This week’s headline comes from NextCity’s recent article highlighting public libraries in Australia. It seems like an appropriate banner as we start National Library Week – a reminder of the connection libraries broker between the physical and the digital.
You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work.
And as you scan through these articles, consider dropping me a line to let me know what you've read this week to help prepare for the future.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
Vocativ "AI privacy assistants could stop you from exposing sensitive info"
Research from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany points to the possibility for artificial intelligence to learn a person’s privacy preferences and caution them whenever private information might be exposed in pictures or other content posted to social media.
ReCode “Facebook is using AI in private messages to suggest an Uber or remind you to pay a friend”
Facebook will leverage its artificial intelligence program M to suggest things to users based on their private conversations in the standalone Messenger app – in an effort to protect privacy, messaging content will not be used to target advertising and collected data will not be used by humans. See also The Drum, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Cities and Government
NextCity "Cities are driving a public library boom in Australia"
An interesting look at how Australian cities are pursuing alternate paths towards reinventing public library spaces.
Pew Research Center "Disabled Americans are less likely to use technology"
With more than 56 million people in the United States living with a disability, insight from Pew’s survey are concerning – disabled Americans are nearly three times as likely as those without a disability to say they never go online (23% vs. 8%), roughly 20 percentage points less likely to say they subscribe to home broadband, and are less likely to have multiple devices that enable them to go online.
The Drum "MTV Movie Awards switches to gender neutral categories"
The MTV Movie Awards will drop male and female distinctions in favor of gender neutral ‘Best Performance’ categories.
The Huffington Post "Emmys tell non-binary star they can choose their award category"
In response to a request from Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary and plays the first gender non-binary character on a mainstream television show, the Television Academy clarified that non-binary performers would be “free to choose the category they wish to enter.”
Mashable "Lyft partners with the National Federation of the Blind to make rides more accessible"
In partnership with the National Federation of the Blind, ride-hailing service Lyft will work to increase awareness of blind passengers' rights, advocate for effective transportation access policies, and expand transportation options for blind passengers and those with low vision.
Consumerist "The retail sector lost 30,000 jobs last month"
A new federal jobs report shows that nearly 30,000 retail sector jobs were eliminated in March – and over 34,000 were lost in February – with general merchandise stores seeing the greatest losses while auto dealers, garden supply, and non-store retailers added positions.
NPR "A new look at the lasting consequences of student debt"
New analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that recent college graduates who borrowed money for their education are leaving school with an average of $34,000 in student loans (up from $20,000 just 10 years ago), significantly hurting their chances of buying a home later in their life.
The New York Times "Why kids shouldn’t sit still in class"
Consideration for a growing movement to intersperse brief activity breaks during the school day to help children learn and be more attentive in class.
Fast Company “Twitter just announced a new service to reduce your mobile data usage”
Twitter Lite is a new mobile web app of the company's service designed for users needing to limit data usage or for those in slow-connection areas of the world. See also Consumerist, The Drum, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Poynter “Google is now highlighting fact checks in search”
Google will expand on its "Fact Check" tag in news results to offer similar tags in search results, featuring a snippet on results that have been fact checked by reliable sources with information on the source of the fact checking and its accuracy rating. See also ArsTechnica, CNET, The Drum, Engadget, Mashable, ReCode, and The Verge.
Journalism and News
The Drum "Facebook's mysterious rocket icon is surfacing recommended content for users via a 'second news feed'"
Facebook is testing a new rocket icon to launch an alternate news feed of recommended articles, pictures, and posts from sources users haven't yet followed but that Facebook believes they will be eager to read or watch. See also TechCrunch.
Advertising Age “Facebook adds signup buttons to win over skeptical Instant Articles partners”
Facebook will provide publishers with new features in its Instant Articles program, including options for users to sign up for publishers' newsletters, "like" their Facebook pages, and promote free trials of digital subscriptions to newspapers or encourage readers to download their apps, all helping to create a more direct relationship between publishers and Facebook readers. See also CNET and TechCrunch.
