ChatGPT Creator Is Talking to Investors About Selling Shares at $29 Billion Valuation — from wsj.com by Berber Jin and Miles Kruppa
Tender offer at that valuation would make OpenAI one of the most valuable U.S. startups

Here’s how Microsoft could use ChatGPT — from The Algorithm by Melissa Heikkilä

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Microsoft is reportedly eyeing a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the startup that created the viral chatbot ChatGPT, and is planning to integrate it into Office products and Bing search. The tech giant has already invested at least $1 billion into OpenAI. Some of these features might be rolling out as early as March, according to The Information.

This is a big deal. If successful, it will bring powerful AI tools to the masses. So what would ChatGPT-powered Microsoft products look like? We asked Microsoft and OpenAI. Neither was willing to answer our questions on how they plan to integrate AI-powered products into Microsoft’s tools, even though work must be well underway to do so. However, we do know enough to make some informed, intelligent guesses. Hint: it’s probably good news if, like me, you find creating PowerPoint presentations and answering emails boring.

And speaking of Microsoft and AI, also see:

I have maintained for several years, including a book ‘AI for Learning’, that AI is the technology of the age and will change everything. This is unfolding as we speak but it is interesting to ask who the winners are likely to be.

Donald Clark

The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI — from maggieappleton.com by
Proving you’re a human on a web flooded with generative AI content

Assumed audience:

People who have heard of GPT-3 / ChatGPT, and are vaguely following the advances in machine learning, large language models, and image generators. Also people who care about making the web a flourishing social and intellectual space.

That dark forest is about to expand. Large Language Models (LLMs) that can instantly generate coherent swaths of human-like text have just joined the party.

 

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis Urges Caution on AI — from time.com by Billy Perrigo

It is in this uncertain climate that Hassabis agrees to a rare interview, to issue a stark warning about his growing concerns. “I would advocate not moving fast and breaking things.”

“When it comes to very powerful technologies—and obviously AI is going to be one of the most powerful ever—we need to be careful,” he says. “Not everybody is thinking about those things. It’s like experimentalists, many of whom don’t realize they’re holding dangerous material.” Worse still, Hassabis points out, we are the guinea pigs.

Demis Hassabis 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Hassabis says these efforts are just the beginning. He and his colleagues have been working toward a much grander ambition: creating artificial general intelligence, or AGI, by building machines that can think, learn, and be set to solve humanity’s toughest problems. Today’s AI is narrow, brittle, and often not very intelligent at all. But AGI, Hassabis believes, will be an “epoch-defining” technology—like the harnessing of electricity—that will change the very fabric of human life. If he’s right, it could earn him a place in history that would relegate the namesakes of his meeting rooms to mere footnotes.

But with AI’s promise also comes peril. In recent months, researchers building an AI system to design new drugs revealed that their tool could be easily repurposed to make deadly new chemicals. A separate AI model trained to spew out toxic hate speech went viral, exemplifying the risk to vulnerable communities online. And inside AI labs around the world, policy experts were grappling with near-term questions like what to do when an AI has the potential to be commandeered by rogue states to mount widespread hacking campaigns or infer state-level nuclear secrets.

AI-assisted plagiarism? ChatGPT bot says it has an answer for that — from theguardian.com by Alex Hern
Silicon Valley firm insists its new text generator, which writes human-sounding essays, can overcome fears over cheating

Excerpt:

Headteachers and university lecturers have expressed concerns that ChatGPT, which can provide convincing human-sounding answers to exam questions, could spark a wave of cheating in homework and exam coursework.

Now, the bot’s makers, San Francisco-based OpenAI, are trying to counter the risk by “watermarking” the bot’s output and making plagiarism easier to spot.

Schools Shouldn’t Ban Access to ChatGPT — from time.com by Joanne Lipman and Rebecca Distler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students need now, more than ever, to understand how to navigate a world in which artificial intelligence is increasingly woven into everyday life. It’s a world that they, ultimately, will shape.

We hail from two professional fields that have an outsize interest in this debate. Joanne is a veteran journalist and editor deeply concerned about the potential for plagiarism and misinformation. Rebecca is a public health expert focused on artificial intelligence, who champions equitable adoption of new technologies.

We are also mother and daughter. Our dinner-table conversations have become a microcosm of the argument around ChatGPT, weighing its very real dangers against its equally real promise. Yet we both firmly believe that a blanket ban is a missed opportunity.

ChatGPT: Threat or Menace? — from insidehighered.com by Steven Mintz
Are fears about generative AI warranted?

And see Joshua Kim’s A Friendly Attempt to Balance Steve Mintz’s Piece on Higher Ed Hard Truths out at nsidehighered.com | Comparing the health care and higher ed systems.

 



What Leaders Should Know About Emerging Technologies — from forbes.com by Benjamin Laker

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The rapid pace of change is driven by a “perfect storm” of factors, including the falling cost of computing power, the rise of data-driven decision-making, and the increasing availability of new technologies. “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent,” concluded Andrew Doxsey, co-founder of Libra Incentix, in an interview. “Unlike previous technological revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving exponentially rather than linearly. Furthermore, it disrupts almost every industry worldwide.”

I asked ChatGPT to write my cover letters. 2 hiring managers said they would have given me an interview but the letters lacked personality. — from businessinsider.com by Beatrice Nolan

Key points:

  • An updated version of the AI chatbot ChatGPT was recently released to the public.
  • I got the chatbot to write cover letters for real jobs and asked hiring managers what they thought.
  • The managers said they would’ve given me a call but that the letters lacked personality.

.



 

Thriving education systems, thriving youth — from events.economist.com by Economist Impact

Some of the key topics to be discussed include:

  • What are the challenges in how we measure learning outcomes today, and how does this need to transform?
  •  What is a learning ecosystem? What does a successful learning ecosystem look like?  
  • What factors enable the development of thriving learning ecosystems?  
  • Who are the key stakeholders that make up the learning ecosystem? How do different stakeholders see their role in the learning ecosystem?
  • Which national policies need to be in place to support effective education ecosystems?
  • What information and data do we need to assess how well learning ecosystems are performing?
  • What data do we need to collect so that we don’t perpetuate traditional approaches to defining and measuring success? 

 

The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans — from the Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. LSC’s study found that low-income Americans do not get the help they need for 92% of their civil legal problems, even though 74% of low-income households face at least one civil legal issue in a single year.

The consequences that result from a lack of appropriate counsel can be life-altering – low-income Americans facing civil legal problems can lose their homes, children and healthcare, among other things. Help can be hard to access, so LSC is working to bridge this “justice gap” by providing pro bono civil legal aid for those in need. Find out more about LSC’s work to ensure equal justice for all by tuning in to the rest of the Justice Gap video series.

For more information on the Justice Gap, visit https://justicegap.lsc.gov/.

Also relevant/see:

.

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

 

Taking stock as the world population hits 8 billion — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

November 13, 2022 Projections show the global population will surpass 8 billion people on November 15, and in 2023, India is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous nation. It was only 11 years ago that the world reached the last billion; these milestones generate considerations of resource allocation, food security, climate change, and more. Already, one in nine people can’t get enough to eat every day, even while 33 to 40 percent of our food is lost or wasted each year, according to research from senior partners Clarisse Magnin and Björn Timelin. As we continue to grow, how can we support an unprecedented population while raising the quality of life for all? Explore our insights to learn more about how to avoid a food crisis, common misconceptions around global migration, the future of an aging population, and more.

Also see:

EIEIO’s e-newsletter of 11/13/22  where it says:

This week on Tuesday, it’s projected that a baby will be born somewhere on Planet Earth that brings the population to 8 billion people. Notably, the global population reached 7 billion people just eleven years ago. When I was born, in 1962, there was 3 billion people, and the United States had a population of 180 million versus roughly 335 million today.

.

What we know from Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman out of the University of Chicago is that $1 invested in early childhood education produces a $7 return in economic gain. Moreover, while investment in education produces a compelling return at all stages, the earlier you invest in education, the higher the return.

 

From DSC:
I virtually attended the Law 2030 Conference (Nov 3-4, 2022). Jennifer Leonard and staff from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School put together a super conference! It highlighted the need for change within the legal industry. A major shout out to Jennifer Leonard, Theodore Ruger (Law School Dean), and others!

I really appreciate Jen’s vision here, because she recognizes that the legal industry needs to involve more disciplines, more specialists, and others who don’t have a JD Degree and/or who haven’t passed the Bar. On Day 1 of the conference (in the afternoon), Jen enlisted the help of several others to use Design Thinking to start to get at possible solutions to our entrenched issues.

America, our legal system is being tightly controlled and protected — by lawyers. They are out to protect their turf — no matter the ramifications/consequences of doing so. This is a bad move on many lawyers part. It’s a bad move on many Bar Associations part. Lawyers already have some major PR work to do — but when America finds out what they’ve been doing, their PR problems are going to be that much larger. I’d recommend that they change their ways and really start innovating to address the major access to justice issues that we have in the United States.

One of the highlights for me was listening to the powerful, well-thought-out presentation from Michigan’s Chief Justice Bridget McCormack — it was one of the best I’ve ever heard at a conference! She mentioned the various stakeholders that need to come to the table — which includes law schools/legal education. I also appreciated Jordan Furlong’s efforts to deliver a 15-minute presentation (virtual), which it sounded like he worked on most of the night when he found out he couldn’t be there in person! He nicely outlined the experimentation that’s going on in Canada.

Here’s the recording from Day 1:

 


Jeff Selingo’s comments this week reminded me that those of us who have worked in higher education for much of our careers also have a lot of work to do as well.


 

Addendum on 11/8/22:

 


 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Action Plan: Hybrid Learning — from library.educause.edu

Excerpts:

Building on the trends, technologies, and practices described in the 2022 Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition, the panel crafted its vision of the future along with practical action items the teaching and learning community can employ to make this future a reality. Any stakeholder in higher education who teaches in or supports hybrid learning modalities will find this report helpful in preparing for the future of hybrid learning. The future we want is within reach, but only if we work together.

Asked to describe the goals and elements of hybrid learning that they would like to see 10 years from now, panelists collaboratively constructed their preferred future for institutions, students, instructors, and staff.

Institutions

  • Higher education is available on demand.
  • Learning is not measured by seat time.
  • Collaboration across institutions facilitates advancement.
  • College and university campuses are not the sole locations for learning spaces.

Students, Instructors, and Staff

  • Everything is hybrid.
  • Student equity is centered in all modalities.
  • Professional development is ongoing, integrated, and valued.
 

Also relevant/see the following post I created roughly a month ago:

In the USA, the perspectives of the ABA re: online-based learning — and their take on the pace of change — are downright worrisome.

In that posting I said:

For an industry in the 21st century whose main accreditation/governance body for law schools still won’t let more online learning occur without waivers…how can our nation expect future lawyers and law firms to be effective in an increasingly tech-enabled world?

The pace of the ABA is like that of a tortoise, while the pace of change is exponential

 

Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers. — from edsurge.com by Elissa Vanaver

Excerpts:

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

From DSC:
When I used to work in customer service and also in technical support at Baxter Healthcare, I always thought that management should be listening closely to those employees who were on the front lines — i.e., those of us who were in regular contact with Baxter’s customers. Similarly, the teachers are on the front lines within education. We need to give them a huge say in what happens in the future of the preK-12 learning ecosystems. We also need the students’ voices to be heard big time.

Also popular last month from edsure.com, see:

 

From DSC:
There are many things that are not right here — especially historically speaking. But this is one WE who are currently living can work on resolving.

*******

The Cost of Connection — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan
The internet is a lifeline for students on far-flung tribal campuses. Too often, they’re priced out of learning.

Excerpt:

Affordable and reliable broadband access can be a lifeline for tribal colleges, usually located on or near Native American reservations, often in remote, rural areas across the Southwest and Midwest. Chartered by their respective tribal governments, the country’s 35 accredited tribal colleges operate in more than 75 campus sites across 16 states, serving more than 160,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives each year. They emphasize and help sustain the culture, languages, and traditions of their tribal communities and are often the only higher-education option available for Native students in some of the nation’s poorest rural regions.

