As conflict on earth, in space, and in cyberspace becomes increasingly fast-paced and complex, the Pentagon’s Third Offset initiative is counting on artificial intelligence to help commanders, combatants, and analysts chart a course through chaos — what we’ve dubbed the War Algorithm (click here for the full series).
Conversely, AI can speak the ugly truths that human subordinates may not. “There are not many captains that are going to tell a four-star COCOM (combatant commander) ‘that idea sucks,’” Work said, “(but) the machine will say, ‘you are an idiot, there is a 99 percent probability that you are going to get your ass handed to you.’”
Before commanders will take an AI’s insights as useful, however, Work emphasized, they need to trust and understand how it works. That requires intensive “operational test and evaluation, where you convince yourself that the machines will do exactly what you expect them to, reliably and repeatedly,” he said. “This goes back to trust.”
Trust is so important, in fact, that two experts we heard from said they were willing to accept some tradeoffs in performance in order to get it: A less advanced and versatile AI, even a less capable one, is better than a brilliant machine you can’t trust.
“… it’s safe to conclude that AI will be a mandatory part of every new technology start-up within the next two years. It’s also safe to conclude that there won’t be a sector of economy untouched by AI…..”
As I finished assembling this blog entry, just before titling and adding the music, I thought that it was about our ability to gaze out into the world, and wandered for a while on search engines thinking about hunter-gathers’ vision, forecasting a post-global existence, and reflecting on the fact that I approach the end of a lifetime writing to a world that has, for the most part, and hopefully, only just begun theirs.
Somewhere in this long pile of offerings is the idea that a purpose of journalism is so that we might make better decisions about our own small existence in a world that is driven for the most part by others with other values and interests than our own.
As you read this, you can ask yourself who is aiding and abetting whom and, as Heinlein warns us ina book he wrote in 1955 about the final exam for a high school course to teach what one should do to survive in an unfamiliar environment with unknown dangers and in the midst of political leadership not unlike the type you find where you live, watch out for the stobor.
If you are at all familiar with this remarkable woman, you are familiar with the roller-coaster ride she was taken on from there. If you are not, you can start here or go here or read her own online book Dunwalke.
I suspect that, even though she probably does not consider herself a journalist (though her kinship with data and her curiosity have been critical in telling investigative research stories), George Webb once encountered this graphic too and understands the tremendous importance that the graphic has in the history of government-watching.
The fascinating thing is how the same name pops up as both skeins of data-driven yarn get unraveled.
Equally of interest is that both queries have to do with tracking the transportation, or trafficking, of things.
“According to information architect and multimedia journalist Mirko Lorenz, data-driven journalism is primarily a workflow that consists of the following elements: digging deep into data by scraping, cleansing and structuring it, filtering by mining for specific information, visualizing and making a story. This process can be extended to provide information results that cater to individual interests and the broader public.
Data journalism trainer and writer Paul Bradshaw describes the process of data-driven journalism in a similar manner: data must be found, which may require specialized skills like MySQL or Python, then interrogated, for which understanding of jargon and statistics is necessary, and finally visualized and mashed with the aid of open source tools.
A more results driven definition comes from data reporter and web strategist Henk van Ess (2012). “Data-driven journalism enables reporters to tell untold stories, find new angles or complete stories via a workflow of finding, processing and presenting significant amounts of data (in any given form) with or without open source tools.” Van Ess claims that some of the data-driven workflow leads to products that “are not in orbit with the laws of good story telling” because the result emphazes on showing the problem, not explaining the problem. “A good data driven production has different layers. It allows you to find personalized details that are only important for you, by drilling down to relevant details but also enables you to zoom out to get the big picture”.
In 2013, Van Ess came with a shorter definition in  that doesn’t involve visualisation per se:
“Datajournalism is journalism based on data that has to be processed first with tools before a relevant story is possible.”
Based on the perspective of looking deeper into facts and drivers of events, there is a suggested change in media strategies: In this view the idea is to move “from attention to trust”. The creation of attention, which has been a pillar of media business models has lost its relevance because reports of new events are often faster distributed via new platforms such as Twitter than through traditional media channels. On the other hand, trust can be understood as a scarce resource.
David McCandless turns complex data sets, like worldwide military spending, media buzz, and Facebook status updates, into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.
Data-centric journalism, once the domain of a few computer geeks hunched over in remote corners of the American newsroom, is coming to the forefront. With easier-to-use technology available, more data-savvy journalists are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in their niche. Heartened by social media buzz over such stories and prodded by competition hungry for unique content, news organizations are pouring money into recruiting talent and expanding their menu of stories derived from a mix of sophisticated number crunching, explanatory narratives and interactive graphics that weren’t possible in the old days of print.
“There’s more information now available through more people faster than ever before,” says Almar Latour, executive editor of The Wall Street Journal. “There is a lot more flexibility in displaying and telling stories.”
Data crunchers have been part of newsrooms since the 1980s, as “computer-assisted reporting” gained traction among editors looking to gain an edge. But the lack of computing power, dearth of talent who could handle data and heavy costs kept the endeavor in check….”
