Weeknote 15, 2023

§1 This blog likely helped train an AI you are using

A web crawl may sound like a copy of the entire internet, but it’s just a snapshot, capturing content from a sampling of webpages at a particular moment in time. C4 began as a scrape performed in April 2019by the nonprofit CommonCrawl, a popular resource for AI models. CommonCrawl told The Post that it tries to prioritize the most important and reputable sites, but does not try to avoid licensed or copyrighted content.

Inside the secret list of websites that make AI like ChatGPT sound smart, The Washington Post, By Kevin Schaul, Szu Yu Chen, and Nitasha Tiku, April 19 at 6:00 a.m.

§2 About the Topic in OMNI

I’ve noticed that other libraries using OMNI have opted to include an option that provides context to a search:

§3 A disappointing decision from the BC Court of Appeal

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia handed down a jaw-droppingly stupid and terrible decision, rejecting the whistleblower Ian Linkletter’s claim that he was engaged in legitimate criticism when he linked to freely available materials from the ed-tech surveillance company Proctorio:


It’s been a minute since Linkletter’s case arose, so I’ll give you a little recap here: https://pluralistic.net/2023/04/20/links-arent-performances/#free-ian-linkletter

§4 CBC Ideas: Injustice For All, Part One

Ideas with Nahlah Ayed
Injustice For All, Part One
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Our justice system was developed under the assumption that both parties in a dispute would each have a lawyer. But most Canadians can’t afford a lawyer — which means that our justice system is tilted in favour of those who can. In a two-part series, IDEAS contributor Mitchell Stuart asks: is a system like that still capable of administering justice?


This episode features University of Windsor’s The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) and the work of Dr. Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall.

§5 Eight-five percent of (U.S.) librarians are white

I’m mentioning this article just for this paragraph:

Assessing the Racial Diversity of Librarians – Ithaka S+R

Yet, the data still consistently show that librarianship is a predominantly white profession. Eight-five percent of librarians are white despite the growing overall demographic diversity in the US, and we project that a decade from now 83 percent of librarians will be white. In the issue brief, we create a model to actually project how many more BIPOC students would need to graduate each year in order to reach a greater diversity threshold.  We estimate that between 500-1,100 additional BIPOC students would need to graduate from MLIS programs every year for the next 10 years if the profession is to become 25 percent BIPOC. 

§6 The AI Incident Database

The AI Incident Database is dedicated to indexing the collective history of harms or near harms realized in the real world by the deployment of artificial intelligence systems. Like similar databases in aviation and computer security, the AI Incident Database aims to learn from experience so we can prevent or mitigate bad outcomes.

You are invited to submit incident reports, whereupon submissions will be indexed and made discoverable to the world. Artificial intelligence will only be a benefit to people and society if we collectively record and learn from its failings.

About the database: https://incidentdatabase.ai/

Hat-tip: beSpacific.

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