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AI Robots to Help the Students of Japan in Enhancing English Speaking Skills

According to data from the most recent EF English Proficiency Index in 2017, Japan is ranked 37th out of a total of 80 countries

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English teaching robots
AI robots to boost spoken English skills of Japanese students. Pixabay

The government of Japan is planning to introduce English-speaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots in classrooms to help children improve their English speaking skills, considered one of the worst in the world.

The Japanese education ministry would be launching a pilot programme to test the effectiveness of the initiative in April 2019, reports Efe news.

The initiative will be initially rolled out in 500 schools throughout the country with the aim of fully implementing it in two years, public broadcaster NHK reported Saturday.

The programme also includes study apps and online conversation sessions with native English speakers.

robots
An iPal couple social robots help teach children at a kindergarten in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, July 4, 2018. Designed to offer education, care and companionship to children and the elderly, the 3.5-feet tall humanoid robots come in two genders and can tell stories, take photos and deliver educational or promotional content. VOA

Japan has proposed improving English skills ahead of the surge in tourists expected during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

According to data from the most recent EF English Proficiency Index in 2017, Japan is ranked 37th out of a total of 80 countries.

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The latest test and score data of TOEFL, the most popular English language proficiency test, showed that Japanese test-takers have among the worst scores as compared to their Asian counterparts, and are especially poor in speaking, along with Burkina Faso and Congo. (IANS)

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AI-based Google Model Beats Humans in Detecting Breast Cancer

This work, said Google, is the latest strand of its research looking into detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, not just within the scope of radiology, but also pathology

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

In a ray of hope for those who have to go for breast cancer screening and even for healthy women who get false alarms during digital mammography, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Google model has left radiologists behind in spotting breast cancer by just scanning the X-ray results.

Reading mammograms is a difficult task, even for experts, and can often result in both false positives and false negatives.

In turn, these inaccuracies can lead to delays in detection and treatment, unnecessary stress for patients and a higher workload for radiologists who are already in short supply, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Google’s AI model spotted breast cancer in de-identified screening mammograms (where identifiable information has been removed) with greater accuracy, fewer false positives and fewer false negatives than experts.

“This sets the stage for future applications where the model could potentially support radiologists performing breast cancer screenings,” said Shravya Shetty, Technical Lead, Google Health.

Digital mammography or X-ray imaging of the breast, is the most common method to screen for breast cancer, with over 42 million exams performed each year in the US and the UK combined.

“But despite the wide usage of digital mammography, spotting and diagnosing breast cancer early remains a challenge,” said Daniel Tse, Product Manager, Google Health.

Together with colleagues at DeepMind, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University and Royal Surrey County Hospital, Google set out to see if AI could support radiologists to spot the signs of breast cancer more accurately.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, showed that AI could improve the detection of breast cancer.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

Google AI model was trained and tuned on a representative data set comprised of de-identified mammograms from more than 76,000 women in the UK and more than 15,000 women in the US, to see if it could learn to spot signs of breast cancer in the scans.

The model was then evaluated on a separate de-identified data set of more than 25,000 women in the UK and over 3,000 women in the US.

“In this evaluation, our system produced a 5.7 per cent reduction of false positives in the US, and a 1.2 per cent reduction in the UK. It produced a 9.4 per cent reduction in false negatives in the US, and a 2.7 per cent reduction in the UK,” informed Google.

The researchers then trained the AI model only on the data from the women in the UK and then evaluated it on the data set from women in the US.

In this separate experiment, there was a 3.5 per cent reduction in false positives and an 8.1 per cent reduction in false negatives, “showing the model’s potential to generalize to new clinical settings while still performing at a higher level than experts”.

Notably, when making its decisions, the model received less information than human experts did.

The human experts (in line with routine practice) had access to patient histories and prior mammograms, while the model only processed the most recent anonymized mammogram with no extra information.

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Despite working from these X-ray images alone, the model surpassed individual experts in accurately identifying breast cancer.

This work, said Google, is the latest strand of its research looking into detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, not just within the scope of radiology, but also pathology.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners in the coming years to translate our machine learning research into tools that benefit clinicians and patients,” said the tech giant. (IANS)