Police Use of Force Legislation, Organ Donation Data Dashboard, Moog Synthesizers, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 23, 2023


Duke University: Wilson Center Creates Database to Track Police Use of Force Legislation. “In the first year following [George] Floyd’s death, 1,489 bills relating to police violence were proposed. However, only 169 became law. That is just one of the findings in a database created by the Wilson Center for Science and Justice to better understand lawmaking in response to calls for reform.”

US Department of Health and Human Services: HRSA Announces Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Modernization Initiative. “Today, HRSA is posting on its web site at Organ Donation and Transplantation ( a new data dashboard to share de-identified information on organ donors, organ procurement, transplant waitlists, and transplant recipients.”

Engadget: Moog celebrates 70th anniversary with musical web app. “It’s hard to believe, but iconic synth manufacturer Moog is turning 70. Synthesizers didn’t become mainstays in popular music until the 1970s, but Bob Moog started manufacturing and selling theremins in 1953, with actual synths following in 1963. To celebrate the anniversary, the company launched a web app filled with interactive experiences for music historians and casual fans alike.”


New York Times: Google’s Photo App Still Can’t Find Gorillas. And Neither Can Apple’s.. “Google’s and Apple’s tools were clearly the most sophisticated when it came to image analysis. Yet Google, whose Android software underpins most of the world’s smartphones, has made the decision to turn off the ability to visually search for primates for fear of making an offensive mistake and labeling a person as an animal. And Apple, with technology that performed similarly to Google’s in our test, appeared to disable the ability to look for monkeys and apes as well.”

Dazed: Grimes calls song made by AI-cloning her voice a ‘masterpiece’. “Last month, Grimes urged fans to create songs using her AI-generated voice through her new website Elf.Tech, where anyone can upload themselves singing and have their voice generated in the style of the artist, free of charge. Now, an LA-based artist called Kito has released a new track ‘Cold Touch’ using the software – and, according to Grimes, it’s a ‘masterpiece’.”


Keen Gamer: The Art Of Abandonware Preservation. “Despite video gaming’s relative youth compared to other media, many games have already been lost to time. Around the world, archivists have been striving to record and preserve such abandonware and return it to the players. We spoke with some of the people involved to find out just what it takes to save a lost game and why such archives are so important.”

The Verge: A Twitter bug is restoring deleted tweets and retweets — including my own. “Earlier this year on the 8th of May I deleted all my tweets, just under 5,000 of them. I know the exact day because I tweeted about it. This morning, though, I discovered that Twitter has restored a handful of my old re-tweets; interactions I know I scrubbed from my profile. Those re-tweets were gone. I remember surveying my bare timeline with satisfaction before thinking, ‘great, time to draw attention to myself.’ But now they’re back.”

BBC: Weapons expert cut from government event due to Twitter posts. “A global expert on nerve agents, stood down from speaking at a government-backed conference, says he believes it is because he is outspoken on a range of issues including asylum policy. Dan Kaszeta was disinvited from Tuesday’s conference after his social media content was vetted.”


Motherboard: Verified Twitter Accounts Spread AI-Generated Hoax of Pentagon Explosion. “Accounts such as @WarMonitors, @BloombergFeed, and RT posted an image of a large, gray smoke cloud appearing next to a white government building with a corresponding caption that stated there was an explosion near the Pentagon. Bellingcat journalist Nick Waters tweeted that there are a few signs that make it an AI image, including that the fence melds into the crowd barriers on the image and there are no other images or videos being posted on social media.”


Tom’s Guide: Forget Photoshop — AI imaging tool lets you edit photos with no experience. “Photo editing could become the next area conquered by AI thanks to an exciting new tool unveiled by a group of researchers from Google. Working with the Max Planck Institute of Informatics, they have created a point-based image manipulation tool called DragGAN. Essentially, it’s able to incrementally move multiple points of an image along a target trajectory defined by the user. The really clever part is AI keeps the output within the bounds of a realistic-looking image.” The first time I saw this I didn’t think it was real.

Stanford University: Is That Self-Driving Car a Boy or a Girl?. “In her latest researchopen in new window, conducted with Malia Masonopen in new window of Columbia University, [Professor Ashley] Martin looks at how people respond when real or imagined products are assigned a gender — or no gender. One of their studies analyzed reviews to see how shoppers reacted to the anthropomorphizing and gendering of robotic vacuums.”

University of Arizona: Would you trust an AI doctor? New research shows patients are split. “A University of Arizona Health Sciences-led study found that more than 50% of people don’t fully trust AI-powered medical advice, but many put faith in AI if it’s monitored and guided by human touch.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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