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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
The universe

This week’s list of data news highlights covers September 11, 2021 to September 17, 2021 and includes articles on mapping the universe with a supercomputer and touring Woodstock with augmented reality.

1. Detecting COVID-19

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have created an AI system that can detect the presence of COVID-19 from microscopic images of virus droplets. The team trained the system on microscopic images of COVID-19, other viruses, and inorganic particles like dust. In a preclinical trial, the system was 96 percent successful at detecting COVID-19.

2. Sharing Proof of Vaccination

The California Department of Technology has published the code for its digital vaccine portal on GitHub. States can use the code to deploy their own digital vaccine record system that allows residents to request a QR code that others can use to verify their vaccination status. 

3. Identifying Sports Players

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have created a machine learning model that can automatically recognize players’ jersey numbers in broadcast sports videos. The model can help sports broadcasters quickly identify players in fast-moving games.

4. Delivering Groceries

Walmart has partnered with Ford Motor and Argo AI, a U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company, to deploy autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries. The delivery service will launch in Miami, Florida, Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

5. Predicting Cervical Cancer Elimination

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health have developed a predictive model that estimates cervical cancer will be nearly eliminated from the United States in the next few decades. The team used data on HPV immunization and prevalence to build the model, which shows that cervical cancer will be eliminated in low-poverty areas by 2030 and in high-poverty areas by 2044. 

6. Mapping the Universe

Researchers at Chiba University in Japan led a team to build a virtual simulation of the universe using a supercomputer. Researchers can use the simulation to view large-scale galaxies and galaxy clusters at any point in the universe’s 13.8 billion-year history.

7. Predicting Professional Success

Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois and Pennsylvania State University have trained an AI system on data such as the auction prices for artworks, citations of research papers, and film ratings to identify what conditions cause hot streaks for workers in creative industries. They found that individuals’ work before receiving recognition for professional success tended to be more experimental and unlike work produced at other points in their careers. 

8. Transforming Public Transportation

City officials in Whitby, Ontario have launched the longest autonomous shuttle route in North America as part of their public transportation services. The shuttles will travel along a six-kilometer route and be free to use. 

9. Touring Woodstock

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a museum and performing arts center, has launched an augmented reality exhibit of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. The exhibit features a virtual 3D-model of the stage, footage of the concerts, and interviews from festival attendees.

10. Fighting Cancer

GlaxoSmithKline, a U.K.-based pharmaceutical company, has partnered with King’s College London to use an AI system to develop personalized treatments for cancer patients. The system will use data from genetic histories, tumor locations, images, biomarkers, and blood tests to improve immuno-oncology treatments. 

Image credit: Flickr user NASA Hubble Space Telescope

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