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New tech allows parents to hold a 3D printed version of their unborn baby

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US surgeons have developed new 3D printing technology to assist with procedures to correct birth defects in the womb

One hospital in Florida is working with 3D printing developers to create new technology to revolutionise the future of pre-natal care. It aims to make fetal surgery more effective and safer for both the mother and unborn child. The technology allows surgeons to create a detailed 3D rendering of the unborn child to study before surgery.

Surgeons use MRI ultrasound imaging and the 3D printing tech to reduce potential risks in procedures. The hospital says the technology also allows surgeons to plan procedures ahead of time and plan for anticipated obstacles.

Samer Elbabaa is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. He shows expecting parents Jocelyn and Jared Rodriguez a 3D-printed model of their developing baby.

The technology could prevent the unborn child from developing neurological disabilities, such as an inability to walk

The hospital is trialling using the tech to plan for in-utero surgery to repair spinal defects. The defects can lead to neurological disabilities, such as being unable to walk.

Samer Elbabaa, MD is the medical director of paediatric neurosurgery at Orlando Health, the hospital that developed the technology. She says the tech is “extremely valuable” in cases where defects can’t actually be seen ahead of surgery.

Jack Stubbs is the president and CEO of Digital Anatomy Simulations for Healthcare. Here, he prepares a 3D model of a fetus using MRI and ultrasound imaging. The printed model will give surgeons a life-size representation they can use to prepare for surgery.

Helping surgeons to identify and analyse potential issues before the baby is even born

“The 3D reconstruction of the fetus can really educate the surgeon on the real-life shape, size and location of the spinal lesion,” she said.

DASH President and CEO Jack Stubbs says the the fetal models will help surgeons plan for procedures. It will also help “reduce the duration of the surgery to limit the developing baby’s exposure,” he said.

Jocelyn and Jared Rodriguez look at an ultrasound of their baby. Orlando Health surgeons used this imaging to create a 3D printed replica of the baby. They used the model to prepare for a complicated procedure to treat the baby’s spinal defect.

“It’s a level of detail that we are not able to see in traditional imaging”

The technology works by enhancing MRI and ultrasound images taken throughout the pregnancy with more accurate 3D details.

These images are then printed as a high-res model using multiple colours and materials. This also allows surgeons to see extra details like skeletal structure, nerves, veins and other issues indicative of spinal abnormalities.

“We are able to create models that are extremely realistic,” said Stubbs. They do this by using a stack of two-dimensional images taken throughout the pregnancy and enhancing them to reconstruct a more accurate visualisation of the fetus.

Dr. Samer Elbabaa is a paediatric neurosurgeon at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Here he holds 3D printed models of two fetuses. These models allow surgeons to review, visualise and prepare for a complex procedure.

The 3D-printed models will give both surgeons and parents a clearer picture for what to expect during fetal surgery

The technology will also help surgeons explain the baby’s condition and potential treatment options to parents. For first-time parents Jared and Jocelyn Rodriguez, it made them more confident about moving forward with surgery.

“We could see the brain and the spine. I looked down at it and thought, ‘I’m holding my daughter right now? That’s pretty awesome.’”

The Rodriguezes say they’re glad this technological development will help give their future daughter the possibility of a healthier future.

Jocelyn and Jared Rodriguez take a walk at a park near their Central Florida home. Jocelyn and her unborn child underwent in-utero surgery to treat her baby’s spina bifida.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Why ChatGPT’s latest update will be a game-changer for AI adoption

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OpenAI has introduced new updates to ChatGPT, aiming for a more direct and concise conversational style.

  • GPT-4 Turbo is now available to paid ChatGPT users only.

  • “gpt-4-turbo-2024-04-09” will bring greatly enhanced writing, math, logical reasoning and coding.

  • “When writing with ChatGPT responses will be more direct, less verbose and use more conversational language,” OpenAI writes in a post on X.

 

These changes come in response to user feedback and a desire to improve the efficiency of interactions with the AI model.

Streamlined AI

The adjustments focus on reducing verbosity in ChatGPT’s responses, ensuring that the AI communicates with users more effectively.

By streamlining its language, OpenAI hopes to enhance user experience across various applications, from customer service chatbots to language learning platforms.

This move aligns with OpenAI’s ongoing efforts to refine its models and make them more adaptable to diverse communication needs.

“For example, when writing with ChatGPT, responses will be more direct, less verbose, and use more conversational language.”, writes OpenAI on X.

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Meta’s plans to hide nudity from Instagram DMs

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Instagram, owned by Meta, announced plans to introduce features that will blur messages containing nudity in an effort to protect teenagers and prevent potential scammers from targeting them.

Meta’s decision comes amidst growing concerns regarding harmful content on its platforms, especially concerning the mental well-being of young users.

The technology giant has faced increasing scrutiny in both the United States and Europe, with accusations that its apps contribute to addiction and exacerbate mental health issues among adolescents.

According to Meta, the new protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages will utilise on-device machine learning to analyse whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

This feature will be enabled by default for users under the age of 18, with adults being encouraged to activate it as well.

Meta said that because the image analysis occurs on the device itself, the nudity protection feature will function even in end-to-end encrypted chats, where Meta does not have access to the content unless it is reported by users.

unsplash_image @ Unsplash

Direct messages

Unlike Meta’s Messenger and WhatsApp apps, direct messages on Instagram are not currently encrypted.

However, Meta has stated its intention to implement encryption for Instagram’s direct messages in the future.

Additionally, Meta revealed that it is developing technology to identify accounts potentially involved in sextortion scams. The company is also testing new pop-up messages to alert users who may have interacted with such accounts.

This latest move follows Meta’s announcement in January that it would restrict more content from teens on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to reduce their exposure to sensitive topics such as suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.

Meta’s efforts to enhance safety measures come amid legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny.

Attorneys general from 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, filed a lawsuit against the company in October, alleging repeated misrepresentation of the dangers associated with its platforms.

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Tech

Fake AI law firms avert copyright for SEO gains

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It’s been revealed that fake AI-driven law firms are resorting to sending fabricated DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notices to website owners.

These deceptive practices aim to generate artificial Search Engine Optimization gains through the manipulation of backlinks, casting a shadow on the integrity of online legal proceedings.

The issue was brought to attention when Ernie Smith, a prominent writer behind the newsletter Tedium, found himself targeted by one such fraudulent firm named “Commonwealth Legal.” Representing the “Intellectual Property division” of Tech4Gods, the purported law firm accused Smith of copyright infringement over a photo of a keyfob sourced from Unsplash, a legitimate photo service.

The firm demanded immediate action to add a credit link to Tech4Gods and threatened further legal action if compliance was not met within five business days.

However, a closer examination revealed glaring inconsistencies with Commonwealth Legal’s legitimacy.

Despite claiming to be based in Arizona, the firm’s website domain was registered with a Canadian IP location, raising doubts about its authenticity.

AI-generated faces

The attorneys listed on the website displayed eerie characteristics common to AI-generated faces, casting doubt on their existence.

Further investigation revealed that these fake law firms resort to such deceitful tactics to manipulate backlinks, which are crucial for improving a website’s search engine ranking.

Backlinks from reputable sites contribute to SEO, and exploiting this vulnerability, fake firms attempt to boost their clients’ online presence through artificial means.

The sinister nature of these actions extends beyond mere SEO manipulation.

They undermine the trust in legal proceedings and pose a threat to the integrity of online content. The emergence of AI-driven deception in legal matters underscores the need for vigilant scrutiny and robust measures to combat such fraudulent activities.

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