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10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist 

by Aswin Prabhakar

This week’s list of top data news highlights covers March 9, 2024 to March 15, 2024 and includes articles on using AI for automating software development and using virtual reality to help people with dementia. 

1. Automating Software Development

Cognition, a startup based in New York City, has developed an AI tool called Devin that acts as a software development assistant. When given a prompt, such as “create a website that maps all the Italian restaurants in Sydney,” the tool can collect the relevant information and create a website showing the information. It can also identify and fix any bugs in its own code. 

2. Retrieving Memories 

Recreo VR, a startup based in the United Kingdom, has created a virtual reality experience for people living with dementia. The personalized immersive experiences include an individual’s hobbies and places they have visited, with the aim to help individuals access memories and improve their mental and social well-being. 

3. Reducing Energy Costs on Dairy Farms

Soltropy, a Glasgow-based solar thermal water heating provider, has developed an IoT-based water temperature monitoring system that can reduce energy consumption in the dairy industry. The device ensures that the water heater uses energy efficiently and signals when the heating system needs repairs. 

4. Improving Financial Modeling

CQG, a global provider of technology solutions for financial markets, has introduced a predictive model for traders. The tool helps traders identify new profitable trading opportunities and manage the risk of existing positions. For example, if a portfolio has high exposure to the airline industry, then the model will suggest assets that are not correlated with the airline industry.  

5. Making Amazon Listings

Amazon has announced an ecommerce tool using generative AI that makes it easier for sellers to manage their product listings. Sellers can use their existing website’s URL to create high-quality, tailored product pages on Amazon’s platform, streamlining the listing process. 

6. Improving Healthcare Services

Salesforce has announced new AI tools aimed at reducing the administrative burden on healthcare workers, which is a major contributor to physician burnout. One of their tools allows doctors to book appointments, summarize patient information, and send referrals using conversational language. 

7. Improving Humanoid Robots

Figure, a robotics startup based in California, has partnered with OpenAI to create Figure 01, a humanoid robot that has the capabilities to interact with humans and its environment. The robot follows orders, locates and hands objects, describes its actions, converses with people, and identifies, plans, and carries out helpful tasks on its own, powered by OpenAI’s vision-language model. 

8. Discovering Drugs

Insilico Medicine, a Hong Kong and New York-based biotech startup, has announced the discovery of the first AI-generated and AI-discovered drug which has reached phase two of clinical trials. The startup designed the drug to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that creates scarring of the lungs, and discovered it using Insilico’s AI platform, Pharma.AI.  

9. Adding Sound Effects to Videos

Pika, a generative AI video creation platform, has added a new feature that allows users to automatically generate sound effects for their AI-generated videos. Pika aims to help individual content makers, who don’t have access to sound studios, to use AI platforms to generate audio content for videos.   

10. Improving Government Contract Transparency

The New York State Comptroller has launched a new data dashboard called Contracts by the Numbers that allows users to search through data on state agency and public authority contracts. The tool allows users to view which entities hold the largest or most contracts with the New York state government. 

Image credits: Alex Knight on Unsplash

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