The Launch of the ‘Documenting COVID-19’ Public Records Repository

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended American life and forced state and local governments to enact important policy decisions with incomplete or uncertain information. To help explain these decisions to the public, we’re launching an online repository of local, state and federal public records obtained through open-records requests called Documenting COVID-19 (documentingcovid19.io). We will provide these materials free-of-charge to

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The Brown Institute is Proud to Announce Its 2020-2021 Magic Grants

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a collaboration between Stanford University’s School of Engineering and Columbia Journalism School, is pleased to announce its 2020-2021 Magic Grant recipients. Every year, the Brown Institute awards $1M in grants and fellowships to foster new tools and modes of expression. This is the eighth cohort of grantees — each

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Fast and Three-rious: Speeding Up Weak Supervision with Triplet Methods

Authors Daniel Y. Fu, Mayee F. Chen, Frederic Sala, Sarah M. Hooper, Kayvon Fatahalian, Christopher Ré Abstract Weak supervision is a popular method for building machine learning models without relying on ground truth annotations. Instead, it generates probabilistic training labels by estimating the accuracies of multiple noisy labeling sources (e.g., heuristics, crowd workers). Existing approaches

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Mapping Data Flows – Zoom Edition

Video conferencing app Zoom has surged in popularity due to the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the questions: what data can the company collect about our conversations, and what could they do with it? Those questions were answered by the researchers behind Mapping Data Flows —  John Batelle, Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Columbia’s School

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Who’s in Charge?

This post is part of a series of profiles of our current 2019-20 Magic Grants. It gives us an opportunity to brag about the great work being done by our grantees, and also to encourage you to consider applying for one of next year’s grants! Funding could start as early as July 1, depending on

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Life on the Screen

This post is part of a series of profiles of our current 2019-20 Magic Grants. It gives us an opportunity to brag about the great work being done by our grantees, and also to encourage you to consider applying for one of next year’s grants! Funding could start as early as July 1, depending on

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Magic Grantee Derek Kravitz on the reporting behind The Times’ “Why New Orleans Pushed Ahead With Mardi Gras”

By Alex Calderwood Brown Institute fellow Derek Kravitz and New York Times correspondent Richard Fausset published a story yesterday that detailed why New Orleans officials went ahead with Mardi Gras, despite the growing worries at the time regarding COVID-19. The story, published in The Times as “Why New Orleans Pushed Ahead With Mardi Gras, Even

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