What is assistive technology?— from understood.org by Andrew M.I. Lee, JD; expert reviewed by Shelley Haven
Assistive technology (AT) are tools that let people with differences work around challenges. They make tasks and activities accessible at school, work, and home. Learn how AT apps and software can help with reading, writing, math, and more.

What you’ll learn

  • Assistive technology devices
  • Assistive technology services
  • Myths about assistive technology
  • Selecting and using assistive technology
 

MIT Technology Review — Big problems that demand bigger energy. — from technologyreview.com by various

Technology is all about solving big thorny problems. Yet one of the hardest things about solving hard problems is knowing where to focus our efforts. There are so many urgent issues facing the world. Where should we even begin? So we asked dozens of people to identify what problem at the intersection of technology and society that they think we should focus more of our energy on. We queried scientists, journalists, politicians, entrepreneurs, activists, and CEOs.

Some broad themes emerged: the climate crisis, global health, creating a just and equitable society, and AI all came up frequently. There were plenty of outliers, too, ranging from regulating social media to fighting corruption.

MIT Technology Review interviews many people to weigh in on the underserved issues at the intersections of technology and society.

 

Accenture Life Trends 2024 — from accenture.com; via Mr. Bob Raidt on LinkedIn
The visible and invisible mediators between people and their world are changing.

In brief

  • The harmony between people, tech and business is showing tensions, and society is in flux.
  • Five trends explore the decline of customer obsession, the influence of generative AI, the stagnation of creativity, the balance of tech benefits and burden, and people’s new life goals.
  • Opportunity abounds for business and brands in the coming twelve months and beyond – read Accenture Life Trends 2024 to find out more.

5 Trends

01 Where’s the love?
Necessary cuts across enterprises have shunted customer obsession down the priority list—and customers are noticing.
02 The great interface shift
Generative AI is upgrading people’s experience of the internet from transactional to personal, enabling them to feel more digitally understood and relevant than ever.
03 Meh-diocrity
Creativity was once about the audience, but has become dependent on playing the tech system. Is this what creative stagnation feels like?
04 Error 429: Human request limit reached
Technology feels like it’s happening to people rather than for them—is a shift beginning, where they regain agency over its influence on daily life?
05 Decade of deconstruction
Traditional life paths are being rerouted by new limitations, necessities and opportunities, significantly shifting demographics.

 


Teaching writing in the age of AI — from the Future of Learning (a Hechinger Report newsletter) by Javeria Salman

ChatGPT can produce a perfectly serviceable writing “product,” she said. But writing isn’t a product per se — it’s a tool for thinking, for organizing ideas, she said.

“ChatGPT and other text-based tools can’t think for us,” she said. “There’s still things to learn when it comes to writing because writing is a form of figuring out what you think.”

When students could contrast their own writing to ChatGPT’s more generic version, Levine said, they were able to “understand what their own voice is and what it does.”




Grammarly’s new generative AI feature learns your style — and applies it to any text — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers; via Tom Barrett

But what about text? Should — and if so, how should — writers be recognized and remunerated for AI-generated works that mimic their voices?

Those are questions that are likely to be raised by a feature in Grammarly, the cloud-based typing assistant, that’s scheduled to launch by the end of the year for subscribers to Grammarly’s business tier. Called “Personalized voice detection and application,” the feature automatically detects a person’s unique writing style and creates a “voice profile” that can rewrite any text in the person’s style.


Is AI Quietly Weaving the Fabric of a Global Classroom Renaissance? — from medium.com by Robert the Robot
In a world constantly buzzing with innovation, a silent revolution is unfolding within the sanctuaries of learning—our classrooms.

From bustling metropolises to serene hamlets, schools across the globe are greeting a new companion—Artificial Intelligence (AI). This companion promises to redefine the essence of education, making learning a journey tailored to each child’s unique abilities.

The advent of AI in education is akin to a gentle breeze, subtly transforming the academic landscape. Picture a classroom where each child, with their distinct capabilities and pace, embarks on a personalized learning path. AI morphs this vision into reality, crafting a personalized educational landscape that celebrates the unique potential harbored within every learner.


AI Books for Educators — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com by Barbara Anna Zielonka

Books have always held a special place in my heart. As an avid reader and AI enthusiast, I have curated a list of books on artificial intelligence specifically tailored for educators. These books delve into the realms of AI, exploring its applications, ethical considerations, and its impact on education. Share your suggestions and let me know which books you would like to see included on this list.


SAIL: ELAI recordings, AI Safety, Near term AI/learning — by George Siemens

We held our fourth online Empowering Learners for the Age of AI conference last week. We sold out at 1500 people (a Whova and budget limit). The recordings/playlist from the conference can now be accessed here.

 

Creating an ‘ecosystem’ to close the Black talent gap in technology — from mckinsey.com (emphasis below from DSC)

Chris Perkins, associate partner, McKinsey: Promoting diversity in tech is more nuanced than driving traditional diversity initiatives. This is primarily because of the specialized hard and soft skills required to enter tech-oriented professions and succeed throughout their careers. Our research shows us that various actors, such as nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, and educational institutions are approaching the problem in small pockets. Could we help catalyze an ecosystem with wraparound support across sectors?

To design this, we have to look at the full pipeline and its “leakage” points, from getting talent trained and in the door all the way up to the C-suite. These gaps are caused by lack of awareness and support in early childhood education through college, and lack of sponsorship and mentorship in early- and mid- career positions.

 

The Legal Tech Ecosystem: Innovation, Advancement & the Future of Law Practice — by Colin Levy (Author), Tatia Gordon-Troy (Editor), Bjarne Tellman (Foreword)

The Legal Tech Ecosystem: Innovation, Advancement & the Future of Law Practice

The legal landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, with the seismic shifts of recent years demanding a fresh perspective on the role of technology and innovation within the legal profession. The Legal Tech Ecosystem delves into this essential transformation, shedding light on the crucial interplay between law and technology in today’s complex world.

At its core, this book addresses the profound changes unfolding in the legal domain, driven by macro-economic forces. These changes have placed an ever-increasing burden on legal departments to accomplish more with fewer resources. A quartet of pillars—the explosive growth of regulations, the challenges posed by globalization, the convergence of risk dimensions, and the pressure on corporate profits—has created an environment where legal professionals must adapt swiftly to succeed.

 

The next wave of AI will be interactive — from joinsuperhuman.ai by Zain Kahn
ALSO: AI startups raise over $500 million

Google DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman thinks that generative is a passing phase, and that interactive AI is the next big thing in AI. Suleyman called the transformation “a profound moment” in the history of technology.

Suleyman divided AI’s evolution into 3 waves:

  1. Classification: Training computers to classify various types of data like images and text.
  2. Generative: The current wave, which takes input data to generate new data. ChatGPT is the best example of this.
  3. Interactive: The next wave, where an AI will be capable of communicating and operating autonomously.

“Think of it as autonomous software that can talk to other apps to get things done.”

From DSC:
Though I find this a generally positive thing, the above sentence makes me exclaim, “No, nothing could possibly go wrong there.”


 

Preparing Students for the AI-Enhanced Workforce — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
Our graduating and certificate-completing students need documented generative AI skills, and they need them now.

The common adage repeated again and again is that AI will not take your job; a person with AI skills will replace you. The learners we are teaching this fall who will be entering, re-entering or seeking advancement in the workforce at the end of the year or in the spring must become demonstrably skilled in using generative AI. The vast majority of white-collar jobs will demand the efficiencies and flexibilities defined by generative AI now and in the future. As higher education institutions, we will be called upon to document and validate generative AI skills.


AI image generators: 10 tools, 10 classroom uses — from ditchthattextbook.com by Matt Miller

AI image generators: 10 tools, 10 classroom uses


A Majority of New Teachers Aren’t Prepared to Teach With Technology. What’s the Fix? — from edweek.org by Alyson Klein

Think all incoming teachers have a natural facility with technology just because most are digital natives? Think again.

Teacher preparation programs have a long way to go in preparing prospective educators to teach with technology, according to a report released September 12 by the International Society for Technology in Education, a nonprofit.

In fact, more than half of incoming teachers—56 percent—lack confidence in using learning technology prior to entering the classroom, according to survey data included with the report.


5 Actual Use Cases of AI in Education: Newsletter #68 — from transcend.substack.com by Alberto Arenaza
What areas has AI truly impacted educators, learners & workers?

  1. AI Copilot for educators, managers and leaders
  2. Flipped Classrooms Chatbots
  3. AI to assess complex answers
  4. AI as a language learning tool
  5. AI to brainstorm ideas

AI-Powered Higher Ed — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by  Dr. Philippa Hardman
What a House of Commons round table discussion tells us about how AI will impact the purpose of higher education

In this week’s blog post I’ll summarise the discussion and share what we agreed would be the most likely new model of assessment in HE in the post-AI world.

But this in turn raises a bigger question: why do people go to university, and what is the role of higher education in the twenty first century? Is it to create the workforce of the future? Or an institution for developing deep and original domain expertise? Can and should it be both?


How To Develop Computational Thinkers — from iste.org by Jorge Valenzuela

In my previous position with Richmond Public Schools, we chose to dive in with computational thinking, programming and coding, in that order. I recommend building computational thinking (CT) competency first by helping students recognize and apply the four elements of CT to familiar problems/situations. Computational thinking should come first because it’s the highest order of problem-solving, is a cross-curricular skill and is understandable to both machines and humans. Here are the four components of CT and how to help students understand them.

 

2023 Students and Technology Report: Flexibility, Choice, and Equity in the Student Experience

2023 Students and Technology Report: Flexibility, Choice, and Equity in the Student Experience — from library.educause.edu by Mark McCormack

Excerpt:

What does it mean to be a student in 2023, on the fading tail end of a global pandemic and in the midst of lingering uncertainty about the world? What do students still need from a postsecondary education, and where does technology serve as a fulcrum—for better and for worse—both opening and closing students’ paths forward through their educational journeys?

In this report we draw on data from EDUCAUSE’s 2023 Student Survey to offer higher education leaders and decision-makers key insights as they consider what these questions might mean for their particular institutions and communities.

The report explores findings across three main areas, each representing a key challenge (and opportunity) institutions are going to face now and in the future:

  • Supporting students on and off campus
  • The role of students as consumers in the educational marketplace
  • Equity and accessibility in teaching and learning

Students who are empowered to “choose their own adventure” with their course modality engagements are far more satisfied with their course experiences than those who don’t get to choose.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 


Speaking of technology within the legal world, also relevant/see:

How in-house legal professionals can embrace technology — from legaldive.com by Lyle Moran
Colin Levy says generative AI tools, as well as well-known legacy products, can help lawyers and other legal department staff enhance their work.

 

Antitrust and Global Investigations: The Era of the Legal Technologist Has Arrived — from jdsupra.com

The marriage of technology expertise with the license to practice law is in high demand and essential to the efficient handling of large-scale and complex antitrust and white-collar investigations and litigation.  This is no longer a discretionary skill set designed to benefit those who respond to ESI requests, but rather a necessary proficiency needed to navigate the eDiscovery landscape. 

 


From DSC:
Which reminds me of some graphics:

The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T

 

McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2023 — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

Which technology trends have the most momentum in an accelerating world? We ranked the top cross-industry trends that matter most for companies and executives.

McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2023

 

Law school students can take up to half of their credits online after ABA policy change — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • Law school students can now take up to half of their classes online following a recent policy change by the American Bar Association.
  • ABA’s accrediting body voted last week to raise the ceiling on the number of credits students can earn online for their J.D., up from one-third.
  • It also struck down a prohibition on first-year law students taking no more than 10 credit hours remotely.

From DSC:
It’s almost June of 2023 and matters/impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasingly popping up throughout our society. But WOW! Look at this recent piece of news from the American Bar Association: Law school students can now take up to 50% of their credits online! (It used to be just 30%.)

At a time when we need many more lawyers, judges, legislators, politicians, and others to be more informed about emerging technologies — as well as being more tech-savvy themselves — I don’t think the ABA should be patting themselves on the back for this policy change. It’s a step in the right direction, but why it’s not 100% is mind-boggling to me.

 

Explore Breakthroughs in AI, Accelerated Computing, and Beyond at NVIDIA's GTC -- keynote was held on March 21 2023

Explore Breakthroughs in AI, Accelerated Computing, and Beyond at GTC — from nvidia.com
The Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse

 


Addendums on 3/22/23:

Generative AI for Enterprises — from nvidia.com
Custom-built for a new era of innovation and automation.

Excerpt:

Impacting virtually every industry, generative AI unlocks a new frontier of opportunities—for knowledge and creative workers—to solve today’s most important challenges. NVIDIA is powering generative AI through an impressive suite of cloud services, pre-trained foundation models, as well as cutting-edge frameworks, optimized inference engines, and APIs to bring intelligence to your enterprise applications.

NVIDIA AI Foundations is a set of cloud services that advance enterprise-level generative AI and enable customization across use cases in areas such as text (NVIDIA NeMo™), visual content (NVIDIA Picasso), and biology (NVIDIA BioNeMo™). Unleash the full potential with NeMo, Picasso, and BioNeMo cloud services, powered by NVIDIA DGX™ Cloud—the AI supercomputer.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian