The 21st Show

ENCORE: Illinois Twins Project; Using Artificial Intelligence In The Hiring Process; Predatory Academic Journals


Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr(CC BY 2.0)

We learned about Illinois' first ever twins database. And, the world of AI is getting more sophisticated all the time. These days, many companies are using AI to help look for job candidates. Plus, there’s a group of companies that make predatory academic journals. Investigative journalist Svea Eckert found them by submitting a paper with random, computer generated words. And they actually got printed.

Illinois Twins Project

Twins. What comes to mind? Maybe it's a famous set of twins, like the Olsen twins, or astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly. Maybe you’re a twin yourself?

One-in-thirty births in the US are twin births, that’s nearly 130,000 births according to the CDC’s latest numbers. And it turns out “twin research,” as it’s often called, can tell us a lot not just about twins, but about many different areas of life. Whether it’s genetics, child development or health.

Now, for the first time Illinois has its own statewide database of twins, triplets, or others who want to participate, and possibly help, researchers with their work. It’s called the Illinois Twins Project, and it was launched launched by Northwestern and the University of Illinois.

Jennifer Tackett is the co-principal investigator of the project. She’s an associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University.

Using Artificial Intelligence In The Hiring Process

If you’ve spent anytime looking for a new job recently, then you know that technology makes it a lot easier. Or perhaps you are an employer looking for new candidates. There are online search tools and networking sites LinkedIn. You can conduct interviews via video and use the web to search for tips on everything from resume templates to how to dress to impress. 

Technology has also become so sophisticated that many companies are using artificial intelligence to filter through resumes and even answer applicant questions. But, think of all of the controversy about Facebook’s algorithm when it determines our news feed. Now, think about using other algorithms to determine who gets an interview.

Alexia Elajalde-Ruiz reported on this for the Chicago Tribune. Jeffrey Blumenfeld is the Director of Career Moves at JVS Chicago, which provides career counseling and exploration services. Tony Lee works for the Society of Human Resource Management.

Predatory Academic Journals

Professors and scholars spend a lot of time trying to get their articles and studies published in academic journals. And we in the public trust that those academic journals represent a stamp of approval.

But it turns out, hundreds of academic journals are put out by companies that will publish almost anything that gets submitted. And these companies make millions of dollars from these journals. And, from fake academic conferences.

Svea Eckert investigated these companies. She joined us from Hamburg, Germany where she’s an investigative journalist mainly covering technology for ARD, Germany’s largest public broadcaster. Chris Sumner also joined us on the line from London, where he’s co-founder and research director with the Online Privacy Foundation.

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