Category Archives: Think Tank Reports

Search and politics

Search and Politics: The Uses and Impacts of Search in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United States reports the results of an online poll of Internet users about how they use search, social media, and other important media to get information about political candidates, issues, and politics generally. From the abstract:

Global debate over the impact of algorithms and search on shaping political opinions has increased following dramatic election results in Europe and the US. Powerful images of the Internet enabling access to a global treasure trove of information have shifted to worries over whether those who use search engines and social media are being fed inaccurate, false, or politically targeted information that distorts public opinion. There are serious questions over whether biases embedded in the algorithms that drive search engines and social media have major political consequences, such as creating filter bubbles or echo chambers. For example, do search engines and social media provide people with information that aligns with their beliefs and opinions or do they challenge them to consider countervailing perspectives? Most generally, the predominant concern is do these media have a major impact on public opinion and political viewpoints, and if so, for the better or worse.

— Joe

A DARPA perspective on artificial intelligence

According to John Launchbury, director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, the development of artificial intelligence is progressing in three waves: handcrafted knowledge, statistical learning and contextual adaptation. In the below video, Launchbury explains his theory. From the YouTube description:

John Launchbury … attempts to demystify AI–what it can do, what it can’t do, and where it is headed. Through a discussion of the “three waves of AI” and the capabilities required for AI to reach its full potential, John provides analytical context to help understand the roles AI already has played, does play now, and could play in the future.

The video is a companion communication for Launchbury’s stack, A DARPA Perspective on Artificial Intelligence. Recommended. — Joe

The changing digital landscape and Americans’ reading and library habits

Hat tip Stephen Abram’s blog post for Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s Books, libraries, and the changing digital landscape stack that was presented by Kathryn Zickuhr. — Joe