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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of data news highlights covers November 13, 2021 to November 19, 2021 and includes articles on autonomous library carts and training an AI system to detect lies. 

1. Advancing Quantum Computing

IBM has announced the creation of a quantum processor that can handle 127 qubits. The processor, known as Eagle, is the first to contain more than 100 qubits.

2. Displaying Sentiments About the Future

The Smithsonian Institution has partnered with Amazon Web Services to launch a new exhibit interpreting visitors’ sentiments about the future. The exhibit uses an AI system that listens for the words “My future is …” and translates the sentiment behind the statement into a colored light show. Positive sentiments translate into blue, green, and purple colors, whereas angry or swear words turn the exhibit red.

3. Borrowing Books

City officials in Seongnam City, South Korea have deployed an autonomous vehicle carrying 100 library books in Tancheon Park. The cart uses lidar sensors and an AI system to travel around a 180 meter path in the park. Visitors with a library card can borrow up to two books at once and return them to nearby boxes. 

4. Predicting Atrial Fibrillation

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard have used electrocardiogram data from 45,770 patients to create an AI system that can predict a patient’s chance of developing atrial fibrillation within the next five years. Doctors can use the predictions to provide preventative care to high-risk patients and reduce their chances of developing atrial fibrillation or secondary health issues such as heart failure or stroke.

5. Tracking Data-Sharing Projects

The city of Philadelphia has launched a new dashboard to monitor the city’s data-sharing projects. Users can view the frequency of dataset releases, how many residents use available data, and which city departments share the most data.

6. Cleaning Cafeterias

Google has created an autonomous robot that can complete light custodial tasks. The robot uses cameras and sensors to collect data on its surrounding environment. A machine learning model then uses the data to manipulate a multi-purpose arm that can wipe down tables, open doors, straighten chairs, and sort trash in cafeterias on Google’s campus. 

7. Communicating with Pets

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have created a toy ball that uses sensor technology to initiate video calls from pets to their owners. When the ball detects movement, a video call will be placed to the pet’s owner on a nearby laptop. 

8. Detecting Lies

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have created an AI system that can detect whether someone tells a lie through subtle shifts in facial muscles. The team trained the system by placing electrode stickers on volunteers’ cheeks and eyebrows and asking volunteers to lie or tell the truth about phrases spoken to them through headphones.

9. Learning About the Environment with Augmented Reality

Eco Resilience Games, a U.S.-based trans-disciplinary research group dedicated to environmental education, has developed a game to inform students about harmful algae blooms. The game uses augmented reality to display algae blooms, their sources, and solutions for rehabilitating the ecosystem in players’ surrounding environments.

10. Improving School Bus Safety

The Sacramento City Unified School District has partnered with BusPatrol, a U.S.-based smart transportation company, to install cameras with AI systems on school buses. The cameras will take pictures of vehicles that illegally pass by school buses when the stop arm is raised and collect data on areas with high numbers of violations.

Image credit: Flickr user Pimthida

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