How New York's largest hospital system is predicting COVID-19 spikes

Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.

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  • The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
  • Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
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5 of the most amazing cracked codes in modern history

From 260-year-old ciphers to the most recent Zodiac Killer solution, these unbreakable codes just needed time.

  • After 51 years, the Zodiac Killer's infamous "340 code" has been solved.
  • Humans have a natural passion for puzzles, making cryptography a lifelong pursuit for some.
  • Other famous cracked codes include Poe's Challenge and Zimmermann's Letter.
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Crazy dreams help us make sense of our memories

A new theory suggests that dreams' illogical logic has an important purpose.

Credit: Paul Fleet/Adobe Stock
  • If consolidating memories as we sleep is like machine learning, maybe dreams keep our "algorithms" on track.
  • Machine learning is optimized by the injection of a certain amount of nonsense data.
  • Maybe dreams are just weird enough to do the same for us as we sleep.
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    The Matrix is already here: Social media promised to connect us, but left us isolated, scared and tribal

    The more you like, follow and share, the faster you find yourself moving in that political direction.

    Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash
    About a year ago I began to follow my interest in health and fitness on Instagram. Soon I began to see more and more fitness-related accounts, groups, posts and ads.
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    Catching serial killers with an algorithm

    This week, Big Think is partnering with Freethink to bring you amazing stories of the people and technologies that are shaping our future.

    • There are over 250,000 unsolved murder cases in the United States. Thomas Hargrove, cofounder of Murder Accountability Project, wants that number to be as close to zero as possible, and he has just the tool to help.
    • Hargrove developed an algorithm that, through cluster analysis, is capable of finding connections in murder data that human investigators tend to miss.
    • The technology exists, but a considerable roadblock that the project faces is getting support and cooperation from law enforcement offices.
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