SciTechDaily: Ancient Ostrich Eggshell Beads Reveal 50,000-Year-Old Social Network Across Africa

SciTechDaily: Ancient Ostrich Eggshell Beads Reveal 50,000-Year-Old Social Network Across Africa. “Humans are social creatures, but little is known about when, how, and why different populations connected in the past. Answering these questions is crucial for interpreting the biological and cultural diversity that we see in human populations today. DNA is a powerful tool for studying genetic interactions between populations, but it can’t address any cultural exchanges within these ancient meetings. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have turned to an unexpected source of information—ostrich eggshell beads—to shed light on ancient social networks.”

The Mainchi: Friction between humans, crows declines amid pandemic in Japan

The Mainichi: Friction between humans, crows declines amid pandemic in Japan. “The relationship between crows and humans in Japan’s cities has long been a contentious one. For one, it is not uncommon to see the contents of garbage bags strewn across sidewalks on pickup days after the big black birds have had at them, looking for food. But crow-human friction has decreased during the coronavirus pandemic, possibly because people are paying less attention to the birds, one expert says.”

Phys .org: Pace of prehistoric human innovation could be revealed by ‘linguistic thermometer’

Phys .org: Pace of prehistoric human innovation could be revealed by ‘linguistic thermometer’. “Multi-disciplinary researchers at The University of Manchester have helped develop a powerful physics-based tool to map the pace of language development and human innovation over thousands of years—even stretching into pre-history before records were kept.”

Mashable: YouTube puts human content moderators back to work

Mashable: YouTube puts human content moderators back to work. “YouTube is re-assigning the work of content moderation to more actual humans, Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, told the Financial Times. At the start of the pandemic, YouTube had to reduce the staff and workload of in-office human moderators. So rather relying on that 10,000-person workforce, the company gave broader content moderation power to automated systems that are be able to recognize videos with harmful content and remove them immediately.”

A lesson in automated journalism: Bring back the humans (NiemanLab)

NiemanLab: A lesson in automated journalism: Bring back the humans. “It’s an important discovery not just for automation in fact-checking, but for similar efforts in other journalistic genres. We’ve found that artificial Intelligence is smart, but it’s not yet smart enough to make final decisions or avoid the robotic repetition that is an unfortunate trait of, um, robots. In the case of Squash, we need humans to make final decisions about which fact-checks to display on the screen. Our voice-to-text and matching algorithms are good — and getting better — but they’re not great. And sometimes they make some really bad matches. Like, comically bad.”

Mashable: The Human Screenome Project wants to record everything we do on our smartphones

Mashable: The Human Screenome Project wants to record everything we do on our smartphones. “Three Stanford University professors announced in Nature Wednesday that they had undertaken an intensive new study of the way humans interact with our devices. They call it the Human Screenome Project, a name that nods to the famous Human Genome Project, a 13-year-long international scientific undertaking that successfully mapped human DNA.”

Carnegie Mellon University: CMU Team Uses AI to Help Machines Play Nice with Humans

Carnegie Mellon University: CMU Team Uses AI to Help Machines Play Nice with Humans. “The researchers received a $2.8 million DARPA grant to study team collective intelligence and the theory of mind involving human and machine interactions. Team collective intelligence relates to the ability of a team to work together across a range of tasks. Theory of the mind explores how a person can understand what others are thinking, and how they may react to something, based on subtle nonverbal cues.”

Bloomberg: What Social Media Needs Is More Humans

Bloomberg: What Social Media Needs Is More Humans. “Rare is the week that doesn’t bring some new controversy over someone or something being banned from Twitter or Facebook for being too offensive. (Latest: a Led Zeppelin album cover.) As regular readers know, I prefer more speech to less speech, but this column isn’t about what content rules private companies should enforce. Today I’m wearing my fair-process hat. These mighty controversies over kicking users off social media would be mightily reduced if there was a better process for making the decisions. And I have one. I can summarize my proposal this way: Human at the front end, human in the middle, human at the back end.”

Slate: Humans Are Getting More Botlike on Twitter

Slate: Humans Are Getting More Botlike on Twitter. “We know for sure that Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly targeted high-profile Democrats with mail bombs in late October, isn’t a Russian bot. His mugshot proves that he’s a flesh-and-blood Florida human rather than a computer program. But if you had read the postings from his now-suspended Twitter account, it wasn’t so easy to tell. You might have concluded that Sayoc was, in fact, a robot. And that’s a problem.”

Make Tech Easier: Google Recaptcha Gets an Update with No Verification Tasks

Make Tech Easier: Google Recaptcha Gets an Update with No Verification Tasks. “There isn’t anyone who visits websites regularly on the Internet who hasn’t encountered a Google Recaptcha one too many times. It can be annoying when you just want to get to a website and are stopped by the pop-up asking you to check a box, type in a word, or solve a puzzle to prove you’re human. The good news is that Google has updated the system to Recaptcha v3, a system that requires no participation on the part of the visitor to the website.”

Mancunion: A Database of Beautiful People

Mancunion: A Database of Beautiful People . “A Database of Beautiful People is a blossoming YouTube series created in 2018 of personal and intimate interviews with people from around the globe. Its main purpose is to reflect genuineness through each individual’s personality and stories. It is simply an observation of ordinary people that makes us question the meaning of ordinary.” Very limited at the moment, but a fantastic idea.

WRAL: Crackdown on ‘bots’ sweeps up people who tweet often

WRAL: Crackdown on ‘bots’ sweeps up people who tweet often. “Nina Tomasieski logs on to Twitter before the sun rises. Seated at her dining room table with a nearby TV constantly tuned to Fox News, the 70-year-old grandmother spends up to 14 hours a day tweeting the praises of President Trump and his political allies, particularly those on the ballot this fall, and deriding their opponents…. While her goal is simply to advance the agenda of a president she adores, she and her friends have been swept up in an expanded effort by Twitter and other social media companies to crack down on nefarious tactics used to meddle in the 2016 election.”

Move Mirror: You move and 80,000 images move with you (Google Blog)

Google Blog: Move Mirror: You move and 80,000 images move with you. “There are a lot of impressive uses for machine learning these days, like detecting objects in images, helping to detect diseases, and even enabling cars to drive themselves. But AI can also be used in more playful ways. That’s why we made Move Mirror—an AI Experiment that lets you explore pictures in a fun new way, just by moving around. Move in front of your webcam and Move Mirror will match your real-time movements to hundreds of images of people doing similar poses around the world.”