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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Spotted lanternflies

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers June 3, 2023 to June 9, 2023 and includes articles on building robots that can eliminate invasive species and opening a quantum data center.

1. Planning Travel
Google has partnered with Priceline, a U.S.-based online travel agency, to launch an AI-powered chatbot focused on the travel industry. Travelers can use the chatbot to plan trips and receive suggestions for accommodations.

2. Revamping Robot Dogs
Boston Dynamics, a U.S.-based robotics company, has updated its robot dog. The dog, known as Spot, can now read analog gauges, such as a pressure dial, and conduct thermal and acoustic inspections. The company has also announced plans to add a robotic arm to Spot that can open doors.

3. Writing Blogs
WordPress, a U.S. company that makes a popular web publishing software, has created an AI-powered writing assistant that can write blogs. Website owners can use the assistant, known as Jetpack AI, to generate blogs in their site’s tone, edit posts, and translate content into 12 languages, including Spanish, French, and Korean.

4. Modeling Earthquakes
Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego have used a supercomputer to model the relationship between the San Andreas Fault, a fault line in California, and southern California’s Salton Sea, a salt lake above the fault with dynamic water levels. The team found that low levels of water in the Salton Sea have reduced stress on the San Andreas Fault and led to a decrease in the number and severity of earthquakes in the region.

5. Suggesting Medications
Researchers at Boston University have created a machine learning model that can suggest medications for patients with hypertension and inform doctors about the medication’s probability of success and its effectiveness in patients with similar characteristics. The team trained the model with medical data from over 42,000 patients.

6. Eliminating Invasive Species
Students at Carnegie Mellon University have created an autonomous robot that can identify and eliminate spotted lanternfly eggs, an invasive species that damages crops. The robot, known as TartanPest, has cameras that collect data on its surrounding environment and an AI system that uses the data to identify eggs and manipulate a robotic arm into eliminating them.

7. Advancing International Cooperation
The United States and United Kingdom have signed an agreement, named the Atlantic Declaration, to cooperate on several areas of science and technology, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing. The two countries will collaborate on research and development, coordinate private capital investments, and facilitate workforce-related immigration.

8. Opening Quantum Data Centers
IBM has announced plans to open its first European quantum data center in Ehningen, Germany. The company will host several quantum computing systems at the center to advance quantum research in Europe while complying with the GDPR.

9. Searching for Emails
Google has added machine learning models to the search experience in its Gmail service. Previously, searches would return emails in chronological order; however, the new search experience presents results predicted to be most relevant to the search according to users’ most recent emails.

10. Learning About State Parks
The California Department of Parks and Recreation has launched an app to teach visitors about the state parks. Visitors can use the app to view educational information about nine of the state’s parks in augmented reality.

Image credit: Flickr user Governor Tom Wolf

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