Search engines have become our most trusted sources of information and arbiters of truth. But can we ever get an unbiased search result? Swedish author and journalist Andreas Ekström argues that such a thing is a philosophical impossibility. In this thoughtful talk, he calls on us to strengthen the bonds between technology and the humanities, and he reminds us that behind every algorithm is a set of personal beliefs that no code can ever completely eradicate.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today announced a $1.9 million grant to the Internet Archive, the world’s largest public digital library, to develop a search engine that will provide unprecedented access to its extensive collection of webpages, also known as the Wayback Machine. The search engine will allow researchers, historians, and others to retrieve data and information from the billions of webpages and websites stored in the Wayback Machine and will ensure that there is a comprehensive, open record of the Internet that is accessible to all. READ MORE: Laura and John Arnold Foundation Announces $1.9 Million Grant to Develop Internet Archive Search Engine | Laura and John Arnold Foundation
For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain, said Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist with the company, outlining for the first time the emerging role of AI in search. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries. READ MORE: Google Turning Its Lucrative Web Search Over to AI Machines | Bloomberg
CareerLabs uses big data to explore all aspects of a company, from maternity leave to morale, growth, and financial health…
…The way CareerLabs works is simple: You sign up for free (you can use a Facebook or a LinkedIn profile) and start browsing job listings aggregated from other online job boards. CareerLabs layers in data on companies’ financial health and growth prospects, compensation, health care, career progression, culture, and management, among other criteria, to show candidates as full a picture of the business and its staff as possible…
…CareerLabs currently tracks and monitors 70% of all U.S. companies, which amounts to over 22 million organizations, and gathered some 10 million data points. He says that though basic service is free, subscription packages offer more filtering tools… READ MORE: How Big Data Might Change The Way You Find A Job | FastCompany
Ms. McKean started a campaign last month on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site, to unearth one million “missing” English words — words that are not currently found in traditional dictionaries. To locate the underdocumented expressions, she has engaged a pair of data scientists to scrape and analyze language used in online publications. Ms. McKean said she planned to incorporate the found words in Wordnik.com, an online dictionary of which she is a co-founder…Before her analytics project gets underway next month, Ms. McKean is crowdsourcing a list of missing words for possible inclusion in Wordnik.
To make poorly labeled videos easier to discover, Manhattan-based video analysis startup Dextro is launching a platform that analyzes and tags the contents of publicly available videos, using algorithms to identify common scenes, objects, and speech. Mic, a news site aimed at millennials, has partnered with Dextro and will use the platform, called Sight, Sound & Motion (SSM), to discover newsworthy videos that may otherwise be difficult to find. READ MORE: This New Platform Makes The Contents Of Videos As Searchable As Text | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums. READ MORE: Biodiversity Heritage Library Launches Crowdsourcing Games | Library Journal
The B.C. Court of Appeal has released its decision in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, a closely watched case involving a court order requiring Google to remove websites from its global index. As I noted in a post on the lower court decision, rather than ordering the company to remove certain links from the search results available through Google.ca, the order intentionally targets the entire database, requiring the company to ensure that no one, anywhere in the world, can see the search results.