Category Archives: google

More big brands pull ads from YouTube in widening boycott

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening, a sign that big-spending companies doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.

PepsiCo, Wal-Mart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google’s automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen and several other companies pulled ads earlier this week.

The defections are continuing even after Google apologized for tainting brands and outlined steps to ensure ads don’t appear alongside unsavory videos.

It’s not an easy problem to fix, even for a company with the brainpower that Google has drawn upon to build a search engine that billions trust to find the information they want in a matter of seconds.

Google depends mostly on automated programs to place ads in YouTube videos because the job is too much for humans to handle on their own. About 400 hours of video is now posted on YouTube each minute.

The company has pledged to hire more people to review videos and develop even more sophisticated programs to teach its computers to figure out which clips would be considered to be too despicable for advertising.

Contacted Friday, Google stood by its earlier promise, signaling the company’s confidence that it will be able to placate advertisers. As part of that effort, Google intends to block more objectionable videos from ever being posted on YouTube — an effort that could spur complaints about censorship.

Some outraged advertisers are making it clear that they won’t return to YouTube until they are certain Google has the situation under control.

“The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values,” Wal-Mart said in a Friday statement.

Besides suspending their spending on YouTube, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and several other companies have said they will stop buying ads that Google places on more than two million other third-party websites.

If Google can’t lure back advertisers, it could result in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Most analysts, though, doubt the ad boycott will seriously hurt Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet Inc.

Although they have been growing rapidly, YouTube’s ads still only represent a relatively small financial piece of Alphabet, whose revenue totaled $73.5 billion last year after subtracting commissions paid to Google’s partners. YouTube accounted for $5.6 billion, or nearly 8 percent, of that total, based on estimates from the research firm eMarketer Inc.

At most, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said he expects the YouTube ad boycott to trim Alphabet’s net revenue by about 2 percent this year.

Moody’s Investor Service predicted the backlash won’t last long because Google is “laser-focused” on cleaning things up on YouTube.

Alphabet’s stock price has fallen nearly 4 percent since the boycott began last week after an investigation by The Times in London revealed the ads of major brands were appearing in YouTube videos delving into contentious themes. The shares fell $4.51 to close at $835.14 Friday.

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AP Technology Writer Mae Anderson in New York contributed to this story.

Verizon, AT&T Pull Ads From Google, YouTube After Ads Run Next To Offensive Videos

Days after Google began apologizing to advertisers that stopped running YouTube ads after learning their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos, Verizon and AT&T say they are also pulling the plug on ads with the tech giant.

Reuters reports that Verizon and AT&T suspended advertising on YouTube and other non-search related Google sites after raising concerns that their promotions may have run along with YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.

Verizon and AT&T joined a growing list of advertisers including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s that have pulled their content from Google’s YouTube and other sites.

AT&T tells Reuters that it removed the ads from non-search inventory on Google because its “ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate.”

Verizon says that it also suspended all digital content not related to search, but that it was “working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future,” Reuters reports.

Mondelez — the company behind brands like Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone, and Triscuit — tells Reuters that it is looking into the advertising situation at Google. However, the company says it has not seen evidence that its ads played alongside inappropriate content, and that it is “in constant discussion with both Google and YouTube and will be monitoring the issue closely.”

Problems for Google began over the weekend when advertisers in the UK began pulling ad content and other firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — paused ads after finding spots aired alongside questionable videos.

Google apologized to advertisers on Tuesday, noting that it had expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.

“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London Tuesday. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”

Verizon, AT&T Pull Ads From Google, YouTube After Ads Run Next To Offensive Videos

Days after Google began apologizing to advertisers that stopped running YouTube ads after learning their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos, Verizon and AT&T say they are also pulling the plug on ads with the tech giant.

Reuters reports that Verizon and AT&T suspended advertising on YouTube and other non-search related Google sites after raising concerns that their promotions may have run along with YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.

Verizon and AT&T joined a growing list of advertisers including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s that have pulled their content from Google’s YouTube and other sites.

AT&T tells Reuters that it removed the ads from non-search inventory on Google because its “ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate.”

Verizon says that it also suspended all digital content not related to search, but that it was “working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future,” Reuters reports.

Mondelez — the company behind brands like Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone, and Triscuit — tells Reuters that it is looking into the advertising situation at Google. However, the company says it has not seen evidence that its ads played alongside inappropriate content, and that it is “in constant discussion with both Google and YouTube and will be monitoring the issue closely.”

