France Accessibility, New Zealand Real Estate, California Wildfire Resilience, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 31, 2023


The Local France: France creates new guide of disability-accessible hotels, shops and restaurants. “The French government has created a new website that lists the hotels, cafés, shops, restaurants and other public establishments that are accessible to people with disabilities. The website is called Accès Libre (free access) and it has been put together with the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in mind – although it covers the whole of France, not just the capital.”

1 News (New Zealand): New online tool reveals 25 years of property disaster claims. “Kiwis can now easily find out if a property has been damaged in a natural disaster, over the past 25 years, using a new online tool. Launched by the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the online portal allows anyone to type in an address and see whether there’s been an EQC claim made against it.”

California Natural Resources Agency: California Launches Online Tool to Track Wildfire Resilience Projects. “The dashboard offers a one-stop-shop to access data, provide transparency, and align the efforts of more than a dozen agencies to build resilient landscapes and communities in California. It reports treatment activities such as prescribed fire, targeted grazing, uneven-aged timber harvest, mechanical and hand fuels reduction, and tree planting. Users can sort treatments by region, county, land ownership and more.”


PCMag: Google Flights Will Tell You the Cheapest Time to Book a Ticket. “Google is trying to solve a problem that has long vexed travelers everywhere: When is the best time to book the cheapest flight? Starting this week, the company will answer that question through Google Flights.”


The Mainichi: ‘Like a teacher there 24/7’: ChatGPT tool supports English education at Japan univ. . “Ritsumeikan University has been experimentally introducing an English learning support tool combining ChatGPT and machine translation functions in some of its English classes since this spring, and a student reporter for the Mainichi Shimbun looked into the background and thoughts on the project.”

WIRED: Sexy AI Chatbots Are Creating Thorny Issues for Fandom. “Even if Character.AI might want you to get emotionally attached to its coding bots (your fellow ‘pair programmer’) or its grammar bots (your ‘English teacher’), it’s the characters you’ve heard of, real or fictional, that have sparked the most interest across the social web. ‘Billie Eilish’ currently has six times the amount of interaction of ‘Joe Biden’; both of them eclipse ‘Alan Turing.'”


Reuters: Law firm Morgan & Morgan accuses marketing company of stealing potential clients . “In the lawsuit filed on Friday in state court in Orange County, Florida, Morgan & Morgan claims What If Holdings is paying Google for a so-called ‘click-to-call’ advertisement to appear on searches for the terms ‘morgan and morgan.’ When the ads pop up, a potential Morgan & Morgan client is tricked into clicking on a phone number that takes them to What If instead, the lawsuit claims.”

Rest of World: Chinese sextortion scammers are flooding Twitter. “Chinese sextortion scammer accounts have flooded X (previously Twitter) since April after the platform introduced a new blue-check policy allowing users to buy verified badges.”


AI Weirdness: AI vs a giraffe with no spots. “Image recognition algorithms are trained on a variety of images from around the internet, and/or on a few standard image datasets. But there likely haven’t been any spotless giraffes in their training data, since the last one to be born was probably in 1972 in Tokyo. How do they do when faced with photos of the spotless giraffe?”

Harvard Gazette: Need cancer treatment advice? Forget ChatGPT. “… researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital sought to assess how consistently the AI chatbot provides recommendations for cancer treatment that align with National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. The team’s findings, published in JAMA Oncology, show that in one-third of cases, ChatGPT provided an inappropriate — or ‘non-concordant’ — recommendation, highlighting the need for awareness of the technology’s limitations.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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