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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers October 14, 2023 to October 20, 2023 and includes articles on using drones to deliver medications and displaying the Parthenon in augmented reality.

1. Unveiling Quantum Computers
IBM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York have partnered to install a quantum computer that students can use on RPI’s campus, making RPI the first college in the world to have a quantum computer. The school has made the computer immediately available for student use.

2. Optimizing Warehouse Operations
Amazon has added a new robotics system to its warehouse in Houston, Texas. The system, known as Sequoia, integrates multiple warehouse robots to retrieve and store inventory at a warehouse in Houston, Texas. It enables workers to fulfill orders up to 25 percent faster and identify and store products up to 75 percent faster. The company has also started testing a second robot, named Digit, that can move and manipulate items in a similar manner to human workers at warehouses.

3. Teaching Robots
Nvidia has created an AI system that can direct a robot to perform nearly 30 complicated tasks with its hands, such as spinning a pen, using scissors, and opening drawers. According to the company, the AI system uses a trial and error program to teach robots that is 80 percent more effective than programs created by humans.

4. Combating Fake Online Reviews
Amazon, Glassdoor, and Trustpilot have partnered with travel companies Expedia, Booking, and Tripadvisor to launch a coalition to combat fake online reviews. The coalition will develop best practices for hosting online reviews and collaborate on fake review detection methods.

5. Supporting Airport Operations
Officials at Toronto’s Pearson Airport will use Honda’s new autonomous work vehicle to inspect perimeter fences for damage or security breaches. The vehicle uses GPS and radar and lidar sensors to detect and navigate around obstacles and can identify fence irregularities, transport cargo around tarmacs, conduct groundskeeping, and more.

6. Logging Into Websites
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will add facial matching technology to its sign-in identity verification platform, Login.gov, in 2024. Federal agency employees can use the technology to verify their identities and log into U.S. government websites.

7. Maintaining Vehicles
Amazon has partnered with UVeye, a U.S.-based software company, to unveil an archway and ground plates that can inspect delivery vans for defects. The archway and plates feature cameras and sensors to collect data on vehicles as they drive through and an AI system that uses the data to identify defects, determine their severity, and notify fleet managers.

8. Viewing Ancient Temples
Greece’s Culture Ministry has partnered with Cosmote, a Greek telecommunications provider, to launch an app to teach visitors about the Parthenon, an ancient temple in Athens. Visitors can use the app to see the Parthenon as it appeared around 2,500 years ago in augmented reality.

9. Proving Identification
Google has announced that Android users in Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado can add their state ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app. Residents in each state can use the app to prove their identification at TSA PreCheck lines at select airports.

10. Delivering Medications
Amazon will offer drone delivery services for prescription medications in College Station, Texas. The drones use sensor technology and an AI system to navigate around obstacles, such as people or power lines, and deliver prescriptions to customers.

Image credit: Flickr user llee_wu

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