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DataKind DC

Calling all data do-gooders: come rub elbows and throw high fives with DataKind’s community of top data scientists and social sector leaders working to tackle the world’s toughest problems with data science.

Are you a data scientist by day hankering to use your data prowess to find new insights, grapple with the most pressing social issues of our time and rub elbows with inspiring mission-driven organizations?

Join us for one of our Project Accelerator Nights and in just a few hours you’ll have the chance to make a difference where we gather some of the city’s best mission-driven organizations with their questions about how to leverage data in the service of their cause.

DataKind SG

Calling all data do-gooders: come rub elbows and throw high fives with the Singapore chapter of DataKind-- a community of top data scientists and social sector leaders working to tackle the world’s toughest problems with data science.Are you a data scientist by day hankering to use your data prowess to find new insights, grapple with the most pressing social issues of our time and rub elbows with inspiring mission-driven organizations?Join us for one of our Project Accelerator Nights and in just a few hours you’ll have the chance to make a difference where we gather some of the city’s best mission-driven organizations with their questions about how to leverage data in the service of their cause.Do you work for an organization doing good in the world?

Public health

Public health is 'the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals'.[1]

Environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public policy, mental health and occupational safety, gender issues in health, sexual and reproductive health are other important subfields.

Common public health initiatives include promoting handwashing and breastfeeding, delivery of vaccinations, suicide prevention and distribution of condoms to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

The focus of a public health intervention is to prevent and manage diseases, injuries and other health conditions through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors, communities and environments.

In other cases, treating a disease or controlling a pathogen can be vital to preventing its spread to others, either during an outbreak of infectious disease or through contamination of food or water supplies.

Public health plays an important role in disease prevention efforts in both the developing world and in developed countries through local health systems and non-governmental organizations.

Most governments recognize the importance of public health programs in reducing the incidence of disease, disability, and the effects of aging and other physical and mental health conditions.

Public health surveillance has led to the identification and prioritization of many public health issues facing the world today, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, waterborne diseases, zoonotic diseases, and antibiotic resistance leading to the reemergence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.

In a June 2010 editorial in the medical journal The Lancet, the authors opined that 'The fact that type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disorder, has reached epidemic proportion is a public health humiliation.'[13]

The WHO’s latest estimates as of June 2016 highlighted that globally approximately 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2014, and 41 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2014.[14]

Many public health programs are increasingly dedicating attention and resources to the issue of obesity, with objectives to address the underlying causes including healthy diet and physical exercise.

Changing smoking behavior requires long-term strategies, unlike the fight against communicable diseases, which usually takes a shorter period for effects to be observed.

argue by presenting evidence that smoking is one of the major killers, and that therefore governments have a duty to reduce the death rate, both through limiting passive (second-hand) smoking and by providing fewer opportunities for people to smoke.

From an evolutionary psychology perspective, over consumption of novel substances that are harmful is due to the activation of an evolved reward system for substances such as drugs, tobacco, alcohol, refined salt, fat, and carbohydrates.

Conversely, it has been argued that emphasizing the harmful and undesirable effects of tobacco smoking on other persons and imposing smoking bans in public places have been particularly effective in reducing tobacco smoking.[16]

As well as seeking to improve population health through the implementation of specific population-level interventions, public health contributes to medical care by identifying and assessing population needs for health care services, including:[17][18][19][20]

To improve public health, one important strategy is to promote modern medicine and scientific neutrality to drive the public health policy and campaign, which is recommended by Armanda Solorzana, through a case study of the Rockefeller Foundation's hookworm campaign in Mexico in the 1920s.

One of the main reasons that he suggests could be the fact that physicians are not properly trained to carry out structural interventions, meaning that the ground level health care professionals cannot implement these improvements.

While structural interventions can not be the only area for improvement, the lack of coordination between socioeconomic factors and health care for the poor could be counterproductive, and end up causing greater inequity between the health care services received by the rich and by the poor.

analyzed over 4,000 published objectives from Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) of 280 local accredited and non-accredited public health agencies in the U.S., and found that the majority of objectives - around two-thirds - were focused on achieving agency outputs (e.g., developing communication plans, installing sidewalks, disseminating data to the community).

What this research showcases is that if agencies are only focused on accomplishing tasks (i.e., outputs) and do not have a focus on measuring actual changes in their populations with the activities they perform, it should not be surprising when measurable changes are not reported.

advocate for public health agencies to work with those in the discipline of Health Communication to craft objectives that are measurable outcomes, and to assist agencies in developing tools and methods to be able to track more proximal changes in their target populations (e.g., knowledge and attitude shifts) that may be influenced by the activities the agencies are performing.

