From DSC:
As some of you may know, I’m now working for the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School. My faith gets involved here, but I believe that the LORD wanted me to get involved with:

  • Using technology to increase access to justice (#A2J)
  • Contributing to leveraging the science of learning for the long-term benefit of our students, faculty, and staff
  • Raising awareness regarding the potential pros and cons of today’s emerging technologies
  • Increase the understanding that the legal realm has a looooong way to go to try to get (even somewhat) caught up with the impacts that such emerging technologies can/might have on us.
  • Contributing and collaborating with others to help develop a positive future, not a negative one.

Along these lines…in regards to what’s been happening with law schools over the last few years, I wanted to share a couple of things:

1) An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Benjamin Barton:

The Law School Crash

 

2) A response from our President and Dean, James McGrath:Repositioning a Law School for the New Normal

 

From DSC:
I also wanted to personally say that I arrived at WMU-Cooley Law School in 2018, and have been learning a lot there (which I love about my job!).  Cooley employees are very warm, welcoming, experienced, knowledgeable, and professional. Everyone there is mission-driven. My boss, Chris Church, is multi-talented and excellent. Cooley has a great administrative/management team as well.

There have been many exciting, new things happening there. But that said, it will take time before we see the results of these changes. Perseverance and innovation will be key ingredients to crafting a modern legal education — especially in an industry that is just now beginning to offer online-based courses at the Juris Doctor (J.D.) level (i.e., 20 years behind when this began occurring within undergraduate higher education).

My point in posting this is to say that we should ALL care about what’s happening within the legal realm!  We are all impacted by it, whether we realize it or not. We are all in this together and no one is an island — not as individuals, and not as organizations.

We need:

  • Far more diversity within the legal field
  • More technical expertise within the legal realm — not only with lawyers, but with legislators, senators, representatives, judges, others
  • Greater use of teams of specialists within the legal field
  • To offer more courses regarding emerging technologies — and not only for the legal practices themselves but also for society at large.
  • To be far more vigilant in crafting a positive world to be handed down to our kids and grandkids — a dream, not a nightmare. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Still not convinced that you should care? Here are some things on the CURRENT landscapes:

  • You go to drop something off at your neighbor’s house. They have a camera that gets activated.  What facial recognition database are you now on? Did you give your consent to that? No, you didn’t.
  • Because you posted your photo on Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and/or on millions of other websites, your face could be in ClearView AI’s database. Did you give your consent to that occurring? No, you didn’t.
  • You’re at the airport and facial recognition is used instead of a passport. Whose database was that from and what gets shared? Did you give your consent to that occurring? Probably not, and it’s not easy to opt-out either.
  • Numerous types of drones, delivery bots, and more are already coming onto the scene. What will the sidewalks, streets, and skies look like in your neighborhood in the near future? Is that how you want it? Did you give your consent to that happening? No, you didn’t.
  • …and on and on it goes.

Addendum — speaking of islands!

Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley can’t be on ‘Palo Alto island’ — Big Tech must play by the rules — from cnbc.com by Jessica Bursztynsky

Excerpt:

Palantir Technologies co-founder and CEO Alex Karp said Thursday the core problem in Silicon Valley is the attitude among tech executives that they want to be separate from United States regulation.

“You cannot create an island called Palo Alto Island,” said Karp, who suggested tech leaders would rather govern themselves. “What Silicon Valley really wants is the canton of Palo Alto. We have the United States of America, not the ‘United States of Canton,’ one of which is Palo Alto. That must change.”

“Consumer tech companies, not Apple, but the other ones, have basically decided we’re living on an island and the island is so far removed from what’s called the United States in every way, culturally, linguistically and in normative ways,” Karp added.

 

Gartner: 10 ways technology will change what it means to be human — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpts:

Gartner’s top 10 strategic predictions for technology are:

  1. “By 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies, reducing barriers to access.”
  2. “By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.”
  3. “Through 2023, 30 percent of IT organizations will extend BYOD policies with ‘bring your own enhancement’ (BYOE) to address augmented humans in the workforce.”
  4. “By 2025, 50 percent of people with a smartphone but without a bank account will use a mobile-accessible cryptocurrency account.”
  5. “By 2023, a self-regulating association for oversight of AI and machine learning designers will be established in at least four of the G7 countries.”
  6. “By 2023, 40 percent of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience.”
  7. “By 2023, up to 30 percent of world news and video content will be authenticated as real by blockchain countering deep fake technology.”
  8. “Through 2021, digital transformation initiatives will take large traditional enterprises on average twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated.”
  9. “By 2023, individual activities will be tracked digitally by an ‘Internet of Behavior’ to influence benefit and service eligibility for 40 percent of people worldwide.”
  10. “By 2024, the World Health Organization will identify online shopping as an addictive disorder, as millions abuse digital commerce and encounter financial stress.”

Facial recognition, location tracking and big data will allow organizations to monitor individual behavior and link that behavior to other digital actions, Gartner said, noting that “The Internet of Things (IoT) – where physical things are directed to do a certain thing based on a set of observed operating parameters relative to a desired set of operating parameters — is now being extended to people, known as the Internet of Behavior (IoB).”

