Jamaica Poetry, China Independent Film, Twitter, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, September 27, 2023


Jamaica Gleaner: Digital archive to shake up access to, understanding of Jamaican poetry. “[The digital Jamaica Poetry Archive] will serve as a vital educational resource for students studying literature, Jamaican culture, and related fields. It will provide access to audio recordings of poets reciting their works, allowing students to engage with the nuances of pronunciation, rhythm, and emotion that make poetry a living, breathing art form.” The archive is available but I think it’s still growing.

Newcastle University: Chinese Independent Film Archive launched at Newcastle University. “CIFA is believed to be the only archive of its kind in the world. It is home to more than 800 films, mostly documentaries, dating back to the beginning of the 1990s when Chinese independent cinema first emerged, their associated material culture, oral-history interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, among other collections. The archive aims not only to safeguard this significant but marginalised film culture for future generations, but also act as an alternative record of social changes, historical traumas, and the lives of ordinary people in modern and contemporary China.”


MarketWatch: Twitter and Threads users are spending less time on those services. “X had an average of 21 million daily active users in the U.S. in the first half of September, down from around 22 million in July but a slight uptick from 20 million in the last week of August, according to market researcher GWS Magnify, which collected data from U.S. mobile users. Meanwhile, Threads’ daily active users have evaporated by two-thirds since the social-media platform’s July debut, down to 1.1 million in mid-September from 3.4 million.”


Washington Post: Amazon unveils a ‘smarter’ Alexa. Its AI has a lot of work to do.. “Rebooting Alexa is Amazon’s effort to compete in Big Tech’s arms race to put the latest AI tech into consumer products. But in conversations with Amazon executives after the launch event, two concerns lingered: Alexa 2.0 appears to be very much a work in progress. I watched it repeatedly get questions wrong. And can we trust it in the places we use smart speakers at home, like children’s bedrooms?”

Gizmodo: X/Twitter CEO Shares Video Ad That Features Tweets Dunking on Elon Musk. “One of X’s latest ads included some critical tweets, but CEO Linda Yaccarino reposted the ad without them claiming they made a new ‘high-res version.’”

NiemanLab: “Flexicles,” story alert systems, and other ways AI will serve publishers, reporters, and readers . “Understanding artificial intelligence has become an essential skill for a media leader. That isn’t simply because you need to determine whether to allow scraping of your website, whether to sue for copyright, or if you should do a deal with a company like OpenAI. It’s also because you need to figure out which aspects of AI you’ll use in the service of impactful journalism and audience engagement. AI will reshape the media landscape, and the organizations that use it creatively will thrive.”


The Verge: Here are the documents the Google antitrust trial judge didn’t want you to see. “So far, what we have heard paints a picture of a Google that’s both dominant in search and highly cautious about admitting it, to the point of admonishing executives for using terms like ‘market share’ and quietly raising search ad prices to ‘shake the cushions’ and meet revenue targets. The online exhibits drove that point home, including email chains and presentations in which Google executives admit that its vast scale improves the service dramatically and that default deals — which the Department of Justice alleges it struck anticompetitively with both Apple and phone companies — are a powerful tool.”

New York Times: C.E.O. of Google Rival Describes Obstacles to Efforts to Compete. “The chief executive of DuckDuckGo on Thursday described Google as a monopoly that has hurt competition and consumers through its scale and command over the tech industry, in the first testimony of a rival in the federal trial of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against the search giant.”


Northeastern Global News: Muting yourself might not be as safe as you think. This researcher found a way to get audio from still images and silent videos. “Kevin Fu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Northeastern University, has figured out a way to get audio from pictures and even muted videos. Using Side Eye, a machine learning assisted tool that Fu and his research team created, Fu can determine the gender of someone speaking in the room where a photo was taken –– and even the exact words they spoke.”

University of South Australia: Social media and low self-compassion behind rise in cosmetic surgery. “But why is social media so persuasive and what is driving young women’s attitudes to cosmetic surgery? In a new University of South Australia study, researchers have explored just this, finding that young women who regularly engage with social media were excessively self-judgemental and more likely to consider cosmetic surgery.”

British Library UK Web Archive Blog: How YouTube is helping to drive UK Web Archive nominations. “There currently exists a plethora of digital platforms for all manner of online published works; YouTube itself has become more than just a platform for sharing videos, it has evolved into a platform for individuals and organisations to reach a global audience and convey powerful messages. Recently, a popular content creator on YouTube, Tom Scott, produced a short video helping to outline the purpose of Legal Deposit and by extension, the work being carried out by UKWA.”

Yale Insights: A Better Algorithm Can Bring Volunteers to More Organizations . “An online platform was connecting millions of volunteers with opportunities—but many organizations were not finding any volunteers at all. Yale SOM’s Vahideh Manshadi and her collaborators found that the platform was steering volunteers toward a small group of opportunities. By building equity into the algorithm, they were able to help more organizations find the volunteers they need.” Good morning, Internet…

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