In the first sense, 'Public Health 2.0' is similar to 'Health 2.0' and describes the ways in which traditional public health practitioners and institutions are reaching out (or could reach out) to the public through social media and health blogs.[24][25]

In the second sense, 'Public Health 2.0' describes public health research that uses data gathered from social networking sites, search engine queries, cell phones, or other technologies.[26]

A recent example is the proposal of statistical framework that utilizes online user-generated content (from social media or search engine queries) to estimate the impact of an influenza vaccination campaign in the UK.[27]

While many individual healthcare providers have started making their own personal contributions to 'Public Health 2.0' through personal blogs, social profiles, and websites, other larger organizations, such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and United Medical Education (UME), have a larger team of employees centered around online driven health education, research, and training.

For example, many African governments spend less than US$10 per person per year on health care, while, in the United States, the federal government spent approximately US$4,500 per capita in 2000.

For example, mandating the use of seat belts in cars can save countless lives and contribute to the health of a population, but typically money spent enforcing this rule would not count as money spent on health care.

In addition to this however, many developing countries are also experiencing an epidemiological shift and polarization in which populations are now experiencing more of the effects of chronic diseases as life expectancy increases with, the poorer communities being heavily affected by both chronic and infectious diseases.[32]

Since the 1980s, the growing field of population health has broadened the focus of public health from individual behaviors and risk factors to population-level issues such as inequality, poverty, and education.

The upstream drivers such as environment, education, employment, income, food security, housing, social inclusion and many others effect the distribution of health between and within populations and are often shaped by policy.[34]

From 1990 to 2010, total health aid from developed countries increased from 5.5 billion to 26.87 billion with wealthy countries continuously donating billions of dollars every year with the goal of improving population health.[38]

Some efforts, however, receive a significantly larger proportion of funds such as HIV which received an increase in funds of over $6 billion dollars between 2000 and 2010 which was more than twice the increase seen in any other sector during those years.[36]

Opponents of health aid claim that international health aid actually disrupts developing countries' course of development, causes dependence on aid, and in many cases the aid fails to reach its recipients.[36]

For example, recently, health aid was funneled towards initiatives such as financing new technologies like antiretroviral medication, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and new vaccines.

The Global Health Initiative is a six-year plan, 'to develop a comprehensive U.S. government strategy for global health, building on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat HIV as well as U.S. efforts to address tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, and augmenting the focus on other global health priorities, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH), nutrition, and health systems strengthening (HSS)'.[47]

The training typically requires a university degree with a focus on core disciplines of biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, health policy, health education, behavioral science, gender issues, sexual and reproductive health, public health nutrition and environmental and occupational health.[48][49]

Operational structures are formulated by strategic principles, with educational and career pathways guided by competency frameworks, all requiring modulation according to local, national and global realities.

It is critically important for the health of populations that nations assess their public health human resource needs and develop their ability to deliver this capacity, and not depend on other countries to supply it.[50]

Some have blamed the Rockefeller Foundation's 1916 decision to support the establishment of schools of public health for creating the schism between public health and medicine and legitimizing the rift between medicine's laboratory investigation of the mechanisms of disease and public health's nonclinical concern with environmental and social influences on health and wellness.[52][54]

The Master of Public Health, Doctor of Public Health, Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) and the Master of Health Care Administration are examples of degrees which are geared towards people who want careers as practitioners of public health in health departments, managed care and community-based organizations, hospitals and consulting firms, among others.

Master of Public Health degrees broadly fall into two categories, those that put more emphasis on an understanding of epidemiology and statistics as the scientific basis of public health practice and those that include a more eclectic range of methodologies.

Academic degrees are more oriented towards those with interests in the scientific basis of public health and preventive medicine who wish to pursue careers in research, university teaching in graduate programs, policy analysis and development, and other high-level public health positions.

Early religions attempted to regulate behavior that specifically related to health, from types of food eaten, to regulating certain indulgent behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or sexual relations.

The latter part of the century brought the establishment of the basic pattern of improvements in public health over the next two centuries: a social evil was identified, private philanthropists brought attention to it, and changing public opinion led to government action.[66]

It aimed to improve the sanitary condition of towns and populous places in England and Wales by placing the supply of water, sewerage, drainage, cleansing and paving under a single local body with the General Board of Health as a central authority.

Reforms included latrinization, the building of sewers, the regular collection of garbage followed by incineration or disposal in a landfill, the provision of clean water and the draining of standing water to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

Although Snow's chemical and microscope examination of a water sample from the Broad Street pump did not conclusively prove its danger, his studies of the pattern of the disease were convincing enough to persuade the local council to disable the well pump by removing its handle.[79]

With the pioneering work in bacteriology of French chemist Louis Pasteur and German scientist Robert Koch, methods for isolating the bacteria responsible for a given disease and vaccines for remedy were developed at the turn of the 20th century.

With onset of the epidemiological transition and as the prevalence of infectious diseases decreased through the 20th century, public health began to put more focus on chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

For example, there was a long battle over a public health law which began in the 1880s as a campaign to reorganize the nation's health services, to require the registration of infectious diseases, to mandate quarantines, and to improve the deficient health and housing legislation of 1850.