Also relevant/see:

Tribal Colleges Will Continue Online, Despite Challenges — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
Other institutions could learn from their calculus.

Excerpt:

Two years after tribal colleges shuttered alongside institutions nationwide, many remain largely, if not fully, online, catering to students who’ve historically faced barriers to attending in person. Adult learners — especially single mothers who may struggle to find child care, or those helping to support multigenerational households — make up the majority of students at more than half of the 32 federally recognized institutions in the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program. These colleges are also often located in low-income, rural areas, where hours of daily commute time (and the cost of gas) can prove untenable for students simultaneously working part- or full-time jobs.

Also relevant/see:

Why Tribal Colleges Struggle to Get Reliable Internet Service — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan and Jacquelyn Elias
For tribal colleges across the country, the pandemic magnified internet-access inequities. Often located on far-flung tribal lands, their campuses are overwhelmingly in areas with few broadband service providers, sometimes leaving them with slow speeds and spotty coverage.

“You can be driving from a nearby town, and as soon as you hit the reservation, the internet and cellphone signals drop off,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president of the American Indian College Fund and a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. “Students would be in the middle of class and their Wi-Fi access dropped off.”

Worsening matters, many students have been limited by outdated equipment. “We had students who were trying to take classes on their flip phones,” Crazy Bull said. Such stories were cropping up throughout Indian territory.

 

K-12 schools around the world tackling social injustice — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Social justice is a broad term that includes the economic, social, political, and civic as well as the human rights aspects of society. The denial of these basic elements is what we call social injustice. Social injustice is the product of years of oppression and discrimination and often breeds resentment and anger towards certain groups in society. It is evident that social justice is a problem that is yet to be sufficiently addressed through the ever-increasing protests, boycotts, and even violence inflicted on certain groups.

Restorative Justice Solutions for Youth Are Growing Abroad, Can They Become Part of the Mix in the U.S. — from the74million.org by Elizabeth Thompson

Excerpt:

The underlying philosophy for Piedmont Mediation’s process is restorative justice, said Terri Masiello, Piedmont Mediation’s executive director and the coordinator of the Restoring Youth Coalition of North Carolina.

Restorative justice is the practice of bringing together affected parties of a crime to discuss what happened and what needs to happen to make things right.

Piedmont Mediation is a diversion program that serves as an alternative to juvenile court for some cases in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, serving Alexander, Iredell, Davie, Davidson and Randolph counties.

 

 

China Is About to Regulate AI—and the World Is Watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

On March 1, China will outlaw this kind of algorithmic discrimination as part of what may be the world’s most ambitious effort to regulate artificial intelligence. Under the rules, companies will be prohibited from using personal information to offer users different prices for a product or service.

The sweeping rules cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content. They will impose new curbs on major ride-hailing, ecommerce, streaming, and social media companies.

 

As bomb threats keep targeting HBCUs, 64 higher ed groups tell Congress to act — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

More than a dozen HBCUs have been forced to clear campuses and cancel in-person classes following bomb threats this year. Fisk University, in Tennessee, issued a shelter-in-place order Monday after receiving a series of threats. The same day, Howard University, in Washington, D.C., received a bomb threat for the fourth time since the beginning of January and told students and employees to stay indoors.

All-clear notices have since been issued for both Fisk U and Howard U.

‘You’re Not Safe as a Black Person’: New Round of Bomb Threats Rattles HBCUs — from chronicle.com by Oyin Adedoyin

Excerpt:

The recent string of bomb threats across a handful of historically Black colleges and universities has sparked fear within higher education’s Black community. “This is probably one of the clearest examples of hate crimes based on race,” said Paulette Granberry Russell, the president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

From DSC:
Some of the institutions I saw mentioned were:

  • Bowie State University, Howard University, Albany State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Southern University and A&M College, and Delaware State University

Can you imagine if this happened at Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Stanford, and/or similar institutions? You and I both know that if students there kept having to put up with bomb threats and having their in-person classes canceled, there would be hell to pay! There would be a lot more heat in the kitchen. A lot more noise. A lot more overall societal concern. 

