Are we ready to navigate the complex ethics of advanced AI assistants? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
An important new paper lays out the importance and complexities of ensuring increasingly advanced AI-based assistants are developed and used responsibly

Last week a behemoth of a paper was released by AI researchers in academia and industry on the ethics of advanced AI assistants.

It’s one of the most comprehensive and thoughtful papers on developing transformative AI capabilities in socially responsible ways that I’ve read in a while. And it’s essential reading for anyone developing and deploying AI-based systems that act as assistants or agents — including many of the AI apps and platforms that are currently being explored in business, government, and education.

The paper — The Ethics of Advanced AI Assistants — is written by 57 co-authors representing researchers at Google Deep Mind, Google Research, Jigsaw, and a number of prominent universities that include Edinburgh University, the University of Oxford, and Delft University of Technology. Coming in at 274 pages this is a massive piece of work. And as the authors persuasively argue, it’s a critically important one at this point in AI development.

From that large paper:

Key questions for the ethical and societal analysis of advanced AI assistants include:

  1. What is an advanced AI assistant? How does an AI assistant differ from other kinds of AI technology?
  2. What capabilities would an advanced AI assistant have? How capable could these assistants be?
  3. What is a good AI assistant? Are there certain values that we want advanced AI assistants to evidence across all contexts?
  4. Are there limits on what AI assistants should be allowed to do? If so, how are these limits determined?
  5. What should an AI assistant be aligned with? With user instructions, preferences, interests, values, well-being or something else?
  6. What issues need to be addressed for AI assistants to be safe? What does safety mean for this class of technologies?
  7. What new forms of persuasion might advanced AI assistants be capable of? How can we ensure that users remain appropriately in control of the technology?
  8. How can people – especially vulnerable users – be protected from AI manipulation and unwanted disclosure of personal information?
  9. Is anthropomorphism for AI assistants morally problematic? If so, might it still be permissible under certain conditions?
 

Hackers are targeting a surprising group of people: young public school students — from npr.org

“This breach was actually really huge,” Gravatt says. “And it wasn’t just school records. It was health records, it was all sorts of things that should be privileged information that are now just out there floating around for anybody to buy.”

It’s an example of a growing nationwide trend in which hackers are targeting a surprising group of people: young public school students.

As school districts depend more on technology, cyberattacks against those systems, and the sensitive data they store, are on the rise. While it’s hard to know exactly how many K-12 school systems have been targeted by hackers, an analysis by the cyber security firm Emsisoft found 45 districts reported they were attacked in 2022. In 2023, that number more than doubled, to 108.

He says stealing a child’s identity may seem counterintuitive because they don’t have resources of their own, but it can cause “a lot of havoc.” Parents don’t necessarily monitor their children’s credit and bad actors can easily open up bank accounts, rack up debt and apply for loans in a child’s name.

“And as a result, cyber criminals can abuse the credit records of minors for many, many years before the victims learn about it,” Levin says.

From DSC:
This is a deeply troubling situation, and yet another example of what occurs when people don’t care about each other. They only want to make money — and they don’t care about how they go about doing that. (LORD, help us!) 

As the article suggests, the impacts of these breaches can last for years. When sensitive information is lost in a breach, that information can come back to haunt young people as they try to get jobs, get into colleges, build positive credit reports, and more.

So we need to invest in the hardware, software, and people to protect that data.

 

The 2024 Lawdragon 100 Leading AI & Legal Tech Advisors — from lawdragon.com by Katrina Dewey

These librarians, entrepreneurs, lawyers and technologists built the world where artificial intelligence threatens to upend life and law as we know it – and are now at the forefront of the battles raging within.

To create this first-of-its-kind guide, we cast a wide net with dozens of leaders in this area, took submissions, consulted with some of the most esteemed gurus in legal tech. We also researched the cases most likely to have the biggest impact on AI, unearthing the dozen or so top trial lawyers tapped to lead the battles. Many of them bring copyright or IP backgrounds and more than a few are Bay Area based. Those denoted with an asterisk are members of our Hall of Fame.
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Free Legal Research Startup descrybe.ai Now Has AI Summaries of All State Supreme and Appellate Opinions — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

descrybe.ai, a year-old legal research startup focused on using artificial intelligence to provide free and easy access to court opinions, has completed its goal of creating AI-generated summaries of all available state supreme and appellate court opinions from throughout the United States.

descrybe.ai describes its mission as democratizing access to legal information and leveling the playing field in legal research, particularly for smaller-firm lawyers, journalists, and members of the public.


 

AI-related tools and tips dominate ’60 in 60′ Techshow session — from abajournal.com by Danielle Braff

Four days of seminars, lectures and demonstrations at the 39th annual ABA Techshow boiled down to Saturday morning’s grand finale, where panelists rounded up their favorite tech tips and apps. The underlying theme: artificial intelligence.

“It’s an amazing tool, but it’s kind of scary, so watch out,” said Cynthia Thomas, the Techshow co-chair, and owner of PLMC & Associates, talking about the new tool from OpenAI, Sora, which takes text and turns it into video.

Other panelists during the traditional Techshow closer, “60 sites, 60 tips and gadgets and gizmos,” highlighted a wide of AI-enabled or augmented tools to help users perform a large range of tasks, including quickly sift through user reviews for products, generate content, or keep up-to-date on the latest AI tools. For those looking for a non-AI tips and tools, they also suggested several devices, websites, tips and apps that have helped them with their practice and with life in general.


ABA Techshow 2024: Ethics in the Age of Legal Technology — from bnnbreaking.com by Rafia Tasleem

ABA Techshow 2024 stressed the importance of ethics in legal technology adoption. Ethics lawyer Stuart I. Teicher warned of the potential data breaches and urged attorneys to be proactive in understanding and supervising new tools. Education and oversight are key to maintaining data protection and integrity.


Startup Alley Competition Proves It Continues To Be All About AI — from abovethelaw.com by Joe Patrice

Though it might be more accurate to call TECHSHOW an industry showcase because with each passing year it seems that more and more of the show involves other tech companies looking to scoop up enterprising new companies. A tone that’s set by the conference’s opening event: the annual Startup Alley pitch competition.

This year, 15 companies presented. If you were taking a shot every time someone mentioned “AI” then my condolences because you are now dead. If you included “machine learning” or “large language model” then you’ve died, come back as a zombie, and been killed again.


Here Are the Winners of ABA Techshow’s 8th Annual Startup Alley Pitch Competition — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Here were the companies that won the top three spots:

  1. AltFee, a product that helps law firms replace the billable hour with fixed-fee pricing.
  2. Skribe.ai, an alternative to traditional court reporting that promises “a better way to take testimony.”
  3. Paxton AI, an AI legal assistant.

Class action firms ask US federal courts to encourage virtual testimony — from reuters.com by Nate Raymond

Summary:

  • Lawyers at Hagens Berman are leading charge to change rules
  • Proposal asks judiciary to ‘effectuate a long overdue modernization’ of rules

 

Scammers trick company employee using video call filled with deepfakes of execs, steal $25 million — from techspot.com by Rob Thubron; via AI Valley
The victim was the only real person on the video conference call

The scammers used digitally recreated versions of an international company’s Chief Financial Officer and other employees to order $25 million in money transfers during a video conference call containing just one real person.

The victim, an employee at the Hong Kong branch of an unnamed multinational firm, was duped into taking part in a video conference call in which they were the only real person – the rest of the group were fake representations of real people, writes SCMP.

As we’ve seen in previous incidents where deepfakes were used to recreate someone without their permission, the scammers utilized publicly available video and audio footage to create these digital versions.


Letter from the YouTube CEO: 4 Big bets for 2024 — from blog.youtube by Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube; via Ben’s Bites

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#1: AI will empower human creativity.

#2: Creators should be recognized as next-generation studios.

#3: YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions.

#4: Protecting the creator economy is foundational.

Viewers globally now watch more than 1 billion hours on average of YouTube content on their TVs every day.


Bard becomes Gemini: Try Ultra 1.0 and a new mobile app today — from blog.google by Sissie Hsiao; via Rundown AI
Bard is now known as Gemini, and we’re rolling out a mobile app and Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0.

Since we launched Bard last year, people all over the world have used it to collaborate with AI in a completely new way — to prepare for job interviews, debug code, brainstorm new business ideas or, as we announced last week, create captivating images.

Our mission with Bard has always been to give you direct access to our AI models, and Gemini represents our most capable family of models. To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini.


A new way to discover places with generative AI in Maps — from blog.google by Miriam Daniel; via AI Valley
Here’s a look at how we’re bringing generative AI to Maps — rolling out this week to select Local Guides in the U.S.

Today, we’re introducing a new way to discover places with generative AI to help you do just that — no matter how specific, niche or broad your needs might be. Simply say what you’re looking for and our large-language models (LLMs) will analyze Maps’ detailed information about more than 250 million places and trusted insights from our community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.

Starting in the U.S., this early access experiment launches this week to select Local Guides, who are some of the most active and passionate members of the Maps community. Their insights and valuable feedback will help us shape this feature so we can bring it to everyone over time.


Google Prepares for a Future Where Search Isn’t King — from wired.com by Lauren Goode
CEO Sundar Pichai tells WIRED that Google’s new, more powerful Gemini chatbot is an experiment in offering users a way to get things done without a search engine. It’s also a direct shot at ChatGPT.


 

 

Thinking with Colleagues: AI in Education — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A with Ellen Wagner

Wagner herself recently relied on the power of collegial conversations to probe the question: What’s on the minds of educators as they make ready for the growing influence of AI in higher education? CT asked her for some takeaways from the process.

We are in the very early days of seeing how AI is going to affect education. Some of us are going to need to stay focused on the basic research to test hypotheses. Others are going to dive into laboratory “sandboxes” to see if we can build some new applications and tools for ourselves. Still others will continue to scan newsletters like ProductHunt every day to see what kinds of things people are working on. It’s going to be hard to keep up, to filter out the noise on our own. That’s one reason why thinking with colleagues is so very important.

Mary and Ellen linked to “What Is Top of Mind for Higher Education Leaders about AI?” — from northcoasteduvisory.com. Below are some excerpts from those notes:

We are interested how K-12 education will change in terms of foundational learning. With in-class, active learning designs, will younger students do a lot more intensive building of foundational writing and critical thinking skills before they get to college?

  1. The Human in the Loop: AI is built using math: think of applied statistics on steroids. Humans will be needed more than ever to manage, review and evaluate the validity and reliability of results. Curation will be essential.
  2. We will need to generate ideas about how to address AI factors such as privacy, equity, bias, copyright, intellectual property, accessibility, and scalability.
  3. Have other institutions experimented with AI detection and/or have held off on emerging tools related to this? We have just recently adjusted guidance and paused some tools related to this given the massive inaccuracies in detection (and related downstream issues in faculty-elevated conduct cases)

Even though we learn repeatedly that innovation has a lot to do with effective project management and a solid message that helps people understand what they can do to implement change, people really need innovation to be more exciting and visionary than that.  This is the place where we all need to help each other stay the course of change. 


Along these lines, also see:


What people ask me most. Also, some answers. — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick
A FAQ of sorts

I have been talking to a lot of people about Generative AI, from teachers to business executives to artists to people actually building LLMs. In these conversations, a few key questions and themes keep coming up over and over again. Many of those questions are more informed by viral news articles about AI than about the real thing, so I thought I would try to answer a few of the most common, to the best of my ability.

I can’t blame people for asking because, for whatever reason, the companies actually building and releasing Large Language Models often seem allergic to providing any sort of documentation or tutorial besides technical notes. I was given much better documentation for the generic garden hose I bought on Amazon than for the immensely powerful AI tools being released by the world’s largest companies. So, it is no surprise that rumor has been the way that people learn about AI capabilities.

