Voice of America Egypt, Canada Motorsports, Pennsylvania Postcards, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, June 8, 2023


US Embassy in Egypt: The Launch of Voice of America’s Online Archive in Egypt Brings History to Life. “On May 31, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo in partnership with the American University in Cairo launched an online archive of several thousand reel-to-reel Arabic-language audio tapes highlighting the programming of Voice of America’s (VOA) Egypt branch. The archive includes interviews with prominent Egyptian historical figures, musical programs featuring famed Egyptian and Arab singers, and news items focusing on Egypt and U.S. programs in Egypt.”

Globe and Mail: Volunteers aim to document all of Canada’s motorsport history. “Mike Nilson has an overwhelming task ahead of him, one that nobody has really attempted before. Taking up roughly 200 square feet of space in his warehouse are 100 boxes filled with old photos, magazines, trophies and motorsport memorabilia. More boxes are coming in all the time, from car clubs and fellow enthusiasts. Nilson’s task is to scan everything, meticulously catalogue it, and upload it to a new online archive.”

WBRE: PA State Archives digitizes historic postcards. “The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has completed a multi-year project, digitizing a collection of 23,260 postcards into an archive anyone can use ranging from the 1800s to the 1970s.”


Brookings Institution: Online Speech After Gonzalez v. Google. “In spring 2023, with the U.S. Supreme Court set to rule on Gonzales v. Google, it seemed possible that the Court might upend the future of internet law by significantly narrowing the scope of Section 230, the law that protects online platforms from liability for third-party content. Instead, the Court disposed of the case without ruling on Section 230. But how long will this status quo remain in place? On June 21, join Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution for an in-person panel discussion on what’s next for online speech after Gonzalez.” There will also be a webcast.


Variety: Reddit Laying Off 5% of Workforce, Trims Hiring Plans. “Reddit, the internet community discussion powerhouse, is cutting 90 jobs, laying off about 5% of its total employee base, as it restructure operations to position itself to break even in 2024.”

CarToq: Mahindra Jeep MM540 overturns after following ‘shortcut’ on Google Maps. “We often get confused about taking a flyover or going under it while driving inside the city limits while following Google Maps. Since the Google Maps have become an integral part of our driving, most of us use it as soon as we start the car. In the past, we have seen some horrific incidents involving Google Maps and here is one more where a Mahindra MM540 overturned after following a shortcut in the app.”


Techdirt: Twitter Admits in Court Filing: Elon Musk Is Simply Wrong About Government Interference At Twitter. “To date, not a single document revealed has shown what people now falsely believe: that the US government and Twitter were working together to ‘censor’ people based on their political viewpoints. Literally none of that has been shown at all. Instead, what’s been shown is that Twitter had a competent trust & safety team that debated tough questions around how to apply policies for users on their platform and did not seem at all politically motivated in their decisions.”

The Hill: Senators warn Twitter of data security, legal concerns since Musk’s takeover. “A group of Democratic senators wrote to Twitter owner Elon Musk and the company’s incoming CEO, Linda Yaccarino, to raise concerns that actions since Musk’s takeover of the social media platform may have violated legal obligations and threatened consumer data security.”

The Guardian: AI poses national security threat, warns terror watchdog. “The creators of artificial intelligence need to abandon their ‘tech utopian’ mindset, according to the terror watchdog, amid fears that the new technology could be used to groom vulnerable individuals.”


Northeastern Global News: Are fairy tales fair? AI helps find gender bias in children’s storybooks. “Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have more in common than their origins as classic fairy tale figures and, now, part of Disney’s famous roster of characters. Their fairy tales are also full of gender bias and stereotypes, according to literature scholars––and now AI.”

WIRED: They Plugged GPT-4 Into Minecraft—and Unearthed New Potential for AI. “The Nvidia team, which included Anima Anandkumar, the company’s director of machine learning and a professor at Caltech, created a Minecraft bot called Voyager that uses GPT-4 to solve problems inside the game. The language model generates objectives that help the agent explore the game, and code that improves the bot’s skill at the game over time.”


Governor of California: Governor Newsom Announces Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Provide Universal Access to Free Books for Young Children. “The expansion, made possible by bipartisan legislation SB 1183 (Grove) — which was signed into law by Governor Newsom last year — allows all California children under the age of five to be eligible to enroll in the program to receive a free book every month in the mail.” Good morning, Internet…

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