Lean forward into 2024
Is the Fediverse pirate-proof social networking?
The forward-leaning morning newsletter for those
who love all things green
January 2, 2024
Topics: AI, death calculator, NY Times, Google, big tech, Bluesky, social apps, Mastodon, fediverse, ActivityPub, privacy
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🤔Can AI predict your lifespan? In Denmark, 6 million Danish citizens were part of a research model called "Life2vec". Do you find this to be alarming? The article was published recently in Nature Computational Science.
Insurance companies have been doing this for decades, and when using AI, the outcomes align with existing findings, such as; people with a high incomes are more likely to survive, while having a mental diagnosis or being male is connected with a higher risk of mortality. Danish Professor Sune Lehmann sees the merit in using AI to better understand human mobility, sleep, academic performance, and more. Can her models tell your lifespan?
Would you want to know if AI can predict your lifespan? Is it trustworthy? Life2vec has a “death calculator”, that they say exists to help users reshape their future for the better during their health journey. What do you think?
📰NY Times sues Al In a bold move, The New York Times filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAl, accusing them of copyright infringement. Their Al models are able to share New York Times content word for word. Will it be the first of many to call out big tech for "cribbing" content? Whether it's physical materials or digital content, when taken without permission, it can be regarded as stealing.
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) industry uses the resources of everything written to teach its computers how to be "intelligent". The lawsuit also wants OpenAl and Microsoft to stop using data from the The New York Times train their Al models. We'll see what the U.S. court system decides.
🦋Bluesky social platform Do you remember life before social media? How was that? Now that X (formerly Twitter) is likely to go down in flames, other social media platforms are emerging. Bluesky is one of them. Itwas being conceived by the founding CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and others years ago. Their goal is to decentralize the platform and create a fediverse.
Content moderation seems to be one of the major challenges for these social platforms. Bluesky has automated moderation tools for users. Without “thug control/content moderation,” advertisers are staying away from them; and without that revenue stream, currently the platforms can’t survive very long. However, in a decentralized and open source architecture, things can be different.
While still in beta mode by invite only, Bluesky has requested feedback from users. Some users want their accounts to be private, which also dissuades advertisers. After much angst, Bluesky claims it will soon allow users to choose whether they want their accounts to be public or private. With over 2 million users on the platform, sounds like the perfect time to launch that feature. Bluesky is hiring!
🐘Mastodon social platform Another social platform that is growing in the wake of the Twitter/X demise is called Mastodon. In an effort to become better than the other social platforms before it, Mastodon uses ActivityPub technology, which allows greater integration of social networks, called the fediverse.
Mastodon also aims to give users greater control through its open protocols. This prevents a single company from dominating it with bots, or algorithms like the earlier social (media) platforms have done.
💸Google settles for $5 billion Is secretly tracking users activity to collect and sell that data to third party advertisers an acceptable practice? A class action lawsuit filed against tech giant Google (Alphabet is the parent company) in 2020 posited that question. The suit seeks $5,000 in damages per user.
The plaintiffs set forth the argument that tools embedded in the Google search engine platform, such as cookies, apps, and Google analytics, tracked users activity even when in Incognito and private browsing modes. The case was scheduled to go to trial on Feb 5, 2024, and on Dec 29, Google settled the case and agreed to pay $5 billion in settlement fees. Most of the time defendants will settle to avoid unfavorable outcomes and limit their financial costs.
📶Easy tips to block ad and tracking Here’s a good link to explore ways to adjust your smartphone to prevent advertisers from tracking or advertising to you. It can also disrupt helpful information from coming to you, so play with it and see if it works for you. If not change everything back. Be brave, lean into the future and don’t back away.
Stay Curious... Who are we?
Fun question of the day:
Are you excited for 2024?
Who are we?
Have you test driven an EV?
90% of respondents said YES
Thanks again for being you. Until the next issue, be sure to add more green to your life!
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