Facebook Workplace, Ethics in Computer Science, Instagram, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, October 11, 2018


TechCrunch: Facebook Workplace adds algorithmic feed, Safety Check and enhanced chat . “Workplace, the version of Facebook tailored to enterprises that has over 30,000 organizations as paying customers, is ramping up the service today with a rush of new features to help it competes with the likes of Slack and Microsoft’s Teams.”

Mozilla Blog: Announcing a Competition for Ethics in Computer Science, with up to $3.5 Million in Prizes. “The Responsible Computer Science Challenge — by Omidyar Network, Mozilla, Schmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies — calls on professors to integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science courses.”

CNET: Instagram is using AI to weed out bullying in photos, comments. “Instagram is taking action against bullying on its platform. On Tuesday, the Facebook-owned photo sharing network rolled out a machine-learning tool that detects bullying in photos and captions. If the AI tool deems a photo unkind or unwelcome, it will send the snap sent to Instagram’s community operations team for further review, according to a blog post.”


The Distant Librarian: First look at NVivo Transcription. “Almost exactly a year ago I took a quick look at three automated transcription tools, and today there’s another one to add to the mix, though this one’s not free. NVivo has launched an automated transcription service and I’m impressed! I uploaded the same audio clip I used in last year’s shootout, a 40-second snippet from the inauguration of George W. Bush, and here’s what NVivo made of it…”

MakeUseOf: How to Manage Your Digital Files: 9 Tips and Tools to Keep You Organized. “The internet doesn’t have an operating system. There’s no common dashboard you can log on to and manage your digital life from one place. You’re forced to keep track of multiple accounts, services, and more. So when the time comes for you to locate that specific file or piece of data, you don’t have a ton of options except for manually going through every one of them and hope you find it. You can, though, make that process much less frustrating with third-party tools.”

Mashable: How to learn sign language: 9 apps and resources to teach yourself ASL. “Learning to sign is easier than ever, thanks to the internet. The visual language, designed to aid the deaf or hard of hearing, is a set of gesticulations and hand movements that correspond to the spoken word. There are numerous ways to learn American Sign Language (ASL) outside the old classroom method. From free online lessons to video tutorials, a world of possibilities is open for those aspiring to teach themselves this hands-on language.”


I missed this from the Atlantic at the end of August: How Misinfodemics Spread Disease. “Now disease also spreads via Facebook statuses and Google results—not just the droplets from a sneeze or the particles that linger in the air when we forget to cough properly into our elbow crease—and around the world, digital health misinformation is having increasingly catastrophic impacts on physical health. Recent research found that Twitter bots were sharing content that contributed to positive sentiments about e-cigarettes. In West Africa, online health misinformation added to the Ebola death toll. In New South Wales, Australia, where the spread of conspiracy theories about water fluoridation run rampant, children suffering from tooth decay are hospitalized for mass extractions at higher rates than in regions where water fluoridation exists.”


The Guardian: Imaging tool unravels secrets of child’s sock from ancient Egypt. “The ancient Egyptians famously gave us paper and the pyramids, but were also early adopters of the stripy sock. Scientists at the British Museum have developed pioneering imaging to discover how enterprising Egyptians used dyes on a child’s sock, recovered from a rubbish dump in ancient Antinoupolis in Roman Egypt, and dating from 300AD.”

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Internet Connectivity Seen as Having Positive Impact on Life in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced dramatic gains in internet use in recent years. With this rapid growth in connectivity have come a host of potential problems, including fake news, political targeting and manipulation and financial scams, among others. Yet according to a new Pew Research Center analysis, most sub-Saharan Africans feel positively about the role the internet plays in their country.”

EurekAlert: English first: Suicide prevention. “Queries submitted to Internet search engines not only reveal a lot about the individual user’s interests, they may also permit inferences to be drawn about one’s state of health. In such cases, some search engines display information pointing to appropriate advisory services, such as emergency hotlines, whenever queries imply that a search might be motivated by the intent to self-harm. However, as LMU researchers Mario Haim and Florian Arendt in collaboration with their colleague Sebastian Scherr (KU Leuven) have now shown in a paper that appears in the journal New Media & Society, the probability of being confronted with such information varies widely depending on one’s location and in particular one’s language.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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