This endangered cheetah is wearing a Fullpower AI-pod for research purposes. The pod and its associated infrastructure are an AI-powered sensor-fusion edge cloud solution that learns about the Cheetah’s behavior. The AI-pod is small, waterproof, and rugged. We are in the process of learning a lot about cheetah behavior. For example: “When do Cheetahs really sleep?” or “When to Cheetahs really hunt?” This picture was taken at the Cheetah Conservation Fund based out of Namibia.
Philippe Kahn joins the Mentaltrener podcast hosted by Frank Nilsen. Frank is “the Norwegian Joe Rogan” and the podcast is in English and was lots of fun. The Mentaltrener podcast features interviews with inspiring and successful people from all over the world about their mindset strategies for overcoming fear and various challenges on their journey to success. Visit the link below to listen:
Asleep. We spend about a third of our lives in a state of slumber. Increasingly documented as a key component of human well-being, sleep enables us to recover and regenerate physically and mentally. Getting too little of it or having poor night’s sleep creates an imbalance that has knock-on effects on cognitive ability, mood, and general performance. For example, the coaches and medical staff at Hintsa Performance emphasize sleep as one of the 6 key components of success for high-level athletes and business people, in what is described as the Circle of Better Life. In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington claims, “We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis,” and details the consequences society will face socially and economically if we do not adequately address our sleep habits.
Yet, for all the various tips and tricks proposed to improve sleep it remains a largely obscure state that many of us rarely reflect upon – unless you have a bad night’s sleep. Some of us are more aware of the importance of sleep. Severe sleep disorders afflict as much as 16.6% of the population worldwide, if not more, according to a 2012 Warwick University study. There are a number of challenges in researching sleep disorders; however, new technologies are paving the way for improved means of gaining valuable insights into sleep.
Three innovative areas that ETH Zurich currently investigates could hold the answers to optimizing sleep.
Tracking Brain Activity
The SleepLoop project is developing a device in the form of a headband that measures and analyzes brain waves, subsequently playing a matching sound to stimulate deeper sleep. One of the major impediments to traditional sleep studies is the bulky equipment required to measure the subject, often requiring them to sleep in the lab. SleepLoop’s wearable technology optimizes data collection providing quality results that are faster, cheaper, and affords greater comfort to human subjects taking part in the study. This technology could potentially deliver a cure to sleep disorders without the need for drug therapies and may have applications in the prevention of certain brain diseases.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
Scientists in ETH Zurich’s Organic Chemistry Lab have increased 5-fold the sensitivity of their sleep measuring devices using secondary electrospray ionisation (SESI). “This sensitivity is sufficient for our SESI devices to be used for breath analysis in medicine,” says Professor Pablo Sinues. One of the applications Sinues and his team are investigating is the analysis of exhaled breath in order to diagnose sleep apnea. Their future projects include looking at how to simplify instruments to deploy in clinics and doctors’ offices.
Originally created to study the optimal rocking movements for falling asleep, researchers have reengineered the Somnomat bed to study snoring. In both cases, the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab envisions an autonomous robotic platform capable of monitoring, detecting, and self-adjusting as the user sleeps. By customizing the bed to an individual’s preferred conditions, the bed will be able to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Complimentary to all of these research areas is the work led by ETH Zurich alumnus Philippe Kahn at the California-based company Fullpower Technologies. Drawing on their knowledge of big data, machine learning, and AI, they have developed the Sleeptracker® platform to analyze over 250 million of nights of sleep from millions of individuals worldwide. Their results notably show that there is a genetic predisposition to being a morning or an evening person. According to Kahn, “The challenge is that our modern society tends to force everyone to a schedule inherited from the early days of the industrial revolution. This in turn means that there is about 25% of the population that may not perform optimally on a recommended modern schedule.”
It turns out that in addition to the science of sleep providing solutions to sleepless nights, we may also need to adapt some of our societal parameters to offer more flexibility to account for different sleeping habits and preferences.
Earlier this year, Prof Zicari had the pleasure of interviewing Philippe Kahn, a mathematician, well-known technology innovator, entrepreneur and founder of four technology companies: Fullpower Technologies, LightSurf Technologies, Starfish Software and Borland.
“There is a lot of hype about the dangers of IoT and AI. It’s important to understand that nobody is building Blade-Runner style replicants.” — Philippe Kahn
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Figure 1 Self-explanatory: NY parties the most, and surprise, Las Vegas the least. The explanation is simple: That’s because Sleeptracker users in Vegas actually work in Vegas and are not visiting to party. In our little piece of paradise in Santa Cruz, SurfCity, we tend to go to bed early to catch the surf in the morning before work.
Figure 2 is about heart rate and the effects of alcohol on sleep. After studying millions of nights of sleep we noticed that alcohol pumps up heart rates significantly. We can see this here when on NYE, people tend to drink more. And guess what: The younger crowd drinks much more and heart rate gets significantly affected.
Philippe Kahn founded Borland, Starfish Software, LightSurf, and Fullpower Technologies. He talks to Leo Laporte about writing Turbo Pascal, inventing the first cameraphone during the birth of his daughter, and the data-driven science of sleep tech.
Congratulations Michael, Jeffrey and Michael for your unveiling of the molecular mechanisms that control the circadian rhythm.
Yes, our three science heroes have figured out that while we sleep our “protein batteries” get recharged and during the day our “protein batteries” get depleted. It all seems to work in rhythmic patterns timed by the rotation of planet earth. That’s the molecular-biologists’ confirmation of what the data shows, analyzing millions of night of sleep with the Sleeptracker deep learning solution among other things.
Further, the data shows that in eachsleep cycle, each phase of sleep (deep, light and REM), is essential and contributes to regeneration. With every complete sleep cycle, the mind, body and soul get regenerated. On average, for Ms. and Mr. Everyone it takes a total of four sleep cycles to get reasonably recharged and to perform emotionally, intellectually and physically the next day. Using a car as an analogy, think of deep sleep as the engine, light sleep as the body, and REM as the wheels. You need them all, equally, cyclicly, and multiple times during one night, or in separate naps.
From an evolutionary standpoint, genetic research has now established that 25% of us are night owls and perform best at night, 50% are morning larks, and the rest can perform both as owls and larks. What a fantastic opportunity to help Ms. and Mr. Everyone sleep better!
Again congratulations Michael, Jeffrey and Michael for your unveiling of the molecular mechanisms that control the circadian rhythms and for winning the Nobel prize.