He’s just lost his mother. He’s just started college. He’s only lived in the U.S. for eight years. And every American needs to hear this young man’s story.
How we can create equity for all communities?
Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.
Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.
Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)
This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.
To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.
This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.
After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”
“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”
Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).
As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.
Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.
“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”
"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/
The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.
A much-needed reminder.
If you've ever stayed in a hotel, you know there's an additional lock you can latch as an added layer of protection. But sometimes weird things happen that make us rethink the comfort and security many of us take for granted. TikTok user TayBeepBoop had a disturbing experience when a hotel front desk person attempted to enter her room while she was inside. Some readers may find the story to be unsettling but it's a powerful reminder of exactly why situational awareness and caution are so important in today's world.
Tay, obviously frightened, uploaded clips from the event on her TikTok page, which has since garnered 6 million views. In the video, which is mostly the floor, door and bed, you can hear the man outside of her room knocking loudly asking to be let inside.
Tay asks the man repeatedly why he attempted to walk into her room using the hotel key to which the man explains there's a problem with the woman's car. There's only one problem. Tay doesn't own a car and is only in town on business where she did not rent a car to get around town, relying only on other modes of transportation. So, what the heck was the man doing at her door?
Replying to @dani klarić this was a really long and hard video to make, it was sort of traumatizing and I’m kind of freaked out about staying anywhere now and I dont leave my house much anymore tbh because I already was dealing with PTSD about my safety. I’m OKAY which is why im able to go through this footage now. I genuinely don’t want anything to do with this hotel, this is a PSA to stay safe and cautious. I don’t want people to go after this worker because I still don’t know what his intentions were and he could have just been trying to do his job
Tay was staying at the hotel alone and made sure to latch the additional lock on her hotel room door, which is the only thing that prevented this hotel staff member from getting into her room. Since the situation was so scary and went on for quite some time according to her video, she called friends on FaceTime to be a witness and help comfort her. Eventually the man leaves after repeated attempts to get the scared woman to open the door and Tay was able to get a male business partner to escort her safely to another hotel.
But the comments were filled with stories from women who have had similar experiences. Many people explained the danger of admitting you're alone upon check-in, while other commenters sympathized with the woman not thinking to call the police right away. With people traveling more as COVID-19 restrictions subside, there could be a greater chance for things like this happening so it's best to be prepared and err on the side of caution when traveling alone.
Women on the Road has several tips for hotel safety including making sure your door lock works, putting a chair under the handle of the door or buying a rubber door stop. The site also highlights the importance of locking your windows if they open and not opening the door for people you don't know.
Another site geared towards safety is Solo Female Traveler and it recommends getting a floor higher in the hotel to make it more of a hassle for someone from outside to break in. It, too, reiterates the importance of locking the additional lock in the hotel room while you're inside.
While it's statistically unlikely you'll be a victim of a hotel robbery or whatever was happening with Tay, her experience is a reminder to research hotels and practice caution when traveling. Always, always, lock the deadbolt or chain.
Even in the midst of her own tragedy she keeps bringing light.
Sometimes when you're having a bad day it helps to have a warm voice telling you that everything will be OK.
Millions of people have been getting little pep talks from a maternal voice on TikTok, Ophelia Nichols, better known as "Mama Tot." Nichols has been bringing sunshine to people's algorithm for a while now with her signature greeting, "Hey, my little tater tots." The mom of four adult children has built her platform on kindness and compassion. Anytime social media users see Nichols' face pop up on their screen, they know they're in for a dose of sweetness.
Some people have been so taken aback by the Alabama woman's sweet nature that they have asked her if she was just pretending to be that nice. Mama Tot isn't a stranger to those sorts of questions and always responds with her signature brand of kindness, explaining about her difficult upbringing and desire to just be a good human.
Recently, Nichols' "tater tots" rallied around her after the news of her youngest child being tragically murdered. In a truly admirable video, Mama Tot called for compassion toward the other family involved, though she was hurting.
When someone is in need, Nichols does her best to help however she can and her followers come along for the ride, gleaning their own message from her words.
When a young mom was struggling with feeling like she just couldn't get things together, Nichols sent her a message via video saying, "What we're supposed to do is raise our babies and our children the best way we know how." She continued, "If you're giving your babies all of you and the best of you, then your best will always be good enough for them."
The message was so encouraging that the mom she made the video for commented, "Thank you Mama Tot, everything I needed to hear 💗 such big shoes to fill, I want to be everything she deserves."
#stitch with @Leah Rae
These messages from Mama Tot aren't always specifically to any one person, but they're certainly helpful to many people that come across her page. The southern mom has amassed more than 9 million followers and more than 279 million likes, all due to her bubbly personality and ability to know just what people need to hear.
The internet can be a cruel place, but Nichols has made her mark by remaining kind and giving sage advice, including explaining financial abuse to her followers and how to stash away money to escape a financially abusive relationship. While Nichols is kind, she does not put up with bullies. Her "tater tots" can learn from her ability to set boundaries, take accountability for missteps and remain kind while doing so.
Nichols' comments section is always filled with people expressing their gratitude for her encouraging words and the light she brings to their day. On one of Nichols' videos checking in on her followers, a commenter, Jess, wrote, "a bright spot in a dark day🥰bless you mama tot." While another commenter, Hannah Perry, on the same video said, "You give me so much hope in the world of darkness."
If you happen to stumble across one of Mama Tot's videos, check out her page for a while, you'll be glad you did.
The lionesses have proudly walked to victory.
Next stop for the Mayyas … Vegas, baby!
The fan-favorite all-female dance troupe from Lebanon took home the ultimate prize on the Sept. 14 episode of “America’s Got Talent,” beating out some incredibly heavy competition this season. With the win comes a $1 million cash prize as well as the opportunity to headline a show at Las Vegas' Luxor Hotel and Casino.
From first-round auditions to the riveting live finale, the Mayyas have consistently lived up to their name, which translates to “proud walk of the lioness,” with remarkable skill and fearlessness in each and every performance.
You can take a look at their entire “AGT” journey below, ending with that unforgettable finale. Prepare to be blown away.
The dance crew promised to “hypnotize” during its first-round audition, and did so with flying colors. Having previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” back in 2019, the Mayyas were well prepared to wow the crowd.
Their spellbinding performance granted the Mayyas a golden buzzer from judge Sofia Vergara, who called it the “most beautiful creative dancing” she had ever seen.
They once again left audiences with their jaws on the floor after their semifinal routine, which was even more bold and dramatic. Howie Mandel called it the “best moment in AGT history,” adding that the Mayyas should be “the poster people for female empowerment."
Simon Cowell also predicted that their performance would “change the world.”
Then came the live finale, where the proud lionesses left it all on the stage. The stunning performance had glowing orbs of light, glittery galaxies and a huge white gown made out of large feather fans. In a word, it had everything.
Yeah, it was hauntingly beautiful.Viewers have been rooting for the Mayyas from the beginning—not only for their ability to create mesmerizing illusions using clever choreography and brilliant prop manipulation, but for their mission to “prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”
As explained by Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”This combined with the country’s worsening economic crisis and apparent political corruption made each advancement to the next round mean so much more than getting closer to a coveted title. As Cherfan told People, “It’s about a huge bigger message for our people to make them believe in themselves and to give hope to our country who is going into a dark time."
The Mayyas shared their well-deserved victory with their home country, posting a video to Instagram of the win along with the caption saying “Lebanon, this one’s for you.”
It’s lovely to see incredible talent. It’s even better to hear the incredible stories behind the talent. The Mayyas were dedicated to showing the world what Arab women can do, and they succeeded.