YouTube’s algorithm hacked a human vulnerability, setting a dangerous precedent — from which-50.com by Andrew Birmingham

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Even as YouTube’s recommendation algorithm was rolled out with great fanfare, the fuse was already burning. A project of The Google Brain and designed to optimise engagement, it did something unforeseen — and potentially dangerous.

Today, we are all living with the consequences.

As Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, explained to attendees of Hitachi Vantara’s Next 2019 conference in Las Vegas this week, “What the developers did not understand at the time is that YouTube’ algorithm had discovered a human vulnerability. And it was using this [vulnerability] at scale to increase YouTube’s engagement time — without a single engineer thinking, ‘is this what we should be doing?’”

 

The consequence of the vulnerability — a natural human tendency to engage with edgier ideas — led to YouTube’s users being exposed to increasingly extreme content, irrespective of their preferred areas of interest.

“What they had done was use machine learning to increase watch time. But what the machine learning system had done was to discover a human vulnerability. And that human vulnerability is that things that are slightly edgier are more attractive and more interesting.”

 

From DSC:
Just because we can…

 

 

3 reasons KM and learning systems will soon be amazing — from blog.feathercap.net by Feathercap staff; with thanks to Mr. Tim Seager for this resource

Excerpt:

We’re at an amazing time today as all manner of learning vendors and knowledge management systems are going through a renaissance. Vendors have understood that no one has time to learn required job skills as a separate learning event, and must gain the skills they need in real time as they perform their jobs. A big driver are the technology changes such as the availability of AI approaches accelerating this trend.

From the Knowledge management (KM) providers to the Learning Management Systems (LMS), we’re seeing big improvements. For over a decade LMSs in their present form track and deliver on-demand learning and classroom training. Then came micro learning vendors, with a focus on bite size / 10 min or less training with the Knowledge management (KM) tools and systems growing at the same time. KMs were built to make findable the institutional knowledge an organization uses for each person to do their job. Finally, we have Learning Experience Platforms (LXP), which focus on delivering and recommending micro and macro learning content (macro – longer than 10 minutes to consume) at the moment of need. There has been a downside to all of these approaches however, they all require the workforce, SMEs and content authors to manicure all this content to ensure it is both fresh and useful. Here are the three reasons all of these approaches will soon be amazing…

 

 

Delivering learning across a lifetime: Higher education’s new paradigm — from evolllution.com with thanks to Mr. Amrit Ahluwalia for his work on this

Excerpt:

Higher education is no longer a single engagement in an individual’s life, or a stop-off point between high school and a career.
Today, and into the future, higher education’s role is ongoing as the demands of the future labor market will require individuals to continuously up-skill and re-skill to remain relevant. As such, while the traditional two- or four-year postsecondary model will continue to play an important role, colleges and universities must expand their repertoire to consciously deliver learning across individuals’ lifetimes.

Read on to learn how the 100 Year Life is changing the fundamental learning needs of individuals across the labor market, and to understand how postsecondary institutions can evolve to fulfil their missions within this new paradigm.

 

From DSC:
This important perspective/trend reminds me of the graphic below…

 

Also see:

 

60 years of higher ed --really?

 

The employee of the future, he added, “typically will have a new job every five years, probably for 60 to 80 years, and probably every one of those will require skills you did not learn in college.”

 
 
 

In U.S., decline of Christianity continues at rapid pace — from pewforum.org
An update on America’s changing religious landscape

 

 

 

From DSC:
Looking around…how’s that going for us? How is the United States doing internally? How is our nation doing externally? In my own life, when I’ve gotten away from the LORD, things have not gone very well. When family members have grown apart from the LORD, things declined in their lives as they did in my own life. I look around and I see that kind of phenomenon happening corporately as well.

 

Psalm 33:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…

…and conversely…???

 

Addendums on 10/18/19:

 

Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game — from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao and Jonathan Stray
Play our courtroom algorithm game The US criminal legal system uses predictive algorithms to try to make the judicial process less biased. But there’s a deeper problem.

Excerpt:

As a child, you develop a sense of what “fairness” means. It’s a concept that you learn early on as you come to terms with the world around you. Something either feels fair or it doesn’t.

