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Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing

If you’ve been hanging out with techie friends at a conference lately, you’ve probably heard the term “Web 3.0.” And if you haven’t yet, you probably will soon. But if it’s one of those questions you’re a little ashamed to ask, don’t be. Not many people know what Web 3.0 is, so it’s understandable if you’re confused.

On top of that, a really succinct description and tight enough narrative have yet to emerge, making its definition open to interpretation. Experts are also still arguing over what pertains to Web 3.0 and what will come way in the future.

Back to Basics – Web 1.0 And Web 2.0

While we’re on the subject of Web 3.0, a quick recap on Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 might come in handy. People are starting to refer to the internet in different stages as its capabilities and how we interact with it evolve.

Think back to the early days with a dial-up connection where you could read stuff online and maybe send an email. Web 1.0 was one-directional. There was little interaction and the information was broadcast to us by corporations and media.

Company websites were monologues of lengthy product descriptions and stuffy corporate rhetoric. “About Us” pages filled with vapid cliches about “going the extra mile,” and customers being “at the center of everything we do.”

Internet sources weren’t trusted in universities. You still had to hit the library to find books to reference in your thesis. Copyscape didn’t exist. MySpace wasn’t born yet, and the Y2K bug was a really big deal. Getting a website designed was also an extremely lengthy and expensive process.

Web 2.0 took us to a whole new level, characterized by people interacting with websites–and each other–more. Social media rules the roost. Peer to peer reviews are one of the most important buying decisions, with 90 percent of customers reading online reviews before purchasing–and 88 percent of them trusting them as much as a personal recommendation.

Web 2.0 Social Web

Social Media Rules the Roost

The sharing economy allows us to stay in other people’s houses and rent out our cars. Anyone can get a website and upload their voice to the internet, whether in writing or recording. YouTube has almost 1.5 billion users worldwide and as of 2016, there were around 300 million personal blogs registered. And we now access the web from our handhelds more than our desktops.

So, What is Web 3.0?

So, now we know all about that, what changes can we expect to see as we move towards Web 3.0, the next evolution of the internet? Coined by The New York Times reporter John Markoff in 2006, the concept of Web 3.0 isn’t actually new.

Web 3.0 will bring about a further shift in how we create and interact with websites. But is it here yet? And what exactly does it involve?

IoT and the Internet of Everything

If you have a smart refrigerator, use Alexa, own a baby monitor, speaker, or some other device that connects to the web, you’ve already used IoT technology. While IoT technology has been slow to get off the ground and is not without its problems (just ask Jeep), it’s a strong characteristic of Web 3.0. A concept otherwise known as “ubiquity.”

The internet will no longer only be on your desktop like with Web 1.0, or your smartphone, like Web 2.0. It will be everywhere, so prepare yourself for entire saturation. In fact, Web 3.0 may as well be called the web of everything and everywhere, as most things around you are connected online.

Our current infrastructure doesn’t quite support this yet, however. Our devices are too slow and too insecure. No one wants to risk getting their cardiac device hacked into, or losing control of their vehicle while driving. But it’s a taste of what’s to come in Web 3.0.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Computers will show characteristics of human intelligence

In Web 3.0, computers will show characteristics of human intelligence, such as decision making and learning. Companies like Facebook and Google have been using AI for some time already to organize Big Data and optimize advertising.

According to the University of Maastricht, “Machine learning algorithms are widely employed and are encountered daily. Examples are automatic recommendations when buying a product or voice recognition software that adapts to your voice.”

Thanks to machine learning, computers are becoming more advanced and can process and understand information in a much more human way. And if you consider the above example, we can already speak something fairly complex into our phones and get an acceptable answer back. This will only get better.

And just think about LinkedIn Messaging. The chat offers predicted responses generated by machine learning, based on what you might reply. It reads the language and formulates suggestions based on the scanned text. This shows everyday applied AI in use. Pretty cool, right?

AI, like blockchain, can also remove the human factor from, say, websites that are popular because of fake reviews or manipulated search results. And in fact, blockchain technology may also be instrumental to Web 3.0, allowing users to interact and removing trust issues through smart contracts.

Talk of Web 3.0 often throws up mentions of the “semantic web,” which is almost like an extension of AI. The semantic web is basically a way in which information is categorized and stored so that a computer can understand it as well as a human. The semantic web will teach computers what the data means, so that AI can be born.

3D Graphics

Considering this is Web 3.0, we’ll need more 3D graphics to accompany it. Here other technologies like AR and VR will also come into play – computer games and apps using 3D, for example.

Also, 3D printing will step up and become more accessible to all, not just large labs with big budgets. These are all components of the next wave of evolution in the web.

Final Thoughts

Much like AI and blockchain, there’s more marketing hype around Web 3.0 than actual, practical use cases right now. People have even been led to believe that Web 3.0 will form virtual cities and 3D shopping malls.

But, just like eradicating poverty and decentralizing the world, these things may be a long way off still, perhaps pertaining to Web 4.0.

