In this week’s roundup, we look at how artificial intelligence (AI) is causing positive advances across industries, including locating power line issues and forest fire risks, detecting prostate cancer, and helping scientists study birds. And, we learn how women can succeed in data science and how big data is affecting COVID-19.

Artificial Intelligence to Identify Birds of the Same Species


An international team of scientists has developed an AI technology that can identify different birds of the same species. They used photographs of birds tagged with electronic chips and fed the images to the AI. The AI was able to use deep learning to differentiate among small differences in plumage—which humans can’t do with the naked eye. The scientists expect the technology will allow them to more deeply study the birds and their behaviors. 


Four Ways to Excel as a Female Data Scientist

by Alicia Frame, contributing writer to

Even though data science is consistently rated as one of the most in-demand fields to be in, women only make up 16% of the workforce. The author of this article is one of the few women in the industry, and she shares her tips for succeeding in an area dominated by men. For example, she explains how shifting roles, gaining experience, and learning new skills outside of her core job have helped her succeed.


Artificial Intelligence Platform Detects Power Grid Flaws and Wildfire Dangers Better and Faster than Humans

by James Conca, contributing writer for

AI is now helping to spot wildfire dangers and power grid issues before they become destructive. The technology uses drones to capture millions of photographs and then employs deep learning techniques to identify problem areas. Scientists expect the AI to save billions of dollars in firefighting costs, land and property loss, and watershed cleanup.


Data in the Age of COVID

by Tim Molino, contributor for

It may seem as though the information we are receiving each week about the novel coronavirus keeps changing, but the reason isn’t a lack of data—the reason is that a huge amount of data are being collected and analyzed, which constantly produces new insights into how the virus works and how we can best combat it. The truth is that if this pandemic happened just a few decades ago, we would be getting life-saving information at a much slower pace. Although it’s a worldwide disaster, big data will ultimately reduce the impact of the pandemic.


Artificial Intelligence Identifies Prostate Cancer with Near-Perfect Accuracy

by the University of Pittsburgh for

University of Pittsburgh researchers recently published a paper about a new AI-powered algorithm that can detect prostate cancer at an accuracy rate of 97%. The researchers took pictures from more than a million tissue slides and then programmed the AI to distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissue. The algorithm has large implications for other uses, too, such as providing important information about other types of tumors.


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