This week’s list of data news highlights covers February 5, 2022 to February 11, 2022 and includes articles on building heat maps with crowdsourced data and using AI to expunge misdemeanor records.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have created a nerve-stimulation device that can help paralyzed patients regain movement. Patients can control the device with an AI system that directs electrodes on the device to emit electrical signals to nerves that control leg muscles. The device’s signals replace brain signals lost in complete spinal cord injuries. In tests, three paralyzed patients have been able to walk, swim, and cycle in community settings using a touchscreen tablet.
Scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai, China have created a COVID-19 test that can detect genetic material from the virus within four minutes. The tests use a microelectronic sensor that can pick up signals from biochemical reactions with the virus. In tests, the sensor detected COVID-19 as accurately as a PCR test.
Researchers at the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and U.S.-based biotechnology company Inspirata have created an AI system that can match cancer patients to clinical trials more quickly. Doctors can use the system to expand treatment options and advance cancer research.
An international team of researchers has used a supercomputer to visualize the Kumano Pluton, a massive rock underneath the coast of southwest Japan for the first time. The team found that the rock diverts tectonic activity towards its edges and may be responsible for large earthquakes in nearby regions.
Officials in Austin, Texas have added an AI system to the city’s call center to streamline responding to 311 non-emergency customer service requests. The system can collect information about the nature of the request and help officers clear a backlog of 1,300 customer service requests.
Researchers at the National Integrated Heat Health Information System and Climate Adaptation Planning Analytics Strategies, a U.S.-based climate technology company, have partnered to create heat maps of Raleigh and Durham. The team collected 100,000 crowdsourced data points on temperature and humidity at various locations in both cities. They then used a machine learning model to create heat maps of the cities, and found that both are warmer than previously thought.
Code for America, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to modernizing government services, has created an AI system that can identify and expunge eligible criminal records from state databases. Utah officials have announced they have begun expunging 500,000 eligible cases with the system.
Snapchat has launched a new augmented reality lens that can detect Cheetos or Doritos chips and automatically begin playing Megan Thee Stallion’s single Flamin’ Hottie, which was inspired by the chips. The company trained an AI system to detect the chips with smartphone photos of Cheetos and Doritos.
Sally Hansen, a U.S.-based nail polish brand, and Perfect Corporation, a beauty technology company in Taiwan, have partnered to launch a virtual try-on tool for nail polish. The tool uses augmented reality to display different colors on users’ nails.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital have trained an AI system to measure appropriate doses of the anesthetic drug propofol during surgeries. The team trained the system with simulated patient data, including brain waves reflective of patient consciousness, dosage effectiveness, and the speed at which the patient lost consciousness. In tests with real patient data, the AI system’s recommendations maintained patient unconsciousness as well as human anesthesiologists.