“… Finally, make sure to share what you’re learning with others. Very often the questions people will ask you show challenges and motivate you to search for the right answers that you hadn’t thought of, increasing your knowledge and encourage you to try different approaches.
What I want to say is: If you want to do data-driven journalism, go ahead and start. Good ways to start learning include online courses, books and tutorials.
If you live in Latin America, you can take advantage of projects like Chicas Poderosas (“Powerful Girls”), which promotes the development of data-driven journalism skills through workshops that connect journalists, developers, designers, animators and storytellers and get them to work together on storytelling projects.
I also recommend global initiatives like Hacks & Hackers, which hosts meetups in many countries in and outside Latin America.
You must also commit to never stop learning. Even after you have developed advanced skills and a deep understanding of the techniques, tools and methodologies of analysis and visualization, there will always be a bigger challenge ahead – bigger datasets, new software to test, new techniques to try and different approaches to generate participation from people for whom your story is important…..”
“… data journalism is the peanut butter to the jelly of open government data releases: Journalists are a crucial component of confirming that the data public officials describe has actually been released in a form and quality that can be consumed….. In the video below, I moderate a Google+ Hangout with several notable practitioners of DDJ. We covered a lot of ground in 53 minutes, discussing what data journalism is, how journalists are applying it, the importance of storytelling, considering ethics, the role of open source software, “showing your work,” and much more.
…. The stories data journalists can tell with these new tools and techniques reach the most aspirational heights available to the profession, revealing the hidden channels of money, power, and influence in society to the public and government, serving as a bulwark to democracy. That does not, however, make it a panacea. Just as data-driven policy can be corrupted by bad data, hidden biases, or mistaken analyses, journalists may also successfully clean and present data but fail to clearly tell a story to readers or wrap it in the necessary context. Skepticism and intellectual rigor becomes more important, not less, if journalists seek to apply a scientific mindset to their work.
Alex Howard writes about how shifts in technology are changing government and society. A former fellow at Harvard and Columbia, he is the founder of “E Pluribus Unum,” a blog focused on open government and technology.
A breathless 25-minute tour of the universe of free software that’s available to help import, summarize, manage, graph and map your data. From statistical analysis in R and Python to geospatial analysis in QGIS, PostGIS, and Spatialite, we’ve got the tools for you.
This session is good for: Journalists held back by a shoestring software budget.
What you need to know: no previous knowledge required.
Brian Conley is director of Small World News and has been involved in media literacy and media democracy work for more than ten years and has trained journalists and citizen media makers in a dozen countries. Brian designed the program and training for IndiaUnheard a national “community news service” comprised of Indian community activists from all over the country, and he led Small World News’ work assisting Pajhwok Afghan News to develop a video service, which expanded the capacity of their provincial journalists to produce quality multimedia journalism. He has designed an array of projects leveraging emerging technologies to develop community media in conflict areas and repressive states.
Carol Marin, a Veteran Investigative Journalist, taps into her audience’s deeply rooted interest in bad guys and catastrophic events. She is completely captivating as she recounts thrilling tales of organized crime and political corruption in “The Windy City” as well as the fear and chaos of the day she spent rushing toward the falling Twin Towers in New York City.
“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds!” ―C-3PO and Han Solo
Yogi Berra famously threw the fat lady off her stage in 1973 when he said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” With the rise of and reliance upon data-driven modeling of elections and sports we might just as well rephrase it as, “It’s over before it begins.” But we’d be wrong to do so.
Like most oddsmakers going into Super Bowl LI, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com, owned by ESPN, predicted the New England Patriots to win. Going into the half-time as the Falcons were up 28-3, the site gave the Patriots a less than 1 percent chance of winning. FiveThirtyEight tweeted: “That Patriots drive took another 5:07 off the clock and actually dropped their win probability from 1.1% to 0.5%.”
Of course we all know what happened next. In yet another brilliant statistical upset in a year of upsets, the Patriots defied all probability after the half. They scored 25 unanswered points, taking the Super Bowl into an historically uncharted overtime which they then proceeded to win—giving America, and the world at large, a clinic in determination, momentum, and the ability of human beings to surmount even the greatest of statistical odds.
It was a lesson in the value of risk taking and accomplishment; values that were once core elements in the American mythos but that increasingly have fallen out of favor in exchange for the perceived infallibility of data-driven models and analyses.
Since the mainstreaming of data punditry, exemplified by Nate Silver’s meteoric rise and FiveThirtyEight’s hallowed place in the culture, we’ve seen a cultural shift with regard to the use of statistics and data. Big Data, polling, and more specifically, Silver’s predictions, have become the equivalent of a mic-drop in any conversation about sports or politics.
Throughout the election cycle, on TV shows and social media feeds across the country, his pronouncements were treated as sacrosanct papal bulls. His data-driven analysis, whether accurate or not, provided gravitas for those seeking a more commanding way to eviscerate opponents in debate. “Silver gives Hilary a x percent chance to win the election” became the trump card in any conversation.
We’d moved to a point where we seemingly were willing to assign data modeling more value than the possible variances, irrationality and risk-taking inherent in human decision-making. This happened during the Super Bowl just as it happened during the election. In both cases, statistical models were held up as unassailable predictors.
