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Fun Size for 6/4/19: Librarian KO's Jeopardy! Champ

The world of information - in Fun Size!

UMSI's Fun Size digest features tiny, delicious news tidbits relating to information and library topics. Reach us at umsi.funsize@umich.edu.

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Librarian KO’s Jeopardy! champ
Breaking news from the New York Times: It took a librarian to crush James Holzhauer’s 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy!, Monday, June 3. Her master’s in information science surely helped: Her thesis explored whether a computer could predict if a Jeopardy! clue was easy or difficult based on the words it was using or the length of the clue. Practical engagement indeed!

On the internet, no one knows you’re a minor
But that could change, as kid-safe internet company SuperAwesome perfects AI that can determine a child’s age from their patterns of use. No more checking the box that says they’re over 13 when they’re not and entering an age-restricted website, according to NBC News. First clue could be that Kids Edition Fire they’re using.

The Jeanie in the bottle
Voice assistants like Siri and Alexis have female names and female voices and, according to a U.N. study, they may respond in ways that also reflect gender stereotypes of women as submissive and flirtatious. “It’s a powerful illustration of gender biases coded into tech products,” the report warns, in this NY Times story. Partly to blame: the still male-centric culture of computer science.

Special delivery
What’s 4 feet tall, looks like a praying mantis and is climbing onto your porch? In the future, it might be Digit, the delivery robot, arriving in its own self-driving van. Medium.com has the slightly creepy video. But who cares about looks when we can have same day delivery?

“X” marks the spot
Pretty much anything flat makes a decent bookmark. But show tickets, uncashed paychecks, Kraft singles and many other flat objects – some way too personal – made this Reader’s Digest list of the weirdest things librarians have found in returned library books.

Tag, you’re it
Facebook’s face recognition feature allows people to tag you in photos on the social media platform – even if the photo isn’t on your site. Of course, you could turn that feature off – if you knew where to find it. And if you had that on-off switch on your account. Turns out that FB privacy setting wasn’t available to everyoneConsumer Reports found. What’s your setting?

Ranch dweller, reckless driver? 
You may have thought your perfect driving record or the presence of teenagers in the house would affect your car insurance rates. But a new data analysis by Polish researchers enabled by Google Street View showed a correlation between people’s houses and their likelihood of making a car insurance claim. MIT Technology Review explores some potential (negative) consequences of this data-matching ability.

Mysterious “gut doctor” revealed
We’ve all seen it, that clickbait box with the “gut doctor’s warning of the one vegetable you should never eat.” But just who is this doctor, and what the heck is that noxious vegetable? Vox.com goes down a rabbit hole in pursuit of the answer. TL; DR: Corn. Maybe.

Tidy your laptop, spark joy
It’s never too late for a little laptop spring cleaning. Gizmodo has tips for ways to improve sluggish performance, fix broken shortcuts, organize files and folders, and generally de-mess the machine in a manner that would gladden Marie Kondo’s heart

News from UMSI

Association professor Libby Hemphill has received a Belfer Fellowship from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society. Her project will focus on using state-of-the-art machine learning approaches to automatically detect new terms and phrases being used by white supremacists online.

Read more.