Artificial intelligence is taking over real estate – here’s what that means for homebuyers— from cnbc.com by Diana Olick

Excerpt:

  • Real estate companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence in every aspect of buying, selling and home financing.
  • Algorithms can now go through millions of documents in seconds, looking through property values, debt levels, home renovations, and even some of a homeowner’s personal information.
  • “The traditional agent would go knock on the doors of a lot of homes. Now AI helps you find the homes that are most likely to sell in the next 12 months,” said Compass’ chief technology officer.

For those searching to buy a home, all the data available can also help them to find exactly what they’re looking for, rather than touring house after house.

 

OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 

In the US, the AI Industry Risks Becoming Winner-Take-Most — from wired.com by Khari Johnson
A new study illustrates just how geographically concentrated AI activity has become.

Excerpt:

A NEW STUDY warns that the American AI industry is highly concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area and that this could prove to be a weakness in the long run. The Bay leads all other regions of the country in AI research and investment activity, accounting for about one-quarter of AI conference papers, patents, and companies in the US. Bay Area metro areas see levels of AI activity four times higher than other top cities for AI development.

“When you have a high percentage of all AI activity in Bay Area metros, you may be overconcentrating, losing diversity, and getting groupthink in the algorithmic economy. It locks in a winner-take-most dimension to this sector, and that’s where we hope that federal policy will begin to invest in new and different AI clusters in new and different places to provide a balance or counter,” Mark Muro, policy director at the Brookings Institution and the study’s coauthor, told WIRED.

Also relevant/see:

 

“Algorithms are opinions embedded in code.”

 

Companies Need More Workers. Why Do They Reject Millions of Résumés? — from wsj.com by Kathryn Dill
Automated-hiring systems are excluding many people from job discussions at a time when additional employees are desperately needed

Excerpt:

Companies are desperate to hire, and yet some workers still can’t seem to find jobs. Here may be one reason why: The software that sorts through applicants deletes millions of people from consideration.

Employers today rely on increasing levels of automation to fill vacancies efficiently, deploying software to do everything from sourcing candidates and managing the application process to scheduling interviews and performing background checks. These systems do the job they are supposed to do. They also exclude more than 10…

 

 

The Fight to Define When AI Is ‘High Risk’ — from wired.com by Khari Johnson
Everyone from tech companies to churches wants a say in how the EU regulates AI that could harm people.

Excerpt:

The AI Act is one of the first major policy initiatives worldwide focused on protecting people from harmful AI. If enacted, it will classify AI systems according to risk, more strictly regulate AI that’s deemed high risk to humans, and ban some forms of AI entirely, including real-time facial recognition in some instances. In the meantime, corporations and interest groups are publicly lobbying lawmakers to amend the proposal according to their interests.

 

Many Americans aren’t aware they’re being tracked with facial recognition while shopping  — from techradar.com by Anthony Spadafora
You’re not just on camera, you’re also being tracked

Excerpt:

Despite consumer opposition to facial recognition, the technology is currently being used in retail stores throughout the US according to new research from Piplsay.

While San Francisco banned the police from using facial recognition back in 2019 and the EU called for a five year ban on the technology last year, several major retailers in the US including Lowe’s, Albertsons and Macy’s have been using it for both fraud and theft detection.

From DSC:
I’m not sure how prevalent this practice is…and that’s precisely the point. We don’t know what all of those cameras are actually doing in our stores, gas stations, supermarkets, etc. I put this in the categories of policy, law schools, legal, government, and others as the legislative and legal realm need to scramble to catch up to this Wild Wild West.

Along these lines, I was watching a portion of 60 minutes last night where they were doing a piece on autonomous trucks (reportedly to hit the roads without a person sometime later this year). When asked about oversight, there was some…but not much.

Readers of this blog will know that I have often wondered…”How does society weigh in on these things?”

Along these same lines, also see:

  • The NYPD Had a Secret Fund for Surveillance Tools — from wired.com by Sidney Fussell
    Documents reveal that police bought facial-recognition software, vans equipped with x-ray machines, and “stingray” cell site simulators—with no public oversight.
 

