Infodemic, MetaGPT, Twitter, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 9, 2023


Syracuse University: ‘Infodemic’ Reporting Project Investigates Impact of Scams, Disinformation. “‘Infodemic’ includes more than 30 stories packaged with photos, videos, illustrations, audio, data visualizations and other interactive media. The wide-ranging report was released May 1 on, a multimedia news site for Syracuse University to teach practical and digital skills needed for the media industry, in conjunction with WAER-88.3 and The Stand South Side newspaper.”

Interesting Engineering: New tool uses ChatGPT to make websites using only text-based prompts. “WhimsyWorks, a New York-based company, has unveiled MetaGPT – an app to build websites, apps, and much more using only text-based prompts. This is much like the no-coding website builders that you see around on the internet, except that it is powered by ChatGPT.”


Government Technology: Government Begins to Ask: When Do We Leave Twitter?. “For years, Twitter has been an indispensable piece of government communications — especially during emergencies, public officials turn often to the app as one of the fastest options for telling people what’s happening. But last week at the annual Government Social Media Conference in Reno, Nev., a government communications professional stood up and in front of a room of her peers and called Twitter a ‘hellscape,’ asking the panelists on stage: When do you know it’s time to pull the plug on Twitter?”

Public Record Office Victoria: New PROV Public API. “Up until now to ‘talk’ to or query an API you needed to understand how the API works and speak its own particular language. But all that’s changed. With the help of a very talented developer, we’ve created a simple form or interface that will allow you to not only open the bonnet but reach deep into the data (i.e. the engine that drives the PROV collection search) and download it for your own purposes.”

Ars Technica: After 18 months, GitHub’s big code search overhaul is generally available. “GitHub has announced the general availability of a ground-up rework of code search that has been in development for years. The changes include substantial new functionality that is significantly more aware of context. The company says its new code search is ‘about twice as fast’ as the old code search and that it ‘understands code, putting the most relevant results first.'”


New York Times: How to Automatically Edit and Enhance Your Smartphone Photos. “Vanity-driven repairs are popular, but A.I.-powered editing can even fix fuzzy focus or entirely remove that inebriated fellow photobombing your family beach portrait with just a few screen taps. Here’s an overview of what you can do.”


Dallas Morning News: Tracking misinformation about the Allen mass shooting and response. “After any massive tragedy, it’s common for bad actors to take advantage of a void in verified information to spread falsehoods — and for well-meaning yet unwitting members of the public to amplify that false information. The same happened after Saturday’s massacre at Allen Premium Outlets. In the days after the mass shooting, which killed eight people and wounded seven others, very little information has been shared by authorities and public officials.”

Reuters: New York Times to get around $100 million from Google over three years – WSJ. “The New York Times is getting around $100 million from Google over three years as part of a broad deal that allows the Alphabet Inc unit to feature Times content on some of its platforms, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.”


Business Insider: Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced ex-CEO of FTX, is trying to dismiss 10 out of 13 criminal charges against him. “Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued in a Monday filing to the Manhattan federal court that the US government had brought the original indictment against Bankman-Fried on December 9 in a ‘classic rush to judgment’ less than a month after FTX’s bankruptcy.”

NPR: People are trying to claim real videos are deepfakes. The courts are not amused. “The liar’s dividend is a term coined by law professors Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron in a 2018 paper laying out the challenges deepfakes present to privacy, democracy, and national security. The idea is, as people become more aware of how easy it is to fake audio and video, bad actors can weaponize that skepticism.”

Santa Monica Lookout: Remains Found in Santa Monica ID’d As Founder of Sobriety App. “The remains of a man who had been missing for nearly a year and a half were identified Saturday after being found in the courtyard of an abandoned building in Santa Monica last month, police said. The Los Angeles County Coroner positively identified the remains as those of Beau Mann, the founder and head of Sober Grid, a social mobile networking app for people struggling with substance abuse.”


Stanford University: Feedback from an AI-driven tool improves teaching, Stanford-led research finds. “A new Stanford-led study, published May 8 in the peer-reviewed journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, found that an automated feedback tool improved instructors’ use of a practice known as uptake, where teachers acknowledge, reiterate, and build on students’ contributions. The findings also provided evidence that, among students, the tool improved their rate of completing assignments and their overall satisfaction with the course.” Good morning, Internet…

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