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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Herbie the car

This week’s list of data news highlights covers October 2, 2021 to October 8, 2021 and includes articles on the world’s first autonomous racecar competition and dubbing Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting into Spanish.

1. Traveling Eco-Friendly Routes

Google has launched an update to its Maps service that lets users choose a travel route according to fuel efficiency. The update uses an AI system that analyzes factors such as road incline and traffic congestion to identify and suggest the most eco-friendly route.

2. Hailing Robotaxis

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has approved commercial permits for Waymo and Cruise, two autonomous taxi companies. The DMV authorized Cruise to offer fully autonomous ride-hailing services in designated areas of San Francisco and Waymo to offer semi-autonomous rides with a human supervisor in parts of San Francisco and San Mateo.

3. Forecasting Hurricane Intensity

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed an AI system that builds upon previous prediction models to better forecast hurricane intensity. In tests, the system reduced intensity prediction errors by 22 percent. 

4. Racing Autonomous Vehicles

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has partnered with 21 universities and several technology and automotive companies to host the Indy Autonomous Challenge, the world’s first autonomous racecar competition. Each car will feature Internet of Things technology to power driving patterns and synchronize race times.

5. Improving Waste Management

City officials in Miami, Florida have installed AI-powered cameras onto 40 dumpsters around government buildings. The cameras’ AI systems notify building managers to empty the dumpster and flag objects that were incorrectly thrown into the wrong dumpster.

6. Screening for Colon Cancer

Researchers at Regenstrief Institute in Indiana have created a predictive analytics model that uses factors such as age and physical activity to determine an individual’s likelihood of developing colon cancer. Healthcare workers can use the model to screen patients in countries where routine colonoscopies are uncommon.

7. Recreating Artwork

Google has recreated three of Gustav Klimt’s paintings using an AI system. The paintings, known for their unusual colorization style, were lost in a fire during World War II. Only black and white photographs remain. Google trained the AI system on a collection of 91,749 artworks and Klimt’s surviving work to recreate the color in each painting.

8. Performing Surgery

Surgeons at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have started wearing augmented reality headsets to perform spinal surgeries. The headset helps the surgeons make smaller incisions and conduct operations faster.

9. Dubbing The Joy of Painting

Cinedigm, a U.S.-based entertainment company, has partnered with Papercup, a U.K.-based video translation technology company, to dub Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting into Spanish. The team will use an AI system that replaces Ross’s voice with a synthetic voice in all 31 seasons of the show. 

10. Improving Hygiene Protocols

Novant Health, a U.S.-based healthcare network, has partnered with SwipeSense, a U.S.-based healthcare technology company, to improve hygiene monitoring in Novant Health’s clinics and hospitals. The team implemented an AI system that monitors employees for proper hand hygiene compliance and predicts which patients, staff, and medical equipment have come into contact with infectious diseases.

Image credit: Flickr user mompl

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