Techno-News Blog

May 22, 2019

Four ways AI is being used for social good

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Tim Cooper, Raconteur

The amount of available data and technology that AI can process intelligently has snowballed as the internet has increasingly integrated with our lives through tablets, phones and wearables. The advent of the internet of things – the extension of internet connectivity into everyday objects – has taken this even further.  These advances have enabled a wide range of bodies, including companies, governments and non-governmental organisations, to start working together to use AI for social good and has already produced some groundbreaking results in vital areas. And some of the most powerful organisations in the world, such as the US government, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, have all deployed AI for positive social initiatives.

https://www.raconteur.net/technology/ai-social-good

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AI Needs an Ethical Compass. This Tool Can Help

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Ovetta Sampson, IDEO

Today, data systems and algorithms can be deployed at unprecedented scale and speed—and unintended consequences will affect people with that same scale and speed. How can we always make sure we’re putting people first when designing large scale systems? Especially when those systems will change over time and evolve without direct human supervision?

https://www.ideo.com/blog/ai-needs-an-ethical-compass-this-tool-can-help

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Lifelong learning for professional and personal skills

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Herald Mail Media

This is not something that you do when you have the time. It must be done regardless of whatever else you are doing here and now. At startup or even while running a well-established business, new learning must take place while on the job. Fortunately, new technologies that enable work-time learning have emerged for acquiring new professional and personal skill set development. Thus, you can plan and start a lifelong learning program while working, and the program need not have any reference to the work you are doing today. The plan should be designed primarily for work you either want to do more effectively now, or entirely new work that you want to be qualified for in the future. But it should also include personal learning objectives as well.

https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/business/lifelong-learning-for-professional-and-personal-skills/article_660772ae-4da1-5630-bcaa-9b1a14cbc985.html

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May 21, 2019

Education: Lessons on classroom connectivity

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Andrew Webster, London Times

Most schools now have high-speed Wi-Fi, a bank of laptops and iPads and an interactive board in every classroom. Homework can be channelled through online platforms and children are regularly encouraged to present their work digitally. Unfortunately, this is all window dressing against a professional culture still dominated by Victorian attitudes to learning. The teacher remains god in the classroom and didactic, teacher-led learning persists. What’s worse, the digital age is in danger of masking outdated methods. A passive learning experience which may previously have seen children copying from the board into their book now has them copying into a PowerPoint presentation.

https://www.timeslocalnews.co.uk/lifestyle/education-lessons-on-classroom-connectivity

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Top Schools Are Offering More Blockchain, Cryptocurrency Courses

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Kyle Kucharski, PC Magazine

More and more students are interested in studying blockchain technology, and universities are meeting the demand. It’s not just computer science majors, either: a study by Coinbase shows that students across various disciplines are interested in the technology.
https://www.pcmag.com/news/368277/top-schools-are-offering-more-blockchain-cryptocurrency-cou

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Private Colleges Team Up with Harvard Business School Online to Create Unique Hybrid Learning Program

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Yahoo Finance

“When we built this course, one of my hopes was that it could be utilized to educate young people about the important role that business has in tackling some of the challenging issues of our time,” said Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson . “The students and faculty from the MCA campuses who participated in this pilot are pioneers, and I look forward to seeing how they will apply the learnings from our course in their own communities.” The participating colleges created a blended learning offering where students registered for a sustainable business course led by their own faculty and featuring the HBS Online course led by Professor Henderson. Students then applied their learnings through projects with businesses that were facing sustainability challenges, including Wolverine Worldwide and Merrill.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/private-colleges-team-harvard-business-130500430.html

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May 20, 2019

Ohio lawmakers consider ending recognition of online university

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Kantele Franko, AP

Just a year after the online Western Governors University launched its Ohio affiliate , state lawmakers are considering eliminating recognition that lets its students benefit from certain state-funded aid, including need-based grants. That’s part of the budget bill passed Thursday by the House. It now heads to the Senate. The change was advocated by Republican Rep. Jay Edwards, a member of House leadership whose district includes Ohio University. He said the state’s recognition of Salt Lake City-based WGU was unfair to existing public schools in Ohio that are big employers, receive significant state funding, and already offer various online educational opportunities. WGU Ohio has about 3,100 students.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/lawmakers-consider-ending-recognition-of-online-university/2019/05/09/ac2779f4-72a6-11e9-9331-30bc5836f48e_story.html

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Using Machine Learning to Predict Developmental Delays in Children

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Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

For their research, the scientists obtained information from USC’s Infant Neuromotor Control Laboratory. This information included data about the motor movements of infants obtained from sensors strapped to the infants’ ankles. The sensors collected raw movement data from an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. An algorithm that is able to classify typical (TD) and delayed development (AR), was then used to further analyze the observable differences in spontaneous movements of infants with TD and AR. Then the researchers came up with a prediction model that was able to do the calculations and make the predictions.

Using Machine Learning to Predict Developmental Delays in Children

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What Are The Most Significant AI Advances We Will See In The Near Future?

