EurekAlert: When consumers trust AI recommendations–or resist them

EurekAlert: When consumers trust AI recommendations–or resist them. “Researchers from Boston University and University of Virginia published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines how consumers respond to AI recommenders when focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) versus the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).”

Vice: How to Game Spotify and Instagram’s Algorithms to Help Artists

Vice: How to Game Spotify and Instagram’s Algorithms to Help Artists. “Now that in-person live music is no longer a reality, there are few ways to directly support musicians. You can subscribe to artist Patreons and donate through links on Spotify artist pages, but most importantly, you should be buying music and merch, especially through Bandcamp, during their monthly Bandcamp Friday 100 percent commission days. These are necessary and important steps to take to ensure touring artists can weather the pandemic. But there are also ways to give them a boost that don’t require spending any money: Simply follow the artists you like and save their songs on your streaming platform.”

The Walrus: How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online

The Walrus: How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online. I hate those articles that end up being sneakily horribly depressing. “LAST NOVEMBER, I stopped writing a regular column on art and culture for the Globe and Mail, my job for almost twenty years. Nobody noticed. I did not receive a single reader’s letter. I had a polite message from my section editor. He was sorry things didn’t work out and hoped we could stay in touch. The note contained no sense of symbolic occasion. I knew what I did was no longer important, either to the national culture or to the newspaper’s bottom line.”

The Next Web: Mozilla needs your help to expose YouTube’s recommendation algorithm

The Next Web: Mozilla needs your help to expose YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. “After installing the RegretsReporter and playing a YouTube video, you can click the frowning face icon in your browser to report the video, the recommendations that led you to it, and any extra details on ‘your regret.’ Mozilla researchers will then search for patterns that led to the recommendations.”

Mashable: Algorithms control your online life. Here’s how to reduce their influence.

Mashable: Algorithms control your online life. Here’s how to reduce their influence.. “The world in 2020 has been given plenty of reasons to be wary of algorithms. Depending on the result of the U.S. presidential election, it may give us one more. Either way, it’s high time we questioned the impact of these high-tech data-driven calculations, which increasingly determine who or what we see (and what we don’t) online.”

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.”

Mashable: This website lets you see how conspiracy theorists fall down the YouTube rabbit hole

Mashable: This website lets you see how conspiracy theorists fall down the YouTube rabbit hole. “Ever wonder how your dear Aunt Karen got radicalized into believing the bizarre conspiracy theories she shares on social media? What about your apolitical college buddy who suddenly can’t seem to stop complaining about social justice and ‘cancel culture’? Well, there’s a good chance they fell down the YouTube rabbit hole. And a new website, TheirTube, wants to show you how that happened.”

NiemanLab: Biased algorithms on platforms like YouTube hurt people looking for information on health

NiemanLab: Biased algorithms on platforms like YouTube hurt people looking for information on health. “Several public health agencies, such as state health departments, have invested resources in YouTube as a channel for health communication. Patients with chronic health conditions especially rely on social media, including YouTube videos, to learn more about how to manage their conditions. But video recommendations on such sites could exacerbate preexisting disparities in health.”

Reclaim the Net: New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience

Reclaim the Net: New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience. “The extension blocks certain media outlets from YouTube search and recommendations while also making YouTube Trending showcase the most popular videos based on view counts.” The extension doesn’t have many Chrome users yet. I did check, and it limits its data processing to YouTube sites only. The project is also on GitHub.

Engadget: China internet rules call for algorithms that recommend ‘positive’ content

Engadget: China internet rules call for algorithms that recommend ‘positive’ content. “China is once more tightening its grip on internet content, and this time algorithms are in the spotlight. The Cyberspace Administration of China has published upcoming rules that dictate how internet companies manage content, including a push for recommendation algorithms that promote ‘positive’ ideas (read: government policies) while excluding ‘bad’ material.”

The Guardian: Uncovered: reality of how smartphones turned election news into chaos

The Guardian: Uncovered: reality of how smartphones turned election news into chaos. “Ask the average 2019 voter where the problems with political news lie, and you might hear a few familiar claims: fake news. Russian interference. The biased BBC. But take a look at their smartphones, and you might discover a different, more chaotic world – in which news is being shaped less by publishers or foreign agents but by social media algorithms and friendship groups.”

CNET: YouTube CEO defends site’s recommendation system amid scrutiny

CNET: YouTube CEO defends site’s recommendation system amid scrutiny. “As YouTube deals with an onslaught of controversies, from the spread of extremism to child sexual exploitation issues, critics have called out the site’s powerful recommendation system, which uses algorithms to drive people to new content.”

CNET: Google partners with publishers to bring audio news feeds to the Assistant

CNET: Google partners with publishers to bring audio news feeds to the Assistant. “Google on Tuesday said it’s bringing personalized audio news playlists to its Assistant software. The new feature will use the search giant’s algorithms and vast amounts of user data to tee up a feed of news stories tailor-made for individual people, based on their interests.”

CNET: Mozilla is sharing YouTube horror stories to prod Google for more transparency

CNET: Mozilla is sharing YouTube horror stories to prod Google for more transparency. “Mozilla is publishing anecdotes of YouTube viewing gone awry — anonymous stories from people who say they innocently searched one thing but eventually ended up in a dark rabbit hole of videos. It’s a campaign aimed at pressuring Google’s massive video site to make itself more accessible to independent researchers trying to study its algorithms.”

WSJ: Amazon changed search results to boost profits despite internal dissent (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: WSJ: Amazon changed search results to boost profits despite internal dissent. “The goal was to favor Amazon-made products as well as third-party products that rank high in ‘what the company calls “contribution profit,” considered a better measure of a product’s profitability because it factors in non-fixed expenses such as shipping and advertising, leaving the amount left over to cover Amazon’s fixed costs,’ the WSJ said.”