Wrongfully accused by an algorithm- from the New York Times

Wrongfully accused by an algorithm — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill

Excerpt:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.

An hour later, when he pulled into his driveway in a quiet subdivision in Farmington Hills, Mich., a police car pulled up behind, blocking him in. Two officers got out and handcuffed Mr. Williams on his front lawn, in front of his wife and two young daughters, who were distraught. The police wouldn’t say why he was being arrested, only showing him a piece of paper with his photo and the words “felony warrant” and “larceny.”

His wife, Melissa, asked where he was being taken. “Google it,” she recalls an officer replying.

“Is this you?” asked the detective.

The second piece of paper was a close-up. The photo was blurry, but it was clearly not Mr. Williams. He picked up the image and held it next to his face.

“No, this is not me,” Mr. Williams said. “You think all black men look alike?”

 

Also relevant/see:

What a machine learning tool that turns Obama white can (and can’t) tell us about AI bias

 

Acts of meaning: How AI-based interviewing will transform career preparation in higher education — from er.educause.edu by Alan Jones, Suzan Harkness and Nathan Mondragon

Excerpt:

Machines parrot and correlate information. They do not comprehend or synthesize information the way humans do. Factors such as accents in pronunciation, word ambiguity (especially if a word has multiple meanings), deeply coded biases, limited association data sets, narrow and limited network layers used in job screening, and static translations will continue to provide valid ground for caution in placing too much weight or attributing too much confidence in AI in its present form. Nonetheless, AI has crept into job candidate screening, the medical field, business analytics, higher education, and social media. What is currently essential is establishing an understanding of how best to harness and shape the use of AI to ensure it is equitable, valid, and reliable and to understand the shifting paradigm that professional career counselors play on campus as AI becomes more ubiquitous.

There appear to be three points worth considering: the AI interview in general, the predominance of word choice, and expressiveness as read by facial coding.

From DSC:
Until there is a lot more diversity within the fields of computer science and data science, I’m not as hopeful that biases can be rooted out. My niece, who worked for Microsoft for many years, finally left the company. She was tired of fighting the culture there. The large tech companies will need to do a lot better if AI is going to make FAIR and JUST inroads.

Plus, consider how many biases there are!

 

IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft abandon law enforcement face recognition market — from which-50.com by Andrew Birmingham

Excerpt:

Three global tech giants — IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft — have all announced that they will no longer sell their face recognition technology to police in the USA, though each announcement comes with its own nuance.

The new policy comes in the midst of ongoing national demonstrations in the US about police brutality and more generally the subject of racial inequality in the country under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter movement.

From DSC:
While I didn’t read the fine print (so I don’t know all of the “nuances” they are referring to) I see this as good news indeed! Well done whomever at those companies paused, and thought…

 

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

Addendum on 6/18/20:

  • Why Microsoft and Amazon are calling on Congress to regulate facial recognition tech — from finance.yahoo.com by Daniel HowleyExcerpt:
    The technology, which can be used to identify suspects in things like surveillance footage, has faced widespread criticism after studies found it can be biased against women and people of color. And according to at least one expert, there needs to be some form of regulation put in place if these technologies are going to be used by law enforcement agencies.“If these technologies were to be deployed, I think you cannot do it in the absence of legislation,” explained Siddharth Garg, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, told Yahoo Finance.
 

DC: Ouch! Likely a *major game-changer* — esp given the current landscape of #HigherEducation. [Christian]

From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of online learning. That said, I realize it’s not for everyone. Our son, who is studying to become an actor, hates it.

Given:

  • our current technological tools, setups, and  infrastructures
  • the ways that we are used to doing things
  • our past and current educational systems 
  • and folks’ learning preferences

…it’s hard to do some things online. I get it.

That said, I wouldn’t rule out the further significant growth and development of online-based learning experiences by any stretch of the imagination. The Coronavirus will force traditional institutions of higher education (plus many K-12 school systems as well as corporate training programs) to invest much more aggressively in the research and development of online-based learning experiences. And with AI-based tools like Otter.AI, our future virtually/digitally-based learning ecosystems could be very powerful indeed.

As but one example, consider that AI technologies — as unseen but present participants in future videoconferencing calls — will “listen” to the conversation and likely provide us with a constantly updating sidebar that will consist of beneficial resources such as:

  • relevant research
  • websites
  • journal articles
  • blog postings
  • former team conversations
  • etc.

The output from that sidebar will likely be able to be saved /downloaded just like we do with transcripts of chat sessions. The available options for such a service will be customizable, and filtering mechanisms can be turned on, or off, or be adjusted.

Otter dot AI

 

All of that said, it IS time to reduce the investments that are being used to create new athletic facilities and/or other new physical buildings. And it’s time to start reallocating those millions of dollars of investments into creating/developing highly-effective online-based learning experiences. 

Don’t get me wrong. Going to campus is an ideal learning experience, and I hope that for everyone out there. But if the current trends continue — especially the increasing costs of obtaining a degree — that won’t be an option for a growing number of people (especially with the aftermath/ripple effects of the Coronavirus on our society).

#CostOfObtainingADegree #StudentRelated #AI #InstructionalDesign #IntelligentSystems #IntelligentTutoring #FutureOfHigherEducation #Innovation #LearningEcosystems #HigherEducation #Change #NewBusinessModels #Reinvent #StayingRelevant #Surviving

 

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning [Moe & Rajendran]

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — from medium.com by Michael Moe and Vignesh Rajendran
An Acceleration of Trends That Have Been Building for Years

Excerpts:

Some of these new online learners will sink. Some will crawl out of the pool and never go back in. But we believe most will get the hang of it, like it, and will no longer be confined to the shore. Effectively, the genie is not going back in the bottle… digital learning has come of age. We have a B.C. (Before Coronavirus) world transitioning to A.D. (After Disease).

The Coronavirus has brought forth the Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — a time for builders to create the platforms, tools, and technology to propel society forward.

We now believe Digital Learning will reach 11% of the education market by 2026, representing a ~$1 Trillion market and a 30% CAGR, close to double the rate of growth projected in Before Covid-19

 

From DSC:
So many of the things in this article reminded me of the things, developments, trends, needs, and possibilities that I have been tracking for years in this vision of a next-generation, global learning platform that I have entitled:

We need a next gen learning platform -- I call this vision Learning from the Living Class Room

My guess is that the large, primarily online institutions/organizations will come out of this ordeal in much better shape than the majority of the traditional institutions of higher education. It won’t matter what faculty members at liberal arts institutions think about online learning. And as much as some faculty members won’t like to see or hear about it, students will no longer need for such faculty members to be sold on it. Students will come to realize that it was under those faculty members watch that their own enormous gorillas of debt were created. And they are beginning to witness and hear that it’s taking (or will take) older family members decades to pay down their debt.

So, I think that the market will decide the fate of many traditional institutions of higher education. Lifelong learners will vote with their feet — and fingers actually, by typing in a new URL — and simply move to the SNHU’s, ASU’s, UMass Online’s, WGU’s, and Liberty University’s of the world. After 5-10 years of investments in online learning, there will likely be some pretty amazing learning experiences out there.

 

From DSC:
Some of the areas likely to see such tools integrated into their arenas, operations, and ecosystems:

 
 

Why education is a ‘wicked problem’ for learning engineers to solve — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

So, back to the wicked problem: How do we make education that’s both quality education and at the same time accessible and affordable?

“Now, we are building a new technology that we call Agent Smith. It’s another AI technology— and we’re very excited about it—that builds [a] Jill Watson for you. And Agent Smith can build a Jill Watson for you in less than 10 percent of the hours.”

So one question for online education is, can we build a new set of tools—and I think that’s where AI is going to go, that learning engineering is going to go—where AI is not helping individual humans as much as AI is helping human-human interaction.

Huge ethical issues and something that learning engineering has not yet started focusing on in a serious manner. We are still in a phase of, “Look ma, no hands, I can ride a bike without hands.”

Technology should not be left to technologists.