For me, the bottom line is that this situation is horribly wrong. It’s downright evil. I hope it gets resolved soon, though I have to say that I’m not as hopeful as I’d like to be in this 21st century of ours here in the United States…where I continue to be amazed at our lack of unity, respect, compassion, and caring for other people. The amount of racism and hate crimes in our country is just horribly wrong.

On somewhat related notes, see:

Where HBCU grads are thriving — from linkedin.com by McKenna Moore

Excerpt:

Promotion rates for graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) rose 4.94% in 2021 from the previous year, according to insights from LinkedIn’s data on over 600,000 HBCU alumni. The industries that outperform others in promoting HBCU grads include energy and mining, software and IT services, hardware and networking, finance and manufacturing. And the specific job functions that lead to the best chance of promotion for these alumni are program and project management, marketing, human resources, business development and accounting.

Black talent on the fast track: these 10 paths stand out for HBCU graduates — from linkedin.com by George Anders

Excerpt:

All told, more than 600,000 graduates of HBCUs such as Spelman have profiles on LinkedIn. That makes it possible for LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team to analyze the career paths that these alumni have chosen – and to extract insights about promotion rates by job types, gender and in comparison to non-HBCU graduates.

The overall picture that emerges from this data includes a wide list of career paths where HBCU alumni are thriving, as well as signs that overall gaps between HBCU graduates’ promotion rates and non-HBCU trends haven’t yet closed.

Giving to Community Colleges and HBCUs Soared Last Year — from philanthropy.com by Dan Parks

Addendum on 2/19/22:

 

Universities can combat misinformation by sharing research with the public — from edsurge.com by Avery M. D. Davis

Here’s my New Year’s resolution for higher education: extend the reach of research to the people.

Avery M. D. Davis

Excerpt:

It’s part of a growing recognition that research really belongs to the people. Even as the postsecondary industry opened its doors to become a more-accessible system for students, it locked up the research conducted by its faculty and staff. But it’s often individuals from outside of academia who construct topical questions of interest for scholars, serve as study participants, and fund organizations producing such work.

And yet, open science ambitions have cautions worth noting, such as the challenges of interpreting research publicly and the potential political misuse of study findings. To address this, higher education must revisit its roots in educating citizens, preparing both students for society and society for itself.

From DSC:
Yet another benefit/reason for faculty members to write for a public audience! I wish citizens could tap into more faculty/staff-driven streams of content.

streams of content are ever flowing by -- we need to tap into them and contribute to them

 

 

From DSC:
I post the following item because I’ve often wondered how law schools should best handle/address the area of emerging technologies. It’s not just newly-minted lawyers that need to be aware of these technologies’ potential pros and cons — and the developing laws around them. It’s also judges, legislators, politicians, C-Suites, and others who need to keep a pulse check on these things.

Hermès Sues NFT Creator Over ‘MetaBirkin’ Sales — from by Robert Williams
The French leather goods giant alleges trademark infringement and dilutive use of its iconic Birkin name.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The complaint, which was first reported on The Fashion Law, raises questions about how trademark protections for real-world items will be enforced in the digital realm as commercial activity heats up in the metaverse. Brands including Balenciaga and Nike are experimenting with virtual fashion. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (unique digital assets authenticated using blockchain technology), depicting fashion items have sold for millions in recent months.

 

UN fails to agree on ‘killer robot’ ban as nations pour billions into autonomous weapons research — from robohub.org by James Dawes

Excerpt:

Autonomous weapon systems – commonly known as killer robots – may have killed human beings for the first time ever last year, according to a recent United Nations Security Council report on the Libyan civil war. History could well identify this as the starting point of the next major arms race, one that has the potential to be humanity’s final one.

The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons debated the question of banning autonomous weapons at its once-every-five-years review meeting in Geneva Dec. 13-17, 2021, but didn’t reach consensus on a ban. Established in 1983, the convention has been updated regularly to restrict some of the world’s cruelest conventional weapons, including land mines, booby traps and incendiary weapons.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian