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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Produce at a grocery store

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers May 14, 2022 to May 20, 2022 and includes articles on the world’s first autonomous cargo ship and shopping with smart grocery carts.

1. Tracking Monkeypox Cases

Italian management engineer Antonio Caramia has created a data dashboard showing the confirmed number of monkeypox cases around the world, the suspected number, and the number of patients hospitalized with the disease. According to the dashboard, there have been a total of 110 confirmed and suspected cases, with the majority identified in Europe. 

2. Identifying Campaign Props

Data scientists with The Guardian have used an AI system to determine how many props Australian politicians used in campaign photos in 2019 and 2022. The team found that politicians used construction workwear in their 2022 campaign photos more than three times as much as they did in 2019 and giant novelty checks less than half as much.

3. Improving Urban Planning

City officials in Barcelona have partnered with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to build a digital twin of the city to test potential projects that make the city more walkable.

4. Shopping for Groceries

Veeve, a U.S.-based retail technology company, and Albertsons Companies, a U.S.-based grocery store chain, have partnered to use smart carts in the latter’s stores. The carts contain cameras, sensors, and scales that can detect which items are placed in the carts and a touch screen where customers can pay for their purchases.

5. Editing Videos

Researchers at Nankai University in China and HiSilicon Technologies, a Chinese semiconductor company, have created a machine learning model that can remove unwanted objects from videos more efficiently than current methods. The team trained the system with 3,741 video clips from YouTube.

6. Detecting Cancer

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York have created a tool that can detect cancer in blood samples. The tool’s sensors consist of fluorescent carbon nanotubes that react to certain molecular activities by showing a light pattern. The tool then uses a machine learning model that can interpret the light patterns and indicate whether the sample contains cancer cells. In tests with blood samples from ovarian cancer patients, the tool detected cancer more accurately than current methods. 

7. Shipping Retail Goods

Walmart has expanded its autonomous shipping operations to Kansas. Walmart, which began its autonomous truck operations in Arkansas last year, will use the trucks for deliveries from distribution centers to retail stores. 

8. Installing Smart Water Management Systems

Glasgow City Council in Scotland has installed smart water systems at two nursery schools. A management hub directs the systems’ tanks to empty their reserves when it expects a storm. These preparations will open extra storage capacity and reduce the likelihood of flooding at the schools.

9. Sailing Autonomous Ships

Orca AI, a maritime technology company based in Israel, and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, a Japanese shipping company, have partnered to create autonomous cargo ships. Their ship, the Suzaka, completed its first journey by traveling nearly 500 miles from Tokyo Bay to Ise Bay with minimal human intervention. It is the first autonomous cargo ship in the world. 

10. Analyzing Long COVID-19

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created an AI system that can predict whether a patient will experience long COVID-19. The team trained the system with medical and demographic data from nearly 100,000 patients who tested positive for the virus. After training, the researchers used the system to find that remaining long-term respiratory symptoms, sleep disorders, chest pain, and malaise after the infection had passed indicated that the patient would go on to develop long COVID-19. 

Image credit: Flickr user Bennilover

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