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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers February 4, 2023 to February 10, 2023 and includes articles on training an AI system to label football game footage and automating expense reports and approvals.

1. Improving Search Engines
Microsoft has updated its search engine Bing to include a newer version of the conversational language model behind the AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT. Approved users can enter natural language queries into the search engine and receive conversational responses with relevant citations.

2. Advancing Quantum Computer Research
Researchers at the University of Sussex and Universal Quantum, a U.K.-based quantum computer company, have created a new technique to transfer qubits from one quantum computing microchip to another with record speed and precision. Using the technique, researchers can connect quantum microchips together and scale quantum computers up.

3. Creating Artwork
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a robot, known as FRIDA, that can paint on canvases. The robotic arm contains an AI system that uses text descriptions, audio prompts, or existing images to direct its movement.

4. Tinting Windows
View, a U.S.-based glass manufacturing company, has installed smart windows in Terminal 5 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The windows use an AI system and data on the sun’s position, cloud cover, outdoor temperatures, and interior floor plans to allow an optimal level of natural light, heat, and glare into the terminal.

5. Generating Videos
Runway, a U.S.-based generative AI company, has created an AI system that can alter existing videos to match a new style from a text prompt or reference image. Visual effects artists can use the system to efficiently edit videos in post production.

6. Tracking Flu Vaccines
The Washington Department of Health has launched a dashboard tracking flu vaccination rates across the state. Residents can use the dashboard to view data on the number of administered flu vaccines, the percentage of the population with at least one dose, and prior flu seasons’ vaccination rates.

7. Charging Electric Vehicles
Google has updated its Maps tool to include an AI system that can locate optimal electric vehicle charging stations. The new feature will include a filter to find stations that enable drivers to charge and return to the road within 40 minutes.

8. Simulating Earthquakes
Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, three scientific research facilities based in California, have announced that they will release simulations of earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay Area, before releasing simulations of other California regions at a later date. The team used two supercomputers to build the simulation software.

9. Automating Expense Reports
Microsoft and American Express, a U.S.-based financial services company, have partnered to automate expense reports and approvals. Employees can use American Express’s platform to take a picture of their receipts after using a corporate card to make a purchase. The platform’s AI system will then assign the expense a risk score according to the employee’s purchase and payment history and the company’s expense policy and send the information to managers.

10. Analyzing Game Footage
Researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah have created an AI system that can label football players in game footage and identify the offensive team’s formation. The team trained the system with images and videos from Madden 2020, a football video game. In tests, the system labeled players with 90 percent accuracy and determined offensive formations with 85 percent accuracy.

Image credit: Flickr user Jack

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