Bird Bones, Ireland Singing, Google Assistive Tech, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, February 4, 2019


Read an article about this but it didn’t include the URL, so I’m going straight to the source to tell you about Fauna Toolkit: Bird Bones. From the home page: “A portal to 3D digitised models of bird bones from museum collections. 159 bones from 28 species in 22 families and 19 orders are now available from the Index below.”

Wicklow News: Calling all singing enthusiasts and music lovers. “Have you always nurtured a desire to sing in a group or choir? Are you keen to make contact with other singing enthusiasts and music-lovers in your locality? If so, Sing Ireland is the answer you’ve been looking for…. The organisation now has a new website … which lists singing groups across the country and anyone interested in joining a group or choir is encouraged to log on to find details of activity in their own local area. Members include children’s choirs, workplace choirs, youth choirs, hospital and care home choirs, choir clubs, university choirs, church and cathedral choirs, choral societies, and choirs for those in older age or active retirement.”


CNET: Google’s Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier aim to help the hard of hearing. “Google wants to make Android phones powerful tools for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. On Monday, the search giant released two new services, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, aimed at helping people who have trouble hearing communicate more easily.”

Google Blog: Try your hand at the art of shadow puppetry, with help from AI . “In September last year, we built an interactive installation that used AI to help people explore shadow puppetry. Though it’s an ancient art, people connected with shadow puppetry in a new way, and after the conference, we decided to bring it online so that everyone could play. So today, we’re making it available as a new AI experiment, Shadow Art.”


KSEN: MSU Researchers Receive Grant To Build ‘Algorithmic Awareness’ As Form Of Digital Literacy. “To help increase awareness of algorithms, the [Montana State University] Library received a $50,000 grant for ‘Unpacking the Algorithms That Shape our User Experience.’ The project includes three main parts, all with a goal of introducing ‘algorithmic awareness’ as a form of digital literacy: researching algorithms and writing a report for users, developing a teaching tool in order to give transparency to common algorithms, and creating a curriculum and pilot class.”

Times of India: Tomes gather dust: Nizam’s collection, too, left to decay . “Nothing much is right with the State Central Library, the apex library of the state. At the risk of being destroyed are rare books from the Nizam’s personal collection that lay strewn on the floor. Some are tied by strings with insects eating away at them. While a few have been stacked inside broken almirahs [basically a cabinet], covered with years of dust.”

This headline is very clickbait-y, and I don’t like supporting that, but I recommend this article as it, to me, shows Jack Dorsey epitomizing the inconsistency and opacity of Twitter’s terms of service and how it enforces its rules. Daily Beast: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Tells Joe Rogan: Trump Is No Worse Than Obama. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has been under fire for failing to police hate speech, harassment, and outright racism on his platform, told podcast host Joe Rogan that ‘everyone has a right’ to social media and that Donald Trump’s use of Twitter wasn’t much different from how previous presidents have used media, comparing him to Barack Obama as president.”

Digit: Booze-delivery scams found running through Google Maps in India. “Google has been working hard in developing Maps as a standalone app that can provide users with a platform for ease of commuting and communication. However, it has been found that people are taking negative advantage of the company’s service. In yet another incident of exploitation of Google Maps, it has been reported that scammers in India are using the service to mint money by offering an option to deliver alcohol at people’s doorsteps.”


Splunk: Black Hats & White Collars: SEC EDGAR Database Hackers Revealed. “Over the past year, I’ve been presenting research at security conferences regarding the increasingly cozy relationship between black hat hackers and white collar criminals. One of the cases I researched was a group of hackers targeting PR firms for non-public insider information that could be monetized by trading stock based on the results of a company’s earnings and other factors. This past week it was revealed that this same group of criminal hackers and traders had become much more brazen and were also involved in the hacking of SEC’s EDGAR system targeting similar information.”

New York Times: Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings. ” The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records. A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down.”


MIT Technology Review: This is how AI bias really happens—and why it’s so hard to fix. “Over the past few months, we’ve documented how the vast majority of AI’s applications today are based on the category of algorithms known as deep learning, and how deep-learning algorithms find patterns in data. We’ve also covered how these technologies affect people’s lives: how they can perpetuate injustice in hiring, retail, and security and may already be doing so in the criminal legal system. But it’s not enough just to know that this bias exists. If we want to be able to fix it, we need to understand the mechanics of how it arises in the first place.”

From the South China Morning Post: How a 14-year-old Hongkonger built an app to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with their loved ones . “At the age of 14, the Hong Kong-born [Emma] Yang has already created her own mobile app for Alzheimer’s patients, which has impressed the likes of Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates and Alibaba Group Holding executive vice-chairman Joseph Tsai. The Timeless app, which Yang spent two years developing and refining, comes with several core features. It uses an artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition system, from Miami-based start-up Kairos, to help Alzheimer’s patients identify people in photos and remember who they are.” Thank you Emma Yang. Good morning, Internet…

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