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Daily Archives: September 6, 2018

The Atrophying of the Congressional Research Service’s Role in Supporting Committee Oversight

Secrecy News Blog: “The Congressional Research Service once played a prominent role in supporting oversight by congressional committees. Although that support has diminished sharply in recent years, it could conceivably be restored in a new Congress, writes former CRS analyst Kevin R. Kosar in a new paper. In the past, CRS “closely assisted Congress in a myriad of major oversight efforts, including the Watergate investigation, the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, and the Iran-Contra affair.” But over time, Kosar writes, “CRS’ role in oversight declined due to various factors, most of which were out of its control. Congress changed. Congressional committees, particularly in the House of Representatives, lost capacity, and hyper-partisanism turned much oversight into political point-scoring rather than an exercise in governing that required expert assistance.”

What if technologies had their own ethical standards?

European Parliament – What if technologies had their own ethical standards? “Technologies are often seen either as objects of ethical scrutiny or as challenging traditional ethical norms. The advent of autonomous machines, deep learning and big data techniques, blockchain applications and ‘smart’ technological products raises the need to introduce ethical norms into these devices. The very… Continue Reading

What if technologies challenged our ethical norms?

European Parliament Think Tank – What if technologies challenged our ethical norms? “Exploring the relationship between ethics and technological innovation has always been a challenging task for policy-makers. Ethical considerations concerning the impact of research and innovation (R&I) are increasingly important owing to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the transformative potential and complexity… Continue Reading

The real impact of using artificial intelligence in legal research

Via LawSites: “A study released this week pitted two legal research platforms against each other, Casetext CARA and Lexis Advance from LexisNexis, and concluded that attorneys using Casetext CARA finished their research significantly more quickly and found more releva cases than those who used Lexis Advance. The study, The Real Impact of Using Artificial Intelligence in… Continue Reading

ACLU 50 State Blueprints for Smart Justice

“The Smart Justice 50-State Blueprints are the result of a multi-year partnership between the ACLU, its state affiliates, and the Urban Institute to develop actionable policy options for each state that captures the nuance of local laws and sentencing practices. We reviewed data on who’s incarcerated, for what reasons, and for how long. Urban Institute… Continue Reading

Chegg’s CEO says higher ed isn’t set up for today’s students

MarketPlace: “The cost of the learning content was designed so that everybody could take a 30 percent margin three times — the distributor, the wholesaler, the bookstore. What gets taught is based on the curriculum that a school can do based on the professors they have, which is very different than what you want to… Continue Reading

Rand – Evolution of the U.S. Overdose Crisis

Understanding China’s Role in the Production and Supply of Synthetic Opioids by Bryce Pardo: Testimony presented before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on September 6, 2018. [h/t Mary Whisner] “The introduction of illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids to U.S. drug markets presents new challenges for contemporary… Continue Reading

Google publishes new research on digital well being

Google Blog: “As researchers on the Android team, we spend a lot of time out in the world, listening to our users. To do our best work, we leave our passions behind. Objectivity is key. But it’s hard not to develop empathy, especially when you start to notice that not everything about people’s experience with… Continue Reading

Making advocacy accessible – 5 Calls make it effortless for regular people to have a voice when it’s needed most

“Calling members of Congress is the most effective way to have your voice heard. Calls are tallied by staffers and the count is given to your representatives, informing them how strongly their constituents feel about a current issue. The sooner you reach out, the more likely it is that your voice will influence their position….5… Continue Reading

After Equifax’s mega-breach, nothing changed

Axios:  The Equifax data breach was supposed to change everything about cybersecurity regulation on Capitol Hill. One year later, it’s not clear it changed much of anything. “Why it matters: A year ago Friday, Equifax — one of the major credit reporting agencies — announced that 145.5 million U.S. adults had their social security numbers… Continue Reading

93 year old Warsaw ghetto survivor warns about the sharp end of history – Listen up

The Guardian – Stanisław Aronson – “I survived the Warsaw ghetto. Here are the lessons I’d like to pass on. I’m 93, and, as extremism sweeps across Europe, I fear we are doomed to repeat the mistakes which created the Holocaust “Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel stated this summer that “when the generation that survived the war… Continue Reading

Study documents growing wave of online antisemitism

A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism. Joel Finkelstein, Savvas Zannettou, Barry Bradlyn, Jeremy Blackburn. arXiv:1809.01644v1 [cs.CY] for this version) “In this paper, we present a large-scale, quantitative study of online antisemitism. We collect hundreds of million comments and images from alt-right Web communities like 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board (/pol/) and the Twitter clone, Gab.… Continue Reading