The battle between fake and factual news

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom”, said Edward Osborne Wilson, an American entomologist and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. [1] While we are being overwhelmed by information on a daily basis, the spread of false or manipulated information is dominating media and conversations. Misinformation is everywhere and it is hard to ignore. But what is fake news, and how can we recognise and tackle it?

Fake news
According to Denise-Marie Ordway from Journalist’s Resource of Harvard Kennedy School describes it as “a term that can mean different things, depending on the context. News satire is often called fake news as are parodies.” And also “…., conspiracy theories, …, hoaxes”. [2]
Paul Chadwick from The Guardian, “Defining fake news will help us expose it.” He points out, as he describes, a “draft definition of fake news”, as following:
Fake news means fictions deliberately fabricated and presented as non-fiction with the intent to mislead recipients into treating fiction as fact or into doubting verifiable fact.” [3]

 Pixabayfig1: photo from Pixabay
LiAnna Davis, deputy director of the Wiki Education Foundation, states that “Wikipedia has been dealing with fake news since it started 16 years ago.” [4] But as a reliable source on this topic, Wikipedia defines fake news as: “Deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.” [5]

While fake news and its significant impact is increasing, many preserve confidence in their own ability to detect misinformation. According to Pew Research Center “It is difficult to measure the precise extent to which people actually see news that has been completely fabricated – given that news consumers could see but not recognize made-up news stories as well as mistake factual stories for false ones.” [6] (see fig 2)

fig2: Source: PEW Research Center

The necessity of truth
Patrick Engleman, a high school chemistry teacher, states in an interview with nprEd: “You can’t trust everything you hear. In a time when access to information is easier than ever.” [7] In the same article, Susan Yoon, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, suggests teachers to give students the tools to think like a scientist: “Teach them to gather evidence, check sources, deduce, hypothesize and synthesize results. Hopefully, then, they will come to the truth on their own.” [7] According to The Guardian’s chief revenue officer Hamish Nicklin, “The world needs the truth now more than ever. In a world where the most important people in the planet are using fake news to undermine the values so many of us hold so dear, it has never been so important that we have a strong and vibrant media, and remember that facts and truth are sacred.” [8]
Even companies like Lush (cosmetics) are also concerned with the significant impact of fake news. According to writer Annabelle Letten from Lush, “Both the BBC and The Guardian have dedicated teams made up of developers, filmographers and journalists to ensure the stories they cover are fully researched and thought-provoking.” [8]

Solutions: Library’s crucial part
It is crucial for education institutions and libraries to provide guidance and tools in order to recognise and separate fake news from authentic factual news. Many academic libraries in the worldwide (most of them in the US and UK) have created Library Guides (or LibGuides) around this subject, such as Harvard, Cornell, NYU, UC at Berkeley and Penn State. [9]

As Eric Novotny from Penn State’s University Libraries points out: “Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not.” [10]

Significantly, Berkeley Library of the University of California has not only provided researchers and students a list of fake news websites, but has also pointed out the effects of fake news and has summed up solutions for detecting fake news. [11] (see fig3)

5 way to spot fake news
fig3: Source Berkeley Library
Harvard Library has provided a list on Fact-Checking Sites and Plug-Ins. [12] Many university libraries in the US (Cornel [13], Illinois [14], CPP [15], Yale [16]) and UK(Cambridge [17]) have organised workshops in order to highlight this problem.

Finally, Journalist’s Resource [2] adds: “Some other resources that may be helpful are the Poynter Institute’s tips on debunking fake news stories [18] and the First Draft Partner Network, a global collaboration of newsrooms, social media platforms and fact-checking organizations that were launched in September 2016 to battle fake news.” [19]

