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.

 

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.

 

The 20 top tech skills that employers want and that can help you find a job, according to recruiting site Indeed — from businessinsider.com by Rosalie Chan and Bani Sapra

Excerpt:

The job search site Indeed released a report this month about the top tech skills of 2019 based on job descriptions that are being posted.

Andrew Flowers, an economist at Indeed, says that in today’s job market, there are two major trends that drive the top skills in tech. The first is the rise of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The second is the rise of cloud computing.

“Python has had explosive growth,” Flowers told Business Insider. “If I’m around the dinner table and a nephew asks what should I learn? Having done this report, I would say, learn Python.”

 

Rants and rAVes — Episode 919: Gary Kayye’s Take on UCC Interoperability and the Future of Videoconferencing — from ravepubs.com by Gary Kayye

The recent news of video interoperability between Cisco, Zoom and Microsoft has generated a lot of industry buzz. If you’re interested, listen to rAVe Founder, Gary Kayye’s take on where he thinks all of this is headed and why we need to pay attention to the upcoming ISE show in Amsterdam in February 2020.

Also see:

As video conferencing solutions proliferate, remote working continues to rise and the number of inter-company video conferences increases, a lack of system interoperability has become a major pain point for many users.

All this frustration could soon become a thing of the past, as Microsoft and Cisco announced this week that video interoperability will be available between Microsoft Teams and Webex Meetings and devices. What’s more, Microsoft has also announced it will support interoperability with Zoom.  For the end user, this means that all these platforms will work together seamlessly. It’s a move that makes strong business sense for both Microsoft and Cisco and safeguards against any potential new disruptors.

Also see:

 

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.

 

 

Emerging Tech Trend: Patient-Generated Health Data — from futuretodayinstitute.com — Newsletter Issue 124

Excerpt:

Near-Futures Scenarios (2023 – 2028):

Pragmatic: Big tech continues to develop apps that are either indispensably convenient, irresistibly addictive, or both, and we pay for them, not with cash, but with the data we (sometimes unwittingly) let the apps capture. But for the apps for health care and medical insurance, the stakes could literally be life-and-death. Consumers receive discounted premiums, co-pays, diagnostics and prescription fulfillment, but the data we give up in exchange leaves them more vulnerable to manipulation and invasion of privacy.

Catastrophic: Profit-driven drug makers exploit private health profiles and begin working with the Big Nine. They use data-based targeting to over prescribe patients, netting themselves billions of dollars. Big Pharma target and prey on people’s addictions, mental health predispositions and more, which, while undetectable on an individual level, take a widespread societal toll.

Optimistic: Health data enables prescient preventative care. A.I. discerns patterns within gargantuan data sets that are otherwise virtually undetectable to humans. Accurate predictive algorithms identifies complex combinations of risk factors for cancer or Parkinson’s, offers early screening and testing to high-risk patients and encourages lifestyle shifts or treatments to eliminate or delay the onset of serious diseases. A.I. and health data creates a utopia of public health. We happily relinquish our privacy for a greater societal good.

Watchlist: Amazon; Manulife Financial; GE Healthcare; Meditech; Allscripts; eClinicalWorks; Cerner; Validic; HumanAPI; Vivify; Apple; IBM; Microsoft; Qualcomm; Google; Medicare; Medicaid; national health systems; insurance companies.

 

Microsoft wants anyone to be a developer, whether they code or not — from qz.com by Mike Murphy

Excerpt:

Computers are meant to make life easier, but the ability to actually create new functionality for them resides only with a very skilled few. Microsoft wants to make computers a bit more like automobiles—millions of people know how to operate a car, and owning one can change your life, even if comparatively few have any idea how to build an engine.

Onstage at Microsoft’s Ignite enterprise developer conference in Florida [on 11/4/19], CEO Satya Nadella announced a host of new tools aimed at making it easier for anyone to develop apps.

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled the Power Platform, wrapping together a set of programs it has had for a few years that allow companies to wrangle their data into understandable visualizations, and build apps using that data and Microsoft’s technologies.

