with your best friend when you back is turned?

– Outwit your enemies as they plot against you in the dead of the night?

– Find out just what will happen to your boss if you were to lock him in his office at 5pm with a wedge under the door?

– Just find out how many people it really does take to make your nervous co-worker feel claustrophobic.

Well, you can’t do those things right now but you might also be able to do that in the future thanks to new and improved computer behavior modeling techniques.

Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology department has created a computer model that can predict how people will complete a controlled task and how the knowledge needed to complete that task develops over time.

Frank Ritter, associate professor of IST and psychology, and his research associates, used the Soar programming language, which is designed to represent human knowledge, on a 20-trial circuit troubleshooting task most recently done by 10 students at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Each participant was to identify faults in a circuit system after memorizing the organization of its components and switches. This process was repeated 20 times for each person, with the series of tests chosen randomly each time. Their choices and reaction times were recorded and compared with the computer model’s results.

Much like the students, the computer model, called Diag, learned as it went through each test and developed the knowledge for completing the task quickly and efficiently.

“The model does not merely accurately predict problem-solving time for the human participants; it also replicates the strategy that human participants use, and it learns at the same rate at which the participants learn,” Ritter said.

In most cases, the model came within two to four seconds of predicting how long it would take each participant to solve the problem and it fit eight out of the 10 participants’ problem-solving times very well.

“The project shows we can predict human learning on a fine-grained level,” Ritter said. “Everyone thinks that’s possible, but here’s an actual model doing it. The model provides a detailed representation of how a transfer works, and that transfer process is really what education is about.”

So, you may have to get your potential victim to spend some time with the machine, but once that happens you can predict with comfort and ease.

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