Law Schools, Google Earth, Google Translate, More: Friday Buzz, March 31, 2017


The University of St. Thomas School of Law has published an online database of law school learning outcomes. “The Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minn., has launched a new, searchable, web-based clearinghouse of information regarding law school learning outcomes. The Learning Outcomes Database includes all learning outcomes that have been published and posted on law school websites throughout the United States and houses them in a single, user-friendly online location.” I was not clear on what a “learning outcome” is, but I found a definition at “Learning outcomes are statements of what students will learn in a class or in a class session.”


PRWeb: Google Earth Enterprise Now Available on GitHub as Open Source (PRESS RELEASE). “Google Earth Enterprise (GEE), the server-based and offline version of Google Earth used extensively by major business enterprises as well as National Security, Humanitarian, Education, and Intelligence agencies around the world, is comprehensively released today on GitHub as Open Source software.” This is not a Google release, but the GitHub repo is legitimate as far as I can tell. Please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not a GitHub expert.

Washington Post: New Google Translate app now available in China as company tries to edge back in. “Google launched an updated Translate app Wednesday aimed partly at Chinese users and accessible in the country, in what could be a sign of the company’s continuing efforts to explore a partial reentry into the market here.”

Congratulations to the United States National Herbarium for digitizing its one millionth specimen! “The digitization team is currently processing specimens in the Rubiaceae. To mark this milestone, we selected an economically important member of this cosmopolitan plant family, Cinchona micrantha Ruiz & Pav. The herbarium specimen we chose consists of a portion of a branch with a leaf and an inflorescence (= cluster of flowers) along with a separate infructescence (= cluster of fruits or capsules) and a piece of bark. ”

Stars and Stripes: New social media rules warn airmen not to post offensive, illegal content. “New Air Force social media rules issued in the wake of the Marines United nude-photo-sharing scandal are warning airmen to avoid posting anything offensive or illegal online.”


Marketing Land: Inside chatbots’ year of growing pains: ‘We’re at an inflection point’. “A year ago, chatbots reemerged atop a mountain of hype that messaging marked tech’s latest paradigm shift, after messaging apps Facebook’s Messenger and Kik officially opened up to chatbots. A year later, the trend has slid down the mountain into its own uncanny valley. However, that slide may provide the momentum that chatbot makers, from brands to media companies to startups, need to make it back up the next mountain and stay there.” Extensive article. Great job by Tim Peterson.

Walt Mossberg: Yes, you’ve still got mail. “…despite all signs to the contrary, and many predictions, email is not dead. In fact, some analyses suggest that it’s growing. Few people can afford to be without it. It hasn’t expired; it’s morphed. There are lots of reasons email persists, even as faster and simpler forms of communication proliferate and your personal communications likely have mostly migrated elsewhere. But one big one is that new types of media channels rarely totally kill off old ones, even though everyone predicts they will. The old ones just adapt and change.”


World Intellectual Property Review: Federal Circuit affirms data patent after Google challenge. “The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld the validity of a data transmission patent, after Google had sought to invalidate it through an inter partes review (IPR). Google had appealed against a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which upheld the validity of US patent number 8,601,154 during the IPR.”


Thrive Global: AI Is Now a Source of Anxiety for Many People. “As the robots rise, so does the anxiety, according to new research published in the journal Social Science Computer Review. And people who are part of historically marginalized groups — like women, people of color and those with less education — report being most fearful of technology. As a result, they’re more anxious about what AI and automation mean for their future.”

MIT Technology Review: Google Brain Wants Creative AI to Help Humans Make a “New Kind of Art”. “Machine-learning algorithms aren’t likely to put painters or singer-songwriters out of work anytime soon, to judge from their body of work to date. But Google Brain is developing tools that pair artists with deep-learning tools to develop novel artwork together, said Douglas Eck, senior staff scientist at the search giant’s artificial-intelligence research division, during the MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference on Tuesday.”

Vox: Study: social media bubbles might not be making us more polarized after all. “After Donald Trump’s stunning electoral victory, lots of people wondered how, exactly, this had all happened. One possible solution, it seemed, was that everyone was trapped in an information bubble of their own making — numerous articles alleged that self-segregated social media feeds had become an echo chamber for people’s own thoughts and beliefs. The theory was popular, even if empirical evidence was scant. Now a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research argues the opposite.”

Network World: Google AudioSet aims to make sounds, from roars to boings, searchable . “Google researchers have released a collection of 2 million-plus labeled audio snippets designed to spark innovation in the area of sound search. The company earlier this month published a paper titled “AudioSet: An ontology and human-labeled dataset for audio events” that it hopes will combine with image recognition to strengthen overall search and identification capabilities that could be used in a wide variety of machine learning applications, including the automation of video captions that include sound effects. Google began work on the project last year.” Good morning, Internet…

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