Tech Digest daily roundup: Scientists use AI to diagnose Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease could be diagnosed from a single brain scan, allowing it to be identified at an early stage, a new study suggests. The research uses artificial intelligence to look at structures of the brain, including in regions not previously associated with Alzheimer’s. Scientists suggest the advantage of the technique is its simplicity and the fact that it can detect the disease in its early stages. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, an early diagnosis allows patients to access help and support, have treatment to manage their symptoms and plan for the future. Yahoo!

Meta’s Reality Labs division has revealed new prototypes in its roadmap toward lightweight, hyper-realistic virtual reality graphics. The breakthroughs remain far from consumer-ready, but the designs — codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocake 2, and Mirror Lake — could add up to a slender, brightly lit headset that supports finer detail than its current Quest 2 display. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reality Labs chief scientist Michael Abrash, along with other Reality Labs members, presented their work at a virtual roundtable last week. The event focused on designs that Meta refers to as “time machines”: bulky proofs of concept meant for testing one specific feature, like a super-bright backlight or super-high-resolution screen. The Verge 

The historic vote by employees of a Maryland Apple store to unionize — a first for the technology giant — is a significant step in a lengthy process that labor experts say is heavily stacked against workers in favor of their employers. Apple store employees in a Baltimore suburb voted to unionize by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Saturday, joining a growing push across U.S. retail, service and tech industries to organize for greater workplace protections. It’s not yet clear whether the recent wave of unionizations represent a broader shift in U.S. labor. But experts say the current shortage of workers for hourly and low-wage jobs means employees have more power than they had historically, especially when unemployment is low. AP News 

Rules on so-called buy now pay later (BNPL) loans will be tightened up, the government says – including new guidelines on advertising and checks to ensure customers can afford to pay. Apple has said it plans to launch a buy now pay later option for users of Apple Pay, initially in the US. But critics say BNPL schemes encourage people to spend beyond their means. The loans – used by 15 million people in the UK in 2021 – are typically spread over a number of payments. BBC

Nintendo was noticebly absent from the past few weeks of not-E3 shenanigans, but that is all about to change. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will take centre stage in a dedicated Nintendo Direct broadcast due to take place this Wednesday 22nd June at 3pm UK time. The presentation is set to last 20 minutes, and be focused squarely on Monolith Soft’s Switch-exclusive role-playing game set to launch worldwide on 29th July. Eurogamer 


Chris Price
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