for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
AI Ethics: Determined by committee or crowdsourced?
Anne says: If you follow our Friday Faves weekly, you’ll know that we all write about AI – Artificial Intelligence – and the impact, both positive and negative, that is predicted to lie ahead as AI becomes ubiquitous. Personally, I’ve been concerned about the effects of bias in AI – can we ever achieve a level of objectivity? Bias embedded in algorithms is just about unavoidable – my post in November 2018 addressed some of the issues – so here’s a bit of follow-up.
Google announced last week, the creation of an independent council – the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) – to guide the ethics of its AI projects. Sounds great, right? Maybe…. but wait… there are only 8 members and although the diversity sounds impressive. However, within a week nearly 1,000 people (855 Google employees and 143 other people, including a number of prominent academics) had signed a letter of protest against the council.
What’s going on? Surely an independent council is a good thing? The issue, in this case, is related to independence. One member is CEO of a company that develops defence industry systems. As the article points out:
“…a contentious choice given that thousands of Google employees protested the company’s decision to supply the US Air Force with AI for drone imaging.
And another is president of “… a think tank that opposes regulating carbon emissions, takes a hard line on immigration, and has argued against the protection of LGBTQ rights.”
But if diversity of ideas is necessary to avoid bias in algorithms, then do these choices pose a threat? Yes – they do! And hence the reason so many people involved in the projects have protested against the council membership. Algorithms can (and do) reinforce biases that exist in society. In addition, while there’s a bias that can shape our views, there is also bias that prioritises commercial profit.
The article recommends including representatives from vulnerable communities to ensure bias. But, will that not then skew the bias towards these groups?
The problem has another way to consider avoiding bias – use a crowdsourced model. The second article, although written in 2017, presents another way to look at the ethics of AI. This model presented people with a number of choices regarding autonomous cars. There’s a number of videos that outline the research and demonstrate the challenges. However, although the researchers acknowledge the potential for biases in these sample groups, their early findings suggest a democratic approach to the ethics of AI may provide a moral framework.
There can be no doubt the problem of ethics and bias in AI is going to be one of society’s biggest challenges over the next decade. This is not something we should leave to the “independent councils” but something we all need to be aware of in an attempt to contribute to more ethical and moral use of AI.
Less pizza, more yoga: esports embraces traditional training methods
Helen says: The question of whether esports is actually a sport is not new, in fact early last year this was a topic for one of my Friday Faves. If you are sitting on the fence about this, read on. Esports is big business, millions of dollars are up for grabs in prize money and sponsorship. As this business grows it seems to be drawing greater parallels with traditional sports.
I found it interesting to note that one of the biggest challenges facing these trainers is to get their gamers to see themselves as elite athletes. Lars Robi, a sports psychologist who works with gamers said, “They have the same DNA, they’re just not aware of it yet.” Is the gamer’s perception of themselves a reflection of past public opinion? If it is, I think it is set to change.
Spider silk could be used to make robotic muscles
Joel says: All throughout my childhood and even to this day one of my favourite entertainment franchises was Spider-Man. He was a great grounded hero whose character was relatable not only to myself but for many young people that were into superheroes. But the reason I think I liked it the most was because although the stories were full of superhero and supernatural tropes, many aspects of the story, especially it’s villains came to be because of experiments (often failed ones) involving mixing human and animal characteristics or DNA.
Because of that headlines like this always get me excited. Seeing that blend of the human/technology side getting inspired by attributes of natural creatures has me eager to see what the future has in store for us.
This piece from Science Focus talks about a recent study conducted on spider silk that found that the strong fibres that make up the web would strengthen and contract when exposed to humid air. And when the environment became humid enough the web would begin to twist. The researchers believe that the force generated by the twisting motion would be enough to move robotic components if used on a larger scale.
The team then identified the molecule within the web that caused the twisting to occur and are now attempting to reproduce it using synthetic materials. Thankfully this means we won’t need spider farms set up around the world just to harvest silk.
If these types of stories also interest you, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about animal characteristics inspiring technology design. You can check out how mosquitoes have led to developing stealthier drones here and read about how lizards are improving robotic design here.
A comprehensive (and honest) list of UX clichés
Jakkii says: I’ve been so deeply immersed in pulling together social media links this week – and you’ll notice it’s a ‘bumper’ issue this week – that I wanted to keep my contributions relatively light-hearted this week. Enter: this list of obvious UX clichés! 😉
If you’re a UXer, have worked in web (or other fields of) design, or even worked with someone in UX/design, you’ve probably heard some of these too – heck, you might even have used some of them, even if you’re not, by job title at least, the designer in the room. The first two are, for mine, the most obvious and, I think, the most likely to have been heard by many of you. Some of the others are a little more specific and may not jump out at you as much – so I’m also helpfully including a list of client design clichés most often delivered to those working in or on visual design.
AND, finally, just so it’s not all completely fluff from me this week, there’s an interesting read from 2011 on clichés in design: Examining the design process: clichés and idea generation.