Success finally came when the government realized that contagious diseases had a national security impact in weakening military recruits, and keeping the population growth rate well below Germany's.[90]

established many programs to help the poor in New York City keep their infants healthy, leading teams of nurses into the crowded neighborhoods of Hell's Kitchen and teaching mothers how to dress, feed, and bathe their babies.

Dramatic increases in average life span in the late 19th century and 20th century, is widely credited to public health achievements, such as vaccination programs and control of many infectious diseases including polio, diphtheria, yellow fever and smallpox;

These improvements included chlorination of drinking water, filtration and sewage treatment which led to the decline in deaths caused by infectious waterborne diseases such as cholera and intestinal diseases.[93] The

In the absence of a vaccine, mosquito control, or access to anti-malaria medication, public health methods become the main strategy for reducing the prevalence and severity of malaria.[115]

These methods include reducing breeding sites, screening doors and windows, insecticide sprays, prompt treatment following infection, and usage of insecticide treated mosquito nets.[115]

however, barriers to use exist including cost, hosehold and family organization, access to resources, and social and behavioral determinants which have not only been shown to affect malaria prevalence rates but also mosquito net use.[116][115]

DataKind Bangalore

Calling all data do-gooders: come rub elbows and throw high fives with Bangalore chapter of DataKind-- a community of top data scientists and social sector leaders working to tackle the world’s toughest problems with data science.Are you a data scientist by day hankering to use your data prowess to find new insights, grapple with the most pressing social issues of our time and rub elbows with inspiring mission-driven organizations?Join us for one of our Project Accelerator Nights and in just a few hours you’ll have the chance to make a difference where we gather some of the city’s best mission-driven organizations with their questions about how to leverage data in the service of their cause.Do you work for an organization doing good in the world?

Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, And The Struggle To Do The Right Thing

DiBianca, who helped launch the nonprofit foundation now known as Salesforce.org, begins by describing how one of the hundreds of volunteering activities that it supports also benefits the larger Salesforce community.

He also wanted to make philanthropy an integral part of the culture and, working with DiBianca, developed what they call a 1-1-1 model, which refers to giving away 1% of Salesforce’s products, of its employees’

(An initial 1% equity grant anchors the foundation’s funding.) Salesforce.org has bestowed more than $160 million in grants, organized more than 2 million employee volunteer hours, and shared low- and no-cost technology with more than 31,000 nonprofits and educational institutions.

New hires at Salesforce participate in community activities such as sorting goods for a food bank as part of their orientation, and 80% of employees volunteer in their communities.

to take part in activities such as coaching Little League, building schools, and assisting at health clinics.) The company’s annual Dreamforce conference, which gathers more than 170,000 customers and partners, also integrates volunteer efforts.

On a tour of the company’s HQ, Elizabeth Pinkham, who oversees Salesforce’s buildings and offices around the world, explains how the decor and layout are being designed to evoke the Ohana, including quiet meditation “wellness”

Cindy Robbins, who oversees human resources, recalls how after she was promoted to her current post, she was surprised to discover that the company had never gathered data on how much female employees were paid compared to men in similar jobs.

The Great A.I. Awakening

The ones that got “cat” right get their votes counted double next time — at least when they’re voting for “cat.” They have to prove independently whether they’re also good at picking out dogs and defibrillators, but one thing that makes a neural network so flexible is that each individual unit can contribute differently to different desired outcomes.

The neural network just needs to register enough of a regularly discernible signal somewhere to say, “Odds are, this particular arrangement of pixels represents something these humans keep calling ‘cats.’ ” The more “voters” you have, and the more times you make them vote, the more keenly the network can register even very weak signals.

The neuronal “voters” will recognize a happy cat dozing in the sun and an angry cat glaring out from the shadows of an untidy litter box, as long as they have been exposed to millions of diverse cat scenes.

You just need lots and lots of the voters — in order to make sure that some part of your network picks up on even very weak regularities, on Scottish Folds with droopy ears, for example — and enough labeled data to make sure your network has seen the widest possible variance in phenomena.

If a machine was asked to identify creditworthy candidates for loans, it might use data like felony convictions, but if felony convictions were unfair in the first place — if they were based on, say, discriminatory drug laws — then the loan recommendations would perforce also be fallible.

What the cat paper demonstrated was that a neural network with more than a billion “synaptic” connections — a hundred times larger than any publicized neural network to that point, yet still many orders of magnitude smaller than our brains — could observe raw, unlabeled data and pick out for itself a high-order human concept.

(The researchers discovered this with the neural-network equivalent of something like an M.R.I., which showed them that a ghostly cat face caused the artificial neurons to “vote” with the greatest collective enthusiasm.) Most machine learning to that point had been limited by the quantities of labeled data.

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