Health, Tech

F.D.A. Green-Lights First Digital Pill

The Food and Drug Administration has green-lighted a digital pill—a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors if and when, patients take their medicine. The drug is a version of the antipsychotic Abilify.

How it works is that the sensor generates an electrical signal when it reacts with the fluids in the stomach. That signal is detected, a while later, by a Band-Aid-like patch that must be worn on the left rib cage.

The patch, in turn, conveys the date and time of the ingestion of the pill via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The app then transmits that data to a database, which physicians and others the patient has authorized, can access. It also lets them block recipients anytime patients change their mind.

Many won’t agree with me, but this approval doesn’t sound like an Orwellian nightmare to me. The drug in question can help monitor and track patients with psychiatrist problems who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise take their prescribed medication.

h/t: NYT

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Tech

Mirror, Mirror, Who’s The Smartest Of All A.I.?

A vintage (faux) advertisement for the HAL 9000 computer from “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). The copy reads: “Foolproof And Incapable Of Error … Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer.”

To assess the threat posed by artificial intelligence to humanity, a recent study gauged that Google’s technology has twice the I.Q. —47.28—of Apple’s Siri—23.94. But neither is smarter than a six-year-old.

h/t: BOING BOING

Tech

Nokia Hits The Nostalgia Button

The Nokia 3310, reborn.

The Nokia 3310—a beloved phone model that was first released at the turn of the millennium—has been relaunched by a Finnish company, made up mostly of Nokia alum.

The new phone is a “feature phone,” the industry jargon for a device that doesn’t have the capabilities of a smartphone. But it’s certainly been upgraded since the early 2000s. It has a camera, a color display and an MP3 player.

h/t: NPR