Digital markets & politics watch, June 2016
Apple won't aid GOP convention over Trump - POLITICO: "Google said in April it would set up shop on the GOP convention floor, despite a protest by liberal groups and civil rights activists at its headquarters this spring. That same week, Microsoft revealed it planned to donate computers and software to the GOP convention, though the company said it would not provide funds to Republicans, as it has in the past. And Facebook has pledged “financial and other support” for the event, the company confirmed in June, even though CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken verbal swipes at Trump over immigration."
On timeline filtering: "I worry that algorithmic filtering as it is currently implemented suppresses the dissemination of important news, distorts our interactions with friends and family, disproportionately deprives some people of opportunity, and that Internet platforms intentionally obscure the motives and processes by which algorithms effect these consequences"
How to Prepare for the Future of Artificial Intelligence | whitehouse.gov: "Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is announcing a Request for Information soliciting public input on the subject of artificial intelligence."
Now Can Big Data Fight Terror? - WSJ: "This week Microsoft bought LinkedIn so it could integrate the social media site’s biographical data on 433 million professionals and workers with Microsoft’s office products ... A recent study found a non-negligible correlation between a person’s web-search history and whether he will later be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So here’s the question: Why aren’t LinkedIn-style notifications dinging on the desktops and phones of security officials when somebody with Mateen’s professional history shows up for a background check to buy a weapon of mass murder with numerous ammo clips?"
Jakarta points the way for London mayor Sadiq Khan - FT.com: "Mr Purnama also believes in transparency. The entire budget of the city of Jakarta is online. Citizens can scrutinise all spending. Even his mobile phone number is public, meaning that he receives a large number of text messages, many of which he responds to personally. The city’s inhabitants feel that their lives are improving."
Medical diagnosis based on search queries (paper
As Suicide Rates Rise, Scientists Find New Warning Signs - WSJ: "researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that clinicians were no more accurate than chance in predicting which patients visiting a psychiatric emergency room were likely to attempt suicide in the next six months. Widely accepted risk factors, like being male, having a history of mental illness and experiencing stressors like a job or relationship loss, are often not specific enough to be much help. ... The National Institute of Mental Health recently launched a study that will use brain scans, blood draws and other tests to identify biomarkers that are related to imminent risk for suicide. ... Another study from the same NIMH group has found that, among severely depressed subjects, spending more time awake between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. (as measured by a sleep study called polysomnography) is linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking the next day."
Again, Nelson Mandela remained on the US terror watch list until July 1, 2008, when he was 89 years old.— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) June 23, 2016
Last year, online lenders accounted for ~2% of the $87tn bank card transactions in China (FT)
Why Facebook and other big sites are opposing this rape victim’s lawsuit - The Washington Post : "Websites like ModelMayhem.com are typically shielded from cases like this by the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a law that protects websites from liability for its users. The idea is that these sites are platforms only: to sue a website like Craigslist for an assault that happened as a result of a real-world meeting is like suing a phone book publisher if an assailant used the yellow pages to look up a person's location. The CDA has protected websites and apps like Facebook, Craigslist, Uber, AirBnB and OkCupid from legal repercussions, even as, in the case of some of these services, reports of assaults have continued to crop up"
The Economist on international data flows
Hortacsu, Ali, A. Martinez Jerez, and Jason Douglas (2009). "The geography of trade in online transactions: Evidence from eBay and MercadoLibre", American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 1(1), 53-74.
Evidence from eBay of the ‘death of distance’ and its potential for boosting trade and incomes (summary)