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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Peeps and Easter eggs

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers February 11, 2023 to February 17, 2023 and includes articles on using an AI system to summarize webpages and launching an augmented reality egg hunt.

1. Moderating Online Posts
Researchers at Cornell University have created an AI-powered browser extension that can detect signs of hostility in conversations on a Reddit subforum centered around debating a variety of topics and inform users if their replies will likely escalate tensions in real time. Online writers can use the system to evaluate content before posting.

2. Modeling Sea Level Rises
Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea have used a supercomputer to model the interplay between melting ice sheets, ocean processes, and the atmosphere. The team found that current emissions levels will likely cause 39 inches of sea level rise from melting ice sheets within the next 130 years.

3. Optimizing Work Meetings
Otter.ai, a U.S.-based transcription technology company, has launched an AI-powered tool, known as OtterPilot, that can create summaries of work meetings, capture images of meeting slides, and write meeting notes in real time. Organizations can use the tool to optimize meetings and update interested parties about meeting highlights without requiring them to attend.

4. Surveying Glaciers
An international team of researchers has surveyed the bottom of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica and determined that the underside of the glacier is melting at a slower rate than computer models suggest due to a layer of freshwater between the glacier and the ocean. The team deployed a robot, known as Icefin, into a 600-meter-deep borehole to collect this data.

5. Piloting Fighter Jets
The U.S. military has tested two autonomous flying systems in a fighter jet. The first system piloted the jet while engaging in combat against an enemy beyond visual range and the second system piloted the jet while fighting against an adversarial AI system.

6. Building Autonomous Shuttles
Zoox, a U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company, has launched an autonomous shuttle service to transport employees between its Foster City, California offices. The company built the vehicles to provide shuttle services; as a result, they do not have the same safe driving tools, such as steering wheels or pedals, as other autonomous vehicles.

7. Summarizing News Articles
Opera, a Norwegian technology company that operates a web browser with the same name, has announced plans to add a tool that uses ChatGPT to summarize webpages to its browser. The tool will create bullet points for each summary in a sidebar next to the page.

8. Improving Traffic Management
Arlington County, Virginia has launched a smart parking initiative to help drivers quickly find parking and reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The city has partnered with a Canadian wireless sensor technology company to install 5,000 sensors in street parking spaces that can inform drivers about real-time parking occupancy.

9. Editing Online Games
Roblox, a U.S.-based game platform and creation company, has announced plans to test an generative AI-powered tool that can build and alter objects in games. Users can submit natural language text prompts to the tool to create and edit customized buildings, terrain, and avatars.

10. Winning Virtual Egg Hunts
U.S.-based soft drink manufacturer PepsiCo and Just Born Quality Confections, a U.S.-based candy company that makes Peeps marshmallows, have partnered with Snap to create a virtual egg hunt of their marshmallow flavored cola. Users can scan cans with Snap’s augmented reality lens to discover if they have won a prize.

Image credit: Flickr user Steve Webel

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