Well, we know one of the big pieces of news from this week. This week’s headline quote comes from Mark Zuckerberg, responding to concerns that Facebook helped spread misinformation and fake news stories that influenced how Americans voted. Authenticity can be interpreted in a lot of ways – library professionals help people better understand that every day. But I was reminded today that one of the most important ways that libraries and library professionals demonstrate their authenticity is by finding ways to be responsive to their communities - #librariesrespond – and that is a constant now and in 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. And if you have a chance, drop me a line to let me know if any of the articles we’ve featured in this newsletter have really grabbed your attention, made you think, or inspired a great conversation at work.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
Wired "Allen Institute for AI eyes the future of scientific search"
The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a nonprofit created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, unveiled Semantic Scholar, a search engine that uses machine learning and other AI to improve the way academics search through the growing body of public research, unearthing papers, targeting specific results, and revealing images, by using natural language processing algorithms and computer vision technology.
Motherboard "Robots will take two-thirds of all jobs In the developing world, UN says"
A new United Nations report warns that automation could replace “about two thirds of all jobs” in developing nation, especially in sectors like farming and manufacturing.
Books and Publishing
Advertising Age "Teen Vogue cuts frequency to four issues a year"
Teen Vogue will shift from nine annual issues to four, investing in its digital presence where its audience has grown from 2.2 million visitors in September 2015 to 5.4 million in September 2016.
Vocativ "Distraught LGBTQ callers flood suicide hotlines after Trump’s victory"
Staff at the Trevor Project, the GLBT National Help Center, and Trans Lifeline have reported increases in call volumes since the results of the US presidential election, possibly the highest over the past four years and comparable to the volume of calls received following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, showing young LGBTQ people’s concerns for their safety under the upcoming administration. See also The Verge.
Government Technology "Autonomous delivery robots to hit Redwood City, Calif., streets in December"
Redwood City passed a city resolution for a nine-month pilot program during which Starship Technologies will work with parcel delivery, grocery, and food delivery services, with hopes of making the robots 99% autonomous with deliveries taking five to 30 minutes from a local hub or retail outlet.
Fast Company “Silicon Valley gripped by uncertainty over impact of Trump's victory”
Having campaigned on revising trade agreements, requiring Apple to manufacture in the United States, and threatening an antitrust probe of Amazon, President-elect Trump has raised concerns for leaders in the technology sector. See also ArsTechnica, BuzzFeed, CNET, The Los Angeles Times, MIT Technology Review, TechCrunch and again and again and again, and Wired.
The Atlantic "Is Trump's victory the jump-start civics education needed?"
A new report from the Century Foundation, entitled “Putting Democracy Back into Public Education,” proposes that the contentious spirit of this election and the false information that was spread throughout the race may highlight the need for public education to focus on civics education, preparing young people to be reflective citizens who value liberty and the fundamental tenants of our democracy (separation of powers, a free press, free religious exercise, and the rights of political minorities).
The Chronicle of Higher Education "AAUP warns of historic threat to academic freedom posed by Trump"
The American Association of University Professors released a statement expressing many college faculty members’ concerns for academic freedom’s future given several statements and policy proposals made by President-elect Trump.
Inside Higher Ed "The future of the tiny liberal arts college"
Fifteen presidents from some of the United States’ smallest liberal arts institutions (enrollments under 800) met in New York City this summer to discuss the challenges and opportunities their institutions face, including the affordability of tuition, the opportunity for small institutions to quickly innovate, and the appeal of small learning environments for certain students.
KVUE "UT offering to help students transition from high school to college"
University of Texas at Austin and the Austin Independent School District will partner on a pilot program called Texas MicroMajor, encouraging high school students to take at least two courses from an approved list of UT Austin dual-credit courses and up to two other approved Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college courses to help high school students prepare for the rigors of college courses and the framework of STEM, arts, or humanities majors.
The Atlantic "What President Trump will mean for Earth’s climate"
A look at how President-Elect Trump’s policies will affect the environment, including intentions to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement or refusing to recognize the agreement’s obligations, reducing or eliminating American support for UN climate science, and terminating President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. See also Environment 360, MIT Technology Review, Science, The Verge, Vocativ, and Wired.
The New York Times "Facebook, in cross hairs after election, is said to question its influence"
Facing concerns that it helped spread misinformation and fake news stories that influenced how Americans voted, Facebook is internally considering its responsibilities as a nonpartisan information source, its creation of “filter bubbles” for users, and its potential for use as a platform to spread racist and or alt-right memes. See also Bloomberg, The Daily Dot and again, Digiday, Engadget and again, Fast Company, Gizmodo and again and again and again, Mashable and again, Nieman Lab, Poynter, ReCode and again and again, Slate, TechCrunch and again and again, The Telegraph, The Verge and again and again, Vocativ and again, Vox, and Wired.
Motherboard “Here’s how President Trump could destroy net neutrality”
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, who has championed a variety of pro-consumer and pro-competition policies including net neutrality rules, is expected to step down ahead of President-Elect Trump’s inauguration, clearing the way for what may be a series of policies that deregulate the industry and benefit larger cable and phone companies. See also ArsTechnica, Engadget, and The Verge.
USA Today "Facebook to stop ads that target, exclude races"
Facebook will no longer allow advertisers to exclude specific racial and ethnic groups when placing ads related to housing, credit, or employment, reversing an advertising feature first reported by Pro Publica that raised concerns for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New York Attorney General, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. See also ArsTechnica and again, CNET, Engadget, Fusion, Motherboard, Slate, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Reuters “Trump election ignites fears over U.S. encryption, surveillance policy”
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to be a 'law and order' president has raised concerns for technology companies, civil libertarians, and citizens, fearful that new administration and the Republic congress might expand surveillance programs and push for government access to encrypted information. See also Mashable, Motherboard, The Verge, and Vocativ.
Business Insider "The average Netflix subscriber watches almost twice as much Netflix as they did 5 years ago"
Netflix subscribers have been steadily consuming more and more content, rising from 310 hours per year in 2011 to an estimated 600 hours of content in 2016.
Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence
Forbes "Inside Magic Leap, the secretive $4.5 billion startup changing computing forever"
A focus for investors and tech enthusiasts over the past several months, Magic Leap has spent a billion dollars perfecting a prototype and has begun constructing manufacturing lines in preparation for the consumer version of its technology, which could introduce a new computing interface that could affect every business that uses screens or computers.