AI Model Transparency, Google, Twitter, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 22, 2023


The Verge: The world’s biggest AI models aren’t very transparent, Stanford study says. “Today, Stanford HAI released its Foundation Model Transparency Index, which tracked whether creators of the 10 most popular AI models disclose information about their work and how people use their systems. Among the models it tested, Meta’s Llama 2 scored the highest, followed by BloomZ and then OpenAI’s GPT-4. But none of them, it turned out, got particularly high marks.”


TechCrunch: Google takes aim at Duolingo with new English tutoring tool. “Rolling out over the next few days for Search on Android devices in Argentina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Venezuela, with more countries and languages to come in the future, the new feature will provide interactive speaking practice for language learners translating to or from English, Google writes in a blog post.”

CNBC: X, formerly Twitter, will launch two new subscription tiers, Elon Musk says. “X, the social media service formerly known as Twitter, will launch two new tiers of subscriptions for users, its owner Elon Musk said on Friday. One tier will be ‘lower cost with all features, but no reduction in ads,’ while the other is “more expensive, but has no ads,’ Musk said.”

Search Engine Journal: Google’s October 2023 Core Update Now Complete. “First announced on October 5, the October 2023 Core Update is expected to significantly shift search rankings, as previous core updates have done. Core updates target the primary ranking systems in Google’s search engine algorithms. They aim to promote authoritative, trustworthy, and helpful content while downgrading low-quality sites.”


Washington Post: Elon Musk’s X removes the New York Times’ verification badge. “The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has removed the gold ‘verified’ badge from the New York Times’ account amid ongoing complaints about the news organization from X owner Elon Musk.”

Refinery29: Archivo Cubanecuir is Preserving the History of Trans & Queer Cuba. “In 2019, while living in Brooklyn, [Librada González Fernández] began to fulfill her childhood dream by creating the Archivo Cubanecuir, an archive documenting the lives of Cubans who have lived outside of the gender norm. She has been connecting with cuir (queer) Cuban elders across the Caribbean island and the United States to collect their photos, letters, and artifacts, piecing together the folklore she wished she had access to when she was younger.”

Know Your Meme: What Is ‘Thirst Trap Propaganda’? The Bizarre Phenomenon Of Militaries Posting Hot Soldiers On Social Media. “Often when people talk about social media being used for military purposes, they’re discussing things like disinformation, misinformation, election interference or recruiting. But there’s also another kind of reported psyop underway on TikTok and other social media platforms: ‘thirst trap propaganda,’ which features attractive soldiers of armies around the world partaking in internet trends and dances.”


US Department of Justice: Social Media Influencer Sentenced for Election Interference in 2016 Presidential Race . “According to court documents, by 2016, Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, had established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers. A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as one of the most significant influencers of the then-upcoming presidential election. Between September 2016 and November 2016, Mackey conspired with other influential Twitter users and with members of private online groups to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages that encouraged supporters of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to ‘vote’ via text message or social media, which was legally invalid. ”

Bloomberg: Google, Meta and Apple Win US Approval for Mobile VR Devices. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. won approval from US regulators to deploy a new set of mobile virtual- and augmented-reality devices, including goggles and in-car connections. The gadgets would be allowed to tap airwaves used by Wi-Fi-enabled devices, the Federal Communications Commission decided in a 5-0 vote Thursday.”

Decrypt: SBF Asked Former FTX Lawyer to Find ‘Legal Justifications’ for Missing Customer Funds. “FTX former general counsel, Can Sun, testified on Thursday that Sam Bankman-Fried asked him to craft ‘legal justifications’ to explain why billions of dollars of customer funds were missing, as the exchange struggled to process customer withdrawals last November.”


CNN: Musk’s X cashes in on ‘superspreaders’ of Israel-Hamas misinformation, new report finds. “Some of the biggest peddlers of misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war on Elon Musk’s X platform are premium, so-called ‘verified’ accounts that pay the social media company formerly known as Twitter to promote their posts to boost visibility, a report released Thursday found.”

University of Michigan: Choosing exoskeleton settings like a Pandora radio station. “Of course, what’s simple for the users is more complex underneath, as a machine learning algorithm repeatedly offers pairs of assistance profiles that are most likely to be comfortable for the wearer. The user then selects one of these two, and the predictor offers another assistance profile that it believes might be better. This approach enables users to set the exoskeleton assistance based on their preferences using a very simple interface, conducive to implementing on a smartwatch or phone.” Good morning, Internet…

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