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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
A recycling sign

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers May 27, 2023 to June 2, 2023 and includes articles on tracking recycling data and using an autonomous robot to charge electric vehicles.

1. Generating 3D Models
Nvidia has created an AI system that can generate 3D models of objects found in 2D videos. The system, known as Neuralangelo, uses different video frames of objects to create each 3D model.

2. Saving Endangered Condors
Researchers at Texas A&M University have created a smart egg that can record audio and collect data on temperature, movements, and more in the nests of California condors, a species of vultures. The Oregon Zoo has started using two of the eggs to record audio of condor parents’ breathing and heartbeats and plays the sounds for chick eggs in an incubator.

3. Shopping for Groceries
Instacart has launched a new search tool powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT that uses customers’ shopping histories and personalized questions to generate answers. Customers can use the tool to ask for products, recommendations, food preparation, dietary information, and more.

4. Providing Identification
Google has added digital IDs to its Google Wallet app. Maryland residents with Android phones can use their Wallet app to provide identification, and the company has announced plans to expand to Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia next.

5. Advancing Drug Development
Researchers at Ohio State University have created an AI-powered tool that can expedite the drug development process by predicting the chemical reactions needed to create certain molecules. The team trained the system on 40,000 chemical reactions from 1976 to 2016.

6. Charging Electric Vehicles
Officials at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport have partnered with EV Safe Charge, a U.S.-based electric vehicle charging technology company, to deploy an autonomous robot that can charge electric vehicles. Drivers can schedule a charge on the charging app and the robot will find the car and start charging upon arrival.

7. Playing Video Games
Nvidia has created an AI-powered tool that enables video game players to converse with non-playable characters, meaning those not controlled by players. Players can speak to these characters through their headsets and receive answers about game lore and characters’ backgrounds.

8. Tracking Recycling Data
Officials in Clearwater, Florida have launched a dashboard to track recycling data in the city. Residents can use the dashboard to view information on how much waste is recycled and recycling contamination rates.

9. Painting Sporting Fields
Parks and recreation staff in Goodyear, Arizona have started using an autonomous robot to paint lines on sporting fields. The robot uses GPS technology and sensors to collect data on its surrounding environment and navigate painting routes. According to officials, a large field would take two to three staff around three to four hours to complete, but the robot can paint it within a half hour.

10. Transforming Cars
Paramount Pictures, a U.S.-based film production company, has partnered with Snapchat to create an augmented reality lens for their upcoming Transformers movie. Snapchat users can point their phone at any car and the lens will turn it into a Transformer robot.

Image credit: Flickr user Virginia State Parks

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