Tech Digest daily round up: AI predicts whether you will die of Covid

Artificial Intelligence, News

A team of computer science researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a machine that can predict how likely Covid patients are to die from the disease – with 90pc accuracy.  To create the algorithm driving the calculation, researchers input data from 4,000 Danish Covid patients including their age, sex, body mass index (BMI), lab tests, vital signs, prescriptions and consultations. Using that information, the algorithm was able to learn the risk factors that make Covid patients most likely to die from the disease. The AI can then, with up to 90pc certainty, determine whether a person who is not yet infected with Covid-19 will die of the disease if they became infected. Once admitted to hospital, the computer can also predict with 80pc accuracy whether the person will need a respirator. Telegraph 

Uber is to treat its 70,000 drivers in the UK as workers, meaning they will be entitled to a number of basic employment protections. The ride-hailing app lost a Supreme Court case last month, with a judge ruling that drivers should be classed as workers, not as independent third-party contractors. This means they have access to holiday pay and a pension scheme, as well as earning at least the minimum wage, starting from today (Wednesday March 17th). The minimum wage is currently £8.72 per hour for those aged 25 and over, although it will increase to £8.91 per hour for everyone aged 23 and over from April. Sky News 

Prolific burglars, robbers and thieves are to be tagged with GPS trackers in a bid to stop them from reoffending, writes The BBC. Offenders will be automatically tagged for up to 12 months after being released from prison, under a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) pilot. Gwent, Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Humberside and West Midlands police forces are all taking part. The MoJ said tracking offenders 24 hours a day would act as a deterrent. It estimated 250 offenders, who have served a year in prison, will be fitted with the tag in the first six months of the scheme, as part of their licence conditions.

Google blocked or removed more than three billion adverts for violating its policies in 2020, including more than 99 million linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has revealed. The internet company’s annual Ads Safety Report showed it suspended 1.7 million advertiser accounts for breaking Google rules. It said a major revamp of its advertising policies had meant a drastic increase in the number of ads removed over the last 12 months. Among the 3.1 billion adverts removed were over 99 million related to Covid-19, many for misleading claims such as miracle cures or fake vaccine doses, but also ads for N95 masks during supply shortages. Daily Mail 

Video-sharing platform TikTok may launch a group messaging feature this year, people with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters, putting the Chinese-owned app in more direct competition with social media rivals such as Facebook. Group messaging is part of owner ByteDance’s plan to develop TikTok into more of a “social interactions app”, one of the sources said. The feature has been part of the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, since 2019. 

The Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) has opened its doors to members in England as a way of promoting EV uptake while also giving a voice to both current and prospective owners about their experiences. First conceived in 2020, EVA England members will be given a membership pack, charging etiquette guide and additional support surrounding EV ownership. EVA also says that as membership and demand grows, members will also be granted access to specially organised events and a variety of discounts on both services and products. Express and Star 


Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to