David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Getting Emotional About Your TV

Question: What key trends will drive the consumer electronics landscape in the year ahead?

David Steel: Consumer electronics has been an amazing growth industry for the last few years. We've seen this tremendous explosion in terms of digital TV's in people's homes and mobile devices. And now people with two or three cell phones and other types of mobile devices. We're seeing netbooks and so on.

So, there's been this big growth of devices out there and that's obviously been a big part of Samsung's rise, but now what we see is more of a transformation to consumer experience. So, it's less and less about the hardware itself. It's more about the emotional connection with it. It's about the experience of using the product so your user experience, URIUX that's becoming more important. The interface is much more significant than in the past. Design is a more important element, the look and feel, touch of products.

My favorite example is the TV. It used to be a big box you would hide away in the corner of the room. Now, it's something sleek, almost like a picture, you want to hang up on the wall. So, we're seeing that, we're seeing more applications coming, content and services delivered through devices. A cell phone started out being about just talking to people; now it's much more about the content and services that you can get through that device. So, that's really where we're going to see in 2010, I think, a big evolution which is now that all these devices are out there, we're going to see much more about the service and the experience that's delivered. Design will be more important, using more interface will be more important, and all the kind of content you can get through these various devices.

Question: How do you discover what customers want in order to strengthen their emotional connection with your product?

David Steel: That's right that the emotional feedback is becoming much more important. It used to be about a device for a device's sake. Now, it's much more about what you can do with that. So, what does it do for me as a consumer? We think about the experience of using that. So, that's why we do a lot of research now to really understand consumer needs and consumer tastes and unmet needs of consumers. We've really evolved in the consumer electronic space from being very technology driven to being almost like a consumer product or packaged goods industry where it's really about how we manage our brand and how we gain insights about consumers. So, we have a big effort in terms of market insights and consumer research, which I head up here in North America, to get out there and understand what consumers are looking for. What the unmet needs are.

I'll give you one example, which is to move content between different devices. I was out recently taking photos, family photos on vacation. We get back and I pull out the card, put it into my PC and we all stand around a 20 inch monitor looking at these photos in the room next door, there is a 55 inch TV. That's where I want to watch the photos. So, we need to make it much easier to move content between different devices; big screens for certain content, PC's for certain content, mobile phone for certain content.

So, those kind of insights that we can get from the way in which consumers use product and also the things they want to do with products, that's where we can really get benefit.

Companies that understand how consumers feel about technology, says Samsung’s David Steel, will dominate the electronics industry in the coming years.

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If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.

  • Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
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A new hydrogel might be strong enough for knee replacements

Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.

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  • Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
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Predicting PTSD symptoms becomes possible with a new test

An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.

Image source: camillo jimenez/Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • 10-15% of people visiting emergency rooms eventually develop symptoms of long-lasting PTSD.
  • Early treatment is available but there's been no way to tell who needs it.
  • Using clinical data already being collected, machine learning can identify who's at risk.

The psychological scars a traumatic experience can leave behind may have a more profound effect on a person than the original traumatic experience. Long after an acute emergency is resolved, victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to suffer its consequences.

In the U.S. some 30 million patients are annually treated in emergency departments (EDs) for a range of traumatic injuries. Add to that urgent admissions to the ED with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Health experts predict that some 10 percent to 15 percent of these people will develop long-lasting PTSD within a year of the initial incident. While there are interventions that can help individuals avoid PTSD, there's been no reliable way to identify those most likely to need it.

That may now have changed. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for predicting who is most likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic emergency-room experience. Their study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

70 data points and machine learning

nurse wrapping patient's arm

Image source: Creators Collective/Unsplash

Study lead author Katharina Schultebraucks of Columbia University's Department Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons says:

"For many trauma patients, the ED visit is often their sole contact with the health care system. The time immediately after a traumatic injury is a critical window for identifying people at risk for PTSD and arranging appropriate follow-up treatment. The earlier we can treat those at risk, the better the likely outcomes."

The new PTSD test uses machine learning and 70 clinical data points plus a clinical stress-level assessment to develop a PTSD score for an individual that identifies their risk of acquiring the condition.

Among the 70 data points are stress hormone levels, inflammatory signals, high blood pressure, and an anxiety-level assessment. Says Schultebraucks, "We selected measures that are routinely collected in the ED and logged in the electronic medical record, plus answers to a few short questions about the psychological stress response. The idea was to create a tool that would be universally available and would add little burden to ED personnel."

Researchers used data from adult trauma survivors in Atlanta, Georgia (377 individuals) and New York City (221 individuals) to test their system.

Of this cohort, 90 percent of those predicted to be at high risk developed long-lasting PTSD symptoms within a year of the initial traumatic event — just 5 percent of people who never developed PTSD symptoms had been erroneously identified as being at risk.

On the other side of the coin, 29 percent of individuals were 'false negatives," tagged by the algorithm as not being at risk of PTSD, but then developing symptoms.

Going forward

person leaning their head on another's shoulder

Image source: Külli Kittus/Unsplash

Schultebraucks looks forward to more testing as the researchers continue to refine their algorithm and to instill confidence in the approach among ED clinicians: "Because previous models for predicting PTSD risk have not been validated in independent samples like our model, they haven't been adopted in clinical practice." She expects that, "Testing and validation of our model in larger samples will be necessary for the algorithm to be ready-to-use in the general population."

"Currently only 7% of level-1 trauma centers routinely screen for PTSD," notes Schultebraucks. "We hope that the algorithm will provide ED clinicians with a rapid, automatic readout that they could use for discharge planning and the prevention of PTSD." She envisions the algorithm being implemented in the future as a feature of electronic medical records.

The researchers also plan to test their algorithm at predicting PTSD in people whose traumatic experiences come in the form of health events such as heart attacks and strokes, as opposed to visits to the emergency department.