Niche Sculpture in the University of Limerick by Orla De Brí, available to licence on EyeEm.


Friday, May 11, 2018

In This Edition:
Vatican secrets, CRISPR unleashed, Google Seurat, story tips, Microsoft + DJI, country roads self driving, Business Wars & Google Duplex!

The photo above is of the Niche sculpture by Orla De Brí, located on the Clare campus of the University of Limerick. The sculpture stands 8.5 meters tall. From this perspective, it reminds me of the alien from Annihiliation.

The photo is available to licence on EyeEm.

Using AI on The Vatican Secret Archives

An example screen used by In Codice Ratio to allow students to train the AI OCR model. Image: In Codice Ratio

Researchers in Italy, on a project called In Codice Ratio, are using OCR and AI to begin to digitise hand written manuscripts from The Vatican Secret Archives. The challenge lies in creating an OCR system efficient enough in recognising hand written Latin script. The researchers have pioneered a mehtod called jigsaw segmentation, where a word is segmented into blocks analogous to pen strokes, as opposed to segmentation by letter. The researchers then sought the help of students from 24 schools in Italy to train the AI model used in the OCR system by tagging correctly identified characters. The model boasts a 96% identification success rate.


Cell-free CRISPR Sandbox

Researchers have created a new version of CRISPR that can edit free floating DNA in a test-tube, instead of only being able to operate on DNA within a living cell. This CRISPR sandbox can be used to test CRISPR on specific test samples, which would allow custom CRISPR diagnosis of cancer cells. The team involved are looking for commercial partners to help deevlop a CRISPR-on-a-chip product for cancer diagnosis.


Google Seurat

Image: Techcrunch | Google Seurat

Google have open-sourced Seurat, the tool they use to simplify VR scenes based on the viewers perspective, sort of a 3D to 2D conversion on the fly using millions of triangles. Triangles are the best. The code is available on GitHub.


Story Writing Tips From Kurt Vonnegut

8 tips on how to write great stories from Kurt Vonnegut.
#3: Every charachter should want something, even if it's only a glass of water.


Microsoft AI + DJI

Image: Microsoft | DJI

Microsoft have partnered with drone maker DJI to allow Microsoft Azure IoT Edge AI code to be deployed onto drones using an SDK. The video shows a demo of the partnership duing Microsoft Build 2018 where a DJI Mavic Air with an onboard image recognition AI detects a structural anomaly in some demo pipes. The SDK is due to be publicly released in Fall 2018.


Country Road Self Driving


Researchers at MIT have developed a self driving car system for country roads that does not rely on prior 3D maps. The MapLite system uses GPS and LIDAR to map the edge of the road and map the path of the road on the fly, without the need for curbs or road signs.


Podcasts Of The Week: Business Wars

Image: Wondery

As podcasts go, Business Wars by Wondery is very binge-worthy. The show offers a factual based story look at some of the biggest company battles in corporate history like Netflix V Blockbuster and Marvel V DC. Each story lasts for 7 or 8 episodes and finishes with some interviews of people close to the story. I found the Nike V Adidas story particularly good, the history of both companies is a great story!
H/T to Niall Harbison for posting on Twitter about Business Wars.


Google Duplex

Image: Google Duplex

Google unveiled Duplex at this year's Google IO. Duplex is a mind-blowing AI voice bot that can have conversations with real people in order to complete tasks like dinner reservations.

The examples are amazing, the system can deal with interruptions and can clarify details during the call in a realistic manner.
Have a listen to the call below:

The applications of this are very exciting! PAs and assistants may soon have their own digital assistants who can do the phone leg work, and eventually the phone lines will be full of automated assistants chatting to each other! Great for people like me who hate talking on the phone :-p


About Found This Week

Found This Week is a curated blog of interesting posts, articles, links and stories in the world of technology, science and life in general.
Each edition is curated by Daryl Feehely every Friday and highlights cool stuff found each week.
The first 104 editions were published on Medium before this site was created, check out the archive here.

Daryl Feehely

I’m a web consultant, contract web developer, technical project manager & photographer originally from Cork, now based in London. I offer my clients strategy, planning & technical delivery services, remotely & in person. I also offer freelance CTO services to companies in need of technical bootstrapping or reinvention. If you think I can help you in your business, check out my details on

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