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Geopolitics

(UPDATED) Operation To Free French FARC Hostage Successful

EL TIEMPO (Colombia)

FLORENCIA - UPDATE: The operation was carried out successfuly, with a smiling Roméo Langlois freed in the remote village of San Isidro. See the first video images of the released reporter:


Earlier in the day, reports circulated that operations were currently underway in Colombia to free Langlois, a French journalist who was taken hostage more than a month ago by FARC rebels, El Tiempo reports.

The humanitarian team handling the operation left at 5 a.m. from the city of Florencia in the southern department of Caquetá. María Cristina Rivera, spokesperson for the International Red Cross, said the team was traveling by land. Contrary to some press reports, they did not request a helicopter to assist in the effort.

The 35-year-old journalist was seized by FARC operatives on April 29 in Unión Peneya, also in Caquetá. Once handed over, Langlois was to be seen by a French doctor and quickly flown back to France.

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Future

Listening For Illness: Your Voice May Soon Help Detect Health Problems

Applying Artificial intelligence to vocal cues is increasingly being used to detect a range of illnesses from COVID-19 to asthma and even depression. But such technology also comes with serious ethical concerns.

photo of a man yelling with white paint in background

What's that you say?

Guillaume de Germain Unsplash
Benoît Georges

PARIS — Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), your voice can already be used to dictate messages to your smartphone, give commands to your Bluetooth speakers, or chat with your car's dashboard. But soon, it may be able to evaluate the state of your health by detecting respiratory (asthma, COVID-19) or neurodegenerative illnesses. It could even pick up mental health struggles, such as depression or anxiety.

The concept is simple: every pathology that affects the lungs, the heart, the brain, the muscles, or the vocal cords can lead to voice modifications. By using digital tools to analyze a recording, it must be possible to detect vocal biomarkers, the same way vocal recognition algorithms learned to understand a spoken language based on millions of sound samples.

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