 

 

Announcing AI Business School for Education for leaders, BDMs and students — from educationblog.microsoft.com by Anthony Salcito

Excerpt:

Microsoft’s AI Business School now offers a learning path for education. Designed for education leaders, decision-makers and even students, the Microsoft AI Business School for Education helps learners understand how AI can enhance the learning environment for all students—from innovations in the way we teach and assess, to supporting accessibility and inclusion for all students, to institutional effectiveness and efficiency with the use of AI tools. The course is designed to empower learners to gain specific, practical knowledge to define and implement an AI strategy. Industry experts share insights on how to foster an AI-ready culture and teach them how to use AI responsibly and with confidence. The learning path is available on Microsoft Learn, a free platform to support learners of all ages and experience levels via interactive, online, self-paced learning.

 

Google’s war on deepfakes: As election looms, it shares ton of AI-faked videos — from zdnet.com by Liam Tung
Google has created 3,000 videos using actors and manipulation software to help improve detection.

Excerpt:

Google has released a huge database of deepfake videos that it’s created using paid actors. It hopes the database will bolster systems designed to detect AI-generated fake videos.

With the 2020 US Presidential elections looming, the race is on to build better systems to detect deepfake videos that could be used to manipulate and divide public opinion.

Earlier this month, Facebook and Microsoft announced a $10m project to create deepfake videos to help build systems for detecting them.

 

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.

 

 

 

Someone is always listening — from Future Today Institute

Excerpt:

Very Near-Futures Scenarios (2020 – 2022):

  • OptimisticBig tech and consumer device industries agree to a single set of standards to inform people when they are being listened to. Devices now emit an audible ping and/ or a visible light anytime they are actively recording sound. While they need to store data in order to improve natural language understanding and other important AI systems, consumers now have access to a portal and can see, listen to, and erase their data at any time. In addition, consumers can choose to opt-out of storing their data to help improve AI systems.
  • Pragmatic: Big tech and consumer device industries preserve the status quo, which leads to more cases of machine eavesdropping and erodes public trust. Federal agencies open investigations into eavesdropping practices, which leads to a drop in share prices and a concern that more advanced biometric technologies could face debilitating regulation.
  • CatastrophicBig tech and consumer device industries collect and store our conversations surreptitiously while developing new ways to monetize that data. They anonymize and sell it to developers wanting to create their own voice apps or to research institutions wanting to do studies using real-world conversation. Some platforms develop lucrative fee structures allowing others access to our voice data: business intelligence firms, market research agencies, polling agencies, political parties and individual law enforcement organizations. Consumers have little to no ability to see and understand how their voice data are being used and by whom. Opting out of collection systems is intentionally opaque. Trust erodes. Civil unrest grows.

Action Meter:

 

Watchlist:

  • Google; Apple; Amazon; Microsoft; Salesforce; BioCatch; CrossMatch; ThreatMetrix; Electronic Frontier Foundation; World Privacy Forum; American Civil Liberties Union; IBM; Baidu; Tencent; Alibaba; Facebook; Electronic Frontier Foundation; European Union; government agencies worldwide.

 

 

Microsoft President: Democracy Is At Stake. Regulate Big Tech — from npr.org by Aarti Shahani

Excerpts:

Regulate us. That’s the unexpected message from one of the country’s leading tech executives. Microsoft President Brad Smith argues that governments need to put some “guardrails” around engineers and the tech titans they serve.

If public leaders don’t, he says, the Internet giants will cannibalize the very fabric of this country.

“We need to work together; we need to work with governments to protect, frankly, something that is far more important than technology: democracy. It was here before us. It needs to be here and healthy after us,” Smith says.

“Almost no technology has gone so entirely unregulated, for so long, as digital technology,” Smith says.

 

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?

 

Amazon, Microsoft, ‘putting world at risk of killer AI’: study — from news.yahoo.com by Issam Ahmed

Excerpt:

Washington (AFP) – Amazon, Microsoft and Intel are among leading tech companies putting the world at risk through killer robot development, according to a report that surveyed major players from the sector about their stance on lethal autonomous weapons.

Dutch NGO Pax ranked 50 companies by three criteria: whether they were developing technology that could be relevant to deadly AI, whether they were working on related military projects, and if they had committed to abstaining from contributing in the future.

“Why are companies like Microsoft and Amazon not denying that they’re currently developing these highly controversial weapons, which could decide to kill people without direct human involvement?” said Frank Slijper, lead author of the report published this week.

Addendum on 8/23/19:

 

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