Source:
[1] Wikipedia. [online]: E. O. Wilson
[2] D.-M. Ordway. [Online]: fake news conspiracy theories journalism research
[3] P. Chadwick. [Online]: defining fake news will help us expose it.
[4] A. Kamentz. [Online]: the earth is flat check wikipedia.
[5] Wikipedia. [Online]: fake news.
[6] A. M. J. H. Michel Barthel. [Online]: many americans believe fake news is sowing confusion.
[7] A. Wolfman-Arent. [Online]: the ongoing battle between science teachers and fake news.
[8] A. Letten. [Online]: what fake news and how do-we tackle it.
[9] LibGuides Community. [Online]: LibGuides Community.
[10] E. Novotny. [Online]: fake news.
[11] University of California,Berkeley Library. [Online]: fake news.
[12] Harvard Library. [Online]: fake.
[13] Fake news workshop cornell [Online]: fake news workshop.
[14] Fake news workshop illinois [Online]: fake news workshop.
[15] Fake news workshop CPP [Online]: fake news workshop.
[16] Fighting fake news workshop [Online]: Fighting fake news workshop.
[17] PhD clinic workshop [Online]: PhD clinic workshop.
[18] A. Mantzarlis. [Online]: 6 tips to debunk fake news stories by yourself.
[19] First Draft news. [Online]: draftnews.

Augmented reality in education has become more a trend thanks to Pokémon Go

Augmented reality is not a new technique; it has been used in Google Glass and Microsoft Holograms many years ago. But unfortunately Google Glass was no success, maybe because there were no gamification elements included. Augmented reality has many possibilities and can be used in education in different ways such as in flight academy, industrial design, medical training or architecture. It is very useful for studies like industrial design and other studies where students have to make a model. Students or companies can make a prototype and test it for some aspect of design (IKEA Augmented Reality).


IKEA Augmented Reality

There is also an application for pilots, learning to fly with augmented flying helicopter in difficult situations [1]. Augmented Reality can help pilots to get more information, especially in a situation such as during bad weather.


Glasses Help Helicopter Pilots See Through Smoke and Fog

Augmented reality is widely used in medical education on different levels, for example learning new skills to students and nurses with new training products but also monitoring difficult surgery on distance [2]. The difference between virtual and augmented reality is that in the first one the patient is virtual in contrast to the augmented reality where the patient and his/her problems are real. Because of augmented reality students can start practicing earlier with real patients in a monitored setting instead of longer practicing in simulated situations with virtual reality.


Augmented Reality Helps Guide Neurosurgeons

Thanks to Pokémon Go augmented reality is now big success as a gaming business model. Pokémon Go is a very popular game on the mobile phone, as one of the most downloaded games (more than 100 million) in more than 27 countries [3]. In contrast to other games, Pokémon Go forces you to walk around, go out of your house and your comfort zone. You have to be physically and mentally active; find and catch virtual Pokémons in the real-world, going to Pokémon-stop places for more information and catch items, finding strategies to make stronger Pokémons and reach higher levels. A negative aspect of this game is the security for the players and possible inconvenience for non-players. This is caused for example by the Pokémon players going out at night and/or going to dangerous places to find Pokémon. Success of Pokémon goes so far that this year, Pokemon Go is part of a degree course in the university of Idaho (US) and Salford (UK) [4] [5].

Like every other game, after a while Pokémon Go will not be a hype anymore. But what will remain, is our knowledge and experience of platforms like Pokémon Go, which will be the mainstream in augmented reality. They are very interesting to use for different causes. As an example, in architecture education this platform can be used by teachers to load some educational material and create some exercises. Students can follow the descriptions to find a place and take a picture using the coordinates of the place. This kind of technology probably would be used more and more for education in the future. More importantly, augmented reality is going to reach a next level in our life. As Meron Gribetz pointed in his TED Talks, “Augmented reality uses all data that we make everyday and builds an extra layer on top of our real-world”.


TED Talk Meron Gribetz

Source:
[1]VR and IT’S impact on training
[2]New system brings augmented reality to the operating theater
[3]Pokemon go heres how you can defeat any gym battle

[4]Now university offers degree Pokemon Lecturer

[5]Pokemon Course in Idaho

Google I/O 2016 The journey to AI-first

During the annual developer conference Google I/O, there were a lot of announcements made. Here is a little recap of the news till now on some renewed existing products and a few interesting new products.

Renewed existing products
Author Andrew Smith once said: “People fear what they don’t understand”. When Amazon launched Echo in 2014 the reactions were skeptical and people found the idea of a device that is always listing on command in your home, creepy [1]. Over time Echo became popular. Excitingly, one of the announcements in Google I/O 2016 was Google Home, which has a lot of similarities with Echo. It is a speaker you can instruct to listen and to control your house or, as many describe it, as ‘the always-present version of Siri’ or another virtual assistant software [1]. Google Home can be seen as a digital conversational partner with which you can interact in a hands-free way and one that can assist you with obtaining any intelligence you desire [1].

