What we’re reading.
1/ Facebook’s algorithms create groups like ‘Jew Haters’ for advertisers to target, the company’s negligence enables hate groups to spew their messages, and it’s completely f*cking unacceptable. Learn More on ProPublica >
2/ Speaking of advertising platforms being used to spread hate, Google needs to do a better job of excluding hateful terms for ad-targeting. Just this past week, Google suggested ads be run next to terms like “black people ruin neighborhoods.” Learn More on BuzzFeed >
3/ Facial recognition systems take center stage in Apple’s new iPhone, and privacy experts fear the mathematical models of our faces being used to track our sexual orientation, political lives, and religious activities. Learn More on The Washington Post >
4/ Researchers at Georgia Tech create an AI system that study video game footage, and replicate the game engine. Learn More on Rolling Stone >
5/ Hackers with bad intentions train machine learning systems to collect people’s personal information and generate more effective phishing scams. Learn More on Gizmodo >
6/ A recent story from The Economist reported that an algorithm can scan a person’s face to detect her sexuality with high certainty, but the original study it’s based on is under fire. Learn More on Motherboard >
7/ Slight, simple spelling changes made to offensive words make it easy for humans to understand the original message, and incredibly difficult for AI models to detect toxicity. Learn More on Fast Company >
Awesome, not awesome.
“Corn plants chosen with the help of computers are growing in the U.S. this year, and algorithms are sifting North American weather data to anticipate crop threats such as pests and disease. …[T]he world’s largest seed company has been taking computers’ advice as it matches up corn strains to produce the highest-yielding and sturdiest varieties. The company aims to use machine learning to identify promising genetic patterns in microbes’ DNA sequences.” — Jacob Bunge, Reporter Learn More on The Wall Street Journal >
“[Merging which machines] is not necessarily a bad thing, but we’re not just merging with machines. But what we’re merging with [now] are machines that are run by companies that act as filters for the way in which we interact and process the world. And so the values of those companies become our values. We become dependent on these companies in a way in which we’ve never really been dependent on companies before. And this could all work out in a utopian, beautiful sort of way, or it could unfold as a dystopian, sci-fi nightmare.” — Franklin Foer, Journalist Learn More on NPR >
What we’re building.
At work, our inboxes fill up quicker than we can empty them, important knowledge and key decisions are posted and immediately lost in Slack, and most jobs require jumping between at least 3–5 siloed tools to do anything. Information overload is wreaking havoc on our ability to process information, make decisions, and be productive.
We’re building Journal to centralize and give you instant access to the conversations and knowledge you need to work faster. At the beginning of August, we shipped a new version of Journal to 40 beta testers.
Join our waitlist, and you’ll be one of the first people to get free access to our chrome extension. You’ll never forget important ideas or lose time recreating work again.