DataDownload: How the pandemic will end… NYU’s response to COVID-19

DataDownload: How the pandemic will end… NYU’s response to COVID-19 A weekly summary of all things Media, Data, Emerging Tech View this email in your browser

I miss you guys.

The friendly flashlight guy from the MTA who manages riders who transfer from the #1 to the A at Columbus Circle. The coffee cart owner who brightens my day in front of 370 Jay Street. A bargain, a cup of coffee and a smile for $1.25. The mailman who delivers to my building. I miss them, and once it’s safe, I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

Until then, we’re reading, publishing, and helping — using the tools we know best, tech. A few must-reads this week — from The Atlantic How the Pandemic Will End. NYU’s actions to fight the pandemic are inspiring. A Times piece about Fox News reveals that the problem may be that no one is in charge.

And one segment from the amazing 20 hour, global video summit produced by Boma Global. Larry Brilliant is just what his last name suggests. And the NYCML team is proud to have worked with teams from Facebook Live, Zoom, and Boma to pull it off. Sharing good information around the world.

That is all — for now. Masks are the new black. So hip.

Write me:


Steven Rosenbaum
Managing Director
The NYC Media Lab Must-Read How the Pandemic Will End

“On the Global Health Security Index, a report card that grades every country on its pandemic preparedness, the United States has a score of 83.5 — the world’s highest. Rich, strong, developed, America is supposed to be the readiest of nations. That illusion has been shattered.”

How has the most powerful nation on earth ended up at risk to suffer “the worst outbreak in the industrialized world”? The Atlantic traces the severe warnings from experts in recent years, the “ghost town of scientific expertise” that is the White House, and the unpreparedness that led us here.

Staff science writer Ed Yong lists the four things that must happen quickly to avert worst-case scenarios: “rapidly produce masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment”; “a massive rollout of COVID-19 tests”; social distancing; and clear and effective measures.

28 min read

Read More NYU Responds to COVID-19 Here’s a snapshot of how our colleagues at NYU are fighting the pandemic on the front lines:

  • Led by Steve Kuyan, Grant Fox, and Uriel Eisen of the NYU Tandon Future Labs and Sayar Lonial (Tandon), the NYU COVID-19 Task Force has already created a prototype face shield that is quick and inexpensive to produce, and which can provide added protection to hospital workers and extend the life of face masks.
  • Physics professor David Grier has developed and patented technology for holographic detection of protein binding, including antibodies, which can allow for highly accurate COVID-19 testing.
  • Professor Elodie Ghedin (biology, Global Public Health) is conducting viral sequencing from patient samples in order to help with disease surveillance.
  • The NYU Chemical Biology Initiative has already begun a multi-pronged approach to the design, synthesis, an initial evaluation of drug candidates.
  • Laboratories across campus are working to redirect their materials, equipment, and personnel to assist with the shortage of supplies.

4 min read Read More For the Media Rupert Murdoch Put His Son in Charge of Fox. It Was a Dangerous Mistake.

“I asked Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Public Health Institute, who appeared on Fox News recently, whether he believes people will die because of Fox’s coverage. ‘Yes,’ he said.”

We’ve seen countless examples of celebrities, athletes, politicians, and entire beach parties ignoring the consequences of the pandemic. Now we’re seeing a dangerous cascade of events as a TV station comes to grips with lax executive oversight and widespread misinformation.

NY Times investigates the inactions of Fox News’ executives team as anchors projected political agendas and skepticism to Fox’s largely older audience.

8 min read

Read More Under Quarantine, Media Is Actually Social “Beyond sharing video chat happy hour screenshots and quarantine dinner concoctions, our piece-by-piece biographies have ground to a halt.”

In Italy, where COVID-19 has had the most devastating impact, group video chat app Houseparty has jumped ranks from something below 1,500 to number one in social apps, and number two overall — right behind Zoom. How is that an app that had 25 downloads in Spain on March 1st is getting tens of thousands of downloads a day? Maybe we’re just getting more social online.

Most of us have nothing to show off anymore — no pristine backdrops or exciting outdoor events. We’re going to “Zoom University” in “Zoom Town.” Celebrities are live streaming from home and we’re screenshoting pajama-clad group chats. We’re getting the best of gallows humor — the universal relatability of Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens, quarantine romance is already a trope, and of course, reddit. And lest we forget, “there are no Like counts on Zoom.”

6 min read Read More Around Is the New Floating Head Video Chat Multitasking App

“A Zoom video call is basically a telephone connected to a video camera. In terms of design, it’s not much different from the original Picturephone demoed at the 1964 World’s Fair.” — Around CEO Dominik Zane

Around is a startup that combines Zoom with Messenger’s video chat heads and a dash of machine learning — and the result is a reflection of the way we connect today. It seems every feature was built upon the frustrations that we came to learn from our remote conference sessions: automatic face framing, external noise reduction, echo elimination. TechCrunch speaks with CEO Dominik Zane about how the startup came about.

5 min read

Read More What We’re Watching Larry Brilliant M.D. with Daniel Kraft M.D., Chair for Medicine, Singularity University

When a virus that no one has ever seen spreads across the globe in mere months, science must race to find answers to some very hard questions: how fast will COVID-19 proliferate? How many will get sick? Can our health systems withstand the onslaught of this new illness? Will there be a vaccine anytime soon?

Larry Brilliant has spent his career fighting epidemics. As a doctor working for the World Health Organization in the 1970s, he helped to stamp out smallpox. It remains the only human disease to ever be successfully eradicated in our history. Watch his Boma Global talk below:

25 min watch

Watch Now Events (All Virtual) Event: The Combine — Virtual Demo Day
Date: April 3, 9:30am-11:30am
Seven teams will share their pitches, highlighting new applications, and customer segments for AR/VR, AI, machine learning, computer vision, and more. Register Here.

Challenge: Music & Design Challenge — Creating, Composing, Experiencing Music with Emerging Tech
Deadline: April 3
The NYC Media Lab and ASCAP Lab team seeks creative, cutting-edge concepts that apply emerging technologies to music composition and experience. During this 11-week open university challenge, graduate students in creative tech, music, design and technology, and other graduate disciplines will develop project concepts and prototypes that leverage a range of technologies. Register Here.

Event: Disruption Forum Online
Date: March 31, 5:30PM-8:30PM
Meet experts from Citi Ventures, Ellevest, Currencycloud, Socure and more. Live online conference. Register Here. A Deeper Look How 3M Plans to Make More Than a Billion Masks by End of Year

From open source ventilator designs to 3D-printed face shields to a restaurant’s pressurized takeout window — startups, giants, and research teams are designing innovative solutions to mitigate the pandemic and save lives. 3M is doubling its production of N95 masks. Here’s how others are battling the pandemic:

Read More How the COVID Tracking Project Fills the Public Health Data Gap

Two Atlantic writers and a data scientists started The COVID Tracking Project this month and it has since snowballed into an effort to keep the most up-to-date numbers on positive and negative results in every state. Dozens of volunteers, including journalists, researchers, and graduate students are now involved in an effort that will prove integral to understanding how widespread the virus is and and where the epicenters are.

According to Erin Kissane, whose background includes editing technical books and working as editorial director at Open News, the project “is the only one she knows of that relies on human power to collect and make sense of the numbers,” instead of just scraping existing sources.

10 min read

Read More Transactions & Announcements AI Platform Developer Ada Support Raises $63.7M CAD Series B

AI Startup Yitu Receives Another $100M in Funding

Expressive Raises $30M Series B to Automate Help Desks


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