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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Tennis balls in the air

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers June 10, 2023 to June 16, 2023 and includes articles on using an AI system to create a Beatles song and building a robot that can play tennis.

1. Generating Speech
Meta has created a generative AI system that can respond to text prompts with an audible answer. The company trained the system with 50,000 hours of audiobook recordings and their transcripts in English, French, Spanish, German, Polish, and Portuguese.

2. Advancing Quantum Computing
IBM has created a method to mitigate errors in quantum calculations. The team performed a physics problem too complex for supercomputers on a quantum computer 600,000 times. The computer returned unreliable results but, by repeating the problem and adding or varying the amount of noise in each calculation, the team could identify sources of errors and deduce the correct results.

3. Summarizing Reviews
Amazon has started using an AI system to summarize customers’ reviews. For select products, the system can generate text that reflects customers’ opinions on product details and relay whether reviews are positive, negative, or varied.

4. Surveying Mars
Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center have created a high-resolution 3D map of Mars’ terrain. The team used a supercomputer to process data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s camera and build the map.

5. Releasing Music
Paul McCartney, a former Beatles singer, has announced that a new Beatles song will be released this year. The song will feature the late John Lennon’s voice, which was added by using an AI system to process an old demo of it.

6. Cooking Food
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have created an AI-powered robot that can learn to cook by following humans’ demonstrations. The team filmed videos of themselves making salads and trained the robots’ AI system to recognize the fruits and vegetables in the salad, cooking utensils, and the researchers. They then used the videos to train the system to identify and recreate recipes.

7. Enhancing Government Work
Microsoft has added OpenAI’s language models to its cloud service for government agencies. Agency workers with access to the service can now use the models, including ChatGPT-4, and adapt them to better suit their agency’s work while maintaining compliance with security standards.

8. Transporting Cargo
Officials at Munich Airport have successfully completed a trial of an autonomous robot that can handle cargo. The robot can lift and transport cargo and support workers in loading and unloading planes. It improves upon other robots due to its balancing mechanisms and two arms, which enable it to handle boxes of different sizes.

9. Composing Music
Meta has created an open source generative AI system that can turn text prompts and existing music into new music. The team trained the system with 20,000 hours of music.

10. Playing Tennis
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built a robot that can play tennis. The robot has cameras that collect data on its environment and an AI system that can recognize tennis balls and direct the robot to return the ball.

Image credit: Flickr user Max Elman

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