The Download: OpenAI chip plans, pulse oximeters and how to improve them


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Visit any health-care facility, and one of the first things they’ll do is clip a pulse oximeter to your finger. These devices, which track heart rate and blood oxygen, offer vital information about a person’s health.

But they’re also flawed. Pulse oximeters may overestimate the amount of oxygen in blood for people with dark skin. This means that someone with dangerously low levels of oxygen might appear fine, according to a pulse oximeter.

The US Food and Drug Administration has yet to find a solution to this problem. An FDA advisory committee met last week to discuss better ways to assess the performance of these devices on people with different skin tones. Engineers are also thinking about this issue. Cassandra Willyard investigated why engineers are biased and what technology fixes might be possible. See what she found out.

This article is taken from The Checkup Weekly Biotech and Health Newsletter. Sign upYou will receive it every Thursday.

The Must-Reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

OpenAI plans to revolutionize the chip industry
Spending trillions on a new project. (WSJ $)
+ AMD also has plans to break Nvidia’s chip chokehold. (Economist $)
+ OpenAI’s COO is molding the startup into a commercial powerhouse. (Bloomberg $)
+ The company has surpassed the $2 billion revenue mark. (FT $)
+ Why China is betting big with chiplets (MIT Technology Review)

US regulators have banned AI-generated robocalls
In an effort to stay ahead of audio fakes that could disrupt the Presidential election. (AP News)
+ That doesn’t mean the calls won’t keep coming, though. (TechCrunch)
+ Iranian hackers infiltrated UAE streaming service with a deepfake Newsreader. (The Guardian)

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