CTMT’s Read/Watch/Listen List
AI and Local News
The Knight Foundation is investing $3 million to help local news organizations up their artificial intelligence game. The goal is to help these stressed organization build reporting and sustainability capacity. Researchers conducted an industry survey to help Knight better understand the issue, and this article outlines what they found. Useful resource: A list of 130 AI-fueled projects done by news organizations during the past three years.
Racism and AI
Kamau Bell’s “United Shades of America” series on CNN focused on techno-racism in its May 9 edition. The accompanying story on CNN’s website provides a worthwhile overview of the issue. Useful resource: Links to a GAO report on facial recognition technology, a UC Berkeley study on bias in mortgage algorithms, the work of nonprofit AI for People, and NYU’s Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project researching digital technology’s impact on marginalized groups. The story also points to the documentary “Coded Bias,” which is an excellent deep dive into the issue.
As noted above, watching this documentary on Netflix is well-worth the time – and actually demands repeated viewing as we learn more about bias in AI. It should also prompt a follow of M.I.T. Media Lab researcher and Algorithmic Justice League founder Joy Buolamwini on Twitter, if you aren’t doing that already. While we’re at it, we recommend that you give a listen to Kara Swisher’s conversation with Buolamwini on her New York Times podcast “Sway.”
New Models for Local News
The decimation of local news is an important piece of the trust crisis, as news at all levels becomes increasingly driven by polarized national social media wars. A new model for newspaper ownership in Colorado is a ray of hope in a space that desperately needs innovative approaches. Useful resource: The story includes a discussion of how efforts to support local news models have too often ignored independent news organizations serving communities of color.
Regulating Social Media Platforms
Australia’s new law requiring Facebook and Google to negotiate with news organizations to pay for content or face arbitration as draw attention around the world as a test case on how to make the platforms support the journalism that contributes to their economic model. But unintended consequences abound, argues Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. As usual, Bell’s thoughtful analysis is a bracing reminder that there are no easy answers when it comes to the relationship between the platforms and the survival of fact-based journalism.
Posted: May 21, 2021