Computer programming may not be the new literacy, but it is finding its way into many areas of modern society. In this submission, we look at data journalism, which is a discipline combining programming, data analysis and traditional journalism. In short, data journalism turns articles from a mix of text and images into something that is much closer to a computer program.
Most data journalists today use a wide range of tools that involve a number of manual steps. This makes the analysis error prone and hard to reproduce. In this video, we explore the idea of treating a data driven article as an executable program. We look how ideas from programming language research can be used to provide better tools for writing (or programming) such articles, but also to enable novel interactive experience for the reader.
The project also makes data journalism more accountable and reproducible. We let the reader verify how exactly are the visualizations generated, what are the data sources and how are they combined together.
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Tomas is a computer scientist, book author and open-source developer. He wrote a popular book called “Real-World Functional Programming” and is a lead developer of several F# open-source libraries, but he also contributed to the design of the F# language as an intern and consultant at Microsoft Research. He is a partner at fsharpWorks (http://fsharpworks.com) where he provides trainings and consulting services. Tomas recently submitted his PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge focused on types for understanding context usage in programming languages, but his most recent work also includes two essays that attempt to understand programming through the perspective of philosophy of science.
“Before joining CIR in January of 2008 Rosenthal had done pretty much everything that could be done done in a newspaper: copy-boy, reporter, foreign correspondent, investigative reporting and executive editor. He did not have a ring side seat to the collapse of the newspaper business model, he was in the ring, taking some serious shots. At CIR he is in the forefront of creating a new model for high quality, unique journalism, within the crucial niche of investigative reporting. He believes that the new newsroom must be innovative, risk taking, and nimble. The journalists, the story tellers — and story telling is central — must exist in a symbiosis with the technology wizards. Together they can find the answer to sustainability, audience growth and impact at a time when the credibility of news is under assault. Trustworthy organizations will not only have financial value, they are crucial to democracy.”
Recorded April 2, 2011 at The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, California.
TEDxPresidio – Robert Rosenthal – Investigative journalism in the 21st Century
The concept of citizen journalism (also known as “public“, “participatory“, “democratic“, “guerrilla“ or “street” journalism) is based upon public citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.” Similarly, Courtney C. Radsch defines citizen journalism “as an alternative and activist form of newsgathering and reporting that functions outside mainstream media institutions, often as a response to shortcomings in the professional journalistic field, that uses similar journalistic practices but is driven by different objectives and ideals and relies on alternative sources of legitimacy than traditional or mainstream journalism”.Jay Rosen proposes a simpler definition: “When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another.”
Citizen journalism is not to be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists. Collaborative journalism is also a separate concept and is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together. Similarly, Social Journalism is a separate concept denoting a digital publication with a hybrid of professional and non-professional journalism. Citizen journalism is a specific form of both citizen media and user-generated content. By juxtaposing the term “citizen”, with its attendant qualities of civic-mindedness and social responsibility, with that of “journalism”, which refers to a particular profession, Courtney C. Radsch argues that this term best describes this particular form of online and digital journalism conducted by amateurs, because it underscores the link between the practice of journalism and its relation to the political and public sphere.
Citizen journalism, as a form of alternative media, presents a “radical challenge to the professionalized and institutionalized practices of the mainstream media”.
According to Terry Flew, there have been three elements critical to the rise of citizen journalism: open publishing, collaborative editing, and distributed content. Mark Glaser, a freelance journalist who frequently writes on new media issues, said in 2006:
The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site such as YouTube.
The accessibility of online media has also enhanced the interest for journalism among youth and many websites, like ‘Far and Wide’ a publication focusing on travel and international culture, as well as WorldWeekly a news blog covering a range of topics from world politics to science, are founded and run by students.
In What is Participatory Journalism?, J. D. Lasica classifies media for citizen journalism into the following types:
1Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news stories, personal blogs, photographs or video footage captured from personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a community)
5Other kinds of “thin media” (mailing lists, email newsletters)
6Personal broadcasting sites (video broadcast sites such as KenRadio)
The literature of citizen, alternative, and participatory journalism is most often situated in a democratic context and theorized as a response to corporate news media dominated by an economic logic. Some scholars have sought to extend the study of citizen journalism beyond the Western, developed world, including Sylvia Moretzsohn,Courtney C. Radsch, and Clemencia Rodríguez. Radsch, for example, wrote that “Throughout the Arab world, citizen journalists have emerged as the vanguard of new social movements dedicated to promoting human rights and democratic values.”
One criticism of the term “citizen journalism” to describe this concept is that the word “citizen” has a conterminous relation to the nation-state. The fact that many millions of people are considered stateless and often, are without citizenship (such as refugees or immigrants without papers) limits the concept to those recognised only by governments. Additionally, the global nature of many participatory media initiatives, such as the Independent Media Center, makes talking of journalism in relation to a particular nation-state largely redundant as its production and dissemination do not recognise national boundaries. Some additional names given to the concept based on this analysis are, “grassroots media,” “people’s media,” or “participatory media.”