Nieman Lab “The News Integrity Initiative is taking a cross-industry approach to fixing the news trust problem”
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism announced the News Integrity Initiative focused on improving online news literacy and increasing trust in journalism with $14 million in support from 19 organizations and individuals, including Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, and the Democracy Fund. See also CNBC, CNET, and Mashable.
Poynter “Facebook rolls out global warning against fake news”
Facebook users in the United State and 13 other countries will begin to see an announcement at the top of their news feeds warning them about hoaxes and pointing them to a series of tips to help them to detect fake news – the announcement disappears after users see it three times and for those who click takes users to a page on Facebook's help center with tips for spotting false news, including checking the URL of the site, investigating the source, and looking for other reports on the topic. See also TechCrunch and The Verge.
ArsTechnica “Twitter balks at US demand to expose account condemning Trump policy”
The Trump administration, working through the Customs and Border Protection agency, issued a summons asking Twitter to expose the anonymous account holder behind the @ALT_uscis handle that has been critical of the US president's immigration policy. Twitter filed suit in San Francisco federal court asking a judge to invalidate the summons based on First Amendment grounds before the government ultimately withdrew its demand. See also (summons to Twitter) Vocativ and The Washington Post; (Twitter’s response) CNET, The Drum, Engadget, Forbes, Gizmodo, Mashable, Motherboard, ReCode, Reuters, TechCrunch, and The Verge; (withdrawal of demand) Consumerist The Drum, Gizmodo, Inc., Mashable, Reuters, TechCrunch, The Verge, and The Washington Post.
ArsTechnica "Amazon outbids Twitter for rights to livestream Thursday Night Football games"
Amazon will pay the National Football League $50 million for the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games during the 2017 season – unlike last year’s $10 million agreement with Twitter, the games Amazon streams will only be available to Amazon Prime members. See also Advertising Age, CNET, Consumerist, The Daily Dot, GeekWire and again, Inc., ReCode and again, and TechCrunch.
Consumerist "Spotify Premium users will get some albums two weeks before everyone else"
Spotify’s new licensing agreement with Universal Music Group will allow artists to delay their albums’ availability to free users a full two weeks after paid Spotify subscribers. See also ArsTechnica and CNET.
TechCrunch "One in five Facebook videos is Live"
After an advertising push and $100 million in direct incentives to publishers and broadcasters, Facebook now reports that one-fifth of the videos shared on its network are Live videos as Live broadcasting has quadrupled in the past year. See also CNET.
Consumerist “YouTube won’t sell ads on channels before they get 10K views”
To help cut down on copycats and opportunists eager to re-upload videos from genuine creators, YouTube will require a new channel to have 10,000 total views before it can put advertising on any of its videos via the YouTube Partner Program. See also ArsTechnica, CNET, Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
The Verge "Jay Z’s catalog has been pulled from Apple Music and Spotify"
Making clear the shifting access available on streaming media platforms, rapper Jay Z’s extensive catalog of solo music has been pulled from Apple Music and Spotify at the request of the artist. See also Engadget.
Pitchfork "Kanye’s Life of Pablo becomes first streaming-only album to go platinum"
With over 3 billion streams worldwide and 1.5 billion in the U.S., Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo is the first streaming-only album to gain Platinum RIAA certification. See also The Daily Dot, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
The Verge “Adidas reveals the first 3D-printed shoe it’ll mass-produce”
The mid-sole for Adidas’ Futurecraft 4D shoe is created using Continuous Liquid Interface Production, where the design is essentially pulled out of a vat of liquid polymer resin and fixed into its desired shape using ultraviolet light – the company will produce 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018. See also Vocativ.
Los Angeles Times “Companies start implanting microchips into workers' bodies”
Swedish start-up hub Epicenter, home to more than 100 companies and roughly 2,000 workers, offers to implant its workers and start-up members with microchips that function as swipe cards to open doors, operate printers, or buy food with a wave of the hand, raising security and privacy concerns. See also Consumerist, Mashable (video), and ReCode.