This week’s headline quotes Hakan Kostepen, executive director for strategy and innovation at Panasonic’s automotive systems unit, from a New York Times article about the future interiors of driverless cars.
A quick reminder if you are attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, please consider joining us for four sessions that explore the future of learning spaces, search, innovation, and data privacy.
James Neal, one of our wonderful colleagues at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, dropped me a note this week to let me know that he has been reading Data & Society’s report, “Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online,” as he thinks about the future of libraries. As you scan through these articles, consider dropping me a line to let me know what you're reading this week to help you think about the future.
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. I've finally put together a much overdue entry on Virtual Reality and your feedback on this or any of the entries is always welcome.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
The New York Times "Facebook will use artificial intelligence to find extremist posts"
Facebook will begin using artificial intelligence to help review inappropriate content related to terrorism, including flagging photos and videos of violent terrorist acts and stopping users from uploading such content. See also CNET, Engadget, Mic, and MIT Technology Review
Mashable "Facebook's 'M' can now give you suggestions in Spanish"
Facebook's artificial intelligence Messenger application "M," which provides users suggestions based on their conversation, can now be used in either English or Spanish. See also Engadget.
Cities and Government
NextCity "Here are the 33 Knight Cities Challenge winners"
The Knight Foundation announced 33 winning projects for their third Knight Cities Challenge, ranging from mural projects to ice skating paths to mobile voting booths.
Mashable "There’s an epidemic of LGBTQ hate violence. Here's how you can curb it."
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016" report details an especially difficult year for the LGBTQ community, including a total of 77 homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals (including those in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016) and continued experiences of verbal harassment, threats and intimidation, and online or mobile harassment – the majority of hate violence survivors surveyed identify as LGBTQ people of color.
NBC News "American Medical Association opposes transgender ‘bathroom bills’"
At its 2017 Annual Meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted an “Access to Basic Human Services for Transgender Individuals" resolution opposing controversial state "bathroom bills" that prevent transgender people from accessing public facilities that align with their gender identity and “can have immediate and lingering physical consequences, as well as severe mental health repercussions.” See also Mic.
The Washington Post "Here’s how much you would need to afford rent in your state"
A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition details how much a household must earn to be able to afford rent in every metropolitan area and county in the country and finds that individuals have to earn $17.14 an hour, on average, to be able to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment without having to spend more than 30% of their income on housing and $21.21 an hour to afford a two-bedroom home – renters in the U.S. make, on average, $16.38 an hour and the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Vocativ "One-third of world is now overweight or obese"
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that 2.2 billion people could be classified as obese or overweight worldwide, a result of the proliferation of inexpensive yet nutrient-deficient processed foods and decreased levels of physical activity in urban areas. See also The New York Times.
The Daily Dot "University of Kansas is getting a trans-inclusive dorm"
The University of Kansas will open a new “Gender Inclusive Housing” dormitory option, available for trans students as well as gay, bisexual, queer, and gender non-conforming students, or anyone else interested in an inclusive housing experience.
Consumerist "Education Secretary Betsy DeVos “resets” rules on for-profit colleges"
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to “reset” the Gainful Employment rule, which requires that for-profit educators demonstrate their former students are making a living wage after they graduate, and the Borrower Defense rule, which would protect students at schools with deceptive practices. See also The New York Times.
Inside Higher Ed "Facebook, an online learning platform?"
Facebook is testing new features in its developer community that allow groups to list course units that link to one another – the feature is currently used to connect local developers with one another and create training programs for developers who participate in the circles.
Engadget "Girl Scouts can start earning cybersecurity badges in fall 2018"
The Girl Scouts will partner with Palo Alto Networks to release 18 new cybersecurity badges, covering data privacy, cyberbullying, coding skills, and creating firewalls. See also CNN.
Reuters "Google tightens measures to remove extremist content on YouTube"
Google will implement more measures to identify and remove terrorist or violent extremist content on YouTube, including issuing a warning and not monetizing or recommending offending videos for user endorsements.
