Poynter: Netflix’s algorithms seem to be a new entry point for conspiracy theories. Be aware!. “When the spread of disinformation became a major topic of debate in late 2016, it was discussed mainly in reference to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In the following months, serious problems related to the diffusion of pseudoscientific beliefs, conspiracy theories and disinformation emerged on YouTube and WhatsApp. Until now, the popular video streaming service Netflix had managed to stay out of the picture. Not anymore.”
Wired: AI Algorithms Need FDA-style Drug Trials. “Intelligent systems at scale need regulation because they are an unprecedented force multiplier for the promotion of the interests of an individual or a group. For the first time in history, a single person can customize a message for billions and share it with them within a matter of days. A software engineer can create an army of AI-powered bots, each pretending to be a different person, promoting content on behalf of political or commercial interests. Unlike broadcast propaganda or direct marketing, this approach also uses the self-reinforcing qualities of the algorithm to learn what works best to persuade and nudge each individual.”
Motherboard: TikTok Users Are Inventing Wild Theories to Explain Its Mysterious Algorithm. “TikTok users, without verifiable information from TikTok, are aggressively postulating their theories about how the For You page actually works on the platform. Speculation about the For You page has become prevalent that it’s practically adopted status as a meme on the platform. If users aren’t theorizing about it, then they’re making irreverent jokes about it.” I find it fascinating that users are speculating and trying to game this algorithm from the get. Algorithmic recommendation systems are no longer mysterious concepts or nerdy. They just are.
Cosmopolitan: Why searching ‘lesbian’ in Google is now going to bring up totally new results. “Lesbian is one of the most searched-for LGBTQ+ terms, but until now has just brought up porn results when typed into Google. But now – at last! – thanks to an algorithm change, this will no longer be the case.”
TechXplore: Reconstructing histological slices into 3-D images. “Despite advances in 3D imaging such as MRI and CT, scientists still rely on slicing a specimen into 2-D sections to acquire the most detailed information. Using this information, they then try to reconstruct a 3-D image of the specimen. Researchers from Nara Institute of Science and Technology report a new algorithm that can do this task at less cost and higher robustness than standard methods.”
The Verge: Facebook open-sources algorithms for detecting child exploitation and terrorism imagery. “Facebook will open-source two algorithms it uses to identify child sexual exploitation, terrorist propaganda, and graphic violence, the company said today. PDQ and TMK+PDQF, a pair of technologies that store files as digital hashes and compare them with known examples of harmful content, have been released on Github, Facebook said in a blog post.”
Search Engine Land: Google launches new algorithm to better understand useful & timely information. “This new update aims at making sure that the answers Google gives you for some questions are not just accurate but also timely. Google confirmed that this algorithm update aims at better understanding useful and timely information.”