Celebs Find Their Art Doppelgangers on New App That Matches Selfies to Portraits

The Google Arts & Culture app — which boasts a feature matching selfies to museum portraits — has gone wildly viral. That’s thanks to a certain feature, called “Is your portrait in a museum?,” which uses facial recognition technology to couple a selfie with a portrait from a famous art gallery. The update was released a month ago, but celebs only caught on recently — as the app soared to the top of most downloaded on iPhones over the weekend. Celebrities took to Twitter to post their matches — reacting in frustration or amusement with the portraits selected by the app. The results have been varied and roundly entertaining:

China’s news agency is reinventing itself with AI

On the heels of billions of yuan of investment burrowed into China’s artificial intelligence scene, China’s state news agency has announced that it is rebuilding its newsroom to emphasize human-machine collaboration. Xinhua News Agency president Cai Mingzhao said Xinhua will build a “new kind of newsroom based on information technology and featuring human-machine collaboration.” The agency has also introduced the “Media Brain” platform to integrate cloud computing, the Internet of Things, AI and more into news production, with potential applications “from finding leads, to news gathering, editing, distribution and finally feedback analysis.” The agency’s announcement was sparse on details, but it’s the latest component of a deep push into AI by Continue reading "China’s news agency is reinventing itself with AI"

Why Does Google’s New ‘Fact-Check’ Feature Seem to Be Targeting Conservative Sites?

On Tuesday, the conservative site The Daily Caller made a bold claim, accusing Google of bias for a new feature they recently implemented. In the age of “fake news,” many websites like Facebook and Twitter are attempting to fight the spread of false information, which is an admirable objective. Here’s the “solution” Google has come up with: When searching individual websites that have a blatant political slant, two columns appear in a sidebar. One reads “Writes About” and the other reads “Reviews Claimed.” The first column is pretty self-explanatory, which is to point out the topics often covered on the site with links to recent articles. But the second column is essentially a fact-checking technique that shows links to other sites that refute or debunk articles written on the site you’re searching, often citing Snopes.com. The Daily Caller believes Google is “almost exclusively” targeting conservative sites. And
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Newsonomics: Can cross-subsidy (and nursing homes) help revive the Singapore Press?

— Even virtual monopolies get the blues. Singapore Press Holdings — publisher of its flagship Straits Times — is confronting the worldwide downturn in newspaper business fortunes. The large daily (383,000 daily circulation, print and digital) and its well-regarded parent SPH saw some tough numbers last year: down 16.9 percent in ad revenue, 13 percent in overall revenue and five percent in circulation revenue for the fiscal year ending September 2017. Profits suffered as well, down 33 percent. And SPH, which still employs 1,200 journalists across its array of 11 newspapers in four languages, magazines, and radio stations, announced significant job cuts in October, with 230 positions cut. The globally oriented company now plans to fund an overseas correspondent staff of 40. None of those results is news to North American or European publishers, who have suffered similarly. Print business woes are universal across the developed
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Cross-examining the network: The year in digital and social media research

Editor’s note: There’s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media — but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers? Our friends at Journalist’s Resource, that’s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry. Denise-Marie Ordway, JR’s managing editor, has picked out some of the top studies in digital media and journalism in 2017. She took over this task from John Wihbey, JR’s former managing editor, who summed up the top papers for us for several years. (You can check out his roundups from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.)

There’s never a shortage of fascinating scholarship in Continue reading "Cross-examining the network: The year in digital and social media research"

Fighting Fake News: Key Innovations in 2017 from Platforms, Universities and More

Click the image to read our entire series.

The term “fake news” entered the mainstream consciousness in 2016, but it has carried on through 2017, for better or for worse. Whether we call it yellow journalism or fake news, deliberate misinformation has always existed in the media world. But thanks to a combination of social media, Macedonian teenagers and the dawn of a post-truth political era, the conversation around fake news intensified this year. Even the pope issued a warning about the dangers of bogus news. Many educators expanded their efforts to teach media literacy, but that’s likely not enough. At the beginning of the year, we asked whether it was possible to solve the problem of fake news at all. That remains to be seen, but below is a look at the some notable projects that are working to do just that.

Duke University Tech & Check Cooperative

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Newsonomics: 15 terms that summed up 2017 in news and news coverage

This is the year America wishes it could take a shower long enough to wash away the scum of daily mud-slinging. Remember 2016? Last year, it seemed as if Tronc was the most memorable word of the news year, a new media name seemingly invented as self-parody. In 2017, the memorable words tumble onto the page. Let’s briefly catalog those that have pushed their way into our lexicon. Duopoly: Google and Facebook dominate the field of digital advertising — which is now the largest category of ad spending, surpassing TV in North America and the U.K. Google and Facebook have been taking almost 90 percent of all the digital ad growth in the market in the U.S. The remaining 10 percent or so is supposed to help support news media, as well as all other businesses dependent on advertising. The immense damage done to news media by the Continue reading "Newsonomics: 15 terms that summed up 2017 in news and news coverage"