Criticisms have been made against citizen journalism, especially from among professionals in the field. Citizen journalists are often portrayed as unreliable, biased and untrained – as opposed to professionals who have “recognition, paid work, unionized labour and behaviour that is often politically neutral and unaffiliated, at least in the claim if not in the actuality”. Citizen journalists gather material by being on the streets. Their tools can be narrowed down to a camera, social media and an instinct to start recording whenever something seems newsworthy or out of order. Much of their knowledge regarding the issues that are raised are obtained through their experience as a part of the community.
However, some major news reporting agencies, threatened by the speed with which news is reported and delivered by citizen journalism, have launched campaigns to bring in readers and financial support. For example, Bill Johnson, president of Embarcadero Media, which publishes several northern California newspapers, issued an online statement asking readers to subscribe to local newspapers in order to keep them financially solvent. Johnson put special emphasis on the critical role played by local newspapers, which, he argues, “reflect the values of the residents and businesses, challenge assumptions, and shine a light on our imperfections and aspirations.”
The idea that every citizen can engage in acts of journalism has a long history in the United States. The contemporary citizen journalist movement emerged after journalists began to question the predictability of their coverage of events such as the 1988 U.S. presidential election. Those journalists became part of the public, or civic, journalism movement, which sought to counter the erosion of trust in the news media and the widespread disillusionment with politics and civic affairs.
Initially, discussions of public journalism focused on promoting journalism that was “for the people” by changing the way professional reporters did their work. According to Leonard Witt, however, early public journalism efforts were “often part of ‘special projects’ that were expensive, time-consuming, and episodic. Too often these projects dealt with an issue and moved on. Professional journalists were driving the discussion. They would have the goal of doing a story on welfare-to-work (or the environment, or traffic problems, or the economy), and then they would recruit a cross-section of citizens and chronicle their points of view. Since not all reporters and editors bought into this form of public journalism, and some outright opposed it, reaching out to the people from the newsroom was never an easy task.” By 2003, in fact, the movement seemed to be petering out, with the Pew Center for Civic Journalism closing its doors.
With today’s technology the citizen journalist movement has found new life as the average person can capture news and distribute it globally. As Yochai Benkler has noted, “the capacity to make meaning – to encode and decode humanly meaningful statements – and the capacity to communicate one’s meaning around the world, are held by, or readily available to, at least many hundreds of millions of users around the globe.” Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea, a constitutional law professor at Boston College, notes in her article, Citizen Journalism and the Reporter’s Privilege, that:
[i]n many ways, the definition of “journalist” has now come full circle. When the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was adopted, “freedom of the press” referred quite literally to the freedom to publish using a printing press, rather than the freedom of organized entities engaged in the publishing business. The printers of 1775 did not exclusively publish newspapers; instead, in order to survive financially they dedicated most of their efforts printing materials for paying clients. The newspapers and pamphlets of the American Revolutionary era were predominantly partisan and became even more so through the turn of the century. They engaged in little news gathering and instead were predominantly vehicles for opinion.
The passage of the term “journalism” into common usage in the 1830s occurred at roughly the same time that newspapers, using high speed rotary steam presses, began mass circulation throughout the eastern United States. Using the printing press, newspapers could distribute exact copies to large numbers of readers at a low incremental cost. In addition, the rapidly increasing demand for advertising for brand-name products fueled the creation of publications subsidized, in large part, by advertising revenue. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the concept of the “press” metamorphized into a description of individuals and companies engaged in an often-competitive commercial media enterprise.
According to Jay Rosen, citizen journalists are “the people formerly known as the audience,” who “were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all. … The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, less predictable.”
Abraham Zapruder, who filmed the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy with a home-movie camera, is sometimes presented as an ancestor to citizen journalists. Egyptian citizen Wael Abbas was awarded several international reporting prizes for his blog Misr Digital (Digital Egypt) and a video he publicized of two policemen beating a bus driver helped lead to their conviction.
Public Journalism is now being explored via new media, such as the use of mobile telephones. Mobile telephones have the potential to transform reporting and places the power of reporting in the hands of the public. Mobile telephony provides low-cost options for people to set up news operations.
During 9/11 many eyewitness accounts of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center came from citizen journalists. Images and stories from citizen journalists close to the World Trade Center offered content that played a major role in the story.
In 2004, when the 9.1-magnitude underwater earthquake caused a hugetsunami in Banda Aceh Indonesia and across the Indian Ocean, a weblog-based virtual network of previously unrelated bloggers emerged that covered the news in real-time, and became a vital source for the traditional media for the first week after the tsunami. A large amount of news footage from many people who experienced the tsunami was widely broadcast,(subscription required) as well as a good deal of “on the scene” citizen reporting and blogger analysis that was subsequently picked up by the major media outlets worldwide. Subsequent to the citizen journalism coverage of the disaster and aftermath, researchers have suggested that citizen journalists may, in fact, play a critical role in the disaster warning system itself, potentially with higher reliability than the networks of tsunami warning equipment based on technology alone which then require interpretation by disinterested third parties.
