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Walmart’s Sam’s Club launches health care pilot to members

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart’s Sam’s Club is teaming up with several health care companies to offer discounts on routine care that customers might delay or skip because of the cost.

Starting next month, Sam’s Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina will be able to buy bundles of health care services that include discounted dental care, free prescriptions for certain generic medications, and telehealth consultations.

Sam’s Club emphasized that the new initiative is not a health insurance plan but a discount health program designed to supplement insurance and bring down the costs patients pay out of pocket.

Sam’s Club, where members pay an annual fee to shop, says its program is designed to cater to individuals, business owners and families who are delaying or skipping basic care because of high deductibles.

For example, the family bundle includes access to a preventative lab screening that measures health indicators like diabetes, up to a 30% discount on chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture services, and a 10% discount on hearing aids.

John Marchisin, managing director of the health care practice at global management consultancy AArete, calls the move by Sam’s Club “brilliant.” “This fills the gap, making health care more affordable to customers,” he said.

Google will start transcribing audio recordings again

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is restarting a practice in which human contractors listen to and transcribe some voice commands people give to the company’s artificial intelligence system, Assistant.

Google required users to opt-in to the service before audio transcriptions were recorded, but critics have said people didn’t fully understand they were agreeing to allow human transcribers to listen in because the company’s language was unclear.

Researchers: AI surveillance is expanding worldwide

A growing number of countries are following China’s lead in deploying artificial intelligence to track citizens, according to a research group’s report published Tuesday.

Relying on a survey of public records and media reports, the report says Chinese tech companies led by Huawei and Hikvision are supplying much of the AI surveillance technology to countries around the world.

The group’s index doesn’t distinguish between legitimate public safety tools and unlawful or harmful uses such as spying on political opponents.

Feldstein said he was surprised by how many democratic governments in Europe and elsewhere are racing ahead to install AI surveillance such as facial recognition, automated border controls and algorithmic tools to predict when crimes might occur.

Suspects in Canada murders said they planned to kill more in video confession: Police

Facebook will work with law enforcement organizations to train its artificial intelligence systems to recognize videos of violent events as part of a broader effort to crack down on extremism.

The aim is to develop systems that can automatically detect first-person violent events without also flagging similar footage from movies or video games.

It's also expanding its definition of terrorism to include not just acts of violence attended to achieve a political or ideological aim, but also attempts at violence, especially when aimed at civilians with the intent to coerce and intimidate.

It says it has banned 200 white supremacist organizations and 26 million pieces of content related to global terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda.

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