Convenience Over Capacity: Watson Will See You Now

Are we comfortable with machines being smarter and faster than us?  All machines start out at least as smart as the person who built them, but then what happens when their mechanized learning and capacity to think beings to outweigh and outgrow their human captors?

Continue reading → Convenience Over Capacity: Watson Will See You Now

Minority Children in Triple Jeopardy

Health Affairs recently released a disturbing and disparaging report concerning the health and wellbeing of minority children in America:

Bethesda, MD — Almost 17 percent of black children and 20.5 percent of Latino children in the United States live in “double jeopardy,” meaning that they live in both poor families and poor neighborhoods, according to research released today in the March/April issue of the journal Health Affairs.

In contrast, only 1.4 percent of white children live in double jeopardy. According to researchers, the type of neighborhood one lives in plays a significant role in racial and ethnic health disparities. In addition, poor white children are more likely than poor black or Latino children to live in better neighborhoods.

A typical poor white child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 13.6 percent, while a typical poor black child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty level is nearly 30 percent.

A typical poor Latino child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 26 percent. Segregated, disadvantaged neighborhoods affect health in the following ways:

· By limiting economic advancement for minorities because of poor education, limited job opportunities, and a poor return on housing investment.

· By exposing minorities to violent crime, environmental hazards, poor municipal services, and a lack of grocery stores and healthy food options.

· By leading to segregated health care settings with poorer-quality health care.

Continue reading → Minority Children in Triple Jeopardy