The virtual assistant software has also been adapted into Google’s newest messaging platform introduced as Allo, which is more than just another chat program. Allo makes it possible to send automatic replies or provide extra information when required by using a pattern of text and picture recognition in the context [1].

Google’s DUO is a video chat which goes a step further by providing an extra feature ‘Knock Knock’, which allows the recipient to see a preview of the face-to-face chat call before accepting the call [1].

New products
The days of using an app easier and quicker have arrived. Introducing: Instant Apps, which allows you to use the app (or a part of the app) instantly without any installation and without worrying about enough storage on your phone [1].

And then there is the innovation presented as DayDream, that takes you closer to all your VR (virtual reality) dreams on a mobile device [1]. DayDream is a development platform for mobile VR in order to create VR experiences (YouTube – Google I/O Highlights).



Google I/O Highlight (2 minutes)

Interestingly, most of the features emphasize the essence of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The importance of AI increases as it provides features to understand the context in order to assist the user more effectively. This gives the virtual assistant software a whole new meaning. Virtual assistant is not merely considered as an application or a product, it has become a kernel of every application and product. With the growth of AI inside of virtual assistant the impossibilities are becoming more and more possible. According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai “20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches” [2]. Presently, by using Google products, we, as the users, are feeding AI with data, which allows AI to expand its potential beyond words. As Pichai points out, he is on a journey from “mobile-first to AI-first”, but meanwhile, “there are areas where we will be ahead, and there will be areas where someone points a way and we do it” [3].




Google I/O Keynote (almost 2 hours)


Sources:
[1] google io 2016 what you need to know from allo to daydream
[2] google reveals 20 percent queries voice queries
[3] googles ceo sums up his ai vision

Technology trend 2016: Big Data gets bigger

Each year there are a lot of predictions in the media about the state of technology [1]. Recently, the use of Big Data analyses has been of great influence in the industry and businesses and therefore Big Data is considered as one of the fastest developing technology trends of 2016. In addition, the correlation of Big Data with AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) has received significant attention [2][3][4].

photo from enterrasolutions

Big Data makes cities smarter
We really do not have to look into a crystal ball to predict the most important technology trends of this year. We are already dealing with different developments. One of them is a trendy service, made possible by the use of Big Data, the so called smart city. The urbanization and the use of personal technology that increases daily are making the lives of the masses more and more connected to people and devices. This IT development has become a reality in which every city can collect data of the masses’ traffic and personal technology behavior [5]. They can collect all kinds of data received and measured for example through WiFi-spots or through mobile-signals. These can be used to find out new patterns of our lives by measuring the traffic around the most popular facilities, entertainment and merchandising locations [5]. For example, they can use Big Data to predict the locations where cars can be broken down in the city, which could help to prevent or facilitate near these possible locations in order to improve the repair process. These possibilities are increasing through the combination of personal technology with Big Data.

photo from automatedtrader

An Intelligent combination
AI, VR and AR have separately incredible potential power. However, the combination along with Big Data is game changing and of great impact on the industry [2][3][4]. For example, the combination of Machine Learning, which is a part of AI, together with Big Data has already shown how intelligent it can be. Publicity agencies and the financial industry are using Big Data analytics to predict the behavior of individuals [7]. According to Forbes, “their power combined can even become so intelligent to the point where some believe they will be able to accurately predict both market trends and human influences on the commerce”[8]. Imagine if you could use Big Data and Machine Learning (AI) to improve your own business or your life in general. 

Virtual and augmented reality experiences are growing focus in the market and are getting closer to mainstream acceptance. However, if these exciting technologies use more Big Data (youtube examples), the development steps will be bigger.

In general, this year we will see more Big Data providing services on different levels than only smart city. The expectations are high regarding steps in targeting mainstream consumers in 2016. So Big Data are getting bigger and will be widely used.


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Sources:
[1] 10 Big tech trends ,
[2] AI and stock market ,
[3] big data and augmented reality the research agenda ,
[4] making sense of big data with VR ,
[5] Big Data is needed ,
[6] Top 10 big tech trends ,
[7] Big Data and AI need ,
[8] Why Big Data and AI need each other and you need both