This report published by Bavarian Broadcasting shows quite clearly how ‘decision support systems’ based on artificial intelligence (AI) can be far less objective than expected.
The report investigates the question of whether or not AI can make the selection process of candidates more objective and faster. Admittedly, it does not say much about the ‘speed’ of the process, but it sheds light on how easy it is to tweak its results around. A scarf, a pair of glasses, or a library background clearly alter the result scores of the algorithm.
The study adopts an AI system and algorithm designed and developed by a German start-up, and it is measured against the OCEAN Model for personality traits.
Months ago I found this game/simulation: Troll Factory. Produced by Yle & Yle News Lab to promote awareness on how fake news factories work by relying on bots, misinformation, and levering on emotions, fears, and stereotypes.
The specific theme of the web game/simulation is around immigration, and it uses examples of authentic social media content. The theme of the game was chosen by Yle based on background research their data shows that anti-immigration material is circulating widely in Europe, North America and Asia. Continuing information operations around immigration using fake news, internet memes and the polarization of public discourse are systematic and organized.
This very well resembles, or at least sheds some light on, La Bestia (The Beast) di M. Salvini italian far-right/populist ‘politician’. As it was also explained on this video/inquiry (only in Italian): https://youtu.be/fkCNU1Rtqws
La Bestia di Salvini has had a lot of traction during the last 4-5 years (2015-2019), in particular during the years when Lega and Salvini entered government and could rely on both visibility and easier (and according to some unlawful) access to public funding, as well as on the perceived, yet non-existing, ’emergency’ of migrants’ invasion on Italian coasts.
Here a couple of articles (in Italian) focusing on La Bestia:
An interesting, and at the same time irritating, visualization of stuff gravitating around our planet. Much of this stuff consists of actual functioning satellites, but as you can see, most of it is just debris and pieces of rockets.
This reminds me of both the Story of Stuff project/movie and of Musk’s car thrown into space just for the sake of it.
Things under the ‘gig economy’ (or within platform capitalism) change very rapidly, and I do not know to what extent the parameters of the game created by the Financial Times about Uber are still sound. I guess that by and large conditions of gig workers have not improved, although everywhere in US and EU, single States are trying to better regulate, in a way or another (e.g. California passes Ab5 act; ruling of Employment Appeal Tribunal in UK), platform’s management of their workers and the rights/conditions they provide them with.
It is interesting enough, though, to try out and experience a typical working week of an Uber driver.
Peer-to-Peer Foundation (Ira Mollay and Michel Bauwens, in particular) has finalized a structured bibliography focusing on Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and the Commons.
A very valuable and interesting resource for anyone interested and/or working on commons. It includes nearly 500 items (peer-reviewed articles) clustered along 6 chapters.
Often we complain about Facebook, Google, YouTube and other platforms, and even more often people believe that everybody keeps using them, because there are no valid alternatives.
That is not true, and here at Switching Social they have collected a thorough list of alternatives to the most used and renowned social media/platforms. As clarified in their FAQ: these alternatives, while not perfect, have a much better configuration or design with regards to users’ privacy and the underlying ‘business models’ (steering clear from typical venture capitalist ones).
My current project is soon coming to an end, and during the last few weeks, I have been busy organizing a final outreach event that relates to it. Only small details remain to be sorted out now. The large bulk of work has been done, and I am fairly sure that with all the diverse contributions hosted during the event we will have a very interesting day.
Here, you can find more information on:
The Long Now of the Commons – People, Infrastructures and Dilemmas
17th October 2019, 9.00-16.30, IT University of Copenhagen
The event will gather contributions by internationally renowned researchers and practitioners experts in the topic. Attendance is free and open to anyone interested.
If you plan to attend, please remember to register on eventbrite.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon Treedom for the first time (despite existing since 2010). An Italian platform/project addressing reforestation work in a sustainable and ethical way.
Treedom allows you to choose a type of tree and pick a few locations worldwide where to plant it in. Local farmers are then enrolled and paid via the platform to take care of planting the trees, which are geo-tagged and monitored via the platform.
They also have a wealth of information and side projects revolving around CO2 emission, sustainable development goals and the like.
A very interesting commoning project/platform.
In connection with my work on the ISSP project and with the help of colleague Joanna Saad-Sulonen, during the last months we activated an informal interest group around the topic of commons and commoning. While based (for practical logistic reasons) at IT University of Copenhagen, the group is open to anyone. The main goal of the group is to provide a venue for students, scholars, and practitioners to gather together and exchange ideas, ongoing works, collaboration, or simply to know more about commons and commoning.
The main activity through which the group has operated during spring 2019 has been that of a monthly reading group. Here, we spanned the vast literature around commons that exist in fields ranging from social sciences, economics, computer science, participatory design, urban planning, and more, in order to find interesting and provoking texts to read and discussed together. Students, researchers, junior and senior scholars has attended the meetings at ITU and when possible also joined remotely over video conferencing systems.
The group is currently on hold for the summer break, but we have already started brainstorming on the possible activities for the next term, and we will resume very soon with similar activities.
If you are interested, you can read a bit more about it on the Interest Group blog.