Study: It might be unethical to force AI to tell us the truth (The Next Web)

The Next Web: Study: It might be unethical to force AI to tell us the truth. “….it’s easy to see how building robots that can’t lie could make them patsies for humans who figure out how to exploit their honesty. If your client is negotiating like a human and your machine is bottom-lining everything, you could lose a deal over robo-human cultural differences, for example. None of that answers the question as to whether we should let machines lie to humans or each other. But it could be pragmatic.”

University of Kentucky: Bolivar Art Gallery Presents New Online Exhibits Exploring Concepts of Home, Truth

University of Kentucky: Bolivar Art Gallery Presents New Online Exhibits Exploring Concepts of Home, Truth. “The University of Kentucky Bolivar Art Gallery is currently presenting two online exhibitions of creative minds from across the nation. ‘Home As Situation’ features the work of over 40 artists examining the concept of home — a place many of us are spending even more time in during a global pandemic. ‘PROTAGONY: $100 for Truth’ is a mulitmedia project organized by Esther Neff exploring the concept of truth through the lens of 12 artists. Both shows are free to the public on the Bolivar Art Gallery website now through Dec. 4.”

New York Times: I Spoke to a Scholar of Conspiracy Theories and I’m Scared for Us

New York Times: I Spoke to a Scholar of Conspiracy Theories and I’m Scared for Us. “Lately, I have been putting an embarrassing amount of thought into notions like jinxes and knocking on wood. The polls for Joe Biden look good, but in 2020, any hint of optimism feels dangerously naïve, and my brain has been working overtime in search of potential doom. I have become consumed with an alarming possibility: that neither the polls nor the actual outcome of the election really matter, because to a great many Americans, digital communication has already rendered empirical, observable reality beside the point.”

Fast Company: Fake video threatens to rewrite history. Here’s how to protect it

Fast Company: Fake video threatens to rewrite history. Here’s how to protect it. “In an age of very little institutional trust, without a firm historical context that future historians and the public can rely on to authenticate digital media events of the past, we may be looking at the dawn of a new era of civilization: post-history. We need to act now to ensure the continuity of history without stifling the creative potential of these new AI tools.”

Psychology Today: State-Sponsored Bullshit, and Why Truth Matters

Psychology Today: State-Sponsored Bullshit, and Why Truth Matters. “This important guest post had to be reviewed by the United States government before I could share it with you. That’s ironic, because the authors are challenging the government’s sweeping pre-publication review process in this article. That challenge is part of their broader examination of the normalization of bullshit in contemporary American politics and government, and how very dangerous that is.”

The National Archives Blog: Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust

The National Archives Blog: Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust. “Our credibility, so important to our mission, understandably has been questioned. We have begun to examine internal exhibit policies and processes and we will incorporate external best practices to ensure something like this never happens again. In addition to our public apology and my letter to staff yesterday, we will be apologizing to our colleagues in the archives, museum, library, education, and other fields, as well.”

Phys .org: The truth about misinformation

Phys .org: The truth about misinformation. “In today’s fast-paced digital age, information can become outdated rapidly and people must constantly update their memories. But changing our previous understanding of the news we hear or the products we use isn’t always easy, even when holding onto falsities can have serious consequences.”

Arizona State University: New grants advance focus on truth in public life

Arizona State University: New grants advance focus on truth in public life. “Americans today are being assailed by the rise of ‘fake news’ and a growing combativeness around democratic principles, including freedom of the press and religion, that have long been considered settled. From basic facts to fundamental democratic values, a lot seems up for grabs. To understand and challenge these trends, faculty affiliated with Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict have received two grants for projects that will put ASU at the forefront of new conversations about truth in the public sphere — how we know it, recognize it and identify it.”

Phys .org: No lie! FSU researcher developing world’s first online polygraph

Phys .org: No lie! FSU researcher developing world’s first online polygraph. “It’s tricky enough in face-to-face conversations that offer facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice because those physical cues add context. Spotting a liar gets even tougher in blind computer conversations. Florida State University researcher Shuyuan Ho wants to shed those blinders by creating a revolutionary online polygraph.”

McClatchy DC: Fake, misleading social media posts exploding globally, Oxford study finds

McClatchy DC: Fake, misleading social media posts exploding globally, Oxford study finds. “Russia’s social media blitz to influence the 2016 U.S. election was part of a global ‘phenomenon’ in which a broad spectrum of governments and political parties used Internet platforms to spread junk news and disinformation in at least 48 countries last year, an Oxford University study has found.”

Slate: Lies Travel Faster Than Truth on Twitter—and Now We Know Who to Blame

Slate: Lies Travel Faster Than Truth on Twitter—and Now We Know Who to Blame. “A major new study published in the journal Science finds that false rumors on Twitter spread much more rapidly, on average, than those that turn out to be true. Interestingly, the study also finds that bots aren’t to blame for that discrepancy. People are.” Us Terry Pratchett fans knew this already: “A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” (Actually the article specifically addresses this kind of perspective but I will always quote Terry Pratchett if given the opportunity.)

Associated Press: Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online

Associated Press: Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online. “Alarmed by the proliferation of false content online, state lawmakers around the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to tell fact from fiction. Lawmakers in several states have introduced or passed bills calling on public school systems to do more to teach media literacy skills that they say are critical to democracy. The effort has been bipartisan but has received little attention despite successful legislation in Washington state, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico. Several more states are expected to consider such bills in the coming year, including Arizona, New York and Hawaii.”

Pursuit: How to Find the Truth on Twitter

Pursuit: How to Find the Truth on Twitter. “Social media is becoming many people’s main source of information, so finding a way to assess what is genuine and what is fake is increasingly important. We have developed a framework, published in PLOS One, that assesses whether an event reported in a tweet is likely to be a witness account or not, by assessing the evidence of whether the tweeter is on-the-ground at the event.”

Wall Street Journal: Google, Shmoogle. Reference Librarians Are Busier Than Ever

Wall Street Journal: Google, Shmoogle. Reference Librarians Are Busier Than Ever. This might be paywalled. “Even in the internet age, reference librarians still dig up answers that require extra effort, searching old books, microfilm and paper files, looking for everything from owners of long-defunct firms to 19th-century weather reports. Though online searches are now at the fingertips of most people, many still prefer to call or visit a library. Some can’t or don’t use computers; others recognize librarians have search skills and access to databases that search engines can’t match.” And still others want to ensure credibility. Eighteen years ago I was quoted in the New York Times as saying “If you wanted to publish a book that says 2 plus 2 equals 5, you had to go through a lot of effort and spend a great deal of money. But the cost of putting up a Web page saying […]

Phys.org: Fact checkers outperform historians when evaluating online information

Phys.org: Fact checkers outperform historians when evaluating online information. “How do expert researchers go about assessing the credibility of information on the internet? Not as skillfully as you might guess – and those who are most effective use a tactic that others tend to overlook, according to scholars at Stanford Graduate School of Education. A new report released recently by the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) shows how three different groups of “expert” readers – fact checkers, historians and Stanford undergraduates – fared when tasked with evaluating information online.”