Video continues to be a powerful way to capture human rights abuses around the world. Videos posted to social media can be used to hold perpetrators of gross violations accountable. But video footage poses a “Big Data” challenge to human rights organizations. Two billion smartphone users means almost as many video cameras. This leads to massive amounts of visual content of both suffering and wrong-doing during conflict zones. Reviewing these videos manually is a very labor intensive, time consuming, expensive and often traumatic task. So my colleague Jay Aronson at CMU has been exploring how artificial intelligence and in particular machine learning might solve this challenge.
Salesforce.com and Google are two of the technology giants who have expressed interest in a possible buyout of the struggling social media firm Twitter, according to various reports.
Twitter has a had a few years of slow growth, but with some recent successes under its belt, it looks like there are a few bidders for an acquisition. A report by CNBC indicates that Google and Salesforce are among the top suitors looking to buy Twitter. Other ‘top tech companies’ are also looking into the purchase. Google is a particularly interesting suitor that has been rumored before; buying Twitter would give it a strong foothold to take on Facebook after the relative failure of Google+. Of course, discussing an acquisition doesn’t mean one is actually imminent (look at Apple…
Earlier this month, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the lower tip of Manhattan was thronged with soldiers in uniform, firefighters marching with photos of lost friends pinned to their backpacks, and tourists bumbling around the new mall at the World Trade Center. Firetrucks and police cars ringed Zuccotti Park and white ribbons adorned the iron fence around the churchyard on Broadway. Trash cans were closed up, with signs announcing “temporary security lockdown.”
Yesterday’s disciplinary board hearing for imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning ended with Manning being sentenced to 14 days’ worth of solitary confinement, with 7 of the days “suspended” unless there is another infraction.