What we read this week (31 August 2018)

Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ’s Digital Group members. Eclectic mix of items as we catch up from our holidays.

Technology and publishing

Publishers’ are increasingly closing down their Chatbots reports Digiday: “The Guardian shut down its chatbot on Facebook’s Messenger earlier this year “in line with our strategy to engage more with readers on our own platforms. We remain committed to experimenting with ways to deliver the best of our journalism according to our readers’ changing habits,” said a spokesperson.”

Google has announced a new markup system that’s going to make content more accessible through voice search. he search giant has been working with schema.org to create a new markup property that allows you to wrap parts of your content in tags that Google can ‘read’ aloud to users for relevant queries, much like an audible version of instant answers.

Digiday report on a new study by Chartbeat which shows that only a third of publishers actually see clear evidence of a traffic increase from Google’s AMP services. The study looked at 159 publishers that adopted AMP in 2017. Most were U.S. publishers and represented a mix of national, local, news and lifestyle.


More from FRANKL.IO  about the  potential impact of blockchain on scientific publishing reporting on the editorial published in the  journal Semantic Web taking a serious look at the potential impact of blockchain on scientific publishing.

This is an old video from 2006 in which Cass Sunstein talks about crowd sourcing in the final mins there are some comments about using prediction markets in peer review: https://www.c-span.org/video/?194310-1/infotopia-minds-produce-knowledge


Open access

Interesting perspective from Simon Barron about the power that library systems vendors have over libraries (presented at UKSG Glasgow meeting in April).

Lizzie Gadd asks if the best way of incentivising open scholarship to measure it? Some thoughtful comments follow the blog post.

“Quality and openness are two completely separate things, and we do researchers and research a disservice if we confuse the two.”


Technology in medicine

Good article from Jeremy Kahn about the The Promise and Perils of AI Medical Care

“despite all the hype, there have only been 14 peer-reviewed publications involving computer-vision software interpreting medical imagery, according to a running tallymaintained by the cardiologist and medical writer Eric Topol. So far there’s been only one — one! — peer-reviewed study of a prospective trial, a study using AI to spot small polyps in colonoscopy images in real-time. But, as Topol notes, this hasn’t stopped the U.S. FDA from approving AI-enabled products – it has greenlit 13 so far, most of which haven’t published peer-reviewed research on their software’s performance.”

and more from the WSJ on IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence (AI) system falling short of some expectations for its outcomes in the fight against cancer.

 Oncology won’t be “a great space for making [AI] products” until there’s better data about patients, spanning genetic, environmental, lifestyle and health information, said Bob Kocher, a medical doctor and partner at venture-capital firm Venrock in Palo Alto, Calif. In the near term, most of the benefits from AI in the health-care field will come in administrative tasks such as billing, he added.


Fast Company on why “hearables” are finally tech’s next big thing Amazon, Apple, and Google are working on products that combine the utility of the hearing aid with the entertainment value of a pair of high-end headphones, and potentially much more, say sources.

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