They grew up in a mostly analog/paper world and squirmed with joy the first time they clicked a hyperlink that they created

Today’s students have many strengths. They are great at collaboration, introspection, and remixing. While my students are very familiar with phone apps, even the English majors who want to be professional writers are not very familiar with the conventions of writing for the World Wide Web. Because their sense of “being online” mostly entails interacting…

Parrots learn to make video calls to chat with other parrots, then develop friendships, Northeastern University researchers say

A new study from researchers at Northeastern University, in collaboration with scientists from MIT and the University of Glasgow, investigated what happened when a group of domesticated birds were taught to call one another on tablets and smartphones. The results suggest that video calls could help parrots approximate birds’ communication in the wild, improving their…

NPR quits Twitter after being falsely labeled as ‘state-affiliated media’

NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter’s decision to first label the network “state-affiliated media,” the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China and other…

There are two factions working to prevent AI dangers. Here’s why they’re deeply divided.

We are assigning more societal decision-making power to systems that we don’t fully understand and can’t always audit, and that lawmakers don’t know nearly well enough to effectively regulate. As impressive as modern artificial intelligence can seem, right now those AI systems are, in a sense, “stupid.” They tend to have very narrow scope and limited computing…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In August, 2002, I was blogging about ebook readers and email in teaching; how urban legends spread; tales of a plush Chthulu; no, the creator of D&D was not on drugs; a paperless library; Marilyn Monroe; liveblogging an epileptic seizure

In August, 2002, I was blogging about Educational technology spending that doesn’t benefit students; ebook readers that students don’t like; email as a tool in online course (all free at the time, but now behind the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s paywall) A prof spreading bad papers in order to catch plagiarists Expensive goose tracker leads…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In July, 2002, I was blogging about military close reading, weblogs in journalism, UX evangelism, Walker on links and power, Lileks on a realistic WWII game, and QUERTY vs Dvorak keyboards.

In July, 2002, I was blogging about Intelligence Officers Read Between the Enemy Lines A great headline for an LA Times story about interrogation and document analysis during the military campaign in Afghanistan. Weblogs: Put Them to Work in Your Newsroom Journalism was still a print-first medium at the time, and local TV reporters were…

Microsoft “lobotomized” AI-powered Bing Chat, and its fans aren’t happy

Microsoft limits long conversations to address “concerns being raised.” […] These deeply human reactions have proven that people can form powerful emotional attachments to a large language model doing next-token prediction. That might have dangerous implications in the future. Over the course of the week, we’ve received several tips from readers about people who believe…

‘Aims’: the software for hire that can control 30,000 fake online profiles

At first glance, the Twitter user “Canaelan” looks ordinary enough. He has tweeted on everything from basketball to Taylor Swift, Tottenham Hotspur football club to the price of a KitKat. The profile shows a friendly-looking blond man with a stubbly beard and glasses who, it indicates, lives in Sheffield. The background: a winking owl. Canaelan…

The focus on misinformation leads to a profound misunderstanding of why people believe and act on bad information

I’m consciously fighting confirmation bias by sharing some claims that I intuitively (irrationally?) doubt. Contrary to widespread beliefs, the share of misinformation in most people’s information diet is minimal, conspiracy theorising does not seem to have increased in recent years, and those who consume high rates of misinformation are largely hyper-partisans or dogmatists anyway. Moreover, even when people’s…

We’re in Denial About the True Cost of a Twitter Implosion

The public disintegration of a platform that millions of people used every day has been painful to watch. Now that Google’s search results seem almost completely colonized by AI-generated crap, it will be harder for me to listen in on and learn from a wide range of everyday people sharing their opinions and talking to…

i trained an ai chatbot on my childhood journal entries – so that i could engage in real-time dialogue with my “inner child”

I kept a journal from Feb 3 1983 (the day my freshman high school English teacher assigned a journal entry as homework) through about 1992 (when I was busy in grad school, though I did write long emails to my fiancee). As I was wrapping up my dissertation, I started blogging in 1999. At no…

CBS News Suspends Twitter Posting ‘In Light of the Uncertainty’ About Musk-Owned Social Platform

CBS News is halting its activity on Twitter over Elon Musk’s turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company. “In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform,” Jonathan…