Glasses that fix … color blindness?!?
EnChroma lenses separate the overlapping red and green cones, helping improve vision for people who have difficulty seeing reds and greens.
Source: How It Works | EnChroma
The ethical issues that come with crowdfunded healthcare
To choose one, though, also means to choose it over all the others.
Who, out of all the people who have shared their tragedy on the Internet, is the most deserving of money?
the most pressing ethical question surrounding medical crowdfunding is not the inequalities it illuminates, or how donors choose who to fund, or how sites choose who to host—it’s why the practice has become necessary in the first place.
Perhaps the phrase of most interest to me in the whole article was “necessary care.” Who defines it, and who should? And does an extremely expensive procedure with a middling chance of success for a child with an extremely rare genetic disease count? This question may reveal the true utility of crowdfunding campaigns–not that they pay for “necessary care,” but that they can be used to pay for extraordinary care that doesn’t meet any objective cost-benefit analysis. They’re an opportunity to say “help me because you love me/ sympathize/ find my story compelling,” even if the procedure can’t be justified as “necessary” in a way that means society as a whole should cover the tab involuntarily.
— Disqus commenter EBennetDarcy
In the 1850s, the infant mortality rate in the United States was estimated at 216.8 per 1,000 babies born for whites and 340.0 per 1,000 for African Americans
— Wikipedia “Infant_mortality” from Sullivan, A., Sheffrin, S. (2003) Economics: Principles in Action, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-063085-3
That rate is from more than 1-in-5 to over a third of children born, dying before they turned 5 years old.
The US infant mortality rate at 6.1 is now called “a national embarrassment” by the Washington Post.
– Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment – The Washington Post
The US Federal CDC lists the number of live births in the US as just under 4 million.
– FastStats – Births and Natality – CDC.gov
With 4 million births and an infant mortality rate of 6.1, that works out to 24,400 children born last year dying within the following 5 years.
Finland has their rate down to 2.3 though, so we could presumably cut that figure to only 9,200. If we could save half of those (so 4,600 infants) for $250,000 each, then saving their lives would cost $1.15 billion dollars. At $1 million each the total cost would be $4.6 billion.
Paying for exceptional care for exceptional cases does cost an exceptionally large amount per case. However, *because* of their rarity, I don’t think this is as bad as it seems like at first blush/consideration (usually comparing such staggering figures to the annual incomes of normal people).
My opinion is that we can afford this, and should, and a national / universal / single-payer health system (through “insurance”, federally managed/administered, or whatever) would accomplish this. It would be a far better use of the funds than [insert government thing you don’t like here; I’ll pick the F-35].
A hundred and fifty years ago, the only option was “too bad, try again”. We can and should do better now, for everyone.
WHY YOU SHOULD FEAR MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
SMI does not have to be the inherently evil sci-fi version to kill us all. A more probable scenario is that it simply doesn’t care about us much either way, but in an effort to accomplish some other goal (most goals, if you think about them long enough, could make use of resources currently being used by humans) wipes us out. Certain goals, like self-preservation, could clearly benefit from no humans. We wash our hands not because we actively wish ill towards the bacteria and viruses on them, but because we don’t want them to get in the way of our plans.
It’s very hard to know how close we are to machine intelligence surpassing human intelligence. Progression of machine intelligence is a double exponential function; human-written programs and computing power are getting better at an exponential rate, and self-learning/self-improving software will improve itself at an exponential rate. Development progress may look relatively slow and then all of a sudden go vertical—things could get out of control very quickly (it also may be more gradual and we may barely perceive it happening).
Because we don’t understand how human intelligence works in any meaningful way, it’s difficult to make strong statements about how close or far away from emulating it we really are. We could be completely off track, or we could be one algorithm away.
I prefer calling it “machine intelligence” and not “artificial intelligence” because artificial seems to imply it’s not real or not very good. When it gets developed, there will be nothing artificial about it.
THE NEED FOR REGULATION
we will face this threat at some point, and we have a lot of work to do before it gets here.
it seems like what happens with the first SMI to be developed will be very important.
I mean for this to be the beginning of a conversation, not the end of one.
Provide a framework to observe progress. … require development safeguards to reduce the risk of the accident case. … humans will always be the weak link in the strategy (see the AI-in-a-box thought experiments) … Require that the first SMI developed have as part of its operating rules that a) it can’t cause any direct or indirect harm to humanity (i.e. Asimov’s zeroeth law), b) it should detect other SMI being developed but take no action beyond detection, c) other than required for part b, have no effect on the world.
In politics, we usually fight over small differences. These differences pale in comparison to the difference between humans and aliens, which is what SMI will effectively be like. We should be able to come together and figure out a regulatory strategy quickly.
If there’s a problem here at all, it’s not with what constitutes a fact but with what constitutes an opinion – that is to say, a failure to distinguish between an opinion and a preference.