Carnegie Mellon University: CMU Students Train AI to Write Book of Limericks

Carnegie Mellon University: CMU Students Train AI to Write Book of Limericks. “Mitch Fogelson, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, said he and his fellow students — Xinkai Chen, who completed the Master of Information Systems Management program in December 2020; Qifei Dong, a master’s degree candidate in electrical and computer engineering; Christopher Dare, a master’s degree candidate in information and communication technology; and Tony Qin, a junior artificial intelligence major — opted to focus their AI on limericks because the form has a fixed AABBA rhyming structure. Also, they had access to a database of 90,000 limericks that they could use to train their AI.”

New York Times: A.I. Here, There, Everywhere

New York Times: A.I. Here, There, Everywhere. “Researchers liken the current state of the technology to cellphones of the 1990s: useful, but crude and cumbersome. They are working on distilling the largest, most powerful machine-learning models into lightweight software that can run on ‘the edge,’ meaning small devices such as kitchen appliances or wearables. Our lives will gradually be interwoven with brilliant threads of A.I.”

Scientific American: ‘March Mammal Madness’ Brings Simulated Animal Fights to Huge Audiences

Scientific American: ‘March Mammal Madness’ Brings Simulated Animal Fights to Huge Audiences. “Ever idly wondered if a capybara could somehow take down an elephant in a beachfront brawl? That’s the kind of thinking behind March Mammal Madness (MMM), an annual social media event based on the March Madness NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Like its namesake, this educational project encourages viewers to fill out brackets predicting which teams would triumph in a hypothetical head-to-head showdown—with the ‘teams’ in this version being specific mammals.”

How Americans Navigated the News in 2020: A Tumultuous Year in Review (Pew Research)

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): How Americans Navigated the News in 2020: A Tumultuous Year in Review. “From November 2019 through December 2020, the Pathways project explored how Americans’ news habits and attitudes related to what they heard, perceived and knew about the 2020 presidential election and COVID-19…. Over the course of the year, as part of the project, the Center published more than 50 individual analyses and made data from more than 580 survey questions available to the public in an interactive data tool. We now have the opportunity to look back at the findings over the full course of the year and gather together the key takeaways that emerged.”

The University of Washington Daily: iSchool misinformation research reveals anti-vax communities growing on social media

The University of Washington Daily: iSchool misinformation research reveals anti-vax communities growing on social media. “Kolina Koltai, a postdoctoral scholar at the iSchool’s Center for an Informed Public, conducts research with a focus on the social media anti-vaccine movement and the role online communities play in facilitating these conversations. According to Koltai, since the introduction of various COVID-19 vaccines, there has been an increase in activity in anti-vax communities, as well as the emergence of a new vaccine hesitancy in the general population.”

Penn State News: Facebook posts could identify substance use risk in homeless youth

Penn State News: Facebook posts could identify substance use risk in homeless youth. “In their work, researchers built novel detection systems, using machine learning and natural language processing techniques, that can identify certain kinds of substance use based on an individual’s Facebook posts. They focused their efforts on predicting substance use among homeless youth — a high-risk population with elevated rates of hard drug use.”

Glamsham: Google and Levi’s connected jacket helps people with disabilities

Glamsham: Google and Levi’s connected jacket helps people with disabilities. “A connected jacket designed by Google and Levi’s has proved to be beneficial for people with disabilities who tried out the apparel. The connected jacket with woven ‘Jacquard’ technology allows people to connect to their smartphone and use simple gestures to trigger functions from the Jacquard app.”

Rutgers-Camden News Now: New Jersey Residents Had a Rollercoaster 2020, Says New Study on Twitter Messages

Rutgers-Camden News Now: New Jersey Residents Had a Rollercoaster 2020, Says New Study on Twitter Messages. “For Rutgers University–Camden researchers, the messages are clear: 2020 was quite the emotional rollercoaster in New Jersey. Over the past year, Dan Hart, a professor of childhood studies and psychology, and a senior vice chancellor; Sarah Allred, an associate professor of psychology; and Tory Mascuilli, a graduate psychology student, have tracked the emotional highs and lows of New Jersey’s counties by coding the content of residents’ Twitter messages.”

NiemanLab: As Facebook pulls news in Australia, rural and elderly Australians will be hardest hit

NiemanLab: As Facebook pulls news in Australia, rural and elderly Australians will be hardest hit. “A study of local news consumption by the News and Media Research Center at the University of Canberra shows 32% of people in regions with populations under 30,000 have been turning to social media to fill the news gap. Newspaper closures and job losses have hit areas outside Australian cities hard. More than 100 local news outlets have closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Removing news from Facebook will further restrict the choices of people with already limited access to news.”

EurekAlert: Location tracking apps and privacy implications

EurekAlert: Location tracking apps and privacy implications. “How much personal information can our phone apps gather through location tracking? To answer this question, two researchers – Mirco Musolesi (University of Bologna, Italy) and Benjamin Baron (University College London, UK) – carried out a field study using an app specifically developed for this research. Through the app employed in the study – published in Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies – researchers were able to identify which kind of personal information the app extracted and its privacy sensitivity according to users.”

EurekAlert: Human eye beats machine in archaeological color identification test

EurekAlert: Human eye beats machine in archaeological color identification test. “A ruler and scale can tell archaeologists the size and weight of a fragment of pottery – but identifying its precise color can depend on individual perception. So, when a handheld color-matching gadget came on the market, scientists hoped it offered a consistent way of determining color, free of human bias. But a new study by archaeologists at the Florida Museum of Natural History found that the tool, known as the X-Rite Capsure, often misread colors readily distinguished by the human eye.”

Autumn Christian: The Problem with Future Nostalgia

Autumn Christian: The Problem with Future Nostalgia. “Many of us millennials seem to be mourning not just the loss of the past, but the loss of an alternate future. There’s a feeling that maybe we had a bright hope but seemed to have taken a wrong turn at some point. That’s what things like vaporwave, futurefunk, and high-resolution pixel art seem to be conveying — not just looking toward the past, but toward the future we could have, by creating something of an alternative past. An alternate world where maybe we could have moved toward the collective dream we shared.”