Psychology Today: Cybersmiling, A Social Media Positive

Psychology Today: Cybersmiling, A Social Media Positive. “As is true of so many phenomena in our world, the effects of social media and the internet are mixed when it comes to the human experience. So, from the perspective of someone who’s been pretty vocal about the adverse effects of social media on the modern world, here are three points that speak to the bright side.”

Brookings Institution: How to deal with AI-enabled disinformation

Brookings Institution: How to deal with AI-enabled disinformation. “Some forms of disinformation can do their damage in hours or even minutes. This kind of disinformation is easy to debunk given enough time, but extremely difficult to do so quickly enough to prevent it from inflicting damage. Elections are one example of the many domains where this can occur. Financial markets, which can be subject to short-term manipulation, are another example. Foreign affairs could be affected as rumors spread quickly around the world through digital platforms. Social movements can also be targeted through dissemination of false information designed to spur action or reaction among either supporters or opponents of a cause.”

Stevens Institute of Technology: A.I. Tool Provides More Accurate Flu Forecasts

Stevens Institute of Technology: A.I. Tool Provides More Accurate Flu Forecasts. “Predicting influenza outbreaks just got a little easier, thanks to a new A.I.-powered forecasting tool developed by researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology. By incorporating location data, the A.I. system is able to outperform other state-of-the-art forecasting methods, delivering up to an 11% increase in accuracy and predicting influenza outbreaks up to 15 weeks in advance.”

New York Times: Can a Computer Devise a Theory of Everything?

New York Times: Can a Computer Devise a Theory of Everything?. “The Theory of Everything is still not in sight, but with computers taking over many of the chores in life — translating languages, recognizing faces, driving cars, recommending whom to date — it is not so crazy to imagine them taking over from the Hawkings and the Einsteins of the world.”

Gizmodo: Forensics Experts Used Social Media to Reconstruct Exact Cause of the Tragic Beirut Explosion

Gizmodo: Forensics Experts Used Social Media to Reconstruct Exact Cause of the Tragic Beirut Explosion. “One of the most awful elements of the devastating August 4 explosion in Beirut, which killed over 200 people and injured more than 6,500, was that it could have easily been prevented. Using videos of the event that were shared on social media, forensics researchers have been able to reconstruct exactly what happened, including the shocking negligence that led to the tragedy.”

Phys .org: New digital media keeps families connected through forced migration

Phys .org: New digital media keeps families connected through forced migration. “Every morning in Vienna, 24-year-old Rasheed receives a WhatsApp message from his mother, who currently lives in Lebanon. Since he arrived in Austria in 2015 after fleeing from Syria, his mother has been choosing a picture with flowers, added a few words and sent it to Rasheed and to his siblings in their chat group. His brother lives in Dubai, the two sisters are at present in Turkey. One of them wants to get married soon, the other one had a baby three months ago. All four siblings respond, and this is how these five members of one family start their day. Even if the names and places in this example are made up, the scenario is real and typical of refugees in Austria.”

CNN: Facebook says it’s getting better at using AI to take down hate speech

CNN: Facebook says it’s getting better at using AI to take down hate speech. “Facebook has spent years building and deploying artificial intelligence to stamp out hate speech on its massive social network. The company says it’s now using the technology to proactively spot nearly 95% of such content that it takes down. That remaining 5%, however, may be tricky to resolve.”

Washington Post: The disinformation system that Trump unleashed will outlast him. Here’s what reality-based journalists must do about it.

Washington Post: The disinformation system that Trump unleashed will outlast him. Here’s what reality-based journalists must do about it.. “Social media platforms, streaming ‘news’ channels and innumerable websites will spew lies and conspiracy theories, and will keep weakening the foundation of reality that America’s democracy needs to function. So what, if anything, can the reality-based press do to counter it? I see three necessities.”

USC Viterbi: AI Tool May Predict Movies’ Future Ratings

USC Viterbi: AI Tool May Predict Movies’ Future Ratings. “Movie ratings can determine a movie’s appeal to consumers and the size of its potential audience. Thus, they have an impact on a film’s bottom line. Typically, humans do the tedious task of manually rating a movie based on viewing the movie and making decisions on the presence of violence, drug abuse and sexual content. Now, researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, armed with artificial intelligence tools, can rate a movie’s content in a matter of seconds, based on the movie script and before a single scene is shot.”

EurekAlert: SPIE announces partnership with global open-knowledge platform The Lens

EurekAlert: SPIE announces partnership with global open-knowledge platform The Lens. “Under the agreement, all scholarly citation and patent citation data for SPIE publications curated by The Lens will be integrated into the SPIE Digital Library and available to readers. The SPIE Digital Library, the world’s largest collection of optics and photonics applied research, comprises more than 500,000 publications which cover topical areas ranging from biomedical optics and neuroscience, to physics and astronomy-related technology.”

Study: How Facebook Pushes Users, Especially Conservative Users, Into Echo Chambers (UVA Today)

UVA Today: Study: How Facebook Pushes Users, Especially Conservative Users, Into Echo Chambers . “Analyzing opt-in user data from 2012 to 2016, Brent Kitchens, Steven L. Johnson and Peter Gray, all faculty members in UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, found that all three social media sites [Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter] connect their users to a more diverse range of news sources than they would otherwise visit. However, Facebook tends to polarize users, particularly conservative users, more than other social media platforms. In fact, the researchers found that typical conservative users, in months when they visited Facebook more than usual, read news that was about 30% more conservative than the online news they would typically read. Users who visited Reddit more than usual, on the other hand, read news that was about 50% more moderate than what they would typically read.”

Phys .org: The microbiome of Da Vinci’s drawings

Phys .org: The microbiome of Da Vinci’s drawings. “The work of Leonardo Da Vinci is an invaluable heritage of the 15th century. From engineering to anatomy, the master paved the way for many scientific disciplines. But what else could the drawings of Da Vinci teach us? Could molecular studies reveal interesting data from the past? These questions led an interdisciplinary team of researchers, curators and bioinformaticians, from both the University of Natural Resources and Life Science and the University of Applied Science of Wien in Austria, as well as the Central Institute for the Pathology of Archives and Books (ICPAL) in Italy, to collaborate and study the microbiome of seven different drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci.”

Phys .org: ‘Strange rays’ crowdsourced on social media shed light on black hole illumination

Phys .org: ‘Strange rays’ crowdsourced on social media shed light on black hole illumination. “Unlike most scientific research, the team observing IC 5063’s strange rays assembled in a peculiar fashion: via crowd sourcing on social media. In December 2019, space image processing expert and citizen scientist Judy Schmidt noticed strange cones while processing an image of IC 5063, at first wondering if they were real, and if they were, whether they were galaxy-sized shadows, star streams, or something else.”

Phys .org: Combining data helps birds and bird research

Phys .org: Combining data helps birds and bird research . “It hasn’t been more than a year and a half since the international researchers’ network SPI-Birds started officially. Together they collect, secure and use long-term breeding population data of 1.5 million individually recognizable birds… and counting. Big questions in ecology and evolution can be answered using this data.”

Phys .org: Los Angeles and Google partner on ‘Tree Canopy’ project

Phys .org: Los Angeles and Google partner on ‘Tree Canopy’ project. “Los Angeles and Google have struck a partnership to track canopy density in the huge metropolis to determine which neighborhoods need more trees as a means of fighting extreme temperatures. Vegetation, notably tree canopy coverage, plays a key role in offering the kind of relief that Los Angeles needs: The city is the state’s biggest urban heat island thanks in no small part to thousands of miles of roads and parking spaces.”