04.23.2019 The Weekly Spark

You are who your data says you are

This week we’re especially focused on user data: our organization’s values on data, and how you communicate those values to the communities you serve. Brought to you by Julia, Kate, Natania, and the rest of the ThinkShout team.

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(1) A blaring alarm on the future of AI

What’s happening with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China should shoot up a warning flare for everyone, everywhere. Its government is using facial recognition technology to further racially profile, track, and control Uighurs, a Muslim minority. [The New York Times]

(2) So, so many companies have targeted you on Facebook. But why?

Did you know that you can look at the long, fascinating, confusing, and terrifying list of companies who have paid to advertise to you on Facebook? Well, you can. And that’s just the beginning of the story. [Buzzfeed]

(3) You are who your data says you are:

On the Internet, and by extension, for everyone on the Internet using data to target you—you are what your data says you are. Ready to make your story a little bit more private? Try these approaches. [Fast Company]

(4) What’s your nonprofit’s stance on data collection?

How about automation? Algorithm anxiety is real, and in the next 18 months, automation will take the Internet by storm. We’re here to help. [Fast Company]

(5) Salesforce bought Salesforce.org

If your organization is using Salesforce’s tools for nonprofits, this sale should be on your radar. Salesforce.org, a formerly independent entity created to make Salesforce more accessible to smaller budget clients, might have changes on the horizon. [Market Watch]

(6) Technical debt: It builds up over time like Tetris blocks.

What is technical debt? And why should you be paying attention to the compounding shortcuts and messy code that builds up over time? Most importantly: What can you do about it? [Eric Higgins, Medium]

(7) Can we rely on bots to take care of our mental health?

Mental health apps offer more affordable healthcare to those who can’t afford or get access to mental health professionals in real life. But are these apps actually helping? Can we rely on AI and bots alone to address the complexities of human behavior? [Fast Company]

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