Problems for Google began over the weekend when advertisers in the UK began pulling ad content and other firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — paused ads after finding spots aired alongside questionable videos.

Google apologized to advertisers on Tuesday, noting that it had expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.

“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London Tuesday. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”

Verizon, AT&T Pull Ads From Google, YouTube After Ads Run Next To Offensive Videos

Days after Google began apologizing to advertisers that stopped running YouTube ads after learning their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos, Verizon and AT&T say they are also pulling the plug on ads with the tech giant.

Reuters reports that Verizon and AT&T suspended advertising on YouTube and other non-search related Google sites after raising concerns that their promotions may have run along with YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.

Verizon and AT&T joined a growing list of advertisers including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s that have pulled their content from Google’s YouTube and other sites.

AT&T tells Reuters that it removed the ads from non-search inventory on Google because its “ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate.”

Verizon says that it also suspended all digital content not related to search, but that it was “working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future,” Reuters reports.

Mondelez — the company behind brands like Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone, and Triscuit — tells Reuters that it is looking into the advertising situation at Google. However, the company says it has not seen evidence that its ads played alongside inappropriate content, and that it is “in constant discussion with both Google and YouTube and will be monitoring the issue closely.”

Problems for Google began over the weekend when advertisers in the UK began pulling ad content and other firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — paused ads after finding spots aired alongside questionable videos.

Google apologized to advertisers on Tuesday, noting that it had expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.

“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London Tuesday. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”

Verizon, AT&T Pull Ads From Google, YouTube After Ads Run Next To Offensive Videos

Days after Google began apologizing to advertisers that stopped running YouTube ads after learning their brands were being featured alongside offensive and hateful videos, Verizon and AT&T say they are also pulling the plug on ads with the tech giant.

Reuters reports that Verizon and AT&T suspended advertising on YouTube and other non-search related Google sites after raising concerns that their promotions may have run along with YouTube videos featuring hate speech, gore, and other offensive content.

Verizon and AT&T joined a growing list of advertisers including Marks & Spencer, HSBC, the BBC, and McDonald’s that have pulled their content from Google’s YouTube and other sites.

AT&T tells Reuters that it removed the ads from non-search inventory on Google because its “ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate.”

Verizon says that it also suspended all digital content not related to search, but that it was “working with all of our digital advertising partners to understand the weak links so we can prevent this from happening in the future,” Reuters reports.

Mondelez — the company behind brands like Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone, and Triscuit — tells Reuters that it is looking into the advertising situation at Google. However, the company says it has not seen evidence that its ads played alongside inappropriate content, and that it is “in constant discussion with both Google and YouTube and will be monitoring the issue closely.”

Problems for Google began over the weekend when advertisers in the UK began pulling ad content and other firms, including Havas — which handles promotions for Hyundai Kia and Domino’s — paused ads after finding spots aired alongside questionable videos.

Google apologized to advertisers on Tuesday, noting that it had expedited an ongoing comprehensive review of its advertiser policies and controls in order to avoid similar fiascos in the future.

“I’ve spoken personally to a number of advertisers,” Google EMEA President Matt Brittin said at an Advertising Week Europe event in London Tuesday. “Those that I have spoken to, we have been talking about a handful of impressions, and pennies not pounds of spend, but however small or big the issue, it is an important issue that we address.”

Top Healthcare Companies in Robotics

Robotics has the power to completely reshape the landscape of healthcare both in its structure and its operation. Here, you find my own list about the most relevant companies and start-ups on the healthcare robotics market.

With robotics for the sustainability of healthcare

As I outlined in my open letter to regulators, the long-term sustainability of healthcare systems could be solved by automation powered by digital health technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 3D-printing or robotics. The latter could take over monotonous work from healthcare workers, which would allow them to focus more on patients and to have lesser workload.

The way automation cuts out repetitive and monotonous tasks from the human work schedule fits into a decades-long (or even centuries-long) global trend thriving to make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. Experts such as Elon Musk, Tesla-CEO and other believe that technologies and automation through robotics might even push for the introduction of universal basic income. Even if it does not happen any time soon, it is already visible that robotics is skyrocketing. The global medical robotic systems market was worth $5.48 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $13.6 billion in 2018, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.6% from 2012. Surgical robots are expected to enjoy the largest revenue share.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance to keep an eye on robotics companies and start-ups with the mission to build a more democratic, transparent and efficient healthcare through their technological innovation. Here are the most promising ones!

