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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
A black hole

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers November 26, 2022 to December 2, 2022 and includes articles on training an AI system to predict materials’ properties and using a supercomputer to simulate black hole jets. 

1. Training Chatbots

OpenAI, a U.S.-based AI research company, has created a chatbot that can respond to user-submitted queries, such as questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or requests for help with writing code. The company trained the system using human conversations and feedback. The system improves upon OpenAI’s past chatbots by creating more realistic text. 

2. Advancing Quantum Research

The United States and France have signed a joint statement on cooperation in quantum information science and technology. Researchers in both countries will collaborate on the development of quantum computers, networks, and sensors, and quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms. 

3. Improving Climate and Weather Forecasting

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has partnered with Microsoft to improve climate, weather, and ocean predictions. Under the partnership, researchers with NOAA and Microsoft will collaborate on earth system modeling, forecasts for air quality, wildfire smoke, and particulate pollution, sustainable fisheries management, an ocean observations database, and a new weather modeling and forecasting system. 

4. Simulating Black Hole Jets

Researchers at NASA have used a supercomputer to simulate low-luminosity jets, or beams of energetic particles that emerge from black holes, and determine their impact on their host galaxies. The team found that low-luminosity jets interact with host galaxies more than high-luminosity jets and both affect the interstellar medium, or space between stars, and change because of it. 

5. Predicting Cardiovascular Issues

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have created an AI system that can predict a patient’s risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years. The team trained the system with nearly 150,000 chest x-rays from over 40,000 patients. 

6. Monitoring Wounds

Researchers at Stanford University have created a smart bandage that can monitor wounds and speed up the healing process. The bandage contains sensors that collect data on healing progress and electrodes that can transmit electrical stimulation to increase tissue regeneration. In tests, mice with the bandage healed 25 percent faster than mice without the bandage.

7. Preventing Robots from Falling

Researchers at the University of Lorraine in France have created an AI system that can direct a humanoid robot to lean against a nearby structure, such as a wall, if its legs become damaged or it is in danger of falling. The team trained the system with 882,000 simulations of the robot falling.

8. Launching a Data Dashboard

Delaware’s Division of Public Health, the United Way of Delaware, a social services organization based in Dover, Delaware, and the Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative, a group of individuals and organizations dedicated to ending systemic racism in Delaware, have partnered to launch a data dashboard tracking racial and economic disparities in the state. The dashboard features data and visualizations for health, education, criminal justice, wealth creation, and population demographics.

9. Determining Unknown Materials’ Properties

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have created an AI system that can predict the properties of known and unknown materials. Materials obtain their properties from the arrangement of their atoms. The team trained the system with a database of materials’ properties. They then used the system to predict the properties of over 31 million materials that have yet to be synthesized. 

10. Learning About Trees

Snap has partnered with the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Application Office to teach Snapchat users about the country’s national tree, the Ghaf tree, in honor of the UAE’s 51st National Day. Snapchat users can view Ghaf trees and plant and raise a tree with an augmented reality lens. 

Image credit: Flickr user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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