Marine Microplastics, Flipboard, Content Labeling, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 21, 2023


NOAA: New Oceaneye Partnership Brings Expansion to Microplastics Database. “NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and non-profit organization Oceaneye have created a partnership to improve and expand the Marine Microplastics database. The objective of this partnership is to not only expand the database, but to also establish a diverse international community of public users.”

TechCrunch: Flipboard brings editorial curation to Mastodon with ‘desks’ for news and discovery. “Magazine app Flipboard is furthering its investment in the Fediverse — the distributed social media ecosystem that includes apps like Mastodon and others — with its newly announced plan to establish its first editorial desks to curate news for the wider federated community.”

Deadline: Public Media Body Demands Twitter Drop “Government-Funded Media” Label From All Accounts. “It may have ceded to the BBC, but Elon Musk’s Twitter is back under pressure from the world’s public service broadcasters. The Global Task Force for Public Media has called on the social media platform to correct the designation of four of its members on the site.”


New York Times: Ukraine’s Social Media Stars Rethink How They Wield Their Influence. “Like [Anna] Tsukur, thousands of influencers creating content about everything from children’s games to beauty tips and from science to comedy switched to Ukrainian from Russian after the full-scale invasion, in many cases overnight, according to Vira Slyvinska, a senior executive at AIR Media-Tech, an international company founded by Ukrainians that supports online content creators. Some have also drastically shifted focus, abandoning their original topics for videos that support the country’s war effort. But by far the bigger change was the switch in language.”

CTech: Ever-evolving Israeli Generative AI landscape – the updated map . “The U.S. and China are in the lead, but Israel has certainly earned itself a place as one of the leading centers of excellence in the global AI ecosystem with companies like AI21 Labs, which is developing a large language model named Jurassic, which can be considered as an alternative to GPT.”

The New Republic: They Did It for the Clicks. “The digital era has staged a corporate contest not for truth but for attention—a malleable asset that can be put to countless uses, whether it be to convince readers the 2020 election was stolen or to show them how their preference for Netflix over Hulu means they’re totally a Gorgonzola. All content now is designed to be shareable, to get us to click—but shareable for what? Once you have caught the public’s attention, what do you do with it? What social, political, or cultural purpose does a page impression, a retweet, a video view serve?”


Globe and Mail: Google denies it engaged in ‘astroturfing’ to lobby Ottawa through third parties . “Google denied accusations in a Commons committee Thursday that it had engaged in ‘astroturfing’ campaigns to lobby against federal bills by paying individuals and other organizations to oppose them.”

BBC: Mark Page: Smart speaker audio matched paedophile ex-Radio 1 DJ’s voice. “A former Radio 1 DJ jailed for child sex offences was caught partly by matching smart speaker audio to his distinctive voice, it has emerged. Mark Page was jailed for arranging sexual abuse of children in the Philippines, both online and in person. Data from Google Takeout was used for the first time during the two-year investigation by Cleveland Police.”


CNBC: Read the internal memo Alphabet sent in merging A.I.-focused groups DeepMind and Google Brain. “Alphabet is merging an internal Google Research team called Brain with DeepMind, a move designed to bring two groups focused on artificial intelligence closer together as the battle for AI heats up.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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