Robot And Human Handshake - Healthcare Companies in Robotics

1) Surgical robotics

One of the fastest-growing field of robotics in healthcare concerns surgeons and their profession at “the top of the medical food chain”. Surgical robots are the prodigies of surgery. According to market analysis, the industry is about to boom. By 2020, surgical robotics sales are expected to almost double to $6.4 billion. The following companies are the most important players on the market.

a) Intuitive Surgical

The most commonly known surgical robot is the da Vinci Surgical System; and believe it or not, it was introduced already 15 years ago! The company, Intuitive Surgical raised $46 million in an initial public offering in 2000 and in the same year, became the first robotic surgical system cleared by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery. Since then, da Vinci has been used for more than 3 million minimally invasive procedures in various surgical specialties. The product features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic system at all times; and is able to carry out more precise operations than previously thought possible.

However, there are already some concerns regarding the da Vinci, which might also resonate with the general aversion towards robots. Intuitive Surgical recently avoided a class-action lawsuit over the da Vinci robot after plaintiffs claimed that the robot left tiny metallic particles in the body that eventually made their way to the brain. Company officials expect da Vinci system procedures to grow to 9% this year, down from the 15% growth seen in 2016. Also, Intuitive Surgical has a serious competitor as Johnson&Johnson and Google recently teamed up to “build a better robot”.

b) Medrobotics

Founded in 2005, Massachusetts-based Medrobotics received FDA clearance for its Flex Robotic System in July 2015. It raised $147.4 million so far to develop a medical robot built on exclusive worldwide licenses for robotics technology from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The stunning result, the Flex Robotic System allows physicians through its snakelike design and its 180º path to access anatomical locations that are traditionally harder to reach, such as the ear, nose or throat. Surgeons now have a magnified, HD view of anatomical structures for minimally invasive procedures.

c) Verb Surgical

In December 2015, Google’s Alphabet and Johnson&Johnson announced the formation of Verb Surgical, the offspring of the strategic partnership between Ethicon, a medical devices subsidiary of Johnson&Johnson, and Verily Life Sciences, formerly known as Google Life Sciences. It seems J&J really wants to challenge Intuitive Surgical. The company is building a surgical solutions platform that began several years earlier as a concept built between Ethicon and SRI International. Verb Surgical utilizes the medical instrumentation technology developed by Ethicon, while the “big data” and machine learning expertise comes from Google to develop a so-called “digital surgical platform” that will also include robotics as well. They refer to their surgical system as “digital surgery” and claim it will cost much less than Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci.

Google Verb Surgical - Healthcare Companies in Robotics

d) Hansen Medical

The California-based company designs and produces medical robotics for positioning and control of catheter-based technologies since 2002. Hansen Medical manufactures two types of catheter technologies for two types of diseases, the Sensei Robotic Catheter System for electrophysiology procedures and the Magellan Robotic System for the treatment of vascular diseases.

For example, if the patient’s heart has arrhythmia, meaning it cannot beat properly and cannot pump blood effectively, one possible treatment is an electrophysiology procedure. It requires delivery of a catheter from the patient’s groin, through the blood vessels, into the chambers of the heart. Physicians then steer the tip of the catheter to problematic areas in order to deliver radiofrequency energy and create a scar in the heart tissue. These scars are intended to block erratic electrical impulses. As the procedure is time-consuming and delicate, physicians need accurate, flexible and effective catheters, such as the ones provided by Hansen Medical.

2) Bringing robotics to pharma and medication management

Automation eases the work of medical professionals throughout the whole healthcare spectrum, but it is especially needed in nursing, where monotonous and repetitive tasks burden even the most enthusiastic workers. When it comes to medication management or other workflow problems, the 21st century solution should be everywhere: robotics.

a) Aethon

Aethon, founded in 2004 and based in Pittsburgh, is best known for its TUG autonomous mobile delivery robot which is able to carry around a multitude of racks, carts or bins up to 453 kilograms in the form of medications, laboratory specimens or other sensitive materials. The TUG is sent or requested using a touch screen interface and upon completing its “mission”, it returns to the charging dock for a sip of energy while it is loaded for the next job. The TUG has become commonplace in hospitals and makes over 50,000 deliveries each week in over 140 hospitals throughout the United States.