The microblog Twitter played an important role during the 2009 Iranian election protests, after foreign journalists had effectively been “barred from reporting”. Twitter delayed scheduled maintenance during the protests that would have shut down coverage in Iran due to the role it played in public communication.
Citizen journalists also may be activists within the communities they write about. This has drawn some criticism from traditional media institutions such as The New York Times, which have accused proponents of public journalism of abandoning the traditional goal of objectivity. Many traditional journalists view citizen journalism with some skepticism, believing that only trained journalists can understand the exactitude and ethics involved in reporting news. See, e.g., Nicholas Lemann, Vincent Maher, and Tom Grubisich.
An academic paper by Vincent Maher, the head of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University, outlined several weaknesses in the claims made by citizen journalists, in terms of the “three deadly E’s”, referring to ethics, economics, and epistemology. The paper has been criticized in the press and blogosphere.
An analysis by language and linguistics professor, Patricia Bou-Franch, found that some citizen journalists resorted to abuse-sustaining discourses naturalizing violence against women. She found that these discourses were then challenged by others who questioned the gendered ideologies of male violence against women.
An article in 2005 by Tom Grubisich reviewed ten new citizen journalism sites and found many of them lacking in quality and content. Grubisich followed up a year later with, “Potemkin Village Redux.” He found that the best sites had improved editorially and were even nearing profitability, but only by not expensing editorial costs. Also according to the article, the sites with the weakest editorial content were able to expand aggressively because they had stronger financial resources.
Another article published on Pressthink examined Backfence, a citizen journalism site with three initial locations in the D.C. area, which reveals that the site has only attracted limited citizen contributions. The author concludes that, “in fact, clicking through Backfence’s pages feels like frontier land -– remote, often lonely, zoned for people but not home to any. The site recently launched for Arlington, Virginia. However, without more settlers, Backfence may wind up creating more ghost towns.”
David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter and writer-producer of the popular television series, “The Wire,” criticized the concept of citizen journalism—claiming that unpaid bloggers who write as a hobby cannot replace trained, professional, seasoned journalists.
“I am offended to think that anyone, anywhere believes American institutions as insulated, self-preserving and self-justifying as police departments, school systems, legislatures and chief executives can be held to gathered facts by amateurs pursuing the task without compensation, training or for that matter, sufficient standing to make public officials even care to whom it is they are lying to.”
An editorial published by The Digital Journalist web magazine expressed a similar position, advocating to abolish the term “citizen journalist”, and replacing it with “citizen news gatherer”.
“Professional journalists cover fires, floods, crime, the legislature, and the White House every day. There is either a fire line or police line, or security, or the Secret Service who allow them to pass upon displaying credentials vetted by the departments or agencies concerned. A citizen journalist, an amateur, will always be on the outside of those lines.
Imagine the White House throwing open its gates to admit everybody with a camera phone to a presidential event.”
While the fact that citizen journalists can report in real time and are not subject to oversight opens them to criticism about the accuracy of their reporting, news stories presented by mainstream media also misreport facts occasionally that are reported correctly by citizen journalists. As low as 32% of the American population have a fair amount of trust in the media.
Edward Greenberg, a New York City litigator, notes higher vulnerability of unprofessional journalists in court compared to the professional ones:
“So-called shield laws, which protect reporters from revealing sources, vary from state to state. On occasion, the protection is dependent on whether the person [who] asserted the claim is in fact a journalist. There are many cases at both the state and federal levels where judges determine just who is/is not a journalist. Cases involving libel often hinge on whether the actor was or was not a member of the “press”.”
Dan Gillmor, former technology columnist with the San Jose Mercury News, is one of the foremost proponents of citizen journalism, and founded a nonprofit, the Center for Citizen Media, to help promote it. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation‘s French-language television network also has organized a weekly public affairs program called, “5 sur 5”, which has been organizing and promoting citizen-based journalism since 2001. On the program, viewers submit questions on a wide variety of topics, and they, accompanied by staff journalists, get to interview experts to obtain answers to their questions.
Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, was one of public journalism’s earliest proponents. From 1993 to 1997, he directed the Project on Public Life and the Press, funded by the Knight Foundation and housed at NYU. He also currently runs the PressThink weblog.
Professor Charles Nesson, William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, chairs the Advisory Board for Jamaican citizen journalism startup On the Ground News Reports.
One of the leading proponents for citizen journalism in Australia is Margo Kingston, author and former political journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald. Kingston launched one of the world’s first mainstream citizen journalism platforms, Webdiary, in 2000, well before the New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian. Kingston resigned from Webdiary in 2005 but the site continues and has been preserved in Pandora, Australia’s National Web Archive. After a period of retirement, Kingston returned to citizen journalism in 2013 by co-publishing a new site No Fibs. It was on this site that Kingston published an exclusive story that the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, had inappropriately claimed expenses for promoting his book.
In March 2014, blogger and novelist James Wesley Rawles launched a web site that provides free press credentials for citizen journalists called the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA). According to David Sheets of the Society for Professional Journalists, Rawles keeps no records on who gets these credentials.
