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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers October 21, 2023 to October 27, 2023 and includes articles on using an AI system to produce new Beatles music and launching a dashboard to track data on educational funding.

1. Replicating Writing Styles
Grammarly, a U.S.-based writing assistance software company, is introducing an AI-powered feature that can identify and replicate users’ writing styles. The company will build a profile of each user that contains an AI-generated summary of their writing style. Users can then change certain characteristics of the profile, such as tone and style choices, to further customize the tool.

2. Riding in Robotaxis
Uber has partnered with Waymo, a U.S.-based autonomous vehicle company, to offer autonomous ride hailing services in Phoenix, Arizona. Uber riders in the region can match with autonomous vehicles after requesting a ride.

3. Generating Playlist Art
YouTube Music has launched a new AI-powered feature that can generate cover art for playlists. Users can create an image by clicking on the existing main image and selecting a category, such as nature, humor, or animals.

4. Watching Baseball
Fox Sports will use three drones to film game activity, such as pitcher warm-ups, during the World Series for the first time.

5. Producing Music
Paul McCartney has announced that a final Beatles song, Now and Then, will be released next week. New Zealand-based director Peter Jackson and sound editor Emile de la Rey used an AI system to separate John Lennon’s vocals from a previous demo for the song.

6. Modernizing Data Systems
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will start testing a modernized taxpayer data system after the upcoming tax season. It plans to switch from the current 60-year old system that scores and processes tax submission data to one with better security protocols and lower costs.

7. Designing Advertisements
Amazon has created a tool that can generate backgrounds for product advertisements. The tool will enable advertisers to create better product shots without requiring technical expertise. Advertisers can use the tool to improve product shots and advertisement performances.

8. Tracking Educational Funding
The South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office has launched a dashboard to track educational funding in the state. Residents can use the dashboard to view data on school districts’ revenues, expenditures, academic performances, student-teacher ratios, and more.

9. Editing Stock Images
Shutterstock, a U.S.-based stock photography company, has unveiled a set of tools to edit its images. Users can expand stock image backgrounds, generate new versions of stock images, resize stock images, and remove, replace, or add parts of a stock image.

10. Shopping for Cosmetics
Google has updated its augmented reality shopping tools to enable customers to try on foundation makeup and hair dye colors. Shoppers can use the tools to virtually try on new foundations or hair dyes.

Image credit: Flickr user Bertram Nudelbach

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