Episode 169 – Virtual Surgery & Artificial Black Boxes

Michael and Michael take a spin from the physical to the virtual, starting with an article by Scotty Allen, describing how he constructed an iPhone 6s entirely from parts he bought in markets in China.  Moving into the virtual space, the pair discuss the merits and benefits of a syringe with haptic feedback to help surgeons learn the amount of pressure needed to inject a patient, in what appeared to be way too close to reality.  Squeamishness aside, this use case is particularly well suited to the virtual reality training space, as it combines visual and physical feedback, developing the appropriate muscle memory needed to perform the surgery successfully.

Rounding out this episode, Michael and Michael talk about the importance of transparency in artificial intelligence algorithms, particularly for audibility.  As machine learning allows for enhancements to decision making, blockchain recording of the decisions can provide the benefit of how the AI made the decisions it did at the time it made those decisions.  A fascinating potential blend of these technologies.

Hope you enjoy!

selected links 

Strange Parts: How I Made My Own iPhone – in China! — https://strangeparts.com/how-i-made-my-own-iphone-in-china/

New Scientist: Virtual syringe lets surgeons practice piercing skin and muscle — https://www.newscientist.com/article/2127828-virtual-syringe-lets-surgeons-practise-piercing-skin-and-muscle/

MIT Technology Review: The Financial World Wants to Open AI’s Black Boxes — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604122/the-financial-world-wants-to-open-ais-black-boxes/

Games we’re playing

Bacon Escape — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bacon-escape/id1199364353?mt=8

Shooty Skies — https://shootyskies.com

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Episode 149 – AR Through the Looking Glass


Augmented Reality features prominently in this episode where Michael and Michael explore a number of new and existing technologies, and how they may work together in an interconnected world to create new experiences for the people who use them. This show starts with a true 3D display called Volume, announced by LookingGlassFactory.com which has an aquarium-like display with true color and millions of pixels to render a three dimensional holographic display that can be experienced without any kind of headgear. A Buzzfeed article adds more clarity on the potential that Apple sees with AR, and both Michael and Michael explore how AR is not just visual — that audio, haptics, internet of things & sensors all play a role in the digital convergence that augments reality. They conclude with an amazing couple of medical use cases — where augmented reality assists in the surgical theater, allowing for a smaller incision and the physician to see what is happening inside the head of the patient, as well as for augmented touch reality where researchers help a man with a spinal injury feel pressure on robotic fingers.

Augmented visual reality, augmented audio reality, augmented touch reality are all part of the experiences possible. Expect that Michael and Michael will explore Smell-o-vision and augmented taste reality in an upcoming episode! Drop us a line with your ideas and thoughts about digital convergence on Twitter or Facebook!

Show Links
NC School of Science and Math
Looking Glass Factory
Tim Cook, Apple, and AR
Duke Researchers use AR for Brain Surgery
Brain interface allows robotic fingers to ‘Feel’

Games we are playing
Michael(s) – Inks

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