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Mapping the digital gap: Galiwin’ku, NT 2023 community update report

APO | Daniel Featherstone, Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Leah Hawkins, Julian Thomas, Sharon Parkinson and Jenny Kennedy
This report outlines updated findings from a second research visit to Galiwin’ku community on the southern end of Elcho Island and the largest Yolŋu community in the East Arnhem region of the Northern Territory. It is located about 150 km west of Nhulunbuy, and 500 km north-east of Darwin.

Mandatory age verification for pornography access: Why it can’t and won’t ‘save the children’

Big Data and Society | Zahra Stardust, Abdul Obeid, Alan McKee and Daniel Angus
This article demonstrates why AV won’t ‘save the children’, exposing how age detection technology performs best on white faces, worst on dark faces, and with errors of up to 40 years.

Internet Cures: The Social Lives of Digital Miracles

Bristol University Press | Dang Nguyen
This book explores the intersection of miracle cures and technology, showcasing their transformation into hybrid forms, such as handwritten recipes captured in photos or tutorials streamed through videos. Combining computational social media data with ethnographic insights from Vietnam and the US, the book captures the interconnected lives of these cures in the digital realm with a unique methodology.

The Power of Spam Policies: Shedding Light on Platforms as Commercial Enterprises in the Generative AI Era

Tech Policy Press | Dominique Carlon
As people continue to experiment with new ways of generating content — from repurposing ChatGPT responses to creating AI stickers and bots — platforms are grappling with the task of managing an influx of low-quality and problematic AI content while also navigating their own positions within the AI attention economy market.

ADM+S submission to the Feasibility study on options to limit unhealthy food marketing to children

APO | Christine Parker, Tanita Northcott, Daniel Angus, et al.
This submission is based on findings from the ADM+S Australian Advertising Observatory related to unhealthy food ads on Australian social media platforms, and the work of the research team on observability of online advertising.

Generative AI in Medicine and Public Health: An Overview and Position Paper on Directions for Social Research

SSRN | Deborah Lupton and Ella Butler
There has been great interest in the potential for generative AI and large language models (LLMs), and ChatGPT in particular, to contribute to the fields of medicine and public health. This position paper provides a brief overview of the literature that has been published on the potential uses and benefits of these tools for medical and public health applications.

Household Wattch: Exploring opportunities for surveillance and consent through families’ household energy use data

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction | Stephen Snow, Awais Hameed Khan, Kaleb Day and Ben Matthews
Household energy use data may contain sensitive inferences into family life, yet its potential for surveillance is imperfectly understood. To explore this space, we developed Household Wattch, a speculative eco-feedback ‘provotype’ that profiles households according to their energy use data.

Automation in electric vehicle futures

Mobilities | Sarah Pink, Hannah Korsmeyer, Kari Dahlgren and Yolande Strengers
To understand the future of EV automation therefore, we must look to how people navigate such values and how they apply everyday creativity and innovation in possible, future contingent circumstances. To develop this, the authors draw on analysis of industry materials, online ethnography, documentary filmmaking and futures workshops.


Decoding Canada’s Directive on Automated Decision-Making

Medium | Henry Fraser, Jacqueline McIlroy and Sara Luck
Deciding which risks from AI are acceptable and which are not, is incredibly challenging. It is the kind of exercise that engages deep policy questions about rights, safety, efficiency, public interests, innovation, social justice and a whole range of other issues. Until those conversations run their course, the Directive is a great blueprint for a starting point for AI regulation.

An influencer’s AI clone started offering fans ‘mind-blowing sexual experiences’ without her knowledge

The Conversation | Leah Henrickson and Dominique Carlon
Caryn Marjorie is a social media influencer whose content has more than a billion views per month on Snapchat. In 2023, Marjorie released a “digital version” of herself which fans could chat with to for US$1 per minute. had anticipated that CarynAI would interact with her fans in much the same way she would herself, but things did not go to plan.

Is drone delivery a modern miracle or a band-aid fix for poor urban planning? I went to Australia’s ‘drone zones’ to find out

The Conversation | Thao Phan
Thao has been spending time in Australia’s “drone zones”, interviewing residents and local business operators in trial suburbs across Canberra and Logan in Queensland. It turns out noise and privacy aren’t their main problems.

If Meta bans news in Australia, what will happen? Canada’s experience is telling

The Conversation | Axel Bruns
At a parliamentary hearing late last week, Meta once again suggested it could ban links to news on Facebook and Instagram in Australia. This would repeat the ban it enacted for more than a week in February 2021 in response to the introduction of the News Media Bargaining Code, an Australian law designed to force digital platforms to pass on some of their advertising earnings to news publishers.

Labour’s AI vision: Can technology really end poverty? 

Transforming Society | Jess Brand, Lina Dencik, Joanna Redden and Georgia van Toorn
While Labour has been cautious to commit to any radical plans for transformation, one area where it sees potential for change is in the continued advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) to address important challenges, including the rise of poverty in the UK.

The institutional economics of quantum computing

Medium | Chris Berg and Jason Potts
In a world where search is cheaper, more search will be consumed. Quantum computing offers potentially dramatic increases in the ability to search through data. Searching through an unstructured list of 1,000,000 entries, a ‘classical’ computer would take 1,000,000 steps. For a mature quantum computer, that same search could require just 1,000 steps.

Age verification for pornography access? Our research shows it fails on many levels

The Conversation | Zahra Stardust and Alan McKee
The Australian government has announced a A$6.5 million trial of “age assurance” technology to restrict minors’ access to pornography, such as matching drivers’ licences, credit cards or passports against government databases, each posing different privacy risks.

Homesick for Another Internet

Kill Your Darlings | Samantha Floreani
“Dreams of shirking modern life to start afresh are common in times of political unrest and pervasive pessimism. For those who are Extremely Online (derogatory), imagining an escape from the slog of the internet is a typical part of the plan… Get me off this information superhighway so I can start living!”