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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers October 15, 2022 to October 21, 2022 and includes articles on deploying smart buoys to protect marine life and teaching CPR with augmented reality. 

1. Translating Unwritten Languages

Meta has created the first AI system that can translate between English and Hokkien, a low-resource dialect of the Chinese language spoken mainly in the southeastern part of mainland China and Taiwan. The researchers translated English or Hokkien speech to Mandarin Chinese text and trained the system on the resultant sentence pairs. 

2. Rebuilding the Travel Industry

The European Commission has launched a data dashboard to inform policymakers’ efforts to help the tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers can use the dashboard to access and visualize data related to environmental impacts of tourism, socio-economic vulnerabilities, and digitalization for individual destinations. 

3. Editing Photographs

Adobe has updated its Lightroom suite, a set of photo management and editing software tools, to include new AI-powered features. Photo editors can now use the suite’s AI systems to more quickly remove unwanted objects from photographs or edit people in photographs.

4. Transporting Goods

Ikea and Kodiak Robotics, a U.S.-based autonomous freight delivery company, have partnered to use autonomous trucks to deliver goods from an Ikea warehouse in Houston, Texas to a store in Dallas. The companies will transport the goods as part of a test program for Kodiak’s autonomous driving system. 

5. Protecting Marine Life

MERI Foundation, a scientific research and environmental education organization based in Chile, and Chile’s Ministry of the Environment have launched a smart buoy off the coast of Chile to protect marine sea mammals. The buoy contains sensors that collect data on water temperature, oxygen levels, and sounds. An AI system then uses the data to locate and identify sea mammals. If the buoy detects an animal, it alerts nearby ships to change their course. 

6. Deploying Quantum Computers

IBM and Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center based in Ohio, have partnered to deploy the first quantum computer dedicated to healthcare research in the United States. Researchers will use the computer for biomedical discovery, emerging pathogens preparation, and drug optimization. 

7. Predicting Drug Efficacy

Researchers at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York have created an AI system that can predict the efficacy of new drug compounds in humans. In tests with approximately 9,800 patients, the system identified drug combinations that matched existing clinical observations.

8. Teaching CPR

Snapchat has created a new lens to teach users CPR. The lens uses augmented reality to display a virtual human dummy in users’ surrounding environments, explain the steps of CPR, and provide tips on the best speed and frequency of chest compressions. 

9. Predicting Autism Spectrum Disorder

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have created two machine learning models that can predict a child’s chance of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 18 months and 30 months old using medical claims data. The team created the models with medical data from around 12,700 children with ASD and 25,800 children without ASD. 

10. Preparing for the Bushfire Season

Tasmania’s Fire Service and Minderoo Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organization, have partnered to trial an AI-powered fire detection system in remote locations during the upcoming bushfire season. Officials will install cameras that use an AI system to detect smoke and alert first responders, and automatic weather stations that can collect real-time data on conditions during wildfires. 

Image credit: Flickr user Hans Dekker

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