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March Monthly News Digest: Data Science & Analytics

March 26, 2023

Welcome to Burtch Works’ Monthly News Digest, your go-to source for a comprehensive overview of the month’s most significant stories in the world of data science and analytics. This month, we explore AI-generated photography, data privacy laws, predictive analytics for infectious diseases, DoorDash's use of analytics and forecasting, and the costs/benefits of cloud-native architecture.

Viral Instagram Photographer has a Confession: His Photos are AI-generated

Jos Avery, an Instagram photographer with over 36,000 followers, recently confessed to a secret behind his seemingly masterful portrait photography skills - they are all AI-generated. Avery has been using an AI image synthesis model called Midjourney to create these portraits, but has been using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit the images and add his personal touch. Although many are praising his work, Avery admits that it takes a significant amount of effort to take AI-generated elements and create something that looks like it was taken by a human photographer. Despite the ethical implications, Avery believes that the creative process still rests in the hands of the artist or photographer, rather than the computer. With AI technology advancing at a rapid pace, the use of AI in art and photography raises important questions about the role of the artist and the authenticity of their work.Read the full article here.

Former FBI Cyber Agent Urges All Consumers to Demand Data Privacy Action

In today's digital world, data privacy is a critical concern for individuals and businesses alike. A former FBI cyber agent has called for greater action from both parties to protect personal data from cyber-attacks and breaches. The agent emphasizes the importance of data privacy laws to hold businesses accountable for any harm caused and to prioritize data privacy and security as a fundamental part of their operations. Consumers also have a role to play in advocating for their own privacy rights and pushing for greater protections. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) would be a significant stride in creating a federal-level legal framework that regulates algorithms and requires creators to demonstrate that their engagement formulas are not harming the public. With stronger data privacy regulation and enforcement, individuals and businesses can use online platforms with greater confidence and security.Read the full article here.

Predictive Analytics Deployment to Forecast Infectious Disease

Highmark Health, a health system based in Pennsylvania, is set to deploy an AI-based early warning system created by Kinsa to forecast healthcare utilization, staffing needs, and bed capacity during infectious disease spikes. The system utilizes data related to symptom prevalence, geography, and illness spread to predict existing infectious diseases weeks or months in advance and novel outbreaks up to two weeks before they occur. Predictive analytics models analyze past outbreaks and disease transmission patterns to make accurate predictions, allowing healthcare systems to prepare and respond to infectious diseases proactively. The ultimate goal of the system is to help healthcare systems prepare for potential outbreaks by predicting care needs based on data from past outbreaks and patterns of disease transmission.Read the full article here.

How DoorDash Uses Analytics and Forecasting Amid Economic Uncertainty

DoorDash, a leading food delivery company, is leveraging analytics and machine learning to gain insights into the changing market and consumer behavior. The company has identified that consumers are ordering fewer items per cart, but keeping higher-priced entrées, likely due to inflation affecting their spending power. DoorDash also uses machine learning to optimize its delivery routes and predict demand. By leveraging large amounts of data, including historical order patterns and real-time traffic data, the company is able to predict delivery times and allocate resources more efficiently. This not only improves the customer experience but also helps to reduce costs and increase profitability. DoorDash acknowledges that technology alone is not enough, and that human expertise is still crucial in interpreting data and making informed decisions. As such, the company invests in developing a skilled workforce that can work alongside advanced analytics tools. By combining the power of data and human expertise, DoorDash is well-positioned to stay ahead of the curve in a constantly evolving industry.Read the full article here.

The High Costs of Going Cloud-Native

Cloud-native architecture has many benefits, but it comes with high costs, including the expenses associated with retraining employees, architectural redesigns, and specialized tools and services. Furthermore, vendor lock-in and the challenge of maintaining and scaling microservices-based architectures can be costly. Cloud providers' pricing models can be challenging to predict, making cost management a significant concern. Despite these downsides, however, the article suggests that cloud-native architecture can offer significant long-term benefits for companies willing to invest. “Cloud-native applications have the clear advantage over legacy software. There’s no debate that cloud-native applications respond to the market faster, offer better user experience and provide superior scalability and resilience,” OutSystems CTO Patrick Jean says in a press release. “But this shift also represents an overhaul of the traditional software development process–one that most companies are not equipped to handle.”Read the full article here.