But increasingly, algorithms have begun to arbitrate fairness for us. They decide who sees housing ads, who gets hired or fired, and even who gets sent to jail. Consequently, the people who create them—software engineers—are being asked to articulate what it means to be fair in their code. This is why regulators around the world are now grappling with a question: How can you mathematically quantify fairness? 

This story attempts to offer an answer. And to do so, we need your help. We’re going to walk through a real algorithm, one used to decide who gets sent to jail, and ask you to tweak its various parameters to make its outcomes more fair. (Don’t worry—this won’t involve looking at code!)

The algorithm we’re examining is known as COMPAS, and it’s one of several different “risk assessment” tools used in the US criminal legal system.

 

But whether algorithms should be used to arbitrate fairness in the first place is a complicated question. Machine-learning algorithms are trained on “data produced through histories of exclusion and discrimination,” writes Ruha Benjamin, an associate professor at Princeton University, in her book Race After Technology. Risk assessment tools are no different. The greater question about using them—or any algorithms used to rank people—is whether they reduce existing inequities or make them worse.

 

You can also see change in these articles as well:

 

 

From DSC:
The other day, I put this post out there.

Now, I’d like to add to that information with information from Mr. Joseph Byerwalter, who pointed me to the following videos re: LEGO BOOST!

 

LEGO® BOOST lets children create models with motors and sensors, and then bring their creations to life through simple, icon-based coding commands. The free LEGO BOOST tablet app includes easy step-by-step building instructions for creating and coding multifunctional models.

P.S. I am not getting paid by LEGO or anyone else here.
I just think learning should be engaging and fun!

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

 

LEGO BOOST

Addendum on 10/18/19:

 

DC: In the future…will there be a “JustWatch” or a “Suppose” for learning-related content?

DC: In the future...will there be a JustWatch or a Suppose for learning-related content?

 

5 good tools to create whiteboard animations — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In short, whiteboard animation (also called video scribing or animated doodling) is a video clip in which the recorder records the process of drawing on a whiteboard while using audio comment. The final result is a beautiful synchronization of the drawings and the audio feedback. In education, whiteboard animation videos  are used in language teaching/learning, in professional development sessions, to create educational tutorials and presentations and many more. In today’s post, we are sharing with you some good web tools you can use to create whiteboard animation videos.

 

 

 

Preparing faculty for high-quality online programs — from campustechnology.com by Anne Frankel, Laurie Friedman, Jamie Mansell, Jennifer Ibrahim
Temple University’s College of Public Health is a diverse school experiencing significant growth online. Here’s how the institution is supporting the development and maintenance of high-quality online faculty.

Excerpt:

We recognized that faculty may be at different levels of preparedness and self-efficacy to start teaching in an online space — and we realized the challenges of organizing faculty in a single location at a given time. Therefore, we chose to deliver the training in a fully asynchronous environment, allowing faculty the time and space needed to digest the materials and practice with the content to build their confidence. Faculty are enrolled in the training during the semester prior to their assigned online class, and are asked to complete the training at least four weeks before the start of their online course to provide sufficient time for feedback to the faculty with lead time for changes to the course before launching, if needed.

We wanted the training to take the faculty member through the design of an entire online course, from syllabus creation, to choices in delivery style, to assessment techniques and more. Each of the nine modules included both pedagogical and technological pieces, encompassing everything from creating alignment (Module 3), to setting up your Canvas site (Module 4), to designing and delivering synchronous sessions (Module 8).

Within each module, there is an organized infrastructure to ensure a consistent experience for the faculty. The structure starts with a clear set of learning objectives, designed both to model best practices and to ensure alignment with activities and assessments. Following the objectives, there are diverse resources, including videos, instructional guides with screenshots, web links, journal articles and examples from our online classes. After the content, each module contains “assignments” for the faculty to complete. These assignments allow the faculty to demonstrate that they can incorporate both technological and pedagogical best practices within their own online course.

 

From DSC:
Is this only on Pixel 4? If so, too bad. It has a lot of potential — especially for students and lecture capture!

Speaking of lecture capture…Panopto offers an incredible search feature for searching text, audio, and video!

