AI Writing Check, DoNotPay, Wearable Tech, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 28, 2023


Fast Company: Nonprofits release free tool to detect AI-written student work. “The tool, called AI Writing Check, was developed by the writing nonprofits Quill and CommonLit using an open-source AI model designed to detect the output of ChatGPT and related systems. It enables teachers (or anyone else) to copy and paste text and within a few seconds receive a determination on whether the work in question was written by ChatGPT.”


Engadget: Jail threats stop AI ‘robot lawyer’ from making its debut in court. “Joshua Browder, the CEO of New York startup DoNotPay, recently announced that his company’s bot will represent a defendant fighting a traffic ticket in the courtroom on February 22nd…. a few days later, Browder announced that DoNotPay is postponing its court case after reportedly receiving jail threats from state bar prosecutors if he was to go through with his plan.”


The Verge: How to use wearable tech if you’ve got tattoos. “The bad news is that tattoos and wearables aren’t always compatible. It’s a known issue among wearable makers but isn’t apparent to many consumers. You can still occasionally stumble upon social media posts where tattooed folks strap on a new smartwatch only to find that the device doesn’t work well — if it works at all. In the case of the Apple Watch, for example, tattoos can interfere with wrist detection, making the device unable to recognize that you’re actually wearing it.”

Fast Company: How to start fresh by resetting algorithms for YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more. “You can kill your algorithms very easily with many of the most-popular streaming-video services. Others require more finagling. Here’s a quick guide to resetting recommendations on the web and your phone (typically the same for Android and iOS) for YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount+.”

Six Colors: New tool generates more useful Mastodon link previews in Messages. “Just the other day, I was lamenting one of my big frustations with Mastodon—that links to posts, unlike tweets, don’t display nicely in Messages. Instead you get a preview that shows the poster’s profile image and their name, rather than the actual text or image of the post itself…. Well, the ball may be in Apple’s court, but not everybody’s waiting for them to return the serve. iOS developer Tyler Hillman has come up with a workaround: a web service that can provide the necessary metadata to show post content in Messages.”


Context News: Wikipedia Middle East editors ban shows risks for creators. “Rights groups have accused the Saudi Arabian government of ‘infiltrating’ and seeking to control Wikipedia, after the Wikimedia Foundation banned 16 users for engaging in ‘conflict of interest editing’ in the Middle East and North Africa.”


Washington Post: Archives weighs asking past presidents, VPs to look for classified items . “The National Archives is weighing whether to ask living former presidents and vice presidents to review their personal records to verify that no classified materials are inadvertently outstanding, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations.”

Politico: Avoid TikTok for government work, Dutch officials told. “Public authorities in the Netherlands are being told to steer clear of TikTok amid growing concerns across the EU and U.S. that the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform poses privacy risks. Dutch ministries and agencies are mostly following a recommendation to shun TikTok accounts and stop government communication and advertising on the platform, two government officials told POLITICO.”

Cybernews: Yandex source code leaked on a hacking forum . “Someone has uploaded an archive on a popular hacking forum with over 44GB of data, revealing Yandex source code. The attacker claims to have downloaded the data in July 2022. According to Arseniy Shestakov, a researcher who claims to have investigated leaked data, the archive contains the content of a repository without any additional data. Shestakov says that all files are dated to February 24, 2022, the day on which Russian forces invaded Ukraine.”


Clemson News: Clemson Libraries receives $1.2 million to develop free textbooks for advanced manufacturing classes . “The Collaborative Development of Robotics Education and Advanced Manufacturing Open Educational Resources (Co-DREAM OER) project received $760,000 last year to develop three openly licensed textbooks and other digital educational materials on robotics ­— one at the technical college level, one at the bachelor’s degree level and one at the graduate education level. The latest round of funding will allow for the development of six more textbooks in the areas of advanced manufacturing and mechatronics, subjects that were chosen because they support the growing advanced manufacturing industry in South Carolina and other parts of the country.”


Vanderbilt University: New technique unlocks ancient history of climate and wildfires recorded in California cave rocks. “Jessica Oster, associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences, worked with scientists at Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany to develop and apply a new technique that allows researchers to reconstruct fire activity above caves based on chemicals trapped in stalagmites as they grow from water dripping from the soil and rocks above. With this new advancement, scientists can now measure unique chemicals in stalagmites to reveal fire activity from tens to hundreds of thousands of years ago.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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