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.
As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), we must be vigilant to keep our classes relevant to the rapidly changing workplace and the emerging digital aspects of life in the 2020s.
deployment of 5G delivery to mobile computing
Certainly, 5G provides a huge upgrade in bandwidth, enabling better streaming of video and gaming. However, it is the low latency of 5G that enables the most powerful potential for distance learning. VR, AR and XR could not smoothly function in the 4G environment because of the lag in images and responses caused by a latency rate of 50 milliseconds (ms). The new 5G technologies drop that latency rate to 5 ms or less, which produces responses and images that our brains perceive as seamlessly instant.
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.
The larger discussions, from what constitutes a nutritious diet to what actions will best further U.S. interests, require conversations between ordinary citizens and experts. But increasingly, citizens don’t want to have those conversations. Rather, they want to weigh in and have their opinions treated with deep respect and their preferences honored not on the strength of their arguments or on the evidence they present but based on their feelings, emotions, and whatever stray information they may have picked up here or there along the way.
Hofstadter argued that this overwhelming complexity produced feelings of helplessness and anger among a citizenry that knew itself to be increasingly at the mercy of more sophisticated elites. “
Credentialism can run amok, and guilds can use it cynically to generate revenue or protect their fiefdoms with unnecessary barriers to entry. But it can also reflect actual learning and professional competence, helping separate real experts from amateurs or charlatans.
Experts are often wrong, and the good ones among them are the first to admit it…. Yet these days, members of the public search for expert errors and revel in finding them—<b>not to improve understanding but rather to give themselves license to disregard all expert advice they don’t like.<b>
The convenience of the Internet is a tremendous boon, but mostly for people already trained in research and who have some idea what they’re looking for. It does little good, unfortunately, for a student or an untrained layperson who has never been taught how to judge the provenance of information or the reputability of a writer.
Libraries, or at least their reference and academic sections, once served as a kind of first cut through the noise of the marketplace. The Internet, however, is less a library than a giant repository where anyone can dump anything. In practice, this means that a search for information will rely on algorithms usually developed by for-profit companies using opaque criteria. Actual research is hard and often boring. It requires the ability to find authentic information, sort through it, analyze it, and apply it.
Government and expertise rely on each other, especially in a democracy. The technological and economic progress that ensures the well-being of a population requires a division of labor, which in turn leads to the creation of professions. Professionalism encourages experts to do their best to serve their clients, respect their own knowledge boundaries, and demand that their boundaries be respected by others, as part of an overall service to the ultimate client: society itself.
Dictatorships, too, demand this same service of experts, but they extract it by threat and direct its use by command. This is why dictatorships are actually less efficient and less productive than democracies (despite some popular stereotypes to the contrary). In a democracy, the expert’s service to the public is part of the social contract.
Too few citizens today understand democracy to mean a condition of political equality in which all get the franchise and are equal in the eyes of the law. Rather, they think of it as a state of actual equality, in which every opinion is as good as any other, regardless of the logic or evidentiary base behind it.
#DunningKrugerEffect #metacognition #democracy #science #academy #fakenews #conspiracytheories #politics #idiocracy #InformationTechnology #Internet
For those looking for ways to set podcast assignments : we developed a toolbox to guide students to plan, record and edit a 10-15min episode last year (little did I know I’d be rolling it out in a remote course, but it worked… mostly). Material, prompts and some thoughts on assessment now available on our website :https://blogs.helsinki.fi/podcourse/. Feel free to use it… and let me know how you get on 😉.
25 US Congressmen and Congresswomen have urged President Donald Trump… In a letter to the US President, dated July 15, they also pointed out that India took the “extraordinary step” of banning several “Chinese affiliated mobile apps including TikTok due to national security concerns”.
India had recently banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including the widely-used social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, and Helo within view of the threat to the nation’s sovereignty and security.
LITA listserv exchange on “Raspberry PI Counter for Library Users”
On 7/10/20, 10:05 AM, “firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Hammer, Erich F” <email@example.com on behalf of firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I think that is a very interesting project. If I understand how it works (comparing reference images to live images), it should still work if a “fuzzy” or translucent filter were placed on the lens as a privacy measure, correct? You could even make the fuzzy video publicly accessible to prove to folks that privacy is protected.
If that’s the case, IMHO, it really is a commercially viable idea and it would have a market far beyond libraries. Open source code and hardware designs and sales of pre-packaged hardware and support. Time for some crowdsource funding! 🙂
In 2018, following the university president’s call for ANY possible savings, the library administrator was send a proposal requesting information regarding the license for the current library counters and proposing the save the money for the license by creating an in-house Arduino counter. The blueprints for such counter were share (as per another LITA listserv exchange). SCSU Physics professor agreement to lead the project was secured as well as the opportunity for SCSU Physics students to develop the project as part of their individual study plan. The proposal was never addressed neither by the middle nor the upper management.