“With Panopto, you can search through your video library the same way you’d search across the internet, or through your email.

  • By any keyword spoken in your videos
  • By any word that ever appears on-screen or anywhere else in your video
  • By traditional and advanced metadata, including tags and titles, viewer notes and comments, and even speakers notes from your PowerPoint slides.
  • Panopto enables you to search across every video in your library…and get specific results that fast-forward to the exact moment the keyword occurs in your video.”

 

 

Students nationwide to join coding boot camp phase of 2019 National Cyber Robotics Coding Competition — from gocoderz.com

Excerpts:

During the first phase, a two-week boot camp, students and educators begin learning about coding and robotics in a virtual, highly scaffolded “sandbox” on the competition platform, the award-winning CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment. The cloud-based platform features a graphical simulation of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots; users activate the virtual robot, or “cyber-robot,” in game-like “missions” and watch the results in a real-time simulation.

Organized by ISCEF, the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation, the national CRCC is the first-of-its-kind, online coding and robotics tournament for students in grades 5-8 that enables schools, districts, after-school programs and clubs to engage students in STEM learning.

 

Also see:

Cyber Robotics 101 Course

Bring Cyber Robotics into your classroom. Use the appeal of robotics and gaming to introduce all your students to coding

The solution empowers all students to learn STEM.
Students learn how to code and operate virtual robots guided by a step-by-step instruction and gamified missions completely online. No need for expensive hardware or specialized training.

CoderZ is classroom ready, designed for teachers, and school friendly. The courseware can be teacher-led, self-paced or used in flipped classroom.

Level: Middle School (5 – 8th Grade). No previous knowledge is needed.
Length: 15 hours of courseware and programming exercises

Give students an in depth look at STEM and cyber robotics using all the available teacher resources…

Coding Robots

Introduce students to the concepts of Robots and Code with CoderZ, an online learning environment for programming real and virtual robots.

The Robotics & Coding STEM Curriculum brings your students up to speed with code and robotics in no time. This 45 hour program will teach your students to solve STEM problems through code, using math and engineering to overcome challenges. CoderZ uses engaging simulation so students will have immediate life-like feedback and can work from any computer, even from home, making sure all students get to code their robot even when time and resources are limited.

The Coding Robots STEM Curriculum brings your students up to speed with code and robotics in no time. This 45 hour program will teach your students to solve STEM problems through code, using math and engineering to overcome challenges. CoderZ helps get teachers started with robotics and bring the interdisciplinary value of STEM into the classroom. CoderZ uses engaging simulation so students will have immediate life-like feedback and can work from any computer, in class or at home, making sure all students get to code their robot even when time and resources are limited.

Learning Robotics and Coding with CoderZ

CoderZ is an online STEM learning environment where students worldwide engage in Robotics and Computer Science Education (CSEd) by coding virtual 3D robots.

 

 

From DSC:
Regular readers of this blog will know that for years, I’ve made it one of my goals to try and raise awareness of the need for institutions of higher education to lower their tuitions! For example, Yohan Na and I designed the graphic below way back in 2009.

 

Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo

 

Through those years, I cringed when I kept hearing various Boards say, “We only increased our tuition by ___ % — the lowest percentage increase in our state.” The direction was completely wrong! It needed to go down, not up. If you work in higher ed, I encourage you to find a way for that to happen at your own institution.

So I’m very pleased to report that the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School — where I work — was able to reduce tuition by 21%!!! 

Don’t get me wrong, some tough decisions were made to pave the way for that to occur. But this will be the case no matter which institution of higher education that you look at. An institution will have to make some tough choices to reduce their tuition. But it HAS to occur. We can’t keep this upward trajectory going.

If we don’t change this trajectory, we will continue to put enormous gorillas (of debt) on our graduates’ backs! Such debt will take our graduates decades to pay off. 

We need to be aware of these invisible gorillas of debt. That is, our students move on…and we don’t see them. But their gorillas remain.

 



Addendum on 10/18/19:

Victoria Vuletich, the assistant dean at the Grand Rapids, Michigan campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan’s Legal Talk Network to discuss what the law school experience is like for the current generation of students. 



 

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