HOW SCHOOLS ARE REWRITING THE RULES ON CLASS TIME FOR STUDENTS—AND EVEN DITCHING GRADE LEVELS — from wsj.com by Yoree Koh
Educators are testing competency-based education, a form of personalized learning that emphasizes mastery of skills over hours spent in a classroom

 

 

Drexel Researchers Will Develop Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Adult Learning and Online Education as Part of $220 Million NSF Initiative — from drexel.edu with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpt:

Researchers in Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics, who are studying artificial intelligence as a tool for teaching, have been selected to join a $220 million National Science Foundation initiative to expand the use of AI technology in areas ranging from agriculture and food supply chains to adult and online learning. Drexel’s team will join AI researchers from around the country in an effort to use the technology to make education more accessible for Americans who are adapting to rapidly changing workplaces. The NSF’s Adult Learning & Online Education (ALOE) Institute will be supported by $20 million over five years.

 

There’s a New Wave of AI Research Coming to Transform Education — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Preparing for Students’ Second Act
With a focus on adult learners, the AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education, or ALOE, will look to improve online education for the more than 100 million American workers who will need to “reskill” over the next 10 years.

It will also learn from the massive amounts of data generated by online students that isn’t accessible in traditional in-person classes.

 

What doors does this type of real-time translation feature open up for learning? [Christian]

From DSC:
For that matter, what does it open up for #JusticeTech? #Legaltech? #A2J? #Telehealth?

 

Learning from the living class room

 
 

Google CEO Still Insists AI Revolution Bigger Than Invention of Fire — from gizmodo.com by Matt Novak
Pichai suggests the internet and electricity are also small potatoes compared to AI.

Excerpt:

The artificial intelligence revolution is poised to be more “profound” than the invention of electricity, the internet, and even fire, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who made the comments to BBC media editor Amol Rajan in a podcast interview that first went live on Sunday.

“The progress in artificial intelligence, we are still in very early stages, but I viewed it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on, and we have to make sure we do it in a way that we can harness it to society’s benefit,” Pichai said.

“But I expect it to play a foundational role pretty much across every aspect of our lives. You know, be it health care, be it education, be it how we manufacture things and how we consume information. 

 

AI voice actors sound more human than ever —and they’re ready to hire— from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
A new wave of startups are using deep learning to build synthetic voice actors for digital assistants, video-game characters, and corporate videos.

Excerpt:

The company blog post drips with the enthusiasm of a ’90s US infomercial. WellSaid Labs describes what clients can expect from its “eight new digital voice actors!” Tobin is “energetic and insightful.” Paige is “poised and expressive.” Ava is “polished, self-assured, and professional.”

Each one is based on a real voice actor, whose likeness (with consent) has been preserved using AI. Companies can now license these voices to say whatever they need. They simply feed some text into the voice engine, and out will spool a crisp audio clip of a natural-sounding performance.

But the rise of hyperrealistic fake voices isn’t consequence-free. Human voice actors, in particular, have been left to wonder what this means for their livelihoods.

And below are a couple of somewhat related items:

Amazon’s latest voice interoperability move undermines Google — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
With a new toolkit, Amazon is making it easier to build devices that run multiple voice assistants — weakening one of Google’s key arguments against licensing the Google Assistant for such scenarios.

People should be able to pick whatever assistant they prefer for any given task, simply by invoking different words, Rubenson said. “We think it’s critical that customers have choice and flexibility,” he said. “Each will have their own strengths and capabilities.”

Protocol Next Up — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers
Defining the future of tech and entertainment with Janko Roettgers.

Voice is becoming a true developer ecosystem. Amazon now has more than 900,000 registered Alexa developers, who collectively have built over 130,000 Alexa skills. And those skills are starting to show up in more and more places: “We now have hundreds of physical products” with Alexa built in, Alexa Voice Service & Alexa Skills VP Aaron Rubenson told me this week.

 

The impact of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs on the legal industry with Joseph Raczynski  — from buzzsprout.com by the ABA Center for Innovation

Today we will discuss blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs and their impact on the legal industry.  Joining us is an expert in all things blockchain and crypto, Joseph Raczynski.  Joseph Raczynski is a Technologist & Futurist with Thomson Reuters.

Also see:

The Law Firm of the Future — from joetechnologist.com by Joseph Raczynski

Excerpt:

Attorneys look to precedent to solve today’s legal problems. “Steeped in tradition” is how we often describe the legal profession.  As result, it’s no surprise that there is inherent tension between emerging technology and the legal profession. The American Bar Association’s 2020 TechReport, which surveys firms and tracks attorney use of technology in their practices, reported that only 7% of attorneys are using tech tools, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), for document review and research.  Firms with more than 100 attorneys are more likely to use AI, as well as firms that engage in mass tort litigation. Despite promises of increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability, a significant number of attorneys cite distrust of the technology and underlying algorithms.

Even though the legal services market is estimated to be a $1T industry globally, Forbes reports that it is also one of the least digitized…

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian