They then worked with a deepfake artist who used an open-source algorithm to swap in Putin’s and Kim’s faces. A post-production crew cleaned up the leftover artifacts of the algorithm to make the video look more realistic. All in all the process took only 10 days. Attempting the equivalent with CGI likely would have taken months, the team says. It also could have been prohibitively expensive.
Last year, Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel suggested that we in Australia should become “human custodians”. This would mean being leaders in technological development, ethics, and human rights.
A recent report from the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) brought together experts from scientific and technical fields as well as the humanities, arts and social sciences to examine key issues arising from artificial intelligence.
A similar vision drives Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. The institute brings together researchers from the humanities, education, law, medicine, business and STEM to study and develop “human-centred” AI technologies.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford similarly investigates “big-picture questions” to ensure “a long and flourishing future for humanity”.
The IT sector is also wrestling with the ethical issues raised by rapid technological advancement. Microsoft’s Brad Smith and Harry Shum wrote in their 2018 book The Future Computed that one of their “most important conclusions” was that the humanities and social sciences have a crucial role to play in confronting the challenges raised by AI
Without training in ethics, human rights and social justice, the people who develop the technologies that will shape our future could make poor decisions.
“the perfect combination of catalysts for a rapid conversion to student-centered schooling,” according to a new report from the Christensen Institute.
most K-12 educators aren’t equipped with the skill sets needed to run student-centered schools. For student-centered learning to be adopted, educators must be trained for student-centered competencies,
the report suggests school and district leaders:
Work toward a more modular professional development system, which includes specific, verifiable and predictable microcredentials.
Specify competencies needed for student-centered educators.
Compensate educators with bonuses for microcredentialsto incentivize earning them.
Purchase bulk licenses to allow teachers the opportunity to earn microcredentials.
Demand and pay for mastery of skills rather than a one-time workshop.
Vet microcredential issuers’ verification processes, like rubrics and evaluation systems.
While testing could help with personalized instruction, a report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education stressed the need for professional development so teachers can interpret the resulting data and let it guide instruction this year.micr
Investment continues to flow to ed tech, with $803 million injected during the first six months of the year, according to the industry news website EdSurge. But half of that went to just six companies, including the celebrity tutorial provider MasterClass, the online learning platform Udemy and the school and college review site Niche.
From the outside, the ed-tech sector may appear as if “there’s a bonanza and it’s like the dot-com boom again and everybody’s printing money,” said Michael Hansen, CEO of the K-12 and higher education digital learning provider Cengage. “That is not the case.”
Even if they want to buy more ed-tech tools, meanwhile, schools and colleges are short on cash. Expenses for measures to deal with Covid-19 are up, while budgets are expected to be down.
Analysts and industry insiders now expect a wave of acquisitions as already-dominant brands like these seek to corner even more of the market by snatching up smaller players that provide services they don’t.
Tech-based contact tracing could put schools in murky privacy territory
A white paper from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) suggests the use of contact tracing technology by schools could erode student privacy and may not be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Despite the pandemic, schools still must conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other laws governing student privacy. Districts can disclose information to public health officials, for example, but information can’t be released to the general public without written consent from parents.
The Safely Reopen Schools mobile app is one tool available for automating contact tracing. The idea is that if two mobile phones are close enough to connect via Bluetooth, the phone owners are close enough to transmit the virus. The app includes daily health check-ins and educational notifications, but no personal information is exchanged between the phones, and the app won’t disclose who tested positive.
Colleges are also using apps to help trace and track students’ exposure to coronavirus. In August, 20,000 participants from the University of Alabama at Birmingham were asked to test the GuideSafe mobile app, which will alert them if they’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The app determines the proximity of two people through cell phone signal strength. If someone reports they contracted the virus, an alert will be sent to anyone who has been within six feet of them for at least 15 minutes over the previous two weeks.
Critics of the technology claim these apps aren’t actually capable of contract tracing and could undermine manual efforts to do so.