Four short links: 20 December 2018

Misinformation Research, AI UI, Facebook's Value, and Python Governance

By Nat Torkington
December 20, 2018
  1. Common-Knowledge Attacks on DemocracyWe argue that scaling up computer security arguments to the level of the state, so that the entire polity is treated as an information system with associated attack surfaces and threat models, provides the best immediate way to understand these attacks and how to mitigate them. We demonstrate systematic differences between how autocracies and democracies work as information systems, because they rely on different mixes of common and contested political knowledge. Released 17 November; Bruce Schneier is co-author.
  2. Can Users Control and Understand a UI Driven by Machine Learning?In this article, we examine some of the challenges users encounter when interacting with machine learning algorithms on Facebook, Instagram, Google News, Netflix, and Uber Driver.
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  4. Estimating the Value of Facebook by Paying Users to Stop Using Itacross all three samples, the mean bid to deactivate Facebook for a year exceeded $1,000.
  5. Python Gets a New Governance ModelThe council is imbued with “broad authority to make decisions about the project,” but the goal is that it uses that authority rarely; it is meant to delegate its authority broadly. The PEP says the council should seek consensus, rather than dictate, and that it should define a standard PEP decision-making process that will (hopefully) rarely need council votes to resolve. It is, however, the “court of final appeal” for decisions affecting the language. But the council cannot change the governance PEP; that can only happen via a two-thirds vote of the core team. Python gets a constitution (aka PEP 8016).
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