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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens
A taxi sign

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers September 23, 2023 to September 29, 2023 and includes articles on testing robotaxis and launching a robot that can build burrito bowls.

1. Regaining Movement
An international team of researchers has helped a paralyzed patient in Switzerland regain partial movement in his arms, hands, and fingers. The team placed an implant in his brain with an AI system that can understand intended movements and transmit the information to a second implant in his abdomen that can produce movement in the relevant muscles.

2. Assembling Burrito Bowls
Chipotle, a U.S.-based chain of fast-casual restaurants, has started testing a robot that can assemble burrito bowls. The robot can create six times more bowls per hour than human employees.

3. Translating Podcasts
Spotify will launch an AI-powered feature that can translate podcasts into Spanish, French, and German. The feature uses a few seconds of podcast hosts’ voices to create realistic speech in different languages.

4. Studying Saturn’s Rings
An international team of researchers used a supercomputer to model the creation of Saturn’s rings. The team found that two icy moons likely collided with each other and scattered ice within gravitational limits that would prevent larger rocks or ice from remaining in the same orbit.

5. Playing Games
Mattel, a U.S.-based toy company, has created a new version of Pictionary, its visual guessing game. The new game features an AI system that guesses what users have drawn.

6. Answering Football Questions
The Dallas Cowboys football team has launched a hologram of team owner and general manager Jerry Jones at their stadium. The hologram features an AI system that can answer fans’ questions about his football career.

7. Unveiling AI Products
Meta has unveiled a new AI-powered chatbot known as Meta AI. It can answer questions and generate images in WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram and also features 28 AI characters with various personality types, such as dance enthusiast or seasoned sous chef.

8. Tracking Respiratory Diseases
The U.K. Health Security Agency has launched a dashboard to track data on infectious respiratory diseases. Officials and public health researchers can use the dashboard to view information on COVID-19, the flu, rhinovirus, and more.

9. Riding in Robotaxis
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has partnered with U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company Cruise to start testing autonomous vehicles next month. During the test, five autonomous taxis will travel along a five-mile route in the city.

10. Playing Football
The Chicago Bears football team will place augmented reality versions of quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Cole Kmet at the stadium’s gates during games. Fans can use the Chicago Bears app to take pictures with both players as well as learn more about past players.

Image credit: Flickr user Dennis Skley

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