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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Columns at ancient Olympic Games site

This week’s list of data news highlights covers November 6, 2021 to November 12, 2021 and includes articles on using a supercomputer to identify methods of destroying harmful chemicals and touring ancient Olympia with augmented reality.

1. Finding Pet Doppelgängers In Art

Google has updated its Arts & Culture app to allow users to find works of art with animals in them that look similar to a photo of their pet. The app uses a machine learning algorithm to search through thousands of works of art.

2. Delivering Goods Autonomously

Walmart has deployed two autonomous trucks to deliver goods between a distribution center and retail store in Bentonville, Arkansas. The trucks complete deliveries on the seven-mile route between both sites several times per day.

3. Predicting Antidepressant Responses

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas have created a machine learning model that can predict how a patient will respond to antidepressant medication. The team built the model by prescribing a control group certain medications and analyzing both their and a placebo group’s reactions to certain tasks.

4. Breaking Down Forever Chemicals

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have used a supercomputer to investigate methods of removing chemicals that are harmful when they accumulate in the body. The team found that certain frequencies and intensities in laser beams may be able to break bonds found in some of these substances that are found in drinking water.

5. Creating Religious Artwork

The Museum of Museums in Seattle, Washington has opened a new exhibit that uses a machine learning model to create a religious environment. The exhibit, contained in three rooms including a chapel, features solemn-sounding texts, ritualistic sounds, and shifting images meant to appear like stained glass windows. Artists trained the model on details from the Sagrada Familia basilica, Gregorian chants, and philosophical texts.

6. Exploring the Moon

Australia has announced a new lunar program to find water on the Moon. The Australian Space Agency will launch a rover equipped with cameras and sensors to collect data on lunar soil and rocks to identify regions where water sources are more abundant. The rover will be the first with Australian-made components to reach the Moon.

7. Growing Bananas

Bartle Frere Bananas, an Australia-based banana producer, has installed sensors to monitor banana crops. The sensors collect data on soil moisture and sediment and monitor nitrate levels to reduce fertilizer runoff.

8. Visiting Ancient Olympia

Microsoft and Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sport have partnered to launch an augmented reality exhibit at Olympia, the archaeological site of the ancient Olympic Games. Visitors can use a mobile app to see a virtual recreation of Olympia’s ancient sanctuary and competition fields. 

9. Identifying Warning Signs of Suicidal Ideation

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a machine learning model to identify warning signs of suicidal ideation in adolescents. The team built the model with census data and survey answers from high school students in Utah. 

10. Collaborating on a Supercomputer

Met Éireann, Ireland’s Meteorological Service, has partnered with the meteorological agencies of Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands to launch a new supercomputer dedicated to forecasting models. The supercomputer will help the meteorological agencies better predict weather patterns, conduct research on climate change, and prepare for emergencies during severe weather events. 

Image credit: Flickr user troy mckaskle

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