And why the name, you ask? The company says Aethon (pronounced ā-thon) is taken from one of the four horses of ancient Greek mythology that pulls Helios’ chariot – the sun – across the sky each day, resembling their efforts to set their sights high and work hard to bring results. Great philosophy, I would say.

TUG by AETHON - Healthcare Companies in Robotics

b) Aesynt

From South America to the Middle East, Aesynt offers medication management solutions for all medication forms, including health robotics IV automation and workflow solutions for sterile compounding to over 80 customers across the world. They promise to develop solutions to manage shortages, address the safety risks of manual compounding, and provide enterprise-wide connectivity and visibility. The company was named Aesynt in 2013, after private-equity firm Francisco Partners bought McKesson Automation. In 2016, the company was acquired by Omnicell for $275 million.

c) Innovation Associates

I believe Innovation Associates is one of the oldest company on my list. It was established by Harry Boyer in 1972 as an engineering/technical services manufacturing company, but after more than two decades it completely shifted the focus to pharmacy automation. Nowadays, it is a leading provider of pharmacy automation technologies to the retail, hospital, government and other pharmacy markets.

From workflow management until innovative counting technologies and beyond, Innovation Associates provides 21st century technology for pharmacies aiming to be always on the top of their game. Moreover, they offer the PharmASSIST ROBOTx, a robotic medical dispenser system, with a built-in dispensing capacity range, which helps any given facility “right-size” its system for its volume. It is also designed with robust data mining capabilities, so the pharmacy can gain valuable insights about its efficiency all the time.

3) Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons are robotic structures that can help a human being move around and lift huge weights. They can also let paralyzed people walk again. For example, a gait-training exoskeleton, suit helped Matt Ficarra, paralyzed from the chest down, walk down the aisle on his wedding day! How amazing is that?

a) Ekso Bionics

In November 2013, I attended an event organized by the Singularity University in Budapest at the amazing venue of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. We listened to Amanda Boxtel, who got paralyzed from a spinal cord injury in a ski accident in Aspen, Colorado in 1992. She told us how she felt after getting the diagnosis of never being able to walk again and how she refused to stop dreaming. Since then, she has established adaptive ski programs, carried the Olympic torch, organized disabled rafting expeditions, and even conducted research in the Antarctica. She has also become one of the ambassadors of Ekso Bionics.

Their exoskeletons are used by individuals with various degrees of paralysis and stemming by a variety of causes. Ekso Bionics have helped individuals take more than 70 million steps since its establishment that would not have been possible otherwise. Currently, it is utilized in over 130 rehabilitation centers across the world.

b) Barrett Medical

As a fresh spin-off from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT in 1990, Barrett Technologies started to work on the first haptic robot arm, named the WAM arm. It proved to be so ground-breaking that it got listed in the special Millennium Edition of the Guinness Book of Records as being the world’s most advanced robotic arm. It is able to interact directly with humans through subtle force interactions. Last year, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum launched a major exhibit highlighting two physically interactive WAM arms and BarrettHands. Currently, Barrett is excitedly preparing to launch a completely new product line in the field of robotic stroke rehabilitation.

c) Cyberdyne

The Japanese firm, Cyberdyne was established by Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai, University of Tsukuba, Japan, in order to materialize his idea to utilize Robot Suit HAL “for the benefits of humankind in the field of medicine, caregiving, welfare, labour, heavy works or entertainment”. Cyberdyne, established in 2004, developed its HAL robot suit to be able to augment human capabilities – in support of care-giving as well as working with heavy loads in factories. So the company has nothing to do with the fictitious company from the Terminator movie series Cyberdyne Systems, nor has the product anything in common with Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 artificial intelligence program, which had not exactly the welfare of humanity in its artificial mind.

d) Hocoma

The Swiss company, established in 1996, develops and manufactures robotic and sensor-based devices for functional movement therapy. It has hubs in the US, Singapore, Slovenia and Chile, and almost 50 partners worldwide. Hocoma’s therapy solutions support the treatment of neurological patients with movement disorders caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or other neurological diseases and injuries as well as low back pain patients. Products include medical devices used for robotic treadmill training of neurological patients and exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of upper extremities after stroke or traumatic brain injury.

e) Rewalk Robotics

Behind every inspiring company, there is a human story. Dr. Amit Goffer founded ReWalk Robotics in 2001, following a life-altering accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. He pioneered the invention and development of the ReWalk Robotics wearable exoskeleton, enabling individuals with lower limb paralysis to walk again. Even though the technology does not currently enable him to walk again due to the extent of his injuries, his tenacity to develop a wearable exoskeleton so that others could walk paved the way for the ReWalk Rehabilitation and Personal systems to be used by more than 1,000 people around the world today.

