In 2021, a company specializing in collecting and selling location data called Near bragged that it was “The World’s Largest Dataset of People’s Behavior in the Real-World,” with data representing “1.6B people across 44 countries.” Last year the company went public with a valuation of $1 billion (via a SPAC). Seven months later it filed for bankruptcy and has agreed to sell the company. Jon Keegan highlights the ramifications to the public.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Google brings privacy washing to Android; Xfinity discloses data breach after recent Citrix server hack; How to Check If Something Online Was Written by AI; and Artificial intelligence can find your location, alarming privacy experts.
Fact checking is a critical component to subject matter research regardless of customer, client, user sector or discipline. With the rapidity of information exchange on social media, it is increasingly important to identify and remove errors, misinformation, disinformation and untruths from any and all research that is delivered. Marcus P. Zillman’s guide includes actionable sources for professionals and students that are even more useful with the proliferation of AI as they assist researchers to validate the authority and purpose of the sources they use.
Antisemitism has moved from the right to the left in the US − and falls back on long-standing stereotypes
Prof. Arie Perliger, director of the graduate program in Security Studies at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell addresses the fact the the U.S. is currently experiencing one of the most significant waves of antisemitism that it has ever seen. Jewish communities are shaken and traumatized. Jewish and civil rights organizations both in the U.S. and in other Western countries reported a rise in antisemitic incidents following the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli military response. The Anti-Defamation League reported that in the first week after Hamas’ deadly attack, in which 1,400 Israelis were killed, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. tripled in comparison to the same week last year. Similarly, London police recorded a 1,353% increase in antisemitic crimes compared with the same period a year earlier. In addition, antisemitic symbols and rhetoric seem to be part of a growing number of protests that erupted around the globe following the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Some recent headlines have reported disturbing news about respected and respectable scholars falsifying or just ignoring data conclusions in scholarly papers. This is another example of the skepticism many of us have with the shifts in misinformation flooding our inboxes and newsfeeds, compelling each of us to exercise our critical thinking skills. And the examples we’re referring to aren’t even results of AI. It is human error, strong bias at play, or manipulative intention for one purpose or another. This leads us to another topic in our continuing explorations of human motivation. Why do we lie? Why do we cheat? Kevin Novak takes a deeper dive on this discussion about the issues and the people and actions that have been in the news recently.
Whether speaking with lawyers and law students who haven’t gotten around to trying ChatGPT or collaborating with post-doc explainable and legal AI experts with 20+ years of machine learning and Natural Language Processing experience, Colin Lachance, legal tech innovator and leader, is no closer to understanding in what way and precisely when permanent change will come, but is unshakeably convinced that change will be enormous, uneven, disruptive and, in many cases, invisible.
This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of AI’s fast paced impact on the banking and finance sectors. The chronological links provided are to the primary sources, and as available, indicate links to alternate free versions. Each entry includes the publication name, date published, article title and abstract. Four highlights from this week: European Central Bank Is Experimenting With a New Tool: A.I.; UM expert testifies on the dangers of AI in banking; 80% of Large Enterprise Finance Teams Will Use Internal AI Platforms by 2026.; and Five Use Cases for CFOs with Generative AI. Q&A with Alex Bant.
The pace of generative AI development (and hype) over the past year has been intense, and difficult even for us experienced librarians, masters of information that we are, to follow. Not only is there a constant stream of new products, but also new academic papers, blog posts, newsletters, and more, from people evaluating, experimenting with, and critiquing those products. With that in mind, Rebecca Fordon shares her favorites, as well as recommendations from her co-bloggers.
If you spend any time online, you probably have some idea that the digital ad industry is constantly collecting data about you, including a lot of personal information, and sorting you into specialized categories so you’re more likely to buy the things they advertise to you. But in a rare look at just how deep—and weird—the rabbit hole of targeted advertising gets, Investigative Data Journalist Jon Keegan and Visualizations Engineer Joel Eastwood of the The Markup analyzed a database of 650,000 of these audience segments, newly unearthed on the website of Microsoft’s ad platform Xandr. The trove of data indicates that advertisers could also target people based on sensitive information like being “heavy purchasers” of pregnancy test kits, having an interest in brain tumors, being prone to depression, visiting places of worship, or feeling “easily deflated” or that they “get a raw deal out of life.”
Nicole A. Cooke, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and a Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina, identifies the significant and socially charged work of librarians who are defending the rights of readers and writers in the battles raging across the U.S. over censorship, book challenges and book bans. Cooke states, “as long as there have been book challenges, there have been those who defend intellectual freedom and the right to read freely. Librarians and library workers have long been crucial players in the defense of books and ideas. At the 2023 annual American Library Association Conference, scholar Ibram X. Kendi praised library professionals and reminded them that “if you’re fighting book bans, if you’re fighting against censorship, then you are a freedom fighter.”