Tag Archives: culture

Built by humans. Ruled by computers.

By | February 7, 2019

MiDAS, an algorithm-based administration and fraud collection system implemented by the state of Michigan, ran without human intervention between 2013 and 2015. During that time, it accused about 50,000 Michiganders of unemployment fraud. A 2017 review by the state found that more than 90 percent of those accusations were false. A growing number of people have been harmed… Read More »

Most patients wary, unaware of benefits of using health portals

By | December 4, 2018

Two-thirds of patients who visited a doctor in 2017 did not use a health portal that could help improve their health in the long run, according to a new study by U-M. Health portals—secure online websites that give patients 24-hour access to health information—can enhance patients’ engagement in their own health, said lead author Denise Anthony, professor of… Read More »

Changing the conversation: Seniors and technology

By | December 3, 2018

Stereotypes of seniors confused by and struggling with technology might be amusing, but not necessarily accurate, says School of Information researcher Robin Brewer, an SI presidential postdoctoral fellow. Technology isn’t necessarily befuddling for older adults in and of itself, says Brewer. Most of the challenges are because of changes in abilities that make traditional devices and systems tougher for… Read More »

Hey, Alexa, stop listening to everything I say

By | November 27, 2018

Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home that can give you the weather forecast, play your favorite tunes, or control the lights in your house are a hot ticket item for the holidays. But not for everyone. Recent research from the U-M School of Information looked at privacy perceptions, concerns, and privacy-seeking behaviors with smart speakers. Florian… Read More »

Should ethics be part of the computer science curriculum? 

By | November 23, 2018

As technology becomes ever more integrated into our daily lives, there’s a growing push for people in the computer and data science world to think about the social impact of tech. H. V. Jagadish, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at U-M, joined Michigan Radio’s Stateside program to talk about the moral questions companies should ask when… Read More »

Can an AI lie detector tell when you’re fibbing?

By | November 12, 2018

Artificial intelligence is everywhere—but here’s a use you may not have considered: lie detection. It sounds like science fiction, but such an AI system is possible. The question is: How accurate can it be? Rada Mihalcea, a professor of computer science and engineering at U-M, has worked on deception detection for about a decade. Mihalcea’s used 121 video… Read More »

Your kid’s apps are crammed with ads

By | November 2, 2018

Many developers market apps for children as being educational. So Jenny Radesky, a pediatrician at the U-M Medical School who wrote the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for children and media, wanted to check that out. Her team of researchers spent hundreds of hours playing 135 different games. Published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the… Read More »

Art & Design professor aims to make technology more personable

By | September 6, 2018

When most people think of a cyborg, they may think of a half-human, half-machine hybrid akin to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator.” Sophia Brueckner would argue a bit differently about what being a cyborg means, as she considers herself to be one. “To me, being a cyborg doesn’t just mean biohacking or body modification. There are other ways we… Read More »

Is your kid glued to his phone? It may be a way to deal with a chaotic world

By | September 5, 2018

Parents might shake their heads at kids huddled in the corner of a restaurant booth, playing games on their tablets. But actually, the kids might be creating a comfortable space in a chaotic world they are not prepared to manage. A new U-M survey suggests that the more often kids use media devices to modulate their environments, the… Read More »

China’s ‘Big Brother’: New surveillance system rates citizens’ behavior

By | August 17, 2018

If your quality of life depended on a surveillance-focused rating system that tracked your behavior, how would you fare? In a newly published study, U-M researcher Muzammil Hussain and his doctoral students analyzed the processes and stakeholders involved in China’s Social Credit System (SCS)—a new punishment/reward program that uses scores to determine whether citizens and organizations are able… Read More »

What’s the deal with Bitcoin?

By | June 27, 2018

A Bitcoin boom could make millionaires, but a bust could just as easily destroy the cryptocurrency. So what exactly is Bitcoin and how does it work? LSA researcher Lynette Shaw provides insights about new forms of digital currency—and what actually makes something worth anything. According to Shaw, an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems,… Read More »

Report finds sexual harassment policies in academia lacking

Lilia M. Cortina, Timothy R.B. Johnson, and Anna Kirkland are U-M professors who participated on a 21-person committee to change the culture around sexual harassment policies in academia. The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine finds that academic institutions can do more to prevent sexual harassment, especially in historically male-dominated STEM fields. According to… Read More »

Effects of cellphones at summer camp

Recent studies have shown that the use of cellphones has been beneficial and detrimental to summer camps for both the campers and the staff.  “As a society, we spend a tremendous amount of time on screens and with digital media, but we don’t understand the full impact that it is having on children,” states lead author Ashley DeHudy, M.D.,… Read More »

Connecting music and big data

By | April 23, 2018

Four U-M research teams will receive support for projects that apply data science tools to the study of music theory, performance, social media-based music making, and the connection between words and music. The funding is provided under the Data Science for Music Challenge Initiative through the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS). The projects include digital analysis of… Read More »

Digital privacy a risk for undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants tend to be careful about public life: They limit contact with authorities, keep close-knit circles, and avoid loitering too long in parks, supermarkets, shows and other public gatherings. Some even avoid driving altogether. But when it comes to their smartphones, they struggle to apply this instinctive caution, according to a study by the U-M School of… Read More »

‘Big Tech’ isn’t one big monopoly

By | March 26, 2018

Concern about Facebook’s power in society – and in politics – has skyrocketed in the wake of revelations that users’ data was used in targeted political ads in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Other tech giants have also sparked concern: Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have all faced objections from users, the public, and even government agencies. But in a recent article, Amanda Lotz,… Read More »

The coming death of facts?

By | February 16, 2018

Aviv Ovadya, chief technologist at the School of Information’s Center for Social Media Responsibility, cautions that technology and social media that can be used to enhance and distort what is real is evolving faster than our ability to understand and control or mitigate it. “I’m from the free and open source culture,” he says. “The goal isn’t to… Read More »

U-M study examines Twitter style of India’s PM Modi

By | November 30, 2017

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has more than 36 million followers on Twitter, used political humor and sarcasm to become broadly appealing and refashion his political style, according to a U-M study of his tweets led by Joyojeet Pal, assistant professor of information. The study, published in the International Journal of Communication, shows that Modi tweets under nine broad themes: cricket, opposition… Read More »