The most popular approaches today focus on Big Data, ormimicking humansthat already know how to do some task. But sheer mimicry breaks down when one gives a machine new tasks, and,as I explained a few weeks ago, Big Data approaches tend to excel at finding correlations without necessarily being able to induce the rules of the game. If Big Data alone is not a powerful enough tool to induce a strategy in a complex but well-defined game like chess, then that’s a problem, since the real world is vastly more open-ended, and considerably more complicated.
To say that someone is or is not intelligent has never been merely a comment on their mental faculties. It is always also a judgment on what they are permitted to do. Intelligence, in other words, is political.
The problem has taken an interesting 21st-century twist with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The term ‘intelligence’ itself has never been popular with English-language philosophers. Nor does it have a direct translation into German or ancient Greek, two of the other great languages in the Western philosophical tradition. But that doesn’t mean philosophers weren’t interested in it. Indeed, they were obsessed with it, or more precisely a part of it: reason or rationality. The term ‘intelligence’ managed to eclipse its more old-fashioned relative in popular and political discourse only with the rise of the relatively new-fangled discipline of psychology, which claimed intelligence for itself.
Plato conclude, in The Republic, that the ideal ruler is ‘the philosopher king’, as only a philosopher can work out the proper order of things. This idea was revolutionary at the time. Athens had already experimented with democracy, the rule of the people – but to count as one of those ‘people’ you just had to be a male citizen, not necessarily intelligent. Elsewhere, the governing classes were made up of inherited elites (aristocracy), or by those who believed they had received divine instruction (theocracy), or simply by the strongest (tyranny).
Plato’s novel idea fell on the eager ears of the intellectuals, including those of his pupil Aristotle. Aristotle was always the more practical, taxonomic kind of thinker. He took the notion of the primacy of reason and used it to establish what he believed was a natural social hierarchy.
So at the dawn of Western philosophy, we have intelligence identified with the European, educated, male human. It becomes an argument for his right to dominate women, the lower classes, uncivilised peoples and non-human animals. While Plato argued for the supremacy of reason and placed it within a rather ungainly utopia, only one generation later, Aristotle presents the rule of the thinking man as obvious and natural.
The late Australian philosopher and conservationist Val Plumwood has argued that the giants of Greek philosophy set up a series of linked dualisms that continue to inform our thought. Opposing categories such as intelligent/stupid, rational/emotional and mind/body are linked, implicitly or explicitly, to others such as male/female, civilised/primitive, and human/animal. These dualisms aren’t value-neutral, but fall within a broader dualism, as Aristotle makes clear: that of dominant/subordinate or master/slave. Together, they make relationships of domination, such as patriarchy or slavery, appear to be part of the natural order of things.
Descartes rendered nature literally mindless, and so devoid of intrinsic value – which thereby legitimated the guilt-free oppression of other species.
For Kant, only reasoning creatures had moral standing. Rational beings were to be called ‘persons’ and were ‘ends in themselves’. Beings that were not rational, on the other hand, had ‘only a relative value as means, and are therefore called things’. We could do with them what we liked.
This line of thinking was extended to become a core part of the logic of colonialism. The argument ran like this: non-white peoples were less intelligent; they were therefore unqualified to rule over themselves and their lands. It was therefore perfectly legitimate – even a duty, ‘the white man’s burden’ – to destroy their cultures and take their territory.
The same logic was applied to women, who were considered too flighty and sentimental to enjoy the privileges afforded to the ‘rational man’.
Galton believe that intellectual ability was hereditary and could be enhanced through selective breeding. He decided to find a way to scientifically identify the most able members of society and encourage them to breed – prolifically, and with each other. The less intellectually capable should be discouraged from reproducing, or indeed prevented, for the sake of the species. Thus eugenics and the intelligence test were born together.
From David Hume to Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud through to postmodernism, there are plenty of philosophical traditions that challenge the notion that we’re as intelligent as we’d like to believe, and that intelligence is the highest virtue.
From 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Terminator films, writers have fantasised about machines rising up against us. Now we can see why. If we’re used to believing that the top spots in society should go to the brainiest, then of course we should expect to be made redundant by bigger-brained robots and sent to the bottom of the heap.
Natural stupidity, rather than artificial intelligence, remains the greatest risk.
the trending but undefined concepts of digital storytelling and immersive learning
Storytelling is a logical form of thought. It is an analytical process including perception, labeling, organizing, categorizing real and imaginary objects and their real and imaginary relations in speech.
Q: What do you think immersive documentation technologies such as 360 images and videos can bring to this process?