Maurice Ali, a citizen journalist from Canada, founded one of the first international citizen journalist associations called the International Association of Independent Journalists Inc. (IAIJ) in 2003. The association through its President (Maurice Ali) have published studies and articles on citizen journalism, attended and spoken at UNESCO and United Nations events as advocates of citizen journalism worldwide.
A machine learning approach inspired by the human brain, Deep Learning is taking many industries by storm. Empowered by the latest generation of commodity computing, Deep Learning begins to derive significant value from Big Data. It has already radically improved the computer’s ability to recognize speech and identify objects in images, two fundamental hallmarks of human intelligence.
Industry giants such as Google, Facebook, and Baidu have acquired most of the dominant players in this space to improve their product offerings. At the same time, startup entrepreneurs are creating a new paradigm, Intelligence as a Service, by providing APIs that democratize access to Deep Learning algorithms. Join us on September 16, 2014 to learn more about this exciting new technology and be introduced to some of the new application domains, the business models, and the key players in this emerging field.
YARN is the architectural center of Hadoop that allows multiple data processing engines such as interactive SQL, real-time streaming, data science and batch processing to handle data stored in a single platform, unlocking an entirely new approach to analytics.
Political Networking (how social networking is changing politics forever)
Social networking is changing politics, that fact should be clear by now. A simple proof: Trump wouldn’t be in the White House without it.
But where is political networking taking us? That’s the BIG question. I’ve been doing lots of thinking about this (it’s going into my book). Here’s my shorthand for where our political system is headed. We have three political networks to choose from:
•did it without much organization or advertisement spending
•accomplished it despite vocal and strident opposition from the entire media establishment (from NY to Hollywood), all of academia, and most of Silicon Valley
Trump’s insurgency worked like open source insurgencies in the past (from the Iraq war to Egypt/Tunisia).
•An open source insurgency is a loose network (meshed) that is composed of many individuals and small groups working independently, but united by a single purpose (in this case: electing Trump).
•Open source insurgencies are much more innovative than their bureaucratic counterparts. They constantly coming up with and trying out new ideas. For example: the seventy to one hundred groups in the Iraqi insurgency rolled out new innovations (tactics to weapons) in days, while it took months for the US military to counter them.
•Trump accelerated and directed this insurgency by interacting with it. For example, he accelerate the innovation of the insurgency by paying attention to it (read Gustavo’s essay for more). Tweets and media mentions incentivised innovation and spread new ideas across the insurgency in minutes (not days/weeks). Trump also selected targets for the insurgency. In many, many instances, Trump directed the insurgency to silence individuals in the opposition through a torrent of online/offline abuse.
Trump’s currently trying to adapt this insurgency to govern. Where will it take us? Early results suggest that Trump’s insurgency is better suited for dismantling a large, bureaucratic government and international order than running it. It’s also the type of network that will erode the rule of law over time.
The second form of political social networking I’m seeing is found in the opposition to Trump’s presidency. Right now, it’s known as the #resistance The orthodoxy wasn’t planned, it:
•arose out of the ashes of the political parties and it is growing without any formal leadership
•is ALREADY firmly in control of nearly all public forums
•enforces opposition to Trump
The orthodoxy is an open source insurgency in reverse. It uses social networking to crack down on deviation and dissent.
•The orthodoxy is tightly interconnected network that uses social networking to exert pressure on people to accept the orthodox position (in this case: #resistance to Trump).
•Online orthodoxies grow through peer pressure and disconnecting deviants from the network. It doesn’t innovate. It rejects, cajoles, and pillories.
•This online orthodoxy is growing at an accelerated pace because Trump feeds the outrage that fuels it.
How will an orthodox network govern? It will eventually formalize compliance with the orthodoxy. Compliance, evidenced by a long social networking history, will qualify people for positions of authority and power. Any deviation will result in bans, loss of income, etc. until the target repents. This orthodoxy will work in parallel to the rule of law and likely exceed its coercive power over time.
This form of social networking doesn’t have an example in the US yet.
•The Movement 5 Star in Italy is a political party run as a social network. It is running number one in the polls, has mayor in Rome and Turin, and recently deposed the Prime Minister.
•The political representatives the M5S sends to Rome must vote the way the party tells them to vote. They aren’t independent.
•The M5S is a participatory political party. The people in the party debate the issues and vote on how their representatives should vote in Rome.
The participatory party is still young, but it combines the fluidity of the “insurgency” with the solidarity of “orthodoxy.”
•A participatory party could be run as a cell phone app. This would allow it to scale… to 70 plus million members is possible.
•Unlike current political parties, this party wouldn’t just vote every 2 years to elect candidates. It would operate continuously. Voting on all major issues.
•A participatory party could arise independently, growing virally, or it could coopt an existing political party from the inside out.
How would a participatory network govern? Unlike the other systems, it has the best chance of working within the confines of the current US Constitution. It also has the strength to tame political distortions caused by globalization without resorting to the extremes of either the orthodoxy or the insurgency.
My bet is on a participatory political system made possible by social networking. It’s the best chance for a better future. A system where we put social networking to work for us instead of against us.