4) Xenex Technologies – For absolute hygiene in hospitals

The company, founded by two enthusiastic epidemiologists in Houston, has grown from a small start-up to a sizeable company since its establishment in 2008. Currently, it has a presence in 400 hospitals across the US and constantly growing. Its success lies in its world-class product, the germ-zapping Xenex Robot, which might constitute the next level of hygiene. A hospital even polled its colleagues about how to call the smart machine – and named it Hector.

It allows for fast and effective systematic disinfection of any space within a healthcare facility. This helpful automatic tool destroys deadly microorganisms causing HAIs (hospital acquired infections) by utilizing special UV disinfection methodologies. The Xenex Robot is more effective in causing cellular damage to microorganisms than other devices for disinfection, thus the number of HAIs might be more effectively reduced. Westchester Medical Center reported a 70 per cent drop in Intensive Care Unit C. diff with the use of Xenex Robots.

5) Telepresence Robots

Doctor shortages are global phenomena. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there is a worldwide shortage of around 4.3 million physicians, nurses, and allied health workers. We will never be able to train as many doctors as we need worldwide. Robots with telemedical devices will certainly appear in more and more clinics and it’s going to be a common element of care to see them in practice.

a) Intouch Health

Through its waste network, patients in remote areas or people who are not able to travel have access to high-quality emergency consultations for stroke, cardiovascular, and burn services exactly when they need it. Moreover with telehealth, medical professionals in rural towns and remote areas also have access to specialty services, while patients can be treated in their own communities. The InTouch Telehealth Network supports more than 130,000 annual encounters, 11,000 doctors and clinicians, and 1,250 patient access locations with an annualized growth rate of 25% or one hospital per day. Thus, the California-based company is obviously growing exponentially. It currently employs more than 200 people serving 15 major markets in 30 countries.

b) VGo Communications

The company offering a wide range of video communication solutions, was founded in 2007 by experienced and successful veterans of visual communications and robotics industries. In healthcare, doctors and nurses are using VGo to extend their reach to monitor and consult with patients in the hospital, skilled nursing facility and in the home. Family members are also using VGo to visit loved ones when they can’t be there in person. In 2015, the start-up was acquired by Vecna Technologies, developing automated robotic solutions for material handling, enterprise patient engagement solutions for healthcare.

6) Robotic Companions

In the developed countries, alienation and loneliness causes major problems, health troubles included. Robotics aim to offer solutions in order to enable elderly and other people without the necessary social support to connect with the world. There are various types of robot companions – human or animal shaped, smaller or bigger -, but they all share one thing: their goal is to make life more enjoyable and easier.

a) Luvozo PBC

Founded in 2013, the company has been focusing on developing solutions for improving quality of life for older adults and persons with disabilities. In July 2015, it started testing its flagship product — Sam, the robotic concierge — in a leading senior living community in the Washington D.C. area. The human-sized, smiling robot combines the very best in cutting-edge technology and human touch to provide frequent check-ins and non-medical care for residents in long-term care settings. By doing so, it reduces the costs of care, while raises patient satisfaction index by simply being there for the elderly all the time.

SAM the robotic concierge - Healthcare Companies in Robotics

b) Honda Robotics

In 1986, Honda engineers set out to create a robot that could walk. Two decades later, they presented ASIMO, a full humanoid robot, able not only to walk but also to run, climb steps and even carry a tray or push a cart. It can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands. ASIMO has the ability to recognize the face of a select group of individuals. Using its camera eyes, the robot can map its environment and register stationary objects. It is simply amazing! It might be the world’s most advanced humanoid robot at the moment. Honda hopes that someday it will help with such important tasks as assisting the elderly or a person confined to bed or wheelchair.

ASIMO - Healthcare Companies in Robotics

c) AIST

It is widely known that pets and cute animals help to ease stress; to divert attention from pain and to reduce the feeling of loneliness. Unfortunately, not every hospital or extended care facility allows animals to live next to patients. Leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer, AIST comes into the picture here. It developed PARO, an advanced interactive robot. It allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in medical environments. For it has the shape of a baby harp seal covered with soft artificial fur to make people feel comfortable, as if they are touching a real animal. This therapeutic robot has been found to reduce the stress factor experienced both by patients and by their caregivers.

