Courtauld Institute of Art Photography, Robert Randall, Politics Archives, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, May 13, 2023


Courtauld Institute of Art: One million rarely seen photographs from The Courtauld’s collection unveiled thanks to major public project. “The Courtauld Institute of Art has completed a major five-year project to open up its internationally-renowned collection of photographs to the public for free, working with 14,000 volunteers to digitise over one million images from The Conway Library as part of the biggest public inclusion project in The Courtauld’s history.”

Marijuana Moment: Activist Preserves Legacy Of Husband Who Won Right To Medical Marijuana Grown By The Feds 45 Years Ago. “Forty-five years ago, a tenacious glaucoma patient named Robert Randall made history, becoming the first person in the U.S. under prohibition to secure a legal supply of cannabis that was grown, processed and delivered by the federal government itself. Now his widow, Alice O’Leary Randall, a lifelong reform advocate, is marking the anniversary by releasing a digitized ‘Factual Record’ of the case…”


University of Georgia: UGA’s Russell Library Awarded NEH Grant to Contribute to National Political Digital Archive. “Through a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Georgia Libraries will partner with other academic institutions to expand a nation-wide online congressional archive with content from many of the nation’s most influential politicians.”

CNBC: Goldman Sachs created an A.I.-powered social media startup for corporate use. “Goldman Sachs, known more for its Wall Street bankers than its technology, has just spun out the first startup from its internal incubator. The company, a networking platform for employees called Louisa, was funded and owned by the New York-based investment bank until a few weeks ago, when it became independent, according to founder-CEO Rohan Doctor.”

VoicebotAI: Stability AI’s New Stable Animation SDK Turns Generative AI into a Cartoon Studio. “Synthetic media startup Stability AI has introduced a new tool for producing animation with its open-source Stable Diffusion generative AI models. The new Stable Animation SDK creates animated videos out of a text prompt, with potential assistance from an image or existing video clip.”


Ars Technica: YouTuber who crashed plane admits he did it for money and views. “A YouTuber who deliberately crashed a plane to ‘gain notoriety and make money’ has agreed to plead guilty to obstructing a federal investigation, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday. In his plea agreement, California pilot Trevor Jacob admitted to ‘deliberately destroying’ the plane wreckage and repeatedly lying to officials.”

Reuters: Russia fines Google over ‘LGBT propaganda’ and ‘false information’ – agencies. “A Russian court fined Alphabet’s Google 3 million roubles ($38,600) on Thursday for failing to delete YouTube videos it said promoted ‘LGBT propaganda’ and ‘false information’ about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.”


The Globe and Mail: The downside of AI: Former Google scientist Timnit Gebru warns of the technology’s built-in biases. “When Ms. Gebru – who’s 39 and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in computer vision from Stanford University – started her career, she stood out. She’s Black, a woman and works in an industry famously lacking in diversity. She moved to the U.S. as a teenager to escape the 1998-2000 Eritrean-Ethiopian War. The discrimination she faced after moving and throughout her career has left a lasting mark.”

MakeUseOf: What Is OpenAI’s Shap-E, and What Can It Do?. “In May 2023, Alex Nichol and Heewon Jun, OpenAI researchers and contributors, released a paper announcing Shap-E, the company’s latest innovation. Shap-E is a new tool trained on a massive dataset of paired 3D images and text that can generate 3D models from text or images. It is similar to DALL-E, which can create 2D images from text, but Shap-E produces 3D assets.”

Brazen Careerist: Grappling With The Death Of Heather Armstrong: Where Does Dooce Leave Us Now?. “People say Heather killing herself is not all that surprising given her problems with addiction. This is what I know from having Heather as my secret coworker for the last 20 years: before the addiction killed her, the blog did.”


Colorado State University: New drone application improves tracking for songbird research. “CSU drone experts have helped develop a way to track songbirds during breeding season in the central and western regions of the Great Basin, an application that shows promise for wildlife biology in general. The university’s Drone Center partnered with researchers at Oregon State University to deploy a new and unobtrusive way to study how birds… respond to environmental change.”

WBUR: Boston bus stops double as digital libraries under new pilot program. “Bus stops in Boston are beginning to double as digital libraries under a new pilot program being rolled out across the city. Riders at 20 bus stops can now dip into free digital content by using a QR code to browse and borrow audiobooks, eBooks, e-newspapers and e-magazines for all ages, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Thursday.” Good morning, Internet…

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