 

From DSC:
That last quote about the “Internet of Behavior (IoB)” should disturb us. I don’t want that kind of world for the next generation. 

 

Technology Trends: The evolution of machine learning and artificial intelligence in 2020 — from dqindia.com
Technology trends in the upcoming year will focus on how new age technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will advance

Excerpt:

While technology trends in the past year revolved around making machine learning and artificial intelligence accessible for everyone, this year will be about how these technologies will evolve to benefit businesses. With the beginning of 2020, Ramesh SivaSubramanian, Head of Ramco Innovation Lab, Singapore has made technology predictions. The following is a gist on each key technology trend.

 

From DSC:
Looking at these trends, is this the future we want? While some of these are positive trends, some of these ring of distrust to me…and could easily be steering toward a dystopian future, such as this one (emphasis mine):

Improving attendance and workplace access using Facial Recognition
2020 will see significant workplace adoption of facial recognition, especially for customer-centric and cybersecurity functions. Enterprises which adopt this capability, especially those with sizeable workforces, will reduce if not eliminate the tedium of keeping track of employees. It will also solve many issues related to password and access cards, saving even more time and costs.

 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

 

 

From DSC:
This report reminds me of a graphic that Yohan Na and I did 10+ years ago…and the student debt now sits at around $1.5 trillion.

 

 
 

DC: Precursor to a next gen learning platform…? Another piece is falling into place.

 

Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows? — from innovatemyschool.com by John Ingram

Excerpt:

The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring is an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling.

Several reasons lie behind this growth.

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Some of the topics/items mentioned include:

  • Technologists join lawyers in creating the legal realm of the future.
  • Future lawyers will need to either have project managers on staff or be able to manage projects themselves.
  • Lifelong learning is now critically important. One doesn’t necessarily need to be able to code, but one needs to be constantly learning.
  • Need to understand legal principles but you will also need to have augmented skills (which will differ from person to person)
  • New business and delivery models. Don’t presuppose that the current model will always be around.
  • There will be fewer traditional roles/practices. Traditional roles are sunsetting; new skillsets are needed.
  • Students: Do your due diligence; read up on the industry and think about whether there’s a good fit. Learn your craft. Get experience. Be who you are. Bring your unique brand to the table.
 

Indian police are using facial recognition to identify protesters in Delhi — from fastcompany.com by Kristin Toussaint

Excerpt:

At Modi’s rally on December 22, Delhi police used Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) software—which officials there acquired in 2018 as a tool to find and identify missing children—to screen the crowd for faces that match a database of people who have attended other protests around the city, and who officials said could be disruptive.

According to the Indian Express, Delhi police have long filmed these protest events, and the department announced Monday that officials fed that footage through AFRS. Sources told the Indian news outlet that once “identifiable faces” are extracted from that footage, a dataset will point out and retain “habitual protesters” and “rowdy elements.” That dataset was put to use at Modi’s rally to keep away “miscreants who could raise slogans or banners.”

 

From DSC:
Here in the United States…are we paying attention to today’s emerging technologies and collaboratively working to create a future dream — versus a future nightmare!?!  A vendor or organization might propose a beneficial reason to use their product or technology — and it might even meet the hype at times…but then comes along other unintended uses and consequences of that technology. For example, in the article above, what started out as a technology that was supposed to be used to find/identify missing children (a benefit) was later used to identify protesters (an unintended consequence, and a nightmare in terms of such an expanded scope of use I might add)!

Along these lines, the youth of today have every right to voice their opinions and to have a role in developing or torpedoing emerging techs. What we build and put into place now will impact their lives bigtime!

 

Online courts, the future of justice and being bold in 2020 — from abajournal.com by Ari Kaplan

Excerpt:

Ari Kaplan: How do you define online courts?

Richard Susskind: I describe two aspects of online courts in the book. The first is ‘online judging,’ which supports the idea that human judges, not artificial intelligence, should decide cases, not in a physical courtroom or through oral hearings but by the submission of evidence and arguments by the parties online. It is an asynchronous hearing system where the parties pass messages and arguments to the judge remotely and receive responses in kind. I am entirely open to the argument that this is not suitable for all cases, but there are many low-volume matters for which it is simply disproportionate to take the day off work or for lawyers to take up a court’s time to resolve relatively modest difficulties and differences. The second aspect of online courts is, in a way, more controversial. I call it ‘extended courts’ and suggest that it should be part of the court function to provide a range of tools to help the parties understand their rights and obligations. These resources could help them formulate arguments, gather and organize evidence, and provide ways for the parties to resolve disputes with one another similar to online alternative dispute resolution. This combination of judges making decisions online together with an extended court structure will greatly increase access to justice.

 

Addendum on 1/7/20:

Online Courts and the Future of Justice from State Courts on Vimeo.

