Mindfulness and Rest

 Ferris Jabr, writing for Scientific American:

In one of the few controlled eco-sychology experiments, Berman asked 38 University of Michigan students to study lists of random numbers and recite them from memory in reverse order before completing another attention-draining task in which they memorized the locations of certain words arranged in a grid. Half the students subsequently strolled along a predefined path in an arboretum for about an hour whereas the other half walked the same distance through highly trafficked streets of downtown Ann Arbor for the same period of time. Back at the lab the students memorized and recited digits once again. On average, volunteers that had ambled among trees recalled 1.5 more digits than the first time they took the test; those who had walked through the city improved by only 0.5 digits—a small but statistically significant difference between the two groups.

It's okay to take a break during work and go for a walk through your local park. You'll be smarter afterwards.

Via Hacker News

How China's government can help support AI efforts through access to big data.

Mark Bergen and David Ramli, writing for Bloomberg:

DeepMind, the AI lab of Google’s Alphabet Inc., has labored for nearly two years to access medical records from the U.K.’s National Health Service for a diagnostics app. The agency began a trial with the company using 1.6 million patient records. Last month, the top U.K. privacy watchdog declared the trial violates British data-protection laws, throwing its future into question.

Contrast that with how officials handled a project in Fuzhou. Government leaders from that southeastern Chinese city of more than seven million people held an event on June 26. Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital helped organize the event, which included representatives from Dell Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. A spokeswoman for Dell characterized the event as the nation’s first "Healthcare and Medical Big Data Ecology Summit."

The summit involved a vast handover of data. At the press conference, city officials shared 80 exabytes worth of heart ultrasound videos, according to one company that participated. With the massive data set, some of the companies were tasked with building an AI tool that could identify heart disease, ideally at rates above medical experts. They were asked to turn it around by the fall.

This is data on a scale that the US and UK seemingly would never agree to data owners sharing with any private corporation. Though I wonder if university researchers could do so.


If you don't do it, somebody who cares less will.

Tom Bartel, writing on the top 10 reasons you should become a manager. Here's my favorite:

"The only reason there’s so many awful managers is that good people like you refuse to do the job.”
You might have doubts if you are the right person for the job. You might wonder if you are the one who can settle conflicts, who can guide people, whom people trust to lead them. You might wonder if you deserve the position, and if it is justified to put you in that role.

Management isn't easy. But the adage that the best leaders are the reluctant ones has consistently proven true.

Via Software Lead Weekly

Toyota Nears Technological Breakthrough in Electric-Car Batteries

Toyota Motor Corp. said it was nearing a major technological breakthrough in electric-car batteries. [...] The technology, a solid electrolyte, would enable smaller, lighter lithium-ion batteries, which theoretically could hold a higher charge—boosting the range of electric vehicles, according to the company.

These so-called solid-state batteries replace the damp electrolyte solution in current batteries with a solid. That allows for an improvement in shelf life compared with current batteries on the market, which degrade over time. They also are designed to avoid the fire hazard sometimes posed by current lithium-ion batteries.

This battery tech seems better in almost every way.

The announcement comes as Toyota shifts focus to building all-electric vehicles after years of asserting their inferiority to gas-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cells.

I understand companies hedging their bets, but this is the same Toyota that was going all-in on hydrogen fuel cells a few months ago.

(re)Introducing Merrio

Merrio is back - and starting with a simple concept:

  1. We'll send your team a reminder to share what they've worked on (they can share as often as they like).
  2. Using artificial intelligence, updates are categorized by emotion and automatically tagged with relevant hashtags.
  3. Your team's notes are presented in an easy-to-read format (see below) designed to make it fast to see who's doing what.

In the near future, we'll be adding additional ways to gauge the health and engagement of your team. The overall focus is building the tools for your team(s) to be successful.

If you'd like to be an Alpha Tester, drop me a note (via email or on the About page on this site.)

Highlights trending topics, contributors, and the team's sentiment based on their updates..

Highlights trending topics, contributors, and the team's sentiment based on their updates..