If you know about other companies disrupting healthcare through robotics, please let us know! And if you are curious about developments and innovations of medical start-ups, subscribe to The Medical Futurist Special Newsletter, where you can receive information about the future first-hand!

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YouTube Goes Up Against Cable Companies With $35 Live TV Streaming Service

Back in October, Google began shaping up its YouTube-based pay-TV service with the hope of launching the option early this year. Now, just as February comes to an end, the company has officially launched YouTube TV.

Google on Tuesday revealed details of YouTube TV, a $35/month TV service will provide customers with 40 network options and several add-on options.

YouTube TV will first launch in large U.S. markets. Those interested in the service can sign up to be notified when the option launches in their area.

The service, which will be available through a standalone app and comes with six accounts per membership, offers a package of both broadcast network and cable channels.

In all, the service will offer more than 40 networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, regional sports networks, as well as the cable channels owned by those networks, like USA, Fox Sports Network, ESPN, Disney, and Bravo. Customers will have the option to add Showtime or Fox Soccer Plus to their package for an unspecified cost, Google notes.

Additionally, subscribers receive access to YouTube Red original content. YouTube launched Red, an ad-free $9.99/month subscription service in Oct. 2015.

If you’re too busy to watch any of these channels live, YouTube TV will also offer a DVR service, with no storage limits.

Google says the cloud DVR can record an unlimited number of programs, simultaneously, without using data or space on your mobile device. The recording will be stored for nine months.

While Google expects that service to be most popular on mobile devices, it will be available on all screens, including computers and TVs through Google Chromecast.

YouTube TV is just the latest entry in the over-the-top cable-replacement market, joining Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now from AT&T.

Ready to Rant? Ask Yourself 3 Questions First

“Don’t affix the blame, fix the problem.”-Sean Connery in the movie Rising Sun Technology is great when it works.  When it doesn’t, it can eat time and generally piss us off.  I received an email from Google regarding my G-Suite, and it went to a different email than I believed I had used to set up the account.  I searched everywhere (I thought) to find where I may have entered that email as a contact email.  I found it, changed it, and then I got another email to the same “wrong” account!  By now I am fuming–there’s so many pages to look through, the Admin console, the Profiles, etc.  So I decide to send them an email to ask for help. What really interested me when I did this was that they asked me how I was feeling about the situation–concerned?  angry? frustrated?  I thought that was unusual.  I chose “frustrated”.  A few hours later I received a phone call from Google.  Yes, a phone call.  On a Sunday.  The very polite man took me right to the area that showed the old email, helped me change it, and sent me a test email.  Resolution!  It was handled efficiently and professionally, and most importantly, civilly.  His politeness dissipated my frustration, and the problem was resolved. How do you react when something goes wrong?  The restaurant screws up your order.  The babysitter cancels.  Traffic is snarled because of an accident.  Do you take to social media and go on a rant?  Tell everyone you know how terrible that restaurant is?  Never call that babysitter again?  You get the idea.  We are becoming hardwired to expect everything to go swimmingly, and when it doesn’t we GO BONKERS.  But does that really change or rectify the situation?  Prepare us for the next time something goes wrong?   Do you vent and let go, or do you find yourself fuming for days? My immediate reaction when something goes wrong is to get emotional.  But before I let those emotions take over, I kick my empathy into gear.  In the restaurant example, maybe the chef was rattled after being in an accident rushing to work because his babysitter cancelled and he had to scramble to find another.  That helps to put things in perspective.   If I was in the same situation as the chef, would I maybe mess up a meal or two?  How would I want others to treat me if I was the one responsible for the errors?  I would want to be treated just like the Google help desk treated me. So how can you be prepared to act civilly the next time you feel “wronged, disappointed, or underwhelmed by what you’ve been handed”?  When you find your blood pressure rising: 1) take a breath; 2) put down your phone; and 3) before responding ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What forces may have contributed to this unwelcome outcome? Was it malice or an accident?
  2. What is the best path to rectify the situation and achieve your desired results? (Hint: it probably doesn’t involve anything in all caps or a verbal screaming match)
  3. Commit to a limited amount of time and resources to correct the situation, then move on and let go.
Don’t hold yourself hostage to the inevitable disappointments that surround us. Keep your standards high, and remember that standards mean nothing if they cost you your civility. Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/startup-your-life/201702/the-erosion-civility

Google’s Waymo Sues Uber For Stealing Trade Secrets About Self-Driving Cars

It’s no secret that self-driving car tech is a growing, multi-billion-dollar, highly competitive new space. What is supposed to be secret, however, are confidential design documents about how each company makes their autonomous cars work. Google, however, says that roughly 10 GB of those secrets — in the form of 14,000 files — walked out the door with a former employee who took them with him to Uber, swiping Google’s work and designs for the competition.