V: 360 degree media and virtual reality are cultural-historically developed tools that mediate our relationship to the world in a new way. They expand the possible fields of perception transcending space and time. Perception precedes other psychological functions.
Immersive storytelling can be understood as an activity through which students use language to visualize relations and meaning in 360 degree digital environments. Naming or describing relations between objects in our field of perception using verbal or visual language awakens intellectual processes fundamental to learning.
Q: Would you say immersive storytelling is a form of creative play?
V: That is a possible interpretation. Play is a psychological process through which we create an imaginary situation or place, reflecting or separating objects and their actual meaning, or creating new meanings. The ability to digitally create and modify situations and environments can be understood as a form of play, opening a realm of spontaneity and freedom, connected with pleasure.
Q: Can robots help us learn? Is AI already the More Knowledgeable Other?
V: The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) refers to anyone or anything who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. If a robot with artificial intelligence can function as an MKO and support our problem solving, it can expand our Zone of Proximal Development.
1.Decreased Productivity – When a manager is constantly looking over their employees’ shoulders, it can lead to a lot of second-guessing and paranoia, and ultimately leads to dependent employees. Additionally, such managers spends a lot of time giving input and tweaking employee workflows, which can drastically slow down employee response time.
2. Reduced Innovation – When employees feel like their ideas are invalid or live in constant fear of criticism, it’s eventually going to take a toll on creativity. In cultures where risk-taking is punished, employees will not dare to take the initiative. Why think outside the box when your manager is only going to shoot down your ideas and tell you to do it their way?
3. Lower Morale – Employees want the feeling of autonomy. If employees cannot make decisions at all without their managers input, they will feel suffocated. Employees that are constantly made to feel they can’t do anything right may try harder for a while, but will eventually stop trying at all. The effects of this will be evident in falling employee engagement levels.
4. High Staff Turnover – Most people don’t take well to being micromanaged. When talented employees are micromanaged, they often do one thing; quit. No one likes to come to work every day and feel they are walking into a penitentiary with their every movement being monitored. “Please Micromanage Me” Said No Employee ever. I have never seen a happy staff under micromanagement.
5. Loss of Trust – Micromanagement will eventually lead to a massive breakdown of trust. It demotivates and demoralizes employees. Your staff will no longer see you as a manager, but a oppressor whose only job is to make their working experience miserable.
Micromanaging is the opposite of empowerment and it creates toxic work environments. It chokes the growth of the employee and the organization and fosters mediocrity.
If you want performance at scale: Select the right people, provide them with the proper training, tools and support, and then give them room to get the job done!
Tech-savvy retailers and e-commerce e-tailers are incorporating augmented reality technology to enhance the customer experience. Given that61% of consumers prefer stores which provide AR experiences, integrating AR technology is an effective way to improve customer experiences with your brand and turn prospects into customers.
2. Identify and follow up on leads through AI.
AI technology can be used by businesses as an ultra-reliable sales assistant. An AI-enhanced assistant can collect and analyze data about the lead, and it can remind you when to follow up on leads and ensures no vital stones are left unturned. Even better, AI can help you focus on the leads that are more likely to turn into sales and prompt you when you should take specific actions.
One example is Zia, the Zoho Intelligent Assistant built into the Zoho CRM application. Zia can predict which leads are more likely to close, so you can prioritize your sales rep time and better forecast sales.
3. Improve marketing campaigns with augmented reality.
AR can enable businesses to deliver marketing strategies in real time. This means customers can experience your products or services as they are meant to be. In the retail sector, savvy brands are using AR as a powerful form of marketing. Timberland, for example, invested inLemon and Orange’s virtual fitting room technology, to allow customers to ‘try before they buy’ remotely.
despite China’s many technological advances, in this new cyberspace race, the West had the lead.
Xi knew he had to act. Within twelve months he revealed his plan to make China a science and technology superpower. By 2030 the country would lead the world in AI, with a sector worth $150 billion. How? By teaching a generation of young Chinese to be the best computer scientists in the world.
Today, the US tech sector has its pick of the finest minds from across the world, importing top talent from other countries – including from China. Over half of Bay Area workers are highly-skilled immigrants. But with the growth of economies worldwide and a Presidential administration hell-bent on restricting visas, it’s unclear that approach can last.
In the UK the situation is even worse. Here, the government predicts there’ll be a shortfall of three million employees for high-skilled jobs by 2022 – even before you factor in the immigration crunch of Brexit. By contrast, China is plotting a homegrown strategy of local and national talent development programs. It may prove a masterstroke.