 

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Stepping Back from the Cliff: Facing New Realities of Changing Student Demographics — from evoLLLution.com by Jim Shaeffer
Most universities that plan to stick to the status quo and serve exclusively traditional learners are facing a cliff. CE divisions can help their institutions avoid a potential drop, but only if they’re empowered.

Excerpt:

Demographics of students enrolling at colleges and universities are evolving. And students’ expectations are evolving as well. As the numbers of 18-22 year olds fresh out of high school drop, the recruitment of non-traditional students is becoming more important than ever. In this interview, James Shaeffer discusses the role continuing education (CE) departments can play as drivers of innovation and reflects on how CE leaders can help their main campus colleagues embrace transformational change.

Addendum on 1/4/20:

 

7 Artificial Intelligence Trends to Watch in 2020 — from interestingengineering.com by Christopher McFadden

Excerpts:

Per this article, the following trends were listed:

  1. Computer Graphics will greatly benefit from AI
  2. Deepfakes will only get better, er, worse
  3. Predictive text should get better and better
  4. Ethics will become more important as time goes by
  5. Quantum computing will supercharge AI
  6. Facial recognition will appear in more places
  7. AI will help in the optimization of production pipelines

Also, this article listed several more trends:

According to sources like The Next Web, some of the main AI trends for 2020 include:

  • The use of AI to make healthcare more accurate and less costly
  • Greater attention paid to explainability and trust
  • AI becoming less data-hungry
  • Improved accuracy and efficiency of neural networks
  • Automated AI development
  • Expanded use of AI in manufacturing
  • Geopolitical implications for the uses of AI

Artificial Intelligence offers great potential and great risks for humans in the future. While still in its infancy, it is already being employed in some interesting ways.

According to sources like Forbes, some of the next “big things” in technology include, but are not limited to:

  • Blockchain
  • Blockchain As A Service
  • AI-Led Automation
  • Machine Learning
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • AI For The Back Office
  • Quantum Computing AI Applications
  • Mainstreamed IoT

Also see:

Artificial intelligence predictions for 2020: 16 experts have their say — from verdict.co.uk by Ellen Daniel

Excerpts:

  • Organisations will build in processes and policies to prevent and address potential biases in AI
  • Deepfakes will become a serious threat to corporations
  • Candidate (and employee) care in the world of artificial intelligence
  • AI will augment humans, not replace them
  • Greater demand for AI understanding
  • Ramp up in autonomous vehicles
  • To fully take advantage of AI technologies, you’ll need to retrain your entire organisation
  • Voice technologies will infiltrate the office
  • IT will run itself while data acquires its own DNA
  • The ethics of AI
  • Health data and AI
  • AI to become an intrinsic part of robotic process automation (RPA)
  • BERT will open up a whole new world of deep learning use cases

The hottest trend in the industry right now is in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Over the past year, a new method called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) has been developed for designing neural networks that work with text. Now, we suddenly have models that will understand the semantic meaning of what’s in text, going beyond the basics. This creates a lot more opportunity for deep learning to be used more widely.

 

 

Get Smart About Going Online: Choosing the Right Model to Deliver Digital Programming — from evolllution.com by Charles Kilfoye
A veteran online educator looks at the benefits and pitfalls for each of the three main ways to launch an online program.

Excerpt:

Online learning is making headlines again with big players such as University of Massachusetts and California Community College Online launching high profile online initiatives recently. Some would argue that if you haven’t made it in online education already, you’ve missed your opportunity.

However, my sense is it’s never too late. You just have to be smart about it. It all boils down to asking yourself the basic problem-solving questions of Why, What and How to determine if online education is right for your institution. To illustrate my point, I will briefly discuss major considerations you should make when exploring an online strategy and I will examine the pros and cons of the three most common models of delivering online programs in higher education today.

Be aware that differentiated pricing may indicate to prospective students that one format is more valuable or better than another. My personal opinion is that a degree earned online should be considered the same degree as one earned on-ground. It is the same program, same faculty, same admissions requirements, same relevance and rigor, so why not the same cost?

 

From DSC:
Regarding the topic of pricing, it would be my hope that we could offer online-based programs at significantly discounted prices. This is why I think it will be the larger higher education providers that ultimately win out — or a brand new player in the field that uses a next gen learning platform along with a different business model (see below article) — as they can spread their development costs over a great number of students/courses/program offerings.

If the current players in higher ed don’t find a way to do this (and some players have already figured this out and are working on delivering it), powerful alternatives will develop — especially as the public’s perspective on the value of higher education continues to decline.

 

Learning from the living class room

I’d also like to hear Charles’ thoughts about pricing after reading Brandon’s article below:

If it’s more expensive, it must be better. That, of course, has been the prevailing wisdom among parents and students when it comes to college. But that wisdom has now been exposed as an utter myth according to a new study published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs. It turns out the cost of a college does not predict higher alumni ratings about the quality of their education. In fact, the opposite is true: total cost of attendance predicts lower ratings.

Quality matters. Price does not. Quality and price are not the same things. And this all has enormous implications for the industry and its consumers.

 

 

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