Currently, there are only really three AIs to consider: (1) OpenAI’s GPT-4 (which you can get access to with a Plus subscription or via Microsoft Bing in creative mode, for free), (2) Google’s Bard (free), or (3) Anthropic’s Claude 2 (free, but paid mode gets you faster access). As of today, GPT-4 is the clear leader, Claude 2 is second best (but can handle longer documents), and Google trails, but that will likely change very soon when Google updates its model, which is rumored to be happening in the near future.

 

Everyday Media Literacy: An Analog Guide for Your Digital Life — from routledge.com by Sue Ellen Christian

In this second edition, award-winning educator Sue Ellen Christian offers students an accessible and informed guide to how they can consume and create media intentionally and critically.

The textbook applies media literacy principles and critical thinking to the key issues facing young adults today, from analyzing and creating media messages to verifying information and understanding online privacy. Through discussion prompts, writing exercises, key terms, and links, readers are provided with a framework from which to critically consume and create media in their everyday lives. This new edition includes updates covering privacy aspects of AI, VR and the metaverse, and a new chapter on digital audiences, gaming, and the creative and often unpaid labor of social media and influencers. Chapters examine news literacy, online activism, digital inequality, social media and identity, and global media corporations, giving readers a nuanced understanding of the key concepts at the core of media literacy. Concise, creative, and curated, this book highlights the cultural, political, and economic dynamics of media in contemporary society, and how consumers can mindfully navigate their daily media use.

This textbook is perfect for students and educators of media literacy, journalism, and education looking to build their understanding in an engaging way.

 

Student Use Cases for AI: Start by Sharing These Guidelines with Your Class — from hbsp.harvard.edu by Ethan Mollick and Lilach Mollick

To help you explore some of the ways students can use this disruptive new technology to improve their learning—while making your job easier and more effective—we’ve written a series of articles that examine the following student use cases:

  1. AI as feedback generator
  2. AI as personal tutor
  3. AI as team coach
  4. AI as learner

Recap: Teaching in the Age of AI (What’s Working, What’s Not) — from celt.olemiss.edu by Derek Bruff, visiting associate director

Earlier this week, CETL and AIG hosted a discussion among UM faculty and other instructors about teaching and AI this fall semester. We wanted to know what was working when it came to policies and assignments that responded to generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, Google Bard, Midjourney, DALL-E, and more. We were also interested in hearing what wasn’t working, as well as questions and concerns that the university community had about teaching and AI.


Teaching: Want your students to be skeptical of ChatGPT? Try this. — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Then, in class he put them into groups where they worked together to generate a 500-word essay on “Why I Write” entirely through ChatGPT. Each group had complete freedom in how they chose to use the tool. The key: They were asked to evaluate their essay on how well it offered a personal perspective and demonstrated a critical reading of the piece. Weiss also graded each ChatGPT-written essay and included an explanation of why he came up with that particular grade.

After that, the students were asked to record their observations on the experiment on the discussion board. Then they came together again as a class to discuss the experiment.

Weiss shared some of his students’ comments with me (with their approval). Here are a few:


2023 EDUCAUSE Horizon Action Plan: Generative AI — from library.educause.edu by Jenay Robert and Nicole Muscanell

Asked to describe the state of generative AI that they would like to see in higher education 10 years from now, panelists collaboratively constructed their preferred future.
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2023-educause-horizon-action-plan-generative-ai


Will Teachers Listen to Feedback From AI? Researchers Are Betting on It — from edsurge.com by Olina Banerji

Julie York, a computer science and media teacher at South Portland High School in Maine, was scouring the internet for discussion tools for her class when she found TeachFX. An AI tool that takes recorded audio from a classroom and turns it into data about who talked and for how long, it seemed like a cool way for York to discuss issues of data privacy, consent and bias with her students. But York soon realized that TeachFX was meant for much more.

York found that TeachFX listened to her very carefully, and generated a detailed feedback report on her specific teaching style. York was hooked, in part because she says her school administration simply doesn’t have the time to observe teachers while tending to several other pressing concerns.

