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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

by Morgan Stevens

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers November 25, 2023 to December 1, 2023 and includes articles on using an autonomous excavator to build walls and tracking data on solar-generated electricity.

1. Predicting New Materials
Google DeepMind has created an AI system that can predict the structure of crystalline materials. Researchers used the system to predict the structure of over two million materials, including around 381,000 stable materials that can advance new technologies, such as new semiconductors and batteries.

2. Repairing Potholes
Robotiz3d, a U.K.-based robotics firm, has created an autonomous robot that can identify and repair potholes on roads. Officials can use the robot to reduce the time, cost, emissions, and materials necessary to repair potholes.

3. Launching Chatbots
Amazon has launched an AI-powered chatbot, known as Amazon Q, for businesses. Workers can use the chatbot to summarize or complete documents and securely ask questions about corporate data or policies.

4. Aiding Search and Rescue Missions
The police and fire departments in Chester, Pennsylvania will use a robot to conduct underwater searches. The robot uses sonar technology to collect data on objects up to 300 feet below the surface, reducing the need for a human diver to conduct searches in low visibility operations.

5. Shopping for Goods
Mastercard, the U.S.-based payment processor, has created an AI-powered tool that can offer product recommendations to online shoppers based on user-submitted text prompts, such as cottagecore, past purchases or searches, or similarities to another product.

6. Tracking Solar Energy
The Oregon Department of Energy has launched a dashboard to track data on solar-generated electricity. Residents can use the dashboard to view information on utility-scale and rooftop solar productions in each county and the average cost per watt.

7. Generating Videos
Pika Labs, a U.S.-based generative AI company, has launched a generative AI-powered tool that can create or edit videos. Users can submit text prompts, images, or videos to create new content, modify existing videos, or apply various styles, including 3D animation, cartoon, and cinematic.

8. Building Walls
Researchers at ETH Zurich have created an autonomous excavator that can build a wall out of nearby boulders. The excavator has sensors and cameras that collect data on the boulders’ weight and shape and an AI system that uses the data to determine the best placement for each boulder.

9. Forecasting the Weather
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has partnered with IBM to develop a foundational AI system for weather and climate applications. The team will use the system for applications related to predicting meteorological events, analyzing low-resolution data, and determining factors that affect wildfires, airplane turbulence, and more.

10. Visiting the Gyeongbokgung Palace
The Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea has partnered with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Woomi Hope Foundation, a South Korean public interest organization, and South Korean advertising agency Cheil Worldwide to create an augmented reality version of a royal court ceremony from 1887 at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. The augmented reality experience will show more than 300 interactive characters, ceremonial costumes, and objects from the Joseon Dynasty, as well as allow users to participate in a treasure hunt around the palace.

Image credit: Flickr user Andrew

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