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.

 

Excerpt from Higher Education Predictions for 2020: Recession, Certificates, and Computer Science by Richard Garrett

Coding bootcamps, the educational innovation that arose over the past decade to tackle an acute supply-demand crunch in computer science, had a stellar year in 2019. Dismissed as a fad by some, in 2019, bootcamps graduated 23,000 people, up 49% in one year (37% on a same-school basis).


But short of an unprecedented surge in domestic master’s degrees awarded in 2019, that year will mark the turning point when bootcamps—dominated by U.S. students— unequivocally passed master’s degrees.

An intriguing question is: what impact does a university’s own bootcamp have on domestic enrollment in its computer science master’s program: complementary or competitive? That will have to wait for another Wake-Up Call.

 

Web Technologies of the Year 2019 — from w3techs.com

Excerpts:
These are the technologies that gained most sites in 2019 in areas such as:

  • Content Management System of the Year 2019
  • Server-side Programming Language of the Year 2019
  • JavaScript Library of the Year 2019
  • Web Server of the Year 2019
  • Operating System of the Year 2019
  • Traffic Analysis Tool of the Year 2019
  • …and several more categories
 

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.

 

 

With thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this resource.

 

The following information is from Rebecca West, Founder and CEO, Helium Communications

Make School is working to level the playing field for underrepresented groups in tech.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, scarcity of technology talent is an acute point of pain for many organizations. The SF Bay Area has experienced a remarkable 90% growth in tech employment and a 36.5% expansion in STEM jobs in the past decade. California’s tech workforce grew by more than 51,500 jobs in 2018, with well over half of them in the Bay Area. In the current business climate, the biggest barrier to growth for many organizations is their inability to find qualified job candidates, particularly in technical fields such as coding and computer science.

Ironically, many students graduating from US colleges and universities are still having trouble finding work because they don’t possess the skills required in the actual workplace.  According to the most recent Global Information Workforce Study, the skills gap is only going to become more pronounced in coming years, with as many as 1.8 million IT jobs that could be left unfilled by 2022, a 20 percent bump from what the same study revealed two years earlier.

Make School is a college in San Francisco that’s working to level the playing field for underrepresented groups in tech. Make School is changing the higher education landscape with a unique model of deferred tuition that makes it possible for computer science students to gain the skills they need in order to find employment in the technology market without saddling themselves with huge amounts of debt.

Make School serves high school students entering college and transfer students (either from community colleges or from other four-year institutions). Accessibility to diverse populations is a key component of their offering. Make School offers a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science, teaching students to design, program, and launch software products while providing a foundation of liberal arts to ensure a lasting career. Students who graduate from Make School do not pay tuition until they have secured employment and are earning an annual salary of at least $60K.

With four years of positive student outcomes comparable to schools like Stanford and MIT, Make School has demonstrated the success of its model. Alumni currently work at companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Zendesk, Y Combinator startups, and other leading technology innovators.

Fall and Spring semester tuition is $15,000. Summer semester tuition is $10,000. Total tuition for the bachelor’s program is $70,000.

 

From DSC:
I’d like to see the tuition come down for this school — especially as they are marketing themselves as a school that aims to help underrepresented groups in tech. Perhaps they’ll need to develop some satellite branches/campuses outside the San Francisco area in order to make that tuition reduction happen. As it stands, this is not much of a discount. That said, I do appreciate that they are trying to address the gorillas of debt on our graduates’ backs. Plus they are pursuing new business models, alternatives to the status quo, and are making efforts to address some of the numerous gaps in our society.

 

Artificial Intelligence has a gender problem — why it matters for everyone — from nbcnews.com by Halley Bondy
To fight the rise of bias in AI, more representation is critical in the computing workforce, where only 26 percent of workers are women, 3 percent are African-American women, and 2 percent are Latinx.

Excerpt:

More women and minorities must work in tech, or else they risk being left behind in every industry.

This grim future was painted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) equality experts who spoke at a conference Thursday hosted by LivePerson, an AI company that connects brands and consumers.

In that future, if AI goes unchecked, workplaces will be completely homogenous, hiring only white, nondisabled men.

Guest speaker Cathy O’Neil, who authored “Weapons of Math Destruction,” explained how hiring bias works with AI: company algorithms are created by (mostly white male) data scientists, and they are based on the company’s historic wins. If a CEO is specifically looking for hirees who won’t leave the company after a year, for example, he might turn to AI to look for candidates based on his company’s retention rates. Chances are, most of his company’s historic wins only include white men, said O’Neil.

 

Technology is increasingly being used to provide legal services, which demands a new breed of innovative lawyer for the 21st century. Law schools are launching specialist LL.M.s in response, giving students computing skills — from llm-guide.com by Seb Murray

Excerpts:

Junior lawyers at Big Law firms have long been expected to work grueling hours on manual and repetitive tasks like reviewing documents and doing due diligence. Increasingly, such work is being undertaken by machines – which can be faster, cheaper and more accurately than humans. This is the world of legal technology – the use of technology to provide legal services.

