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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of data news highlights covers September 4, 2021 – September 10, 2021 and includes articles on cashier-less stores and using a supercomputer to map the DNA of the world’s rarest marsupial.

1. Launching an AI Task Force in the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has launched a task force focused on incorporating artificial intelligence into new unmanned systems in all domains instead of just aerial systems. The task force will help the Navy evaluate unmanned systems in real-world settings, strengthen maritime domain awareness, and build trust between operators and machines. 

2. Expanding Cashier-Less Stores

Amazon has announced that it will expand its cashier-less Just Walk Out technology to two Whole Foods stores in Washington, D.C. and Sherman Oaks, California. The technology uses an AI system, sensors, and computer vision to identify customers’ purchases and charge them appropriately.

3. Predicting Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers at the University of Hawaii have created a deep learning model that can identify patients with a high risk of developing breast cancer from a digital screening of their mammogram. The team trained the model with clinical data and over 25,000 mammograms from 6,369 women. 

4. Identifying Productive Cattle

Researchers at the University of Florida have started a project on HiPerGator AI, the university’s new supercomputer, to inform ranchers of the best genetic profiles for cattle. The team has collected data on 770,000 genetic markers from 1,000 beef cattle and will use the data to identify cattle genes associated with high levels of dairy and beef production.

5. Detecting Genetic Syndromes

Researchers at Children’s National Hospital in the United States have developed a machine learning model that can identify genetic syndromes in pediatric patients from a picture of their face. The team trained the model with 2,800 facial photographs of pediatric patients with and without genetic syndromes.

6. Designing Augmented Reality Clothes

Ukrainian fashion brand FINCH has partnered with Ukrainian IT company FFFACE.ME to launch a clothing collection with augmented reality features. Each piece of clothing has a QR code that, when scanned through an Instagram filter, activates one of seven augmented reality scenes.

7. Mapping the World’s Coral Reefs

Researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Queensland in Australia have completed the world’s first high-resolution map of global coral reefs. The team used an AI system and crowdsourced data to build the map, which features coral reefs, submarine structures like rocks and seagrass, and a coral bleaching monitor.

8. Mapping Marsupial DNA

Researchers at DNA Zoo Australia, the University of Western Australia, and the Gilbert’s Potoroo Action Group have mapped the DNA of the rarest marsupial in the world using a supercomputer. There are only 100 to 120 Gilbert’s potoroos left in existence. Conservation groups can use the genetic map to better plan population management strategies.

9. Playing Fantasy Football

ESPN, a U.S.-based sports channel, has updated its fantasy football application to include a trade assistant tool powered by IBM’s Watson AI system. The system will use data on player statistics, media coverage, and football experts’ opinions to suggest customizable player trade packages to fantasy football players.

10. Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts have used stem cells and health data to predict which proteins cause cognitive decline from Alzheimer’s disease. The team created a line of stem cells using blood samples from over 50 patients and used clinical and genetic data and the cells’ molecular behavior to identify specific forms of each protein. 

Image credit: Flickr user Darren Puttock

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