“I rarely ever get feedback on my teaching style. This was giving me 100 percent quantifiable data on how many questions I asked and how often I asked them in a 90-minute class,” York says. “It’s not a rubric. It’s a reflection.”

TeachFX is easy to use, York says. It’s as simple as switching on a recording device.

But TeachFX, she adds, is focused not on her students’ achievements, but instead on her performance as a teacher.


ChatGPT Is Landing Kids in the Principal’s Office, Survey Finds — from the74million.org by Mark Keierleber
While educators worry that students are using generative AI to cheat, a new report finds students are turning to the tool more for personal problems.

Indeed, 58% of students, and 72% of those in special education, said they’ve used generative AI during the 2022-23 academic year, just not primarily for the reasons that teachers fear most. Among youth who completed the nationally representative survey, just 23% said they used it for academic purposes and 19% said they’ve used the tools to help them write and submit a paper. Instead, 29% reported having used it to deal with anxiety or mental health issues, 22% for issues with friends and 16% for family conflicts.

Part of the disconnect dividing teachers and students, researchers found, may come down to gray areas. Just 40% of parents said they or their child were given guidance on ways they can use generative AI without running afoul of school rules. Only 24% of teachers say they’ve been trained on how to respond if they suspect a student used generative AI to cheat.


Embracing weirdness: What it means to use AI as a (writing) tool — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick
AI is strange. We need to learn to use it.

But LLMs are not Google replacements, or thesauruses or grammar checkers. Instead, they are capable of so much more weird and useful help.


Diving Deep into AI: Navigating the L&D Landscape — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt

The prospect of AI-powered, tailored, on-demand learning and performance support is exhilarating: It starts with traditional digital learning made into fully adaptive learning experiences, which would adjust to strengths and weaknesses for each individual learner. The possibilities extend all the way through to simulations and augmented reality, an environment to put into practice knowledge and skills, whether as individuals or working in a team simulation. The possibilities are immense.

Thanks to generative AI, such visions are transitioning from fiction to reality.


Video: Unleashing the Power of AI in L&D — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
An exclusive video walkthrough of my keynote at Sweden’s national L&D conference this week

Highlights

  • The wicked problem of L&D: last year, $371 billion was spent on workplace training globally, but only 12% of employees apply what they learn in the workplace
  • An innovative approach to L&D: when Mastery Learning is used to design & deliver workplace training, the rate of “transfer” (i.e. behaviour change & application) is 67%
  • AI 101: quick summary of classification, generative and interactive AI and its uses in L&D
  • The impact of AI: my initial research shows that AI has the potential to scale Mastery Learning and, in the process:
    • reduce the “time to training design” by 94% > faster
    • reduce the cost of training design by 92% > cheaper
    • increase the quality of learning design & delivery by 96% > better
  • Research also shows that the vast majority of workplaces are using AI only to “oil the machine” rather than innovate and improve our processes & practices
  • Practical tips: how to get started on your AI journey in your company, and a glimpse of what L&D roles might look like in a post-AI world

 

35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now — from nytimes.com by Francesca Paris and Larry Buchanan

From DSC:
It was interesting to see how people are using AI these days. The article mentioned things from planning Gluten Free (GF) meals to planning gardens, workouts, and more. Faculty members, staff, students, researchers and educators in general may find Elicit, Scholarcy and Scite to be useful tools. I put in a question at Elicit and it looks interesting. I like their interface, which allows me to quickly resort things.
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Snapshot of a query result from a tool called Elicit


 

There Is No A.I. — from newyorker.com by Jaron Lanier
There are ways of controlling the new technology—but first we have to stop mythologizing it.

Excerpts:

If the new tech isn’t true artificial intelligence, then what is it? In my view, the most accurate way to understand what we are building today is as an innovative form of social collaboration.