In 2013 the city’s teenagers gained global renown when they topped the charts in the PISA tests administered every three years by the OECD to see which country’s kids are the smartest in the world. Aged 15, Shanghai students were on average three full years ahead of their counterparts in the UK or US in maths and one-and-a-half years ahead in science.
Teachers, too, were expected to be learners. Unlike in the UK, where, when I began to teach a decade ago, you might be working on full-stops with eleven-year-olds then taking eighteen-year-olds through the finer points of poetry, teachers in Shanghai specialised not only in a subject area, but also an age-group.
Shanghai’s success owed a lot to Confucian tradition, but it fitted precisely the best contemporary understanding of how expertise is developed. In his book Why Don’t Kids Like School? cognitive Dan Willingham explains that complex mental skills like creativity and critical thinking depend on our first having mastered the simple stuff. Memorisation and repetition of the basics serve to lay down the neural architecture that creates automaticity of thought, ultimately freeing up space in our working memory to think big.
Seung-bin Lee, a seventeen-year-old high school graduate, told me of studying fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, for the three years leading up to the Suneung, the fearsome SAT exam taken by all Korean school leavers on a single Thursday each November, for which all flights are grounded so as not to break students’ concentration during the 45 minutes of the English listening paper.
Korea’s childhoods were being lost to a relentless regime of studying, crushed in a top-down system that saw them as cyphers rather than kids.
A decade ago, we consoled ourselves that although kids in China and Korea worked harder and did better on tests than ours, it didn’t matter. They were compliant, unthinking drones, lacking the creativity, critical thinking or entrepreneurialism needed to succeed in the world. No longer. Though there are still issues with Chinese education – urban centres like Shanghai and Hong Kong are positive outliers – the country knows something that we once did: education is the one investment on which a return is guaranteed. China is on course to becoming the first education superpower.
Troublingly, where education in the UK and US has been defined by creativity and independent thinking – Shanghai teachers told me of visits to our schools to learn about these qualities – our direction of travel is now away from those strengths and towards exams and standardisation, with school-readiness tests in the pipeline and UK schools minister Nick Gibb suggesting kids can beat exam stress by sitting more of them. Centres of excellence remain, but increasingly, it feels, we’re putting our children at risk of losing out to the robots, while China is building on its strong foundations to ask how its young people can be high-tech pioneers. They’re thinking big – we’re thinking of test scores.
soon “digital information processing” would be included as a core subject on China’s national graduation exam – the Gaokao – and pictured classrooms in which students would learn in cross-disciplinary fashion, designing mobile phones for example, in order to develop design, engineering and computing skills. Focusing on teaching kids to code was short-sighted, he explained. “We still regard it as a language between human and computer.” (My note: they are practically implementing the Finland’s attempt to rebuild curricula)
“If your plan is for one year,” went an old Chinese saying, “plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” Two and half thousand years later chancellor Gwan Zhong might update his proverb, swapping rice for bitcoin and trees for artificial intelligence, but I’m sure he’d stand by his final point.
at RMG’s Annual Presidents’ Seminar:
The View from the Top on Friday February 9, 2018, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
ALA Midwinter Conference, Denver Colorado Convention Center Room 505
Who, When, Where?
How will these disruptive technologies enter the
Library Industry ?
Who will lead the innovation?
And what about Robots, Blockchain, and the loss of Net Neutrality?
How will Artificial Intelligence and Self-Driving Cars improve library services and performance?
• In the age of click and digital download, will driverless library (or Uber or Lyft) delivery services plus robots-to-the-door put printed books and other physical items into readers’ hands with comparable ease? Or transport and escort readers to Library programs and browsing opportunities?
• Alexa: Please deliver to my weekend address the Hungarian cookbook I checked out from my Branch Library last year and fresh — not frozen — ingredients for goulash for six. Text me by Thursday if I can’t get all this by Friday 6pm. Also, could you recommend a suitable under $15 red wine available at my weekend Whole Foods?
• Siri or Alexa: Call the Library and make reservations for my two grandchildren and me for the February program on Spring solstice, and ask them to text each of us confirmations. Also, could you ask the Library to send them links to e-books that explain the history of astronomy? And deliver to Amy a book in English or Mandarin about ancient Chinese astronomy a week before the program?
The Seminar is open to everyone for dialogue on topical issues and concerns — registration is not required.
Attendees are invited to ask questions of Library Industry executives entrusted with delivering platforms and solutions for global library systems, services, and content to thousands of libraries serving millions of library users worldwide.
Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in K–12 Education
Improving Digital Literacy.
Schools are charged with developing students’ digital citizenship, ensuring mastery of responsible and appropriate technology use, including online etiquette and digital rights and responsibilities in blended and online learning settings. Due to the multitude of elements comprising digital literacy, it is a challenge for schools to implement a comprehensive and cohesive approach to embedding it in curricula.
Rethinking the Roles of Teachers.
Pre-service teacher training programs are also challenged to equip educators with digital and social–emotional competencies, such as the ability to analyze and use student data, amid other professional requirements to ensure classroom readiness.
p. 28 Improving Digital Literacy
Digital literacy spans across subjects and grades, taking a school-wide effort to embed it in curricula. This can ensure that students are empowered to adapt in a quickly changing world
Education Overview: Digital Literacy Has to Encompass More Than Social Use
The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate or share information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” While the ALA’s definition does align to some of the skills in “Participate”, it does not specifically mention the skills related to the “Open Practice.”
The library community’s digital and information literacy standards do not specifically include the coding, revision and remixing of digital content as skills required for creating digital information. Most digital content created for the web is “dynamic,” rather than fixed, and coding and remixing skills are needed to create new content and refresh or repurpose existing content. Leaving out these critical skills ignores the fact that library professionals need to be able to build and contribute online content to the ever-changing Internet.
p. 30 Rethinking the Roles of Teachers
Teachers implementing new games and software learn alongside students, which requires
a degree of risk on the teacher’s part as they try new methods and learn what works
p. 32 Teaching Computational Thinking
p. 36 Sustaining Innovation through Leadership Changes
shift the role of teachers from depositors of knowledge to mentors working alongside students;
p. 38 Important Developments in Educational Technology for K–12 Education
Consumer technologies are tools created for recreational and professional purposes and were not designed, at least initially, for educational use — though they may serve well as learning aids and be quite adaptable for use in schools.
Drones > Real-Time Communication Tools > Robotics > Wearable Technology
Digital strategies are not so much technologies as they are ways of using devices and software to enrich teaching and learning, whether inside or outside the classroom.
> Games and Gamification > Location Intelligence > Makerspaces > Preservation and Conservation Technologies
Enabling technologies are those technologies that have the potential to transform what we expect of our devices and tools. The link to learning in this category is less easy to make, but this group of technologies is where substantive technological innovation begins to be visible. Enabling technologies expand the reach of our tools, making them more capable and useful
Affective Computing > Analytics Technologies > Artificial Intelligence > Dynamic Spectrum and TV White Spaces > Electrovibration > Flexible Displays > Mesh Networks > Mobile Broadband > Natural User Interfaces > Near Field Communication > Next Generation Batteries > Open Hardware > Software-Defined Networking > Speech-to-Speech Translation > Virtual Assistants > Wireless Powe
Internet technologies include techniques and essential infrastructure that help to make the technologies underlying how we interact with the network more transparent, less obtrusive, and easier to use.
Bibliometrics and Citation Technologies > Blockchain > Digital Scholarship Technologies > Internet of Things > Syndication Tools
Learning technologies include both tools and resources developed expressly for the education sector, as well as pathways of development that may include tools adapted from other purposes that are matched with strategies to make them useful for learning.
Adaptive Learning Technologies > Microlearning Technologies > Mobile Learning > Online Learning > Virtual and Remote Laboratories
Social media technologies could have been subsumed under the consumer technology category, but they have become so ever-present and so widely used in every part of society that they have been elevated to their own category.
Crowdsourcing > Online Identity > Social Networks > Virtual Worlds
Visualization technologies run the gamut from simple infographics to complex forms of visual data analysis
3D Printing > GIS/Mapping > Information Visualization > Mixed Reality > Virtual Reality
p. 46 Virtual Reality
p. 48 AI
p. 50 IoT
more on NMC Horizon Reports in this IMS blog
The Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, and advancements in online learning have changed the way universities reach prospective students, engage with their current student body, and provide them the resources they need.
The Internet of Things has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in higher education. The increased connectivity between devices and “everyday things” means better data tracking and analytics, and improved communication between student, professor, and institution, often without ever saying a word. IoT is making it easier for students to learn when, how, and where they want, while providing professors support to create a more flexible and connected learning environment.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies have begun to take Higher Ed into the realm of what used to be considered science fiction.
Digital Bodies cofounders Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva for an interactive session that will examine five developments in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality with the greatest potential to impact teaching and learning. Ask your questions live as they explore how groundbreaking developments in VR, AR, MR, and artificial intelligence will power immersive technologies and transform learning.