From DSC:
Very disturbing that citizens had no say in this. Legislators, senators, representatives, lawyers, law schools, politicians, engineers, programmers, professors, teachers, and more…please reflect upon our current situation here. How can we help create the kind of future that we can hand down to our kids and rest well at night…knowing we did all that we could to provide a dream — and not a nightmare — for them?


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill
A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

 

Excerpts:

“But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year…”

Clearview’s app carries extra risks because law enforcement agencies are uploading sensitive photos to the servers of a company whose ability to protect its data is untested.

 

FuturePod gathers voices from the international field of Futures and Foresight. Through a series of interviews, the founders of the field and emerging leaders share their stories, tools and experiences.

FuturePod gathers voices from the international field of Futures and Foresight. Through a series of podcast interviews, the founders of the field and emerging leaders share their stories, tools and experiences. The Futures and Foresight community comprises a remarkable and diverse group of individuals who span, academic, commercial and social interests.

 

2019 AI report tracks profound growth — from ide.mit.edu by Paula Klein

Excerpt:

Until now “we’ve been sorely lacking good data about basic questions like ‘How is the technology advancing’ and ‘What is the economic impact of AI?’ ” Brynjolfsson said. The new index, which tracks three times as many data sets as last year’s report, goes a long way toward providing answers.

  1. Education
  • At the graduate level, AI has rapidly become the most popular specialization among computer science PhD students in North America. In 2018, over 21% of graduating Computer Science PhDs specialize in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.
  • Industry is the largest consumer of AI talent. In 2018, over 60% of AI PhD graduates went to industry, up from 20% in 2004.
  • In the U.S., AI faculty leaving academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

In the U.S., #AI faculty leaving #academia for industry continues to accelerate, with over 40 departures in 2018, up from 15 in 2012 and none in 2004.

 

The Jobs of Tomorrow: LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report — from blog.linkedin.com by Guy Berger

Excerpt:

Here’s what you should know about this year’s emerging jobs.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to make a strong showing on our Emerging Jobs lists, which is no surprise.
  • Professionals are on the move, likely a result of factors like housing costs, political and regulatory change, or more flexibility with remote work opportunities.
  • Demand for soft skills is likely to increase as automation becomes more widespread. Skills like communication, creativity, and collaboration are all virtually impossible to automate…

Also see these reports:

Online learning is here to stay.
The multibillion-dollar e-learning industry is taking off, and it’s staffing up to prepare. LinkedIn data shows the industry is snapping up both sales and tech talent, indicating continued customer demand for these types of solutions.

 

Why AI is a threat to democracy – and what we can do to stop it — from asumetech.com by Lawrence Cole

Excerpts:

In the US, however, we also have a tragic lack of foresight. Instead of creating a grand strategy for AI or for our long-term futures, the federal government has removed the financing of scientific and technical research. The money must therefore come from the private sector. But investors also expect a certain return. That is a problem. You cannot plan your R&D breakthroughs when working on fundamental technology and research. It would be great if the big tech companies had the luxury of working very hard without having to organize an annual conference to show off their newest and best whiz bang thing. Instead, we now have countless examples of bad decisions made by someone in the G-MAFIA, probably because they worked quickly. We begin to see the negative effects of the tension between doing research that is in the interest of humanity and making investors happy.

The problem is that our technology has become increasingly sophisticated, but our thinking about what free speech is and what a free market economy looks like has not become that advanced. We tend to resort to very basic interpretations: free speech means that all speech is free, unless it conflicts with defamation laws, and that’s the end of the story. That is not the end of the story. We need to start a more sophisticated and intelligent conversation about our current laws, our emerging technology, and how we can make the two meet halfway.

 

So I absolutely believe that there is a way forward. But we have to come together and bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and DC, so that we can all steer the boat in the same direction.

— Amy Webb, futurist, NYU professor, founder of the Future Today Institute

 

Also see:

“FRONTLINE investigates the promise and perils of artificial intelligence, from fears about work and privacy to rivalry between the U.S. and China. The documentary traces a new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society.”

The film has five distinct messages about:

1. China’s AI Plan
2. The Promise of AI
3. The Future of Work
4. Surveillance Capitalism
5. The Surveillance State

 

Think you could learn Mandarin? This Kansas kindergarten classroom is Chinese-only — from by Robert Smith

Excerpts:

In a Wolf Springs Elementary School classroom with “Chinese Only Zone” signs taped to the walls, kindergarteners are learning their core subjects in the primary language of a global economic superpower located across the world.

This language-immersion class of kindergarteners is part of a new Blue Valley School District initiative to graduate high school seniors fluent in a second language, an asset school officials believe will give students a leg up as they pursue academics and careers and prepare students to participate in a global workforce.

Chinese Mandarin, a group of dialects spoken by more than 800 million people, is a tonal language in which the meaning of words can be reflected by voice pitch. Though its grammar is similar to English, words or phrases are represented by Chinese characters.

Besides the usual educational stresses, parents who put their children in the program would need to be committed to the program. Because these kindergarteners are expected to remain together in a Mandarin-speaking classroom all the way through high school, new immersion students can only enter the program in kindergarten.

While other elementary-aged students spend roughly 60 minutes studying Spanish per week, this group of kindergartens spends half of their school time each day with Pan learning math, science and social studies in Mandarin. The groups studies reading and literacy with teacher Haley Watkins in English.

 

“In under a minute we filled all of the slots. That afternoon we had hundreds of people on the waiting list.”

 

From DSC:
Wow! This is quite the K-12 cohort/immersion! Add to that type of setup tools like Cisco Webex, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, etc. — and not to mention what happens with virtual reality in the next decade — and this type of cohort/immersion will likely be highly effective over time.

So what will the future classrooms of the world look like? My guess is that with 5G and virtual reality on the way, there will be a lot more “connections” being made in the future…with many nations/classrooms being involved.

iStock-1154674846-purchased-11-21-19
[From my purchase of iStock #1154674846.]

 

FTI 2020 Trend Report for Entertainment, Media, & Technology [FTI]

 

FTI 2020 Trend Report for Entertainment, Media, & Technology — from futuretodayinstitute.com

Our 3rd annual industry report on emerging entertainment, media and technology trends is now available.

  • 157 trends
  • 28 optimistic, pragmatic and catastrophic scenarios
  • 10 non-technical primers and glossaries
  • Overview of what events to anticipate in 2020
  • Actionable insights to use within your organization

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Synthetic media offers new opportunities and challenges.
  • Authenticating content is becoming more difficult.
  • Regulation is coming.
  • We’ve entered the post-fixed screen era.
  • Voice Search Optimization (VSO) is the new Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Digital subscription models aren’t working.
  • Advancements in AI will mean greater efficiencies.

 

 
 

Per Jane Hart on LinkedIn:

Top 200 Tools for Learning 2019 is now published, together with:

PLUS analysis of how these tools are being used in different context, new graphics, and updated comments on the tools’ pages that show how people are using the tools.

 

 

 

The Global Landscape of Online Program Companies — from by Doug Lederman
New trove of data suggests a bigger, more complex, more varied ecosystem of companies that work with colleges to take their academic programs online.

Excerpt:

A new dataset promises to give college leaders, company officials and others involved in the online learning landscape much more information about who offers what programs, how they manage them and where the money is flowing, among other factors.

And the company behind the new data, Holon IQ, published a report today that gives a new name to the large and diversifying category of providers that are working with colleges to take their programs online: OPX, instead of OPM, for online program management companies. (More on that later.)

Also see:

Also see:

  • Multi-Faculty Collaboration to Design Online General Studies Courses — from facultyfocus.com by B. Jean Mandernach
    Excerpt:
    While this type of autonomy in course design makes sense for the face-to-face classroom, it may be less practical–and less effective–in the context of online education. Simply put, development of a high-quality online course takes considerable time and advanced knowledge of online pedagogy. If multiple faculty members are teaching the same course online (as is often the case with general studies or other high-demand courses), it is not an efficient use of departmental time, resources, or budget to have multiple faculty developing their own online classroom for different sections of the same course.
 

Samsung’s take on the world of 2069 — from newatlas.com by David Szondy

Excerpt:

Samsung is looking forward to what life might be like in the year 2069. The new report, called Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus, draws on the opinions of six of Britain’s leading academics and futurists to look at a range of new technologies that will affect people’s everyday lives.

 

 

 

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system — from fastcompany.com by Mike Elgan
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.

 

If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.

 

From DSC:
Who’s to say what gains a citizen points and what subtracts from their score? If one believes a certain thing, is that a plus or a minus? And what might be tied to someone’s score? The ability to obtain food? Medicine/healthcare? Clothing? Social Security payments? Other?

We are giving a huge amount of power to a handful of corporations…trust comes into play…at least for me. Even internally, the big tech co’s seem to be struggling as to the ethical ramifications of what they’re working on (in a variety of areas). 

Is the stage being set for a “Person of Interest” Version 2.0?

 

Take a tour of Google Earth with speakers of 50 different indigenous languages — from fastcompany.com by Melissa Locker

Excerpt:

After the United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Google decided to help draw attention to the indigenous languages spoken around the globe and perhaps help preserve some of the endangered ones too. To that end, the company recently launched its first audio-driven collection, a new Google Earth tour complete with audio recordings from more than 50 indigenous language speakers from around the world.

 

 

China has started a grand experiment in AI education. It could reshape how the world learns. — from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
In recent years, the country has rushed to pursue “intelligent education.” Now its billion-dollar ed-tech companies are planning to export their vision overseas.

Excerpt:

Zhou Yi was terrible at math. He risked never getting into college. Then a company called Squirrel AI came to his middle school in Hangzhou, China, promising personalized tutoring. He had tried tutoring services before, but this one was different: instead of a human teacher, an AI algorithm would curate his lessons. The 13-year-old decided to give it a try. By the end of the semester, his test scores had risen from 50% to 62.5%. Two years later, he scored an 85% on his final middle school exam.

“I used to think math was terrifying,” he says. “But through tutoring, I realized it really isn’t that hard. It helped me take the first step down a different path.”

 

The strategy has fueled mind-boggling growth. In the five years since it was founded, the company has opened 2,000 learning centers in 200 cities and registered over a million students—equal to New York City’s entire public school system. It plans to expand to 2,000 more centers domestically within a year. To date, the company has also raised over $180 million in funding. At the end of last year, it gained unicorn status, surpassing $1 billion in valuation.

 

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