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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Surfboard on a beach

This week’s list of data news highlights covers September 25, 2021 to October 1, 2021 and includes articles on monitoring hurricanes with unmanned surfboards and using an AI system to finish Beethoven’s final symphony.

1. Collecting Data on Hurricanes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has partnered with Saildrone, a U.S.-based company that develops unmanned boats and ships, to launch a robotic surfboard into Hurricane Sam. The surfboard will collect real-time data on wind speed, wave height, and hurricane intensification.

2. Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Researchers at New York University have developed an AI system that can detect breast cancer from an ultrasound image. In tests, the system increased radiologists’ accurate identification of breast cancer by 37 percent and reduced the number of further confirmation tests by 27 percent. 

3. Exploring Moon Landings

NASA has released a graphic novel that uses augmented reality to tell a fictional story about the first woman to land on the moon. Readers can use a dedicated app to view the augmented reality features, which include NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the lunar terrain.

4. Forecasting Rain

DeepMind, a U.K.-based AI company, has developed an AI system that can predict the likelihood of rain better than existing systems. The system uses radar data to relay predictions for the location, extent, movement, and intensity of rainfall within the next 90 minutes.  

5. Monitoring Hurricanes

The University of Florida has partnered with North Carolina Sea Grant, a marine research institute, to install a hurricane sensor tower on Wrightsville Beach. The tower will collect real-time data on wind speeds, storm surges, waves, and erosion during hurricanes.

6. Detecting Prostate Cancer

Paige.AI, a U.S.-based biotechnology company, has created an AI system that can diagnose prostate cancer from digital scans of biopsy slides. In clinical trials, pathologists using the system detected prostate cancer with a success rate of around 97 percent. 

7. Shopping Online

Etsy has launched a virtual shop called The Etsy House that uses augmented reality to display curated products from its website. Users can explore and purchase goods in the virtual setting.

8. Predicting the Spread of Animal Diseases

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have developed a machine learning model to predict which infectious diseases in animals have a high likelihood of spreading to humans. The team trained the model on genomes from 861 animal viruses and found several viruses that have similar enough genetic features to viruses that can infect humans. 

9. Watching Golf

Officials for the Ryder Cup, an international golf tournament, have launched a live spectator app for golf fans. The app collects data from scanners and cameras in the tournament to provide real-time updates on the state of play, digital scorecards, and information on the sport.

10. Finishing Beethoven’s 10th Symphony

The Karajan Institute, a music organization based in Austria, has partnered with Playform, a U.S.-based art technology company, to finish Beethoven’s 10th symphony. Beethoven passed away before finishing the symphony, but the team trained an AI system on his past work and notes for the 10th symphony to finish the composition. The team will debut the 10th symphony in Beethoven’s hometown on October 9th.

Image credit: Flickr user Andym5855

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