The new programs mash up work done by human minds. What’s innovative is that the mashup process has become guided and constrained, so that the results are usable and often striking. This is a significant achievement and worth celebrating—but it can be thought of as illuminating previously hidden concordances between human creations, rather than as the invention of a new mind.

 


 

Resource per Steve Nouri on LinkedIn


 
 

On the plus side:


Automation & Higher Ed — from prawfsblawg.blogs.com by Orly Lobel

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

I was delighted to see this thoughtful review of my new book The Equality Machine in Inside Higher Ed focused on some of the questions nearest and dearest to prawfs’ hearts: the future of the professor and higher education as AI becomes more and more part of our learning and teaching. In The Equality Machine, I have a chapter that considers robots and automation in education but does not delve into universities and higher ed. Here’s [an excerpt from] the review:

If the dream of creating high-quality/low-cost scaled online programs is ever to be realized, artificial intelligence—AI—will likely be the key enabling technology. The job of the AI in a scaled (high-enrollment) online course will be to optimally connect the instructor to the learner. The AI will determine when the human instructor should coach, encourage and engage with the learner—and when to hold back. The professor and the AI will collaborate to scale the relational model of learning that is the secret sauce of effective instructional practices.

Integrating faculty and AI to scale quality online learning is, to my knowledge, today more an idea than a reality. After reading The Equality Machine, however, I’m more hopeful than ever that this vision will come to fruition. While not focusing on higher education, the book provides enough examples of the transformative powers of digital technology to enhance human flourishing that some level of academic techno-optimism may be warranted.

 

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On the negative side:


A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook? — from technologyreview.com
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

We Haven’t Seen the Worst of Fake News — from theatlantic.com by Matteo Wong; behind paywall
Deepfakes still might be poised to corrupt the basic ways we process reality—or what’s left of it.

From DSC:
It seems to me one of the key potential values that journalism can provide us with is finding out and reporting on the truth. On curating items that are true.

The Spawn of ChatGPT Will Try to Sell You Things — from wired.com by Will Knight
Companies are exploring how to adapt powerful new chatbot technology to negotiate with customer service—and to persuade humans to buy stuff.

Excerpt:

ChatGPT, the recently viral and surprisingly articulate chatbot, has dazzled the internet with its ability to dutifully answer all sorts of knotty questions—albeit not always accurately. Some people are now trying to adapt the bot’s eloquence to play different roles. They hope to harness the AI like that behind ChatGPT to create programs that can persuade, cajole, and badger with super-human tenacity—in some cases to empower consumers but in others to win sales.

 

Police are rolling out new tech without knowing their effects on people — from The Algorithm by Melissa Heikkilä

Excerpt:

I got lucky—my encounter was with a drone in virtual reality as part of an experiment by a team from University College London and the London School of Economics. They’re studying how people react when meeting police drones, and whether they come away feeling more or less trusting of the police.

It seems obvious that encounters with police drones might not be pleasant. But police departments are adopting these sorts of technologies without even trying to find out.

“Nobody is even asking the question: Is this technology going to do more harm than good?” says Aziz Huq, a law professor at the University of Chicago, who is not involved in the research.

 

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

Radar Trends to Watch: September 2022 Developments in AI, Privacy, Biology, and More — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides

Excerpt:

It’s hardly news to talk about the AI developments of the last month. DALL-E is increasingly popular, and being used in production. Google has built a robot that incorporates a large language model so that it can respond to verbal requests. And we’ve seen a plausible argument that natural language models can be made to reflect human values, without raising the question of consciousness or sentience.

For the first time in a long time we’re talking about the Internet of Things. We’ve got a lot of robots, and Chicago is attempting to make a “smart city” that doesn’t facilitate surveillance. We’re also seeing a lot in biology. Can we make a real neural network from cultured neurons? The big question for biologists is how long it will take for any of their research to make it out of the lab.

 

Test proctoring room scans violated college student’s privacy, judge rules — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt from Dive Brief: 

  • Cleveland State University violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable government searches and seizures by scanning rooms via online proctoring software before students took exams, a federal judge ruled Monday.
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian