NiemanLab: Is Facebook too big to know? The Markup has a plan (and a browser) to wrap its arms around it

NiemanLab: Is Facebook too big to know? The Markup has a plan (and a browser) to wrap its arms around it. “The Citizen Browser Project will pay 1,200 Americans to let The Markup monitor the choices that tech company algorithms are making for them. ‘What are they choosing to amplify? And what are they choosing not to amplify?'”

The Conversation: Do social media algorithms erode our ability to make decisions freely? The jury is out

The Conversation: Do social media algorithms erode our ability to make decisions freely? The jury is out . “Social media algorithms, artificial intelligence, and our own genetics are among the factors influencing us beyond our awareness. This raises an ancient question: do we have control over our own lives? This article is part of The Conversation’s series on the science of free will.”

MIT Technology Review: Why kids need special protection from AI’s influence

MIT Technology Review: Why kids need special protection from AI’s influence. “Algorithms are also increasingly used to determine what their education is like, whether they’ll receive health care, and even whether their parents are deemed fit to care for them. Sometimes this can have devastating effects: this past summer, for example, thousands of students lost their university admissions after algorithms—used in lieu of pandemic-canceled standardized tests—inaccurately predicted their academic performance. Children, in other words, are often at the forefront when it comes to using and being used by AI, and that can leave them in a position to get hurt.”

PC Magazine: Want to Get Verified on Instagram? A Huge Follower Account Isn’t Enough

PC Magazine: Want to Get Verified on Instagram? A Huge Follower Account Isn’t Enough. “Instagram says it noticed that people were turning to the platform to raise awareness and promote the causes they were invested in, especially in the midst of the pandemic, racial tensions, and the 2020 election. So it created a new Instagram Equity team ‘that will focus on better understanding and addressing bias in our product development and people’s experiences on Instagram’—including fairness in algorithms.”

Not just A-levels: unfair algorithms are being used to make all sorts of government decisions (The Conversation)

The Conversation: Not just A-levels: unfair algorithms are being used to make all sorts of government decisions. “Algorithmic systems tend to be promoted for several reasons, including claims that they produce smarter, faster, more consistent and more objective decisions, and make more efficient use of government resources. The A-level fiasco has shown that this is not necessarily the case in practice. Even where an algorithm provides a benefit (fast, complex decision-making for a large amount of data), it may bring new problems (socio-economic discrimination).”

New Zealand Herald: How Facebook, Google algorithms feed on hate speech, rage

New Zealand Herald: How Facebook, Google algorithms feed on hate speech, rage. “Notice how those unsavoury posts liked by some long-forgotten friend always seem to float to the top of your curated social media feeds Wonder how an incitement to violence can stay on your screen for days? What about that infuriating conspiracy that keeps getting forced down your throat According to an Australian digital security researcher, it’s no bug. It’s a feature. It’s a subliminal mechanism designed to extract maximum revenue out of your inbox.”

Engadget: Facebook and Instagram reveal content ‘recommendation guidelines’

Engadget: Facebook and Instagram reveal content ‘recommendation guidelines’. “The guidelines are essentially Facebook’s internal rulebook for determining what type of content is ‘eligible’ to appear prominently in the app, such as in Instagram’s Explore section or in Facebook’s recommendations for groups or events. The suggestions are algorithmically generated and have been a source of speculation and scrutiny.”

EurekAlert: QUT algorithm could quash Twitter abuse of women

EurekAlert: QUT algorithm could quash Twitter abuse of women. “Online abuse targeting women, including threats of harm or sexual violence, has proliferated across all social media platforms but [Queensland University of Technology] researchers have developed a statistical model to help drum it out of the Twittersphere. Associate Professor Richi Nayak, Professor Nicolas Suzor and research fellow Dr Md Abul Bashar from QUT have developed a sophisticated and accurate algorithm to detect these posts on Twitter, cutting through the raucous rabble of millions of tweets to identify misogynistic content.”

BBC: The algorithms that make big decisions about your life

BBC: The algorithms that make big decisions about your life. “Thousands of students in England are angry about the controversial use of an algorithm to determine this year’s GCSE and A-level results. They were unable to sit exams because of lockdown, so the algorithm used data about schools’ results in previous years to determine grades. It meant about 40% of this year’s A-level results came out lower than predicted, which has a huge impact on what students are able to do next. GCSE results are due out on Thursday.”

EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings

EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings. “When you search for something on the internet, do you scroll through page after page of suggestions – or pick from the first few choices? Because most people choose from the tops of these lists, they rarely see the vast majority of the options, creating a potential for bias in everything from hiring to media exposure to e-commerce. In a new paper, Cornell University researchers introduce a tool they’ve developed to improve the fairness of online rankings without sacrificing their usefulness or relevance.”

Business Insider: A new algorithm could catch social-media trolls as they try to influence US elections. Researchers are offering it for free.

Business Insider: A new algorithm could catch social-media trolls as they try to influence US elections. Researchers are offering it for free.. “The tool, described in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, works by learning to recognize known, common patterns associated with troll activity and disinformation campaigns. Russian troll accounts, for instance, have posted many links to far-right websites, but the content on those sites didn’t always match the posts’ accompanying text or images. Venezuelan trolls, meanwhile, have often posted fake websites.”

EurekAlert: New learning algorithm should significantly expand the possible applications of AI

EurekAlert: New learning algorithm should significantly expand the possible applications of AI. “The high energy consumption of artificial neural networks’ learning activities is one of the biggest hurdles for the broad use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in mobile applications. One approach to solving this problem can be gleaned from knowledge about the human brain. Although it has the computing power of a supercomputer, it only needs 20 watts, which is only a millionth of the energy of a supercomputer. One of the reasons for this is the efficient transfer of information between neurons in the brain. Neurons send short electrical impulses (spikes) to other neurons – but, to save energy, only as often as absolutely necessary.”

The Next Web: How researchers analyzed Allstate’s car insurance algorithm

The Next Web: How researchers analyzed Allstate’s car insurance algorithm. “We tested whether Allstate’s personalized pricing algorithm treated customers differently based on non-risk factors by analyzing rare customer-level data we found in documents that were part of a 2013 rate filing submitted for approval and subsequently disapproved by Maryland regulators. This filing provides the most insight into Allstate’s retention model available to the public, with a level of detail that is typically shielded from public view by Allstate and other insurers.”

Search Engine Journal: India Proposes Access to Google and Amazon Algorithms

Search Engine Journal: India Proposes Access to Google and Amazon Algorithms . “India’s government has rules in draft form that will require tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook to provide source code and algorithms. The goal of the proposed rules is to build a wall against unfair monopolistic practices and create a more competitive business environment for local businesses.”

New York Times: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm

New York Times: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm. “On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.”