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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers August 19, 2023 to August 25, 2023 and includes articles on using an AI system to analyze decisions in football games and tracking chemical usage data.

1. Treating Brain Cancer
Researchers at Stanford Medicine have created an AI system that can predict the aggressiveness of a glioblastoma tumor from a stained image of its tissue, assess its genetic makeup, and determine how many cancerous cells remain after surgery. The team trained the system with stained images and genetic data from approximately 20 patients with glioblastoma.

2. Landing on the Moon
The Indian Space Research Organization has successfully landed a robotic probe on the Moon, making India the fourth country to reach the Moon and the first to land on the Moon’s south polar region. Researchers will use the landing probe and accompanying rover to collect data on the composition of lunar soil and the thermal and seismic environment at the Moon’s south pole.

3. Predicting Parkinson’s Disease Risks
Researchers at the University College London and the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London have created a new screening method for Parkinson’s disease. The team used an AI system to analyze 3D eye scans from over 200,000 patients and found that reduced thickness in certain layers of the eye is associated with developing Parkinson’s disease. Doctors can use the eye scans to inform patients of their risk of the disease up to seven years before the onset of symptoms.

4. Tracking Chemical Exposure Potential
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a tool to track and visualize data on chemical usage and exposure potential in consumer and industrial products. Public health officials and researchers can use the data to inform chemical safety decisions.

5. Translating Code
IBM has created a generative AI system that can translate one of the oldest programming languages, Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL), into Java. IBM’s system improves upon other translation systems by its ability to determine if part of an app should remain in COBOL to preserve its original functions.

6. Monitoring Air Quality
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has published the first maps from its Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution space instrument. Researchers can use the maps to view hourly data on air quality at the neighborhood level.

7. Generating Code
Meta has launched an open source AI system that can generate and explain code in English. Developers can use the system to write or debug code in several programming languages, including Python, Typescript, and Bash.

8. Delivering Goods
Walmart has partnered with Wing, a U.S.-based drone delivery service company, to offer drone deliveries at two stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Customers within a six-mile radius of each store can use the service to receive goods delivered by drones.

9. Analyzing Game Decisions
Amazon will add an on-screen line to games on Thursday Night Football broadcasts to show fans at what points National Football League (NFL) teams should attempt fourth-down conversions. The company will use an AI system to determine the placement of the line.

10. Launching Humanoid Robots
Apptronik, a U.S.-based robotics company, has created a humanoid robot that can handle physically demanding tasks, such as loading boxes in warehouses. The robot uses cameras and sensors to collect data on its surrounding environment and an AI system to operate, and features a digital panel that displays what task it is working on, how long the task will take, and its next task.

Image credit: Flickr user Jack

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