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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers September 30, 2023 to October 6, 2023 and includes articles on shipping goods with autonomous trucks and using a generative AI system to optimize fitness routines.

1. Designing Robots
Researchers at Northwestern University have created an AI system that can independently design robots. When tasked with designing a robot that can walk on flat surfaces, the system returned a functional blueprint in nine tries and 26 seconds.

2. Developing Quantum Computers
Japanese IT company Fujitsu has partnered with Japanese research institute Riken to launch the country’s second quantum computer. The team plans to integrate the 64-qubit computer with a 40-qubit quantum computer simulator.

3. Studying Birds
Researchers at Cornell University have created an AI-powered tool that can model the life cycle and activities of bird species, including their migration patterns, distributions, and habitats. The team trained the system with data on 500 North American bird species reported by 900,000 birders and environmental data.

4. Deploying Autonomous Trucks
Danish shipping and logistics company Maersk has partnered with U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company Kodiak Robotics to launch the first autonomous trucking service between Houston, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The service will facilitate goods delivery between a consumer products facility and a distribution center.

5. Analyzing Fitness Statistics
Google is developing a generative AI feature that can inform Fitbit users about their fitness capabilities and performance. The feature will use data on fitness activities and users’ health, such as sleep hygiene and recovery history, to provide insights.

6. Tracking Criminal Activity
Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and IT Services have launched a database to track data on criminal activity and police responses in the state. Residents can use the database to view information on crime incidents, law enforcements’ use of no-knock search warrants, and more.

7. Improving Shopping Experiences
Walmart will launch three new AI-powered features to improve customers’ shopping experiences, including a shopping assistant that can answer product questions or offer recommendations, a new search experience that uses generative AI to respond to queries, and an interior design tool that uses augmented reality and generative AI to help customers redesign rooms.

8. Providing Identification
Samsung will add support for driver’s licenses to Samsung Wallet. Arizona and Iowa residents can use Samsung Wallet to prove their identification, and the company plans to expand to more states at a later time.

9. Generating Images
Microsoft has added OpenAI’s text-to-image generative AI system, DALL-E 3, to Bing Chat and Bing Image Creator. Users can submit text prompts to both tools to create realistic images.

10. Playing Football
Quarterbacks at Gallaudet University, a higher education institution in Washington, D.C. designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, will wear helmets that project play calls or coaches’ alerts in augmented reality during football games. Teams can use the helmet to communicate game actions without requiring players to understand American Sign Language (ASL) from afar.

Image credit: Flickr user andy wagstaffe

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