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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Skincare in a teapot

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers September 3, 2022 to September 9, 2022 and includes articles on personalizing skincare with an AI system and collecting data to map urban heat islands. 

1. Analyzing Online Hate Speech

Researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have trained an AI system to determine the effect of extreme temperatures on online hate speech. They used the system to analyze four billion tweets geolocated in one of 773 cities in the United States from May 2014 to May 2020 and combined the results with each city’s temperature data. They found that hate tweets increased by 13 percent on extremely cold days and 22 percent on extremely hot days.

2. Conducting Legislative Research

The U.S. Library of Congress has launched a beta version of its application programming interface (API) for congress.gov, a website dedicated to congressional legislation. Researchers can use the API to download congressional data, such as bills and committee reports, in a more structured format. 

3. Preventing Opioid Overdoses

A clinical and social care organization in New York City has used an AI system to identify patients at risk of opioid overdoses and alert their care providers. The system, created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helped providers reduce patients’ hospital admissions by 50 percent and emergency room visits by 67 percent. 

4. Shopping for Groceries

Shufersal, Israel’s largest grocery store chain, has opened the country’s first checkout-free store in Tel Aviv. The store uses an AI system and cameras to track customers’ selections and charge them appropriately. 

5. Detecting Tuberculosis

Google has created an AI system that can detect signs of active pulmonary tuberculosis in chest radiographs. The team trained the system with chest radiographs from patients with tuberculosis in 10 countries. In tests, the system performed as accurately as radiologists. Public health officials can use the system to detect tuberculosis in patients who live in regions with limited resources. 

6. Collecting Data on Flood Levels

Officials in New York City and researchers from the City University of New York and New York University have launched a dashboard displaying real-time data on flood levels in the city. The team collects the data via a series of sensors installed around the city. 

7. Mapping Energy Efficient Routes

Google has expanded its Maps tool to help drivers pick the most eco-friendly route in nearly 40 European countries. Drivers can input their vehicles’ engine type and Maps’ AI system will use data from the European Environment Agency and past driving trends to estimate the most energy efficient route.

8. Mapping Urban Heat Islands

Officials in San Francisco have launched an urban heat mapping project to locate heat islands in the city. Volunteers have installed sensors to their cars to collect data on heat and humidity on 12 routes around the city at certain times of the day. Officials will use the heat maps to determine what factors, such as pavement or tree canopies, affect urban heat retention. 

9. Expanding Artwork

OpenAI, a U.S.-based AI research company, has updated its text-to-image AI system DALL-E to include a tool that can extend existing paintings beyond their original borders. The tool, known as Outpainting, uses the painting’s original details, such as textures and reflections, to create the extensions in the same style as the original.

10. Personalizing Skincare

JCPenney, a U.S.-based department store chain, has launched a new tool to help online customers shop for skincare and makeup products. The tool contains an AI system that uses customers’ pictures and self-reported data to recommend skincare products as well as an augmented reality feature that customers can use to try on makeup products.

Image credit: Flickr user Lisa Salamida

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