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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of data news highlights covers March 19, 2022 to March 25, 2022 and includes articles on creating qubits that exhibit never-before-demonstrated properties of physics and using a supercomputer to study the sun’s atmosphere.

1. Designing Martian Helicopters

Researchers at Imperial College London and Tohoku University in Japan have designed simulations that can help invent new helicopter blades for aircraft on Mars. The team used a supercomputer to simulate motion on Mars and found that their simulation could account for differences in lifts and drags of Martian helicopter blades. Researchers can use the simulation to test new blade designs.

2. Providing Digital Identification

The state of Arizona has announced that residents can now add their driver’s license or state ID to their Apple Wallet. Arizonans can use their digital ID to prove their identification at security checkpoints in participating airports. Arizona is the first state to allow residents to add their driver’s license or state ID to an Apple Wallet.

3. Studying the Sun’s Atmosphere

An international team of researchers have used a supercomputer to understand heat patterns in the sun’s atmosphere. Temperatures in the sun’s outer atmosphere can vastly exceed those on its surface. Using the supercomputer, the team found that the temperature variation is likely caused by both turbulence, which transfers energy from the sun to the atmosphere, and magnetic waves.

4. Creating 3D Images

Nvidia has created an AI system that can turn 2D images into a 3D scene. The system uses 2D photos and data on camera angles used for each image to predict light patterns in the surrounding environment to build a 3D scene of the 2D photos.

5. Building Quantum Computers

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have built the country’s first quantum computer. The computer contains five qubits and will enable research with advanced algorithms. 

6. Predicting Heart Attack Risks

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai, a U.S.-based healthcare organization, have created an AI system that can predict a patient’s chance of experiencing a heart attack in the next five years. The team trained the system to quantify plaque in 3D images of the heart and arteries with images from 900 patients.

7. Testing Autonomous Vehicles

Toyota and Aurora Innovation, a U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company, have started testing autonomous vehicles in Dallas, Texas. The two companies outfitted Toyota Sienna vehicles with Aurora’s AI system, which uses data collected from lidar technology to operate safely. 

8. Translating Job Listings

Japan’s Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry is using an AI system to translate job listings into English. Job seekers can access translated job listings at Hello Work, the country’s public job placement service. 

9. Building an AI Supercomputer

Nvidia has begun construction on a new AI supercomputer that, if completed, would be the fastest in the world. The supercomputer will contain the company’s new silicon architecture known as the Hopper. The company plans to use the supercomputer for internal research.

10. Advancing Quantum Research

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a qubit that exhibits properties of physics that have only ever been theorized, never seen practically. The new types of qubit are called topological qubits and improve on existing quantum computing methods by storing information in a new way that makes the systems more stable. The approach can lead to the development of a scalable quantum computer that can solve more complex problems. 

Image credit: Flickr user Betmari

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