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Could IBM's Watson lead us to a cure for cancer?

It's not just Watson. It's Dr. Watson.

Could IBM's Watson lead us to a cure for cancer?

Remember Watson? IBM's supercomputer that broke the game show "Jeopardy"?

It dominated two of the show's top champions. But now one of the world's most famous computers has taken on some new projects.


Image via Atomic Taco/Flickr (altered).

The machine that knows it all has been programmed for a new adversary: cancer.

IBM is collaborating with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to help revolutionize cancer research and treatment. The hospital is using Watson's analytical super-strength to distill massive amounts of information about cancer and make it available to treatment professionals — all at their fingertips.

GIFs via IBM.

Humans are amazing analytical creatures, but our brains have nothing on a computer that can run 80 trillion operations per second.

"The massive amount of data that we collect is difficult for any one person to analyze. ... Watson's capability to analyze huge volumes of data and reduce it down to critical decision points is absolutely essential to improve on our ability to deliver effective therapies and to actually disseminate that information to the world."
— Dr. Craig Thompson, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering

Still, as powerful as Watson is, it can't beat cancer without help from us cognitively inferior humans.

Watson kicked ass on "Jeopardy" because humans taught it how to win — by feeding it past questions and answers and training it how to respond.

The same principle applies to Watson's work on cancer, but they're feeding it loads of information about past treatments so it can identify patterns and guide physicians toward the best possible decisions.

As you'll see, the doctors of Memorial Sloan Kettering are just giddy with excitement:

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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