Highest Rated Comments

lonnib146 karma

Very important and interesting question. Indeed we are aware of potential misuses and even mention them on the TEDx video about this.

First, the technology to process images existed before we thought of this as a use case (it was invented by researchers working on rendering techniques). So governments could have used it for a while. Our contribution is mainly the study: we have found one technique that seems to reduce aversion more than the others. The google chrome plugin is but a small contribution to have as a proof of concept (and we'd be happy to see people extend on it, it's all on GitHub).

Second, the implementation of the google chrome extension gives complete control to the user. You decide if the extension is on or not and you can decide how strong the processing of the image is going to be. A right click on the image and you get the original image back.

Third, as with any technology, abuse is impossible to avoid. The internet is a wonderful technology but has been used to spy or do a lot of illegal things (from governments to individuals). As we did not even invent the technique, we have very little control over its use, but we make sure to explain that user control is necessary for this kind of technology to be useful.

lonnib55 karma

As of now, I don't think that they have released anything more than a press-release. The press release is definitely marketing. I am personally waiting for the data to be public and their protocol to obtain the data too. Without this, it's impossible to know what this number means I would say.

Edit: u/barbusceptique is a journalist and might be able to answer that better than I would

lonnib47 karma

Hi and thanks a lot for the question!

Quick question about the future vaccine. I personally feel like there is a lack of concerted, coordinated, international effort to develop this vaccine. With the lack of a common goal between independent research no wonder there’s so much scientific waste.

We did this analysis before the vaccine was a thing so we don't have any data. I seem to recall that a firm actually shared publicly their vaccine's protocol and "recipe" online a while ago so I guess some are making an effort in order to not waste scientific resources. But I would tend to agree, science seems much more about careers (for scientists) and money (for companies) in some cases that I am often left with that feeling too.

Do you think it’s not too late for a body/entity to lead this global effort, or do you think that this is impossible considering how much of the vaccine development is run by separate companies?

I want to think that it's not too late. WHO should be able to do this perhaps? Or should they not... it's a difficult question that goes beyond science and involves politics and economics too.

I personally would like everything to be either public domain or CC-BY (and I apply that to all my productions, scientific or others like photographies), especially when it comes to health, but the US has definitely taken another approach it seems... Europe has it a little bit better I guess in the sense that everyone has access to meds, but companies still make a profit... I guess companies should be able to make a profit but the question is more how much and how their profit align or not with people's health. Surely there is a better trade-off than what we currently have.

lonnib42 karma

I do not think so. But you might have something in mind that I have not thought of...?

lonnib42 karma

Hi and thanks for this super interesting question.

I would say that there are actually several questions within your question here.

what is the process to follow when basic scientific/research principles are misused in research?

You can flag that paper to the editors of the journal with the evidence you have gathered, or reply to that specific paper with what we call a commentary: its goal is to highlight the shortcomings of the aforementioned paper.

do you get papers taken down or do they just need to be labelled as potentially flawed?

Papers do get taken down, we call it retraction. Several COVID19 papers have been retracted (and in our data we analysed why they were). You can follow "retraction watch" to know what papers have been retracted. Papers that have been retracted usually have a notice on their publication page.

how do you make non-scientific people (like me, or even possibly news agencies for that matter) aware of the fact that certain studies are flawed so that they do not reference them as reliable sources?

This is a very difficult question to answer. We advocate in our paper for Open Peer Reviews, which means that we want the referees' reports on the paper to be published alongside the paper itself. Often in the reviews, the flaws or limitations of a manuscript are highlighted and the authors are supposed to respond to these and modify their manuscripts accordingly. Publishing the reviews for everyone to see would highlight these initially spotted limitations even more I would say. You can read more about Open Reviews in one of my manuscripts here: https://researchintegrityjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41073-020-00094-z

Other than this, scientists now use Twitter and Facebook a lot to communicate about science. And sites like PubPeer provide post-publication peer review of manuscript. So if a scientist sees that a manuscript is potentially flawed, they can simply post their questions or highlight their concerns there. I would suggest to always check for retractions and pubpeer comments.