Of course, the reality is probably something different: we’re prepping for a civil war.
Algorithm warfare is literally everywhere nowadays yet most people haven’t got the slightest idea what is going on or what they are being exposed to.
Most of us can relate to Allan Weisbecker’s example of how Yahoo mail served him an ‘associated’ advertisement when one day he mentioned “walking the dog” as he wrote an email.
“This one came up as I was signing ‘allan.’
Coincidence? Pu-lease. My point is the lightning speed with which Yahoo’s algorithm worked. Like two seconds was all it took to analyze ‘walking the dog’ then nail me with a dog-related ad – what shocked me was the speed, considering all the cyber-details that had to go through the system. This is what Yahoo uses on a casual daily basis. Imagine the algorithm NSA has grinding away at Fort Meade, to keep track of what you’re thinking and doing.”
The Algorithm of Jazz @Yale: Matt Griffith ’14 performs Artie Shaw Concerto for Clarinet
“… The reality is that the gap between mainstream and alternative media outlets has artificially been reduced by co-opting the alternative media and their audiences. Countless examples of this exist. At least 9 out of 10 alt media outlets are pretty much carbon copies of each other and have during the last 5 years been putting their weight behind government policies that would have been exposed and debunked years earlier.
For instance, the false war on islam terror is widely accepted now by guys like Alex Jones, Steve Quayle and Doug Hagmann. All of them are also buying into and spreading other zionist scams, lies and propaganda fluff. For sure these characters are the best of all to put on mainstream news broadcasts – where they belong. They go into suicidal funks when they can parrot Netanyahu’s insane waffling.
The conditioning was, it now seems, planned to climax all along when a type like Trump came into the White House. It is also at this very moment that all of this is being suggested right as zionist puppet Trump is “reshaping” the press room in Washington. How convenient. Likely the NSA algorithms didn’t see this one coming. Riiiight….
Shockingly, well – not really, Hodges’ suggestions are greatly welcomed by his following, when we observe the feedback he gets for it.
Well folks, wish Dave Hodges good luck. Wish him a fruitful career at CNN, ABC or NBC because that’s where he is planning to apply.
It looks like they have come full circle at the transparent alternative media. What once was a platform or niche for alleged dissent has now officially turned into a mergers and acquisitions business model…..”
a song composed by Artificial Intelligence – in the style of the Beatles
Hierarchical Temporal Memory algorithms for understanding asymmetric warfare
Conference Paper: (PDF Available) April 2009
There is a problem in combat modeling when it comes to accurately representing asymmetric warfare. The roots of this problem stem from the ways in which warfare has evolved over the last century from force-on-force combat to the network-centric warfare (NCW) that has emerged today in its most exemplary fashion in the Middle East, especially in the context of Joint Urban Operations (JUO). Therefore, this paper focuses on some of the previous attempts as a means to motivate the need for a new technique that understands the interactions on which an accurate representation of NCW rests. Given the difficulties of previous modeling attempts, this work then focuses on the profound impact that human behavior has on the modeling of NCW. Furthermore, with such attention to human behavior, the discussion of modeling NCW shifts to the human brain and its impact on behavior in such an environment. Thus the topic of this paper turns towards what results from neuroscience are useful for understanding NCW and how those facts can be translated into use on modern computers, via the use of hierarchical temporal memory (HTM) algorithms; finally, the inherent issues with such a task shall then be discussed.
Page created January 20, 2017 – Last updated January 24, 2017
Algorithm warfareis a very complex topic that needs to be introduced to the world, not the least due to the present and future dangers that it poses.
Algorithm warfare includes more than just the deployment of analytical, defensive and conditioning or offensive (hostile) algorithms by commercial entities and government agencies. It is also about constantly creating floods of fresh mineable data; analyzing, exploiting and manipulating financial markets, perceptions and public opinions; and the eventual creation and deployment of self-perpetuating loops of algorithmic artificial intelligences that can steer a planetary populace on autopilot.
Although the basic concept of algorithms is understood by the general public, the advances and potential capabilities in the field are far less understood. It is therein that the dangers lay.
In our introductory articles [1, 2, 3, 4] the concept of algorithm warfare has already been explained with practical examples but a clear overview of who and what the major players are for instance, who the centerpieces are if you will, had yet to be created.
This page will also serve that purpose, to list those involved directly and indirectly. The longer the list becomes the clearer the bigger picture will become on where algorithm warfare is coming from and where it is heading.
“Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been … used “to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people.”
“… Israeli game theorists operate not from the Center for Morality or the Center for Justice but from the Center for Rationality. As modeled by Zionist war planners, game theory is devoid of all values except one: the ability to anticipate—within an acceptable range of probabilities—how “the mark” will react when provoked. Thus we see the force-multiplier potential for those who wage war with well-planned provocations and well-timed crises.
Israeli behavior is often immoral and unjust but that does not mean it is irrational. For Colonial Zionists committed to the pursuit of an expansionist agenda, even murderous provocations are rational because the response can be mathematically modeled, ensuring the results are reasonably foreseeable. That alone is sufficient for a people who, as God’s chosen, consider it their right to operate above the rule of law.”