Google’s self-driving car division, now called Waymo, filed the complaint [PDF] against Uber in federal court in California this week.

The company explains why it’s suing Uber in a blog post on Medium.

The stolen secrets specifically pertain to the laser-based scanning and mapping systems, known as LiDAR, that self-driving cars use to “see” the world around them — a pretty vital component of any autonomous vehicle.

Waymo learned that their technology had wandered down the road over to Uber when they received an email from a parts supplier. The supplier — apparently accidentally — included Waymo when it sent out an attachment that contained drawings of Uber’s LiDAR circuitry… which looked, to Waymo, suspiciously familiar.

That set Waymo digging. It found that some former Google employees took a whole lot of proprietary, internal Google content with them when they left the company and went to Uber.

One manager in particular downloaded more than 14,000 proprietary files before he resigned from Google, Waymo alleges. The 14,000 documents “included a wide range of highly confidential files, including Waymo’s LiDAR circuit guard designs.”

Further, Waymo claims, he knew what he was doing and tried to cover his tracks.

The manager, “took extraordinary efforts to raid Waymo’s design server and then conceal his activities,” the complaint states. “In December 2015, [he] specifically searched for and then installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop in order to access the server that stores these particular files.”

After he accessed the server, the complaint continues, “he downloaded the 14,000 files, representing approximately 9.7 GB of highly confidential data. Then he attached an external drive to the laptop for a period of eight hours. He installed a new operating system that would have the effect of reformatting his laptop, attempting to erase any forensic fingerprints that would show what he did with Waymo’s valuable LiDAR designs once they had been downloaded to his computer.”

The employee then moved on to found a self-driving vehicle startup called Otto — which was acquired by Uber for $680 million a mere three months after its public launch. However, Google claims, he actually began work on the new company while still with Google.

When other employees left Google to go work for Otto, the complaint alleges, they also took some Waymo internal documents with them, including confidential supplier lists, manufacturing details, and “statements of work with highly technical information.”

In short, the complaint concludes, “Instead of developing their own technology in this new space, [Uber] stole Waymo’s long-term investments and property.”

Google is seeking several different kinds of financial relief — damages for infringing on patents, punitive damages, restitution, attorneys’ fees, and “such other and further relief as the Court may deem to be just and proper” — but doesn’t name a specific sum it’s seeking.

Disney, Google Distance Themselves From PewDiePie Over Anti-Semitic Posts

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s Maker Studios and Google’s YouTube are distancing themselves from a top YouTube star after he made jokes construed as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos. Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie, has the most popular YouTube channel, with more than 53 million subscribers. The Swedish YouTube star rose to fame by posting videos of him playing and commenting about video games. More recently, he branched out into non-gaming videos that show him performing skits, stunts or making jokes. Disney, whose Maker Studios runs Kjellberg’s channels and network, said he crossed the line with some of his videos. One video from January shows two Indian men paid by Kjellberg to hold up a sign that says “Death to all Jews.” Kjellberg said the video was meant to demonstrate how far people will go if they get paid to do something, but he didn’t think they would actually do it. Other videos show Nazi imagery in a satirical way. In blog post Kjellberg said he was making jokes, but realizes now that they were offensive. Kjellberg’s channel was already part of Maker Studios when the Walt Disney Co. bought Maker in 2014 for $675 million. Maker contracts with individuals such as Kjellberg to produce videos for various YouTube channels. Kjellberg pulled the video showing the two men displaying the anti-Semitic sign, but it is excerpted in a Wall Street Journal video. Other videos still on the site show Nazi imagery being used satirically. Maker Studios said in a statement that while Kjellberg’s channel is popular because he is irreverent and provocative, the studio is ending its affiliation with him because he went too far. YouTube spokeswoman Michelle Slavich said YouTube has canceled the release of the second season of Kjellberg’s reality show “Scare PewDiePie” and removed the PewDiePie channel from its Google Preferred advertising program, which aggregates top YouTube content for advertisers to buy time on. © Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.