world

Lights on the track are helping runners shatter world records

Advancements in shoe technology have garnered headlines and stirred controversy recently for the way they boost performance. But three vaunted world records have fallen in recent weeks thanks in part to wavelight technology, a system of flashing lights that helps runners keep pace with record times.

There are no plans to use the lights at high-profile events such as the Olympics or world championships, where runners angle more for titles than for records. But the lights have been deployed in a handful of a single-day meets this year at which chasing world records was the primary target, generating buzz among fans, coaches and analysts.

Some appreciate the visual cues when watching on television or a computer. Others worry that the runners are benefiting from an artificial aid that wasn’t available to previous generations.

“If our activity is sport, our business is entertainment,” Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, the global

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AI technology will soon replace error-prone humans all over the world – but here’s why it could set us all free

Getty Images
Getty Images

It has been oft-quoted – albeit humouredly – that the ideal of medicine is the elimination of the physician. The emergence and encroachment of artificial intelligence (AI) on the field of medicine, however, puts an inconvenient truth on the aforementioned witticism. Over the span of their professional lives, a pathologist may review 100,000 specimens, a radiologist more so; AI can perform this undertaking in days rather than decades.

Visualise your last trip to an NHS hospital, the experience was either one of romanticism or repudiation: the hustle and bustle in the corridors, or the agonising waiting time in A&E; the empathic human touch, or the dissatisfaction of a rushed consultation; a seamless referral or delays and cancellations.

Contrary to this, our experience of hospitals in the future will be slick and uniform; the human touch all but erased and cleansed, in favour of complete and utter digitalisation. Envisage

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