Learning from the living class room

 

My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 

Future Today Institute's 2020 tech trends report

Key takeaways of this report:

  • Welcome to the Synthetic Decade.
  • You’ll soon have augmented hearing and sight.
  • A.I.-as-a-Service and Data-as-a-Service will reshape business.
  • China has created a new world order.
  • Home and office automation is nearing the mainstream.
  • Everyone alive today is being scored.
  • We’ve traded FOMO for abject fear.
  • It’s the end of forgetting.
  • Our new trust economy is being formed.

 

Amazon rolls out Alexa-powered voice shopping experience in India — from techcrunch.com by Manish Singh

Excerpt:

Amazon [on 3/12/20] rolled out an Alexa-enabled voice-powered shopping feature in India as the e-commerce giant looks for new ways to engage with customers in one of its key overseas markets.

Customers will be able to use Alexa to search for items on the e-commerce platform, add them to the cart and proceed to checkout — by tapping the in-app mic icon and saying commands such as “Alexa, show me sarees,” “Alexa, add saree to my cart” and “Alexa, go to checkout.”

 

AI laws are coming — from forbes.com by Kathleen Walch

Excerpt:

The pace of adoption for AI and cognitive technologies continues unabated with widespread, worldwide, rapid adoption. Adoption of AI by enterprises and organizations continues to grow, as evidenced by a recent survey showing growth across each of the seven patterns of AI. However, with this growth of adoption comes strain as existing regulation and laws struggle to deal with emerging challenges. As a result, governments around the world are moving quickly to ensure that existing laws, regulations, and legal constructs remain relevant in the face of technology change and can deal with new, emerging challenges posed by AI.

Research firm Cognilytica recently published a report on Worldwide AI Laws and Regulations that explores the latest legal and regulatory actions taken by countries around the world across nine different AI-relevant areas.

 

 

How AI can bridge the gap between business and IT — from technative.io

Excerpts:

Artificial intelligence and intelligent automation are changing how businesses function. How they collect data, capture information, present it, and leverage it to gain more customers, convert more visitors, and expand their operations.

According to Gartner, the global business value derived from AI will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022, through improved customer experience, reduced operating costs, and new revenue generation. Gartner also predicts that automating decision-making by harnessing unstructured data will be a key driving force of this trend- growing AI-derived value from just 2 percent in 2018 to 16 percent in 2022.

Also see:

Cybercrime, meet AI — from technative.io

Excerpt:

The value of AI in this model is that it lets companies take large volumes of information and find clusters of similarity. This is always the focus of cybersecurity to a degree, but organisations are often unequipped to do so in sufficient depth because of time and resourcing constraints. By contrast, AI can whittle down vast quantities of seemingly unrelated data into a few actionable incidents or outputs at speed, giving companies the ability to quickly pick out potential threats in a huge haystack.

The ability to quickly turn large amounts of data into actionable insights is something that cybersecurity teams are going to need in the coming years, because AI could become a formidable enemy. Unlike malware, which is purely automated, AI is beginning to mimic humans to a worryingly accurate degree. It can draw pictures, age photographs of people, write well enough to persuade people of truths – or lies.

 

Why law librarians are so important in a data-driven world — from Oxford University Press (blog.oup.com) by Femi Cadmus

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Looking ahead, the integration of technology in the work of law librarians will only increase. Over 90% of government law library employees say that artificial intelligence or machine learning has already affected their workflow by automating routine tasks. Over a quarter of law firms or corporations now have at least one active artificial intelligence initiative. Of those, more than half involve the library. It is therefore not surprising that the skills law library employees plan to develop in the next two years include artificial intelligence or machine learning, data analytics, and blockchain (in that order).

 

How innovations in voice technology are reshaping education — from edsurge.com by Diana Lee
Voice is the most accessible form you can think of when you think about any interface. In education, it’s already started to take off.

It could be basic questions about, “Am I taking a class to become X?” or “How strong are my skills relative to other people?” An assistant can help with that. It could potentially be a coach, something that follows you the rest of your life for education. I’m excited about that. People that can’t normally get access to this kind of information will get access to it. That’s the future.

From DSC:
The use of voice will likely be a piece of a next-generation learning platform.

Voice will likely be a piece of the next generation learning platform

 

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