So, the takeaway on Web 3.0 is: don’t believe all the hype. Just like the multitudes of products that claim to use AI and are only backed by an algorithm, Web 3.0 isn’t everywhere yet. But it won’t be too long before it is.


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Cognitive Computing, Health technology, Projects, Software Nation

About every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. That means each year, approximately a million people have a heart attack in the United States alone and about half of them die. In fact, about one-half of those who die do so within 1 hour of the start of symptoms before reaching a hospital.

Emergency personnel can often stop arrhythmias with emergency CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), defibrillation (electrical shock), and prompt advanced cardiac life support procedures. If care is sought soon enough, blood flow in the blocked artery can be restored in time to prevent permanent damage to the heart. Yet, most people do not seek medical care for 2 hours or more after symptoms begin. Many people wait 12 hours or longer.

What causes a heart attack?

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).


How is a Heart Attack Diagnosed?

Diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack can begin when emergency medical personnel arrive after you call 9-1-1. But, many people put off calling 9-1-1 because they are not sure they are having a heart attack.

At the hospital emergency room, doctors will work fast to find out if you are having or have had a heart attack. They will consider your symptoms, medical and family history, and test results. Initial tests such as an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and blood tests (Troponin, CK-MB test) or Myoglobin test) will be quickly followed by treatment if you are having a heart attack. Depending on the results of these tests you would likely proceed to do the following: a nuclear heart scan, cardiac catheterization, or coronary angiography.

How can you reduce damage?

Promptly receiving aid from a medical professional is the best way to prevent permanent damage. The only way to ensure that there is no irreparable damage is through restoring the blood flow to the blocked artery within a timely manner. For example, drugs must be administered within one or two hours of the heart attack to decrease the amount of damage done.

There are some over the counter drugs that have also been shown to have positive side effects such as Aspin and other anti-platelets, and Thrombolytic therapy; however, these are not a supplement for medical care.

So what can you do?

At the moment the best that you can do is know all of the major symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

In a survey reported by the CDC only 27% of people were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call for medical help when someone was having a heart attack.

The Good News

We are working on a project with Dr. Henry Wu, a physician scientist and practicing cardiologist in New York City, to change all of that.

Welcome to Watson MD, an artificial intelligence app tool based on IBM Watson to help estimate the risk of a heart attack based on the characteristics of a person’s chest pain and “risk” profile.

Our mission is to help improve the chance of surviving a heart attack and guide patients with chest pain toward a diagnosis.


Cognitive Computing

Ever since appearing in the hit game show Jeopardy, IBM Watson has amazed viewers all over the world. Human contestants had no chance against IBM’s new supercomputer. But what is Watson exactly? Is Watson a robot? Is this the future of computers?

IBM Watson is a technology platform that is able to analyze unstructured data. Watson uses natural language processing and machine learning to make sense of the huge amounts of information available today. 80% of all data nowadays is unstructured. Unstructured data includes data from many different sources such as social media posts, blog posts, articles, reports, and enterprise system data. Watson can even answer complex questions. For example, in the Jeopardy game show, the computer was able to understand the dynamics of the game and responded correctly “What is Las Vegas” to the question “This town is known as ‘sin city’ & its downtown is ‘glitter gulch’”.

IBM Watson is not just any artificial intelligence. It uses cognitive computing to simulate the human thought process. It learns and is able to understand natural language with grammar, expressions, slang and all the diverse aspects of spoken language. The difference between Watson and a robot is that the supercomputer is able to reason unlike any computer has done before. Just like when humans make a choice, Watson is able to weigh out the options before making a decision. IBM Watson is smarter than any human being, as it can hold more information than the human mind and can analyze it in just seconds. In Jeopardy, it only took two to three seconds for Watson to find an answer from the millions of documents it has learned.

How can Watson benefit your business? First of all, it can easily find solutions to any questions you or your customers might have. It does this by pulling crucial information from all the records that are inside it. Lastly, the supercomputer is able to link different pieces of information into patterns, relate them to each other and come up with unique insights.

IBM Watson can provide substantial benefit to many different fields such as businesses, healthcare, developers and universities – just to name few, the possibilities are endless. For example, it is currently working with top universities to discover new medicines and cures.

We are entering a new era of cognitive computing. Although currently Watson is unable to answer open-ended questions, cognitive systems are evolving and will soon be able to mimic the human brain even better. In the future, Watson can help to solve the world’s most difficult problems. The three types of capabilities for cognitive systems are engagement, decision and discovery. Engagement means how humans communicate with the system – the system uses knowledge from experts to learn more. This is why both need each other and together humans and Watson can be so much more than alone. Secondly, the decisions made by cognitive systems are evidence-based and constantly improving. Finally, the discovery aspect means that cognitive systems can discover insights that even geniuses cannot uncover.

Software Nation’s programmers are currently working with IBM Watson on a project that has never been done before. Check back for new posts and insights on this supercomputer.