Pennsylvania Firearm Deaths, George Eastman Museum, Snapchat, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, August 4, 2020

I didn’t get much sleep but we’re all fine as frog hair. Luckily Isaias is apparently in a hurry…


Beaver County Times: State launches database to track, reduce firearm deaths. “A new state database sheds light on the more than 1,600 Pennsylvanians who died by firearm in 2018 to help local policymakers reduce gun violence. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health on Monday launched a violence data dashboard to collect information on populations affected by gun violence following Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order last year. The portal examines the number of gun violence victims by both homicide and suicide, rates at which violence occurs in locations, frequency and factors such as gender, race and age.”

Rochester First: George Eastman Museum has 23 digitized films available for free; including a film on Kodak. “The George Eastman Museum has now released 23 digitized movies, all of them originally on film. All of them are free to view on their website, and most of them feature an introduction as well. Some of the pieces include documentaries, over a dozen test — including some from the iconic movie ‘Gone With the Wind’ — and even a film about Eastman Kodak Company that was made in Rochester.”


CNET: Snapchat testing TikTok-style music feature to release later this year. “Snapchat app users will soon be able to add songs to their videos. Snap, parent company of Snapchat, has reportedly inked music rights deals with several major music companies, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group and Merlin.”

Voicebot: Amazon Launches Alexa Accessibility Hub. “Amazon has brought together all of the accessibility features and initiatives for the Alexa voice assistant into a central website. The new Alexa Accessibility Hub demonstrates the ways people with different kinds of disabilities can use Alexa as a helpful tool and the accommodations in place to make using Echo smart speakers and smart displays easier for people with disabilities.”

Liam O’Dell: YouTube Axes Community Captions Feature, Citing Low Usage. “The tool, which enables viewers to contribute subtitles to a channel’s videos, will be retired in two months’ time. In a YouTube Help article, the video sharing platform said it would be ‘discontinued across all channels after 28 September 2020’.”


HCIL: Development of Early VR. “In 2018, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) decided to make its video archives available online…. Between class project obligations, trying to wrangle hundreds of copyright permissions, and digitizing all of the VHS tapes, we’re happy to announce that these pieces of history will soon be accessible to view through the ACM Digital Library. This is a massive treasure trove of 300+ demos which were originally presented at the annual ACM CHI conferences from 1983–2002, and they will soon be viewable online alongside their original papers.”

ABS-CBN News: New military chief eyes ‘regulating’ social media to combat radicalization. “The new head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said he was eyeing to ‘regulate’ social media, which he claims had become a platform used by terrorists in radicalizing and recruiting future members.”

Slator: Thai Mistranslation Shows Risk of Auto-Translating Social Media Content. “After a machine translation of a post from English into Thai about the King’s birthday proved offensive to the Thai monarchy, Facebook Thailand said it was deactivating auto-translate on Facebook and Instagram, revamping machine translation (MT) quality, and offering the Thai people its ‘profound apology.'”


Bleeping Computer: Newsletter plugin bugs let hackers inject backdoors on 300K sites. “The vulnerability was found in the Newsletter WordPress plugin that provides the tools needed to create responsive newsletter and email mail marketing campaigns on WordPress blogs using a visual composer. Newsletter has already been downloaded over 12 million times since it was added to the official WordPress plugin repository and is now installed on more than 300,000 sites.”


NiemanLab: A lesson in automated journalism: Bring back the humans. “It’s an important discovery not just for automation in fact-checking, but for similar efforts in other journalistic genres. We’ve found that artificial Intelligence is smart, but it’s not yet smart enough to make final decisions or avoid the robotic repetition that is an unfortunate trait of, um, robots. In the case of Squash, we need humans to make final decisions about which fact-checks to display on the screen. Our voice-to-text and matching algorithms are good — and getting better — but they’re not great. And sometimes they make some really bad matches. Like, comically bad.”

NIST: How Automation and AI May Help Level the Playing Field for Women in Manufacturing. “Women make up about 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce despite filling 47 percent of the positions in the overall workforce, according to the Manufacturing Institute. While there have been periods of growth and decline, the dynamic is mostly unchanged since 1970, when women held 27 percent of the manufacturing jobs. But many experts say the growing adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), combined with the critical need for knowledge-based workers, will create more opportunities for women in manufacturing.”

Deadline: AI centre stage in weird and wonderful take on Festival Fringe. “The researchers instructed the ImprovBot to repetitively mine the 100-word text descriptions of every show from 2011 to 2019, amounting to more than two million words. Online audiences will be allowed to interact with ImprovBot on Twitter that created the new shows based on previous fringe listings from 1pm on Friday, August 7. The bot will use this data to devise the world’s first AI-generated event blurbs for an imagined festival of comedy, plays, musicals, and cabaret.” Good morning, Internet…

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