The top law schools recognize the need to train not just excellent lawyers but tech-savvy ones too, who understand the application of technology and its impact on the legal market. They are creating specialist courses for those who want to be more involved with the technology used to deliver legal advice.

“Technology is changing the way we live, work and interact,” says Alejandro Touriño, co-director of the course. “This new reality demands a new breed of lawyers who can adapt to the emerging paradigm. An innovative lawyer in the 21st century needs not only to be excellent in law, but also in the sector where their clients operate and the technologies they deal with.” 

The rapid growth in Legal Tech LL.M. offerings reflects a need in the professional world. Indeed, law firms know they need to become digital businesses in order to attract and retain clients and prospective employees.

 

From DSC:
In case it’s helpful or interesting, a person interested in a legal career needs to first get a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree, then pass the Bar. At that point, if they want to expand their knowledge in a certain area or areas, they can move on to getting an LL.M. Degree if they choose to.

As in the world of higher ed and also in the corporate training area, I have it that the legal field will need to move more towards the use of teams of specialists. There will be several members of the team NOT having law degrees. For example, technologists, programmers, user experience designers, etc. should be teaming up with lawyers more and more these days.

 

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.”

 

Amazon’s Ring planned neighborhood “watch lists” built on facial recognition — from theintercept.com by Sam Biddle

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Ring, Amazon’s crime-fighting surveillance camera division, has crafted plans to use facial recognition software and its ever-expanding network of home security cameras to create AI-enabled neighborhood “watch lists,” according to internal documents reviewed by The Intercept.

Previous reporting by The Intercept and The Information revealed that Ring has at times struggled to make facial recognition work, instead relying on remote workers from Ring’s Ukraine office to manually “tag” people and objects found in customer video feeds.

Legal scholars have long criticized the use of governmental watch lists in the United States for their potential to ensnare innocent people without due process. “When corporations create them,” said Tajsar, “the dangers are even more stark.” As difficult as it can be to obtain answers on the how and why behind a federal blacklist, American tech firms can work with even greater opacity: “Corporations often operate in an environment free from even the most basic regulation, without any transparency, with little oversight into how their products are built and used, and with no regulated mechanism to correct errors,” Tajsar said.

 

From DSC:
Those working or teaching within the legal realm — this one’s for you. But it’s also for the leadership of the C-Suites in our corporate world — as well as for all of those programmers, freelancers, engineers, and/or other employees working on AI within the corporate world.

By the way, and not to get all political here…but who’s to say what happens with our data when it’s being reviewed in Ukraine…?

 

Also see:

  • Opinion: AI for good is often bad — from wired.com by Mark Latonero
    Trying to solve poverty, crime, and disease with (often biased) technology doesn’t address their root causes.
 

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

 

6 critical IT skills for the next decade: Bay Area CIO of the Year winners share — from enterprisersproject.com by Ginny Hamilton
What skills will IT talent need most? Six award-winning CIOs discuss the top skills on their radar screens – from AI to emotional intelligence

I’d highly recommend all technology professionals build their external network and contribute to the external professional community as early in your career as possible. The wisdom of the tech community is incredibly important, and because you have to curate this over an extended period of time, there is no accelerated option you can tap at a later date. Technology professionals need to constantly be re-inventing themselves to stay relevant. As technology evolves, so too do the people and roles around it. Constant change is the steady state today and as I tell my team, “The pain of change is mandatory, it is the suffering that is optional. And if you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less.”

 

From DSC:
This is an especially good read for students who are considering going into a tech-focused career. If you decide to go that route, you had better be ready for constant change….constant, lifelong learning. And as you get older, you will face age discrimination. Enjoy the jobs that you get from ages 18-30 (perhaps even up to age 35). After that, it gets much tougher. Hopefully, that situation will change as more organizations get sued for allowing this discrimination to continue (perhaps implementing is the more appropriate word…vs. allowing it to occur). Here are some examples of those kinds of issues/suits. But for now, that’s the state of things…at least here in the United States.

 

The skills that you need to hone to become a software engineer — from interestingengineering.com by Trevor English
Software engineering jobs are expected to increase in demand by 25% over the next decade.

Excerpt:

One of the first steps to becoming a software engineer or even just evaluating whether it’s the right career path is learning a new programming language. Programming is the bulk of what software engineers do on the day to day, so if you don’t like it or just can’t seem to get good at it, you might want to choose another path.

Breaking it down elementary style, a programming language is just a language that computers understand that can give it commands to execute certain tasks. There are hundreds of programming languages that exist, around 700, but there will be a core subset that are used commonly in the industry

Here are a few of the core languages that you might want to look into.

  • Java
  • Javascript
  • Python
  • C++
  • PHP

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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