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Category Archives: AI

How to fix social media? Start with independent research.

Brookings: “…The system of APIs set up by Twitter over the past decade—most of which were set up for business purposes as opposed to research—led to a flowering of academic research using Twitter data. And to be very clear, Twitter deserves kudos for making so much data available, including specialized collections around Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) trolls and COVID-19. However, even the data that Twitter makes accessible to outside researchers has left out information that is crucial for academic research, such as data about which users have seen which tweets, known as “exposure data,” or even by how many users have seen each tweet. Therefore, understanding which tweets and associated news items reach which classes of people remains an area of inquiry that outsiders to Twitter cannot investigate. Moreover, some data, such as friends and follower networks, have become harder to collect at scale over time as new API access rules are rolled out with new rate limits governing how often researchers can access the API. Nevertheless, because more research has been performed on Twitter than any other platform, our understanding of the relationship of social media to online harms is highly biased toward what is occurring on that particular platform…To break through the logjam, we need federal legislation.  That legislation, such as the Platform Transparency and Accountability Act proposed by one of the authors (Persily), could come in many forms but it should have three essential characteristics.  First, a federal agency must be empowered to force the large internet platforms to share data akin to what firm insiders are able to access with outsiders not selected by the firm. Second, that agency (perhaps working with a nongovernmental organization or another arm of the federal government, such as the National Science Foundation) should vet researchers and research projects that will be given access to platform data Third, data should reside at the firm, and regulations should specify in detail the process for accessing data and publishing results in a way that would not endanger user privacy…”

Edinburgh Uni grad scoops full SQE1 scholarship with ‘law firm of the future’ essay

Legal Cheek – “A graduate of the University of Edinburgh has won a full SQE1 scholarship with BARBRI for her vision of what the law firm of the future will look like. Natalie Northridge, 26, is a step closer to fulfilling her solicitor ambitions after securing funding worth £3,000 as part of the legal education… Continue Reading

Next Big Things in Tech 2021

Fast Company: “Some of the world’s most intriguing innovations are so new that their full impact is yet to be felt. This is what we’re highlighting in the inaugural edition of Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech. The 65 honorees on our list, which includes global giants as well as intrepid startups, often harness… Continue Reading

Smithsonian FUTURES exhibition

Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive, SW Washington, DC: “Part exhibition, part festival, FUTURES presents nearly 32,000 square feet of new immersive site-specific art installations, interactives, working experiments, inventions, speculative designs, and “artifacts of the future,” as well as historic objects and discoveries from 23 of the Smithsonian’s museums, major initiatives, and research centers.… Continue Reading

Powering the Digital Economy: Opportunities and Risks of Artificial Intelligence in Finance

IMF Departmental Paper No 2021/024 October 22, 2021 – “This paper discusses the impact of the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the financial sector. It highlights the benefits these technologies bring in terms of financial deepening and efficiency, while raising concerns about its potential in widening the digital divide between… Continue Reading

Natural Language Processing and the Law

Fleiss, Alexander and Griessel Jr, Paul, Natural Language Processing and the Law (September 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3924429 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3924429 “Given the complexity of the M&A process, it makes sense that investment bankers have software such as S&P CapIQ, 451 Research, and PitchBook that allow them to instantly look up financial details and effectively… Continue Reading

Augmented reality project involving Microsoft brings Olympics birthplace to life

Microsoft [includes video]: “Digitally preserving and restoring Ancient Olympia as it stood over 2,000 years ago – Ancient Olympia is home to institutions and ideals that have shaped the world as we know it. Now, Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds—a new collaboration between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and Microsoft—is harnessing AI to digitally… Continue Reading

Bipartisan bill would force Big Tech to offer algorithm-free feeds, search results

Ars Technica: “A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would force social media platforms to allow people to use the site without algorithms that filter or prioritize the content that users see. The bill joins a similar act proposed in the Senate, and together, the bills suggest that… Continue Reading

The First Amendment Does Not Protect Replicants

Lessig, Lawrence, The First Amendment Does Not Protect Replicants (September 10, 2021). Social Media and Democracy (Lee Bollinger & Geoffrey Stone, eds., Oxford 2022), Forthcoming, Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 21-34, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3922565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3922565 “As the semantic capability of computer systems increases, the law should resolve clearly whether the First Amendment… Continue Reading

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021

MIT Technology Review: “This list marks 20 years since we began compiling an annual selection of the year’s most important technologies. Some, such as mRNA vaccines, are already changing our lives, while others are still a few years off. Below, you’ll find a brief description along with a link to a feature article that probes… Continue Reading

Can you trust Dr. Google?

Fast Company – “Data scientists say search engines are giving bad health advice Using search engines to ask high-stakes questions about your health can be problematic, according to new research. The digital world is constantly evolving—Facebook is Meta now!—yet internet search remains a magic box where we type questions and answers just appear on the… Continue Reading