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JoyBinge 2.11: Having a Good Gab

Listen to the episode here!

Listen to the last episode here!

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Hi and welcome to JoyBinge! We are Kimmy and Sinow, and we share good stories about good people doing good things! Get ready to binge on some joy! We recorded on April 1, 2020

Even though we talked about this at the end of the episode, here is the link to the Italian flash mob our friend, Geenob, shared with us!

Italy Fights the Coronavirus With a Flash Mob -- At a Safe Distance

Thank you for binge-ing the joy with us, Geenob! Hope you are doing well!

If you are looking for more people spreading joyful good news, you are in luck! John Krasinski has started the SomeGoodNews YouTube channel to do just that. Check it out here: SomeGoodNews


Scientists develop AI that can turn brain activity into text

  • Written by Nicola Davis for The Guardian on March 30, 2020

  • Wish your voice to text feature on your phone was better? Well, there are researchers who are working on the next big thing! “[S]cientists have developed artificial intelligence that can turn brain activity into text.”

  • While this technology could have all sorts of advantages (and disadvantages), the main focus is that “it could eventually aid communication for patients who are unable to speak or type, such as those with locked in syndrome.”

  • The article explains how the experiments are conducted,

  • “Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Makin and colleagues reveal how they developed their system by recruiting four participants who had electrode arrays implanted in their brain to monitor epileptic seizures.

  • “These participants were asked to read aloud from 50 set sentences multiple times, including ‘Tina Turner is a pop singer’, and ‘Those thieves stole 30 jewels’. The team tracked their neural activity while they were speaking.”

  • The neural activity is then run through “a machine-learning algorithm” and it shows results to the scientists

  • At first the results were nonsense. But after some time, the machine started learning and it started to give results that kind of made sense, but were far from perfect.

  • For example, the article reports, “Among its mistakes, ‘Those musicians harmonise marvellously’ was decoded as ‘The spinach was a famous singer’, and ‘A roll of wire lay near the wall’ became ‘Will robin wear a yellow lily’.”

  • Despite the mistakes, “the accuracy of the new system was far higher than previous approaches. While accuracy varied from person to person, for one participant just 3% of each sentence on average needed correcting - higher than the word error rate of 5% for professional human transcribers.”

  • Davis spoke with another scientist:

  • “Dr Christian Herff an expert in the field from Maastricht University who was not involved in the study, said the research was exciting because the system used less than 40 minutes of training data for each participant, and a limited collection of sentences, rather than the millions of hours typically needed.

  • “‘By doing so they achieve levels of accuracy that haven’t been achieved so far,’ he said.

  • “However, he noted the system was not yet usable for many severely disabled patients as it relied on the brain activity recorded from people speaking a sentence out loud.”

  • And don’t worry, the technology won’t be able to just read anybody’s thoughts. You have to have brain electrodes implanted directly into your brain (hence the name “brain electrodes”) and only then will the technology be able to deliver nonsensical nonsense from your brain

  • We talked about something similar to this back in Season 1, Ep 17: Star Trek Levels of Future. Go listen to the episode to hear about the Star Trek Levels of Future we learned about then!

Homeslice: Texas Edition

First Responders Save Red Oak Boy’s Birthday Weekend

  • Written by Deborah Ferguson for NBC DFW on April 1st, 2020

  • Jacob of Red Oak, TX was sad that his birthday party had to be canceled due to all the coronavirus quarantines enacted

  • His mom didn’t want him to spend his 6th birthday in a saddened state so she arranged to have friends and family members drive by in a birthday parade!

  • Then she went one step further - she invited the local police and firefighters to join the parade!

  • Jacob was surprised and excited to wave hi to all the people who love him and wanted to wish him a happy birthday

  • In times like these, we can make our own fun in creative ways to make special moments even more special!

  • Watch the video on NBC DFW’s website!

Thanks for listening! If you have stories of good people doing good things in your neighborhood or anywhere, send them to us! We’ve got an email, or tweet at us @joybingepodcast or visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. Be sure to like and rate our show on whichever platform you use so we can continue to grow and share more good news with other people. GO BINGE ON SOME JOY!

The music for this podcast is "Industrious Ferret" by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks for listening and have a great week!

Industrious Ferret by Kevin MacLeod




Dallas, TX


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