“… already points to a future in which intelligence-gathering, assessment and military action, including the calculation of who can legally be killed, will largely be performed by machines based upon an ever-expanding database of aggregated information. As such, this transition to execution by algorithm is not simply a continuation of killing at ever greater distances inaugurated by the invention of the bow and arrow that separated warrior and foe, as many have suggested.  It is also a consequence of the ongoing automation of warfare, which can be traced back to the cybernetic coupling of Claude Shannon’s mathematical theory of information with Norbert Wiener’s wartime research into feedback loops and communication control systems.  As this new era of intelligent weapons systems progresses, operational control and decision-making are increasingly being outsourced to machines…..”
“…. When one poses the question, under what conditions is it morally acceptable to deliberately kill a human being, one is not, in this case, asking whether the law permits such an act for reasons of imminent threat, self-defence or even empathy for someone who is in extreme pain or in a non-responsive vegetative state. The moral register around the decision to kill operates according to a different ethical framework: one that doesn’t necessarily bind the individual to a contract enacted between the citizen and the state. Moral positions can be specific to individual values and beliefs whereas legal frameworks permit actions in our collective name as citizens contracted to a democratically elected body that acts on our behalf but with which we might be in political disagreement. ….”
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program ever, won’t justify its price tag by outmaneuvering other jets (it can’t), flying particularly fast, or even by carrying munitions in a stealthy bomb bay. Instead, the U.S. military is banking on an emerging technology called cognitive electronic warfare to give the jet an almost-living ability to sniff out new hard-to-detect air defenses and invent ways to foil them on the fly.
While the specifics of the jet’s electronic warfare, or EW, package remain opaque, scientists, program watchers and military leaders close to the program say it will be key to the jet’s evolution and its survival against the future’s most advanced airplane-killing technology. In short, cognitive EW is the most important feature on the world’s most sophisticated warplane…..
Read “interaction” in that context to mean the critical moment when an adversary, perhaps a single lowly radar operator, detects a U.S. military aircraft on a covert operation. That moment of detection is the sort of world-changing event that happens, literally, in the blink of an eye.
Just before the study came out, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, established the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures program to “enable U.S. airborne EW systems to automatically generate effective countermeasures against new, unknown and adaptive radars in real-time in the field.”
The goal: EW software that can perceive new waveforms and attacks as quickly and as clearly as a living being can hear leaves rustle or see a predator crouching in the distance, then respond creatively to the threat: can I outrun that? Can I fight it? Should I do anything at all? It’s a problem of artificial intelligence: creating a living intelligence in code….”
“What we’ve done with the 5th Generation [aircraft] is the computer takes all those sensory inputs, fuses it into information. The pilot sees a beautiful God’s eye view of what’s going on. […] It’s a stunning amount of information.”
“… Algorithms are not just determining who lives, but also who dies. The Defense Department, taking advantage of incredible advancements in autonomous technologies, is increasingly advocating for self-flying drones. The hope is that machine learning and better algorithms can reduce the human error in drone-based assassinations, potentially allowing these technologies to make the decision to shoot without human intervention.
“… There is an objective quality about the computer that is lacking in a human being, even though they are both ultimately political. It is just that the human seems political at the time the decision is made, while the algorithm was political when it was designed and implemented…..”
“… There is a belief that moving such decisions away from humans and into the machine-learning black box is the solution to many of our political problems. That is precisely wrong. We aren’t avoiding the politics of our decisions, but rather giving up human agency itself to allow the computer to make it for us. This is the fundamental difference between first and second generation algorithms.
Developing policies in our society is the forcing function to ensure that we come together, debate, and ultimately work toward a usable consensus on how we want our government to function. The more we give up on those sorts of arenas for debate, the more we will increasingly find that our society simply cannot work together whatsoever.
Algorithms will not save us. They cannot make the decisions we have to make any easier, and in fact, can massively increase the level of polarization that takes place in our country. Using an algorithm in immigration to predict economic performance may sound like a way to avoid a hard debate about immigration, but that is precisely why it is so dangerous. Who exactly do we want to allow into our country? Computer code can’t make us content…..
I still believe that when the algorithms themselves are part of the political debate, we can increase the efficiency of government while also improving the lives of citizens.
Ultimately, we live with each other in a human society. We should never give up our seat at the table in order to allow the algorithms to just do their work. The data we allow them to use and the models we allow them to calculate should all be areas where humans have a voice. Our politicians need to see the algorithm as where politics is increasingly centered, and engage with them accordingly.”
“HOW DOES ONE ARRIVE AT THE OFFICIAL FBI CODE NAME ‘PENTTBOM’ (PENTAGON/TWIN TOWERS BOMBING INVESTIGATION) WHEN ONLY AIRPLANES WERE USED TO DESTROY THE TWIN TOWERS AT THE WTC AND PARTIALLY THE FACADE OF THE PENTAGON? IN OTHER WORDS: HOW DOES ONE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE WORD ‘BOMBING’ MUST BE INCLUDED IN THIS PROMINENT CASE’S CODE NAME?”
For this occasion the comment section will be opened below.