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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers January 14, 2023 to January 20, 2023 and includes articles on creating a data-driven framework to better build ships and using AI systems to develop new drugs.

1. Integrating AI Tools

Microsoft has launched a service that businesses can use to add AI-powered tools, such as text-to-image generative system DALL-E and programming system Codex, to their own applications. The company plans to add ChatGPT, a new language model, to the service at a later date.

2. Tracking Postgraduate Outcomes

Researchers at the University of Wyoming have launched a dashboard combining data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a U.S. postsecondary data collection program within the National Center for Education Statistics. Policymakers, researchers, and higher education institutions can use the dashboard to track institution-level undergraduate and postgraduate trends and inform education policies. 

3. Identifying Smells

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have built a robot that can distinguish between eight smells. The robot has an antennae that produces an electrical signal when it detects a smell and an AI system that uses the electrical signal to classify the smell. 

4. Simulating COVID-19 Movements

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have used a supercomputer to simulate the movements of the COVID-19 virus and locate areas on the virus spike protein that may become vulnerable to antibodies in certain positions. The team found that some of the tested antibodies could target the spike protein well but attached to different parts of it. 

5. Brewing Beer

Atwater Brewery in Detroit, Michigan has released a new type of beer named the Artificial Intelligence IPA. The brewery’s team asked ChatGPT, a new language model, to create the recipe for the beer. 

6. Building Ships

The European Union has launched the Smart European Shipbuilding project to accelerate engineering, assembly, and construction times for ships. The project’s partners plan to create a framework for data-driven shipbuilding and a platform to manage the shipbuilding process. 

7. Finding Endangered Species

Researchers at Queensland University of Technology, BirdLife Australia, an Australian nonprofit dedicated to bird conservation, and Healthy Land and Water, an Australian nonprofit environmental organization, have located the eastern bristlebird in southeast Queensland. Scientists had not seen or heard the bird in the region since the bushfire season in 2019 and 2020, causing concern that the endangered bird species had been lost to the fires. The team placed acoustic sensors around the region to collect data on bird calls and trained an AI system to distinguish bristlebird calls from other noises. The AI system then found over 350 bristlebird calls in two months. 

8. Designing Drugs

An international team of researchers has created a novel drug that may treat a common type of liver cancer. The team designed the drug’s compounds with Pharma.AI, an AI-powered drug discovery platform from U.S.-based pharmaceutical software company Insilico Medicine, and AlphaFold, a database of protein structures. DeepMind, a U.K-based AI company, created AlphaFold by training an AI system to predict the structure of over 200 million proteins. 

9. Skiing with Augmented Reality

Ostloong, an augmented reality goggles developer based in Switzerland, has created a pair of smart ski goggles. The goggles use augmented reality to display course directions, ground markings, slalom poles, and data on the weather, altitude, and users’ speeds in the field of vision. 

10. Optimizing Assisted Reproductive Treatments

A team of researchers led by the University of Amherst has created an AI system that can predict the optimal number of eggs to fertilize during assisted reproductive treatments. The team trained the system with data from over 410,000 egg retrievals and 460,000 embryo transfer cycles from 311,000 patients. Doctors can use the system to minimize the number of unused embryos, which may become illegal to discard if states enact more legislation limiting reproductive rights. 

Image credit: Flickr user Don Pirolo

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