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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
Lake Tahoe

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers August 5, 2023 to August 11, 2023 and includes articles on using an autonomous robot to clean lakes and launching a data dashboard to track heat-related illnesses.

1. Generating Poems
Google has updated its Arts & Culture app to include a tool that can generate poems on a postcard based on pieces of artwork and a user-submitted subject. Users can choose a famous painting and type of poem, including a sonnet, limerick, ode, elegy, or haiku, and enter random words, such as “ocean,” and the tool will generate a postcard that matches the users’ choices.

2. Guiding Baby Sea Turtles
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have built a robot designed to resemble a turtle that can guide baby sea turtles from beach nests to the ocean. The robot turtle uses four remote-controlled flippers and sensor technology to maneuver. Researchers designed it with data from zoological studies on multiple sea turtles species to maximize its effectiveness.

3. Completing Homework
Quizlet, a U.S.-based educational technology company, has launched four new AI-powered tools to help students learn. The tools can generate study materials such as outlines and flashcards to help study, create a memory score to measure material retention, identify key concepts and create summaries of course content, and provide guidance on how to solve homework problems.

4. Monitoring Air Quality
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and 21 universities have partnered to determine why certain types of harmful air pollution are persistent. Scientists will use satellites, aircraft, vehicles, stationary installations, and backpacks with sensors to monitor air quality data for the project.

5. Writing Product Listings
Amazon is testing a tool that can help sellers write listings for their products. Sellers can enter a short description of their product and the tool will respond with a product title, description, and bullet points.

6. Tracking Heat-Related Illnesses
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Climate Change and Health Equity and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have launched a dashboard to track data on emergency medical responses to heat-related illnesses. Officials can use the dashboard to inform heat mitigation strategies and energy funding initiatives.

7. Predicting Diabetes
Researchers at Emory University have created an AI system that can identify signs of diabetes in chest x-ray images up to three years before a diagnosis. The team trained the system with 270,000 x-ray images from 160,000 patients.

8. Cleaning Lakes
The League to Save Lake Tahoe, an environmental nonprofit in Lake Tahoe, California, has partnered with ECO-Clean Solutions, a U.S.-based environmental stewardship technology company, to clean the lake. The two organizations will use an autonomous robot to remove trash and invasive weeds from the lake.

9. Checking Grammar
Google has updated its search engine to include an AI-powered feature that can check queries for grammar errors in English. Users can enter a sentence, along with “grammar check,” “check grammar,” or “grammar checker,” and the search engine will offer suggestions to improve the sentence’s grammar if necessary.

10. Training Lunar Robots
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will send three autonomous rovers to the Moon next year. NASA scientists plan to deliver high-level instructions to the rovers, such as exploring a particular region, and observe how the rovers execute their tasks to study how autonomous vehicles can complete lunar missions more efficiently in the future.

Image credit: Flickr user Beau Rogers

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