This week in social media
- Social media laws clear parliament in a rush
- Atlassian billionaires slam ‘flawed’, ‘election-driven’ social media laws
- Laws targeting terror videos on Facebook and YouTube ‘rushed’ and ‘knee-jerk’, lawyers and tech industry say
- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter targeted by strict new social media laws in Australia. Here’s what it means
- Why are Australian politicians intensifying their presence on Chinese social media platforms?
- Who do Chinese-Australian voters trust for their political news on WeChat?
- ScoMo beefs up his social media presence ahead of the budget by joining Snapchat
Politics, democracy and regulation
- Mark Zuckerberg: OK, Fine, Regulate Facebook
- The dark side of regulating speech on Facebook
- Singapore plans law to fight false news, but critics fear repression
- New bill aims to rein in YouTube’s free-for-all approach to targeting kids
- Stop outsourcing the regulation of hate speech to social media
- Chad – where social media has been cut for a year
- China regulator to set time limits on hot short-video apps
- What Europe’s copyright overhaul means for YouTube, Facebook and the way you use the internet
- In India election, false posts and hate speech flummox Facebook
- Israeli researchers – hundreds of fake Twitter accounts boost Netanyahu
- WhatsApp launches a tip line in India to battle fake news ahead of national elections
- How Twitter and other social media can draw the US into foreign interventions
- Twitter backtracks after France caught out by its own fake news law
- Reddit, Telegram among websites blocked in India: internet groups
Privacy and data
- Hundreds of millions of Facebook records exposed on public servers – report
- Facebook exposed data again, but this viral cat can save lives
- The business of your face
- Facebook gets one step closer to building your virtual copy
Society and culture
- How a 119-word local crime brief became Facebook’s most-shared story of 2019
- Cringe and cash: A day in the life of two of TikTok’s rising stars
- The bias that makes us spend and not save
- I spent a week on TikTok and all I got was a new phone addiction
- On Reddit, police are reaching communities they can’t on Facebook or Twitter
- Social media challenge for farmers brings hope amid devastating floods
- This tool judges your Twitter for subconscious gender bias
- TikTok is popular, but Chinese apps still have a lot to learn about global markets
- Facebook and Google will be considered unthinkable 50 years from now
- This AR documentary is hiding inside Snapchat
- Why is TikTok so popular in India?
Cybersecurity and safety
- New guidelines produced to help parents ensure safe use of social media among children
- Facebook caught asking for new users’ email passwords
- TikTok to collaborate with Internet Matters to keep kids safe online
Extremism and hate speech
- How extremism came to thrive on YouTube
- YouTube exec denies the existence of ‘rabbit hole effect’ that definitely exists
- Leaked emails show Facebook is still struggling to tackle hate speech
- It shouldn’t take a tragedy for tech companies to fight hate on their platforms
- Video playlist: The alt-right playbook
- How the Christchurch shooter used memes to spread hate
- On Instagram, the kids are alt-right
Moderation and misinformation
- All those annoying April Fool’s pranks you’ll see Monday might help researchers better detect fake news
- Facebook asks for public input about its plans for a content oversight board
- Conspiracy theories can’t be stopped
- A look at the click businesses manufacturing social media engagement
- Facebook removes hundreds of pages engaged In “inauthentic behavior” in The Philippines
- Facebook’s misinformation problem is only getting more complicated
- The armchair psychologist who ticked off YouTube
Marketing, advertising and PR
- How connecting with customers became the unofficial theme of Social Media Marketing World 2019
- Instagram considers ad products to compensate stars on IGTV
- Is Facebook organic marketing dead?
- Brands can now add poll stickers to Instagram Stories ads
- Tips to target Chinese travellers
- Snapchat will power Stories & ads in other apps
- Facebook wants to take another crack at news with a dedicated tab
- Facebook pulls back the curtain on its newsfeed algorithm
- Facebook is ‘exploring restrictions’ for live video after Christchurch attack
- Here’s how to add captions to your Instagram Stories to make them more accessible
- Subtitles Can Now Be Added to Videos on Twitter
- Instagram may finally let users rewind and fast forward through videos
- How to get Twitter’s new ‘Lights Out’ dark mode on iOS
- Killed By Google is a digital graveyard of the company’s dead products
- Foursnap? Snapchat tries ‘Status’ location check-ins
- Snapchat launches Scan, its AR utility platform
Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast
This week: a lot of #AppleNews, platforms and piracy. Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.
The stories this week:
Apple’s not building a Netflix killer. It’s got something bigger in mind
The danger of ‘I already pay for Apple News+’
Online piracy is upping its game to compete with Netflix
Other stories we bring up:
The real choice you make when you subscribe to Apple services
Our previous discussions of #breakupbigtech here and here
Apple Card will make credit card fraud a lot more difficult
We previously discussed subscription services in Australia and China
If you get the Apple Card you may never leave the iPhone