Journalism and News
Poynter "The New York Times is teaming up with Alphabet’s Jigsaw to expand its comments"
The New York Times will use Jigsaw’s machine learning technology, Perspective, to increase the number of stories open for comments – placing algorithms as a first line of defense against toxic comments and freeing up The Times' community editors to sort through comments on 25% of all articles and eventually up to 80%. See also Mashable, Nieman Lab, ReCode, and The Verge.
Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces
Bloomberg "Amazon to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion"
Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, a deal that could bring the e-commerce giant into hundreds of physical stores and fulfill Amazon’s vision of selling more groceries. See also Ars Technica, CNET, Consumerist, The Daily Dot, The Drum, Engadget, GeekWire, Gizmodo, Inc., Mashable, Mic, The New York Times, ReCode, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Wired "Amazon expanded its empire—and its place in society"
Its move to purchase Whole Foods brings Amazon closer to its long-held ambition of becoming the “world’s store” and, in so doing, reshaping consumerism, transforming traditional retail, threatening jobs, and raising expectations for convenient delivery. For job implications, see also Mashable and The New York Times; for delivery implications, see also GeekWire, ReCode and again, and TechCrunch; for retail implications, see also Advertising Age, CNET and again, Engadget, Fast Company, GeekWire, Mashable, Motherboard, The Verge, and Wired.
The New York Times "Envisioning the car of the future as a living room on wheels"
We’ve shared these stories before, but another interesting look at how driverless cars will create a new space for people to relax, work, and consume media, now that our attention shifts away from a focus on driving.
The Boston Globe "At the BPL, there’s a playwright in the house"
Since completing renovation of its Central Library, the Boston Public Library has experimented with new ways to activate the space and offer programming, including a new playwright-in-residence partnership with Fresh Ink Theatre that has the playwright use library resources and lead workshops at branches.
Fast Company "The grocery store of the future is mobile, self-driving, and run by AI"
Wheely’s Moby Mart will bring a 24-hour, driverless, cashless convenience store on wheels to Shanghai. See also MIT Technology Review.
The Verge "Herman Miller debuts new smart office furniture that sets activity goals"
Furniture maker Herman Miller introduced Live OS, a new suite of smart office furniture that collects anonymized data for how spaces and pieces of furniture are being utilized.
The Verge "Amazon granted a patent that prevents in-store shoppers from online price checking"
Amazon has received a new patent titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control” that would allow a retailer to intercept network requests on its in-store Wi-Fi and act upon them in various ways including sending price comparison information, a coupon, complementary item suggestions, or even blocking content outright. See also Engadget, Inc., Mashable, and TechCrunch.
Android Police "Netflix places limits on how many times you can download certain content"
Netflix’s downloading functionality apparently comes with a catch – some content can only be downloaded a certain number of times in a given period based on the content owner's rules. See also CNET, Consumerist, The Verge.
The Verge "HBO, Netflix, other Hollywood companies join forces to fight piracy"
A group of 30 entertainment companies, including Netflix, HBO, and NBCUniversal, have formed the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) to conduct research and work closely with law enforcement to find and stop pirates from stealing movies and TV shows. See also Engadget.
Quartz "With more than 50 million US subscribers, Netflix has finally surpassed cable TV"
New data from Statista and Leichtman Research Group finds that the largest cable-TV providers in the US (Comcast, Charter, Altice, Mediacom, and Cable ONE) now have fewer combined subscribers than Netflix – cable TV had a combined 48.6 million subscribers in the US versus 50.9 million at Netflix as of March 2017. See also Engadget.
MIT Technology Review "The octogenarians who love Amazon’s Alexa"
A look at how Front Porch, a nonprofit organization that runs the Carlsbad by the Sea retirement community, is piloting Amazon Echoes to help seniors set alarms, stream music, listen to audiobooks, check the news, set medication reminders, and alleviate loneliness.