New York City Evictions, Online Safety for Children, AI-Generated Poetry, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, August 11, 2023


Gothamist: NYC’s eviction hotspots: Tracking the 10K removals since moratorium ended. “To better understand where evictions are occurring, what’s driving them and how they affect New Yorkers and the economy, Gothamist is launching an eviction tracker utilizing publicly available city data with key maps, charts and distinct takeaways that distill the city’s tens of thousands of eviction records — and what you can do if you or your neighbors face eviction.”

New York Times: Amid Sextortion’s Rise, Computer Scientists Tap A.I. to Identify Risky Apps. “Over the past two years, Mr. [Brian] Levine has sought to help parents by designing a computational model that assesses customers’ reviews of social apps. Using artificial intelligence to evaluate the context of reviews with words such as ‘child porn’ or ‘pedo,’ he and a team of researchers have built a searchable website called the App Danger Project, which provides clear guidance on the safety of social networking apps.”


The Verge: Google’s Arts & Culture app adds AI-generated poem postcards. “Google has launched a new tool that lets you create AI-generated poem postcards based on a piece of artwork and a subject of your choice. The addition of poem postcards comes as part of Google’s broader redesign of its Arts & Culture app and its rollout of generative AI features across its other services, like text creation in Docs and the ability to generate code with AI in Sheets.”


Gizmodo: CNET Deletes Thousands of Old Articles to Game Google Search. “Archived copies of CNET’s author pages show the company deleted small batches of articles prior to the second half of July, but then the pace increased. Thousands of articles disappeared in recent weeks. A CNET representative confirmed that the company was culling stories but declined to share exactly how many it has taken down. The move adds to recent controversies over CNET’s editorial strategy, which has included layoffs and experiments with error-riddled articles written by AI chatbots.” Very glad I yeeted CNET from my RSS feeds.

Daily Beast: A ‘Handsome Daddy Putin’ Bug Is Plaguing China’s Internet. “Last year, a man claiming to be a Russian soldier fighting in Moscow’s war in Ukraine started posting triumphant videos from what he claimed was the battlefield on a Chinese social media app, applauding Russian fighting and calling for a Kremlin victory. But things started to get fishy when the supposedly Russian soldier peddling anti-American and pro-Kremlin narratives around the war had impeccable Chinese pronunciation in his videos, according to the South China Morning Post.”

The Fader: Report: UMG in discussions with Google to license artists’ voices for deepfakes. “Universal Music Group and Google have started to discuss the prospect of officially licensing artists’ voices for deepfakes, the Financial Times reports. Both parties reportedly hope to develop a tool that would allow the public to create their own officially licensed deepfakes.”


CNN: Special counsel obtained search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account. “The special counsel investigation into Donald Trump secured a search warrant of the former president’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, according to a newly unsealed court filing. The search was so secret that Twitter was initially barred from telling Trump the search warrant had been obtained for his account, and the company, now known as ‘X,’ was fined $350,000 because it delayed producing the records sought under the search warrant.”

Reuters: White House Launches AI-Based Contest to Secure Government Systems From Hacks. “The White House on Wednesday said it had launched a multimillion-dollar cyber contest to spur use of artificial intelligence (AI) to find and fix security flaws in U.S. government infrastructure, in the face of growing use of the technology by hackers for malicious purposes.”

Rolling Stone: Elon Musk, Who Wants Women to Procreate as Much As Possible, Accused of Discriminating Against Mom Employees. “SEVEN FORMER TWITTER employees are suing the website, now rebranded as X, for racial discrimination, age discrimination, and violations of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform, according to court documents.”


The Diplomat: Social Media and the Fight For Political Influence in Southeast Asia. “Social media has become an increasingly important tool in political campaigns in Southeast Asia. Politicians and national factions in the region are using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to reach out to voters, spread their message, and mobilize support. In the contemporary digital era, several steps can be done to ensure that the use of social media has positive impacts. In this article, we argue that learning from Southeast Asia’s experiences may provide insights into social media usage trends ahead of future elections.”

Cornell University: Algorithm overlooks Spanish speakers in online SNAP ads. “A Cornell-led research team has discovered that the algorithm behind Google Ads charged significantly more to deliver online ads to Spanish-speaking people about the benefits of SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.”

American College of Surgeons: Social Media Influences Surgical Training. “Surgical training has long relied on traditional methods, such as didactic lectures, hands-on experiences, and mentoring by experienced surgeons. However, the emergence of communication platforms has ushered in a new era of learning and knowledge dissemination. Social media platforms, with their immense reach and accessibility, have provided surgeons and trainees with unprecedented opportunities to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and engage with a global community of medical professionals.” Good morning, Internet…

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