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Sudheesh Nair, Forbes

In the next few decades, the technology industry will continue to make substantial advances in how AI can be applied, but the greater impact will come not from future nascent applications but by the widespread adoption of AI by other industries today we interact with on a daily basis. No industry will be safe from this change, but here are some of the industries that will change most significantly with the adoption of AI.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2019/05/10/what-are-the-most-significant-ai-advances-we-will-see-in-the-near-future/

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We urgently need an ethical framework to ensure the machines we are developing do not pose a threat

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Jason Si, World Economic Forum
The possibility of man-made machines turning against their creators has become a trendy topic these days. Undoubtedly, Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are no longer fit for purpose. For the sake of the global public good, we need something serious and more specific to safeguard our limitless ambitions – and humanity itself.  If data is the new oil, then AI is the new drill – and to extend this analogy, malfunctioning algorithms are the new pollution.
It is important to note that malfunction does not equal malevolence. Likewise, good intentions do not guarantee a lack of legal, ethical and social troubles.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/these-rules-could-save-humanity-from-the-threat-of-rogue-ai/

 

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May 19, 2019

Researchers make transformational AI seem ‘unremarkable’

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Science Daily

A surgeon might never feel the need to ask an AI for advice, much less allow it to make a clinical decision for them, said John Zimmerman, the Tang Family Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction in CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII). But an AI might guide decisions if it were embedded in the decision-making routines already used by the clinical team, providing AI-generated predictions and evaluations as part of the overall mix of information. Zimmerman and his colleagues call this approach “Unremarkable AI.” “The idea is that AI should be unremarkable in the sense that you don’t have to think about it and it doesn’t get in the way,” Zimmerman said. “Electricity is completely unremarkable until you don’t have it.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190508093723.htm

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Can you learn a language playing video games? What the research says

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Christopher Timothy McGuirk

Language learning in particular seems a perfect place to try “gamified” classes. Some schools are already using Minecraft in French classes – the idea is that students work together to build a “learning zone” in the Minecraft space – finding new words to help them along the way. Indeed, James Paul Gee, a leading researcher in the area of video games as language learning tools, suggests that role-playing games such as The Elder Scrolls series or World of Warcraft, offer an ideal learning space for what he calls “at-risk” learners. In theory, there is just enough challenge, just enough support, just enough room for players to be themselves and, possibly most important, students have just enough “ownership” of the learning process.

https://theconversation.com/can-you-learn-a-language-playing-video-games-what-the-research-says-105760

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How Education Can Defend Against Cyber Attacks

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By Sara Friedman, Campus Technology

With technology becoming a cornerstone of how many schools operate, the risks of getting hacked multiplies, and defending against cyber attacks becomes an important part of any strategic plan. A new report from the IBM X-Force finds attackers are drawn to the education sector owing to the sensitive nature of some emerging research projects and personally identifiable information on students, faculty and organizations associated with universities and schools. Despite all of these risks, the education sector comes in at ninth place among the most targeted industries, according to the 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2019.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/04/25/how-education-tackles-cybersecurity.aspx

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May 18, 2019

This ransomware sneakily infects victims by disguising itself with anti-virus software

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Danny Palmer, ZDNet

A successful family of ransomware which has been terrorising organisations around the world has been updated with a new trick to lure victims into installing file-locking malware: posing as anti-virus software. Dharma first emerged in 2016 and the ransomware has been responsible for a number of high-profile cyber incidents, including the takedown of a hospital network in Texas late last year. The group behind Dharma regularly look to update their campaigns in order to ensure the attacks remain effective and they have the best chance of extorting ransom payments in exchange of decrypting locked networks and files of Windows systems.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-ransomware-sneakily-infects-victims-by-disguising-itself-with-anti-virus-software/

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Three Innovators Changing The Education Landscape Today

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Jeanne Allen, Forbes

America is the land of innovation, leading the world in technology, art and industry — yet we still have a 20th-century educational system. Our schools are stifled by regulatory overload, making it difficult to bring needed change to outdated ways of doing things. Fortunately for our nation’s children, enterprising individuals at all levels of education are working to change that. Here are a few of the most innovative figures in education today,

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanneallen/2019/05/08/three-innovators-changing-the-education-landscape-today/#6556d75aed5a

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What I Learned From Designing and Developing E-Learning

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By Nikki O’Keeffe, TD Insights

Sometimes my designs worked and sometimes they did not. I learned what participants liked and what they did not like through course evaluations and from talk around the office. The true results, however, showed on the job. It didn’t take long for me to realize that a decent e-learning program requires more than a set of clickable PowerPoint slides. The learner needs to experience real-life scenarios, try out tasks, and get feedback along the way. An extrinsic smiley face and a thumbs up icon at the end aren’t enough. Here are the top five lessons I learned from designing and developing e-learning programs.

https://www.td.org/insights/what-i-learned-from-designing-and-developing-e-learning

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May 17, 2019

Online Education, Beyond ‘Deans Gone Wild’

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By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Leaders of companies colleges hire to take academic programs online discuss their role, the scrutiny they’re facing and why we should call them something other than OPMs. These are increasingly fraught times for the OPMs, with growing scrutiny from think tank analysts concerned about the corporate role in educational delivery and legislation in California that could limit the ability of such companies to operate in the state. The OPMs are also under attack from within their own ranks, as 2U’s co-founder, John Katzman, who now runs Noodle, another online enabler, said of the ed-tech industry at another panel here last week: “At a lot of schools, online programs are 20 percent more expensive than their on-campus counterpart. We’ve effectively raised the cost of education. So, I have to ask, are we properly using taxpayers’ dollars?”

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/05/08/their-industry-under-scrutiny-opm-leaders-ponder-their-role

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Why Every University Needs an Africa Strategy

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By Grant T. Harris, Inside Higher Ed
Just as many academic institutions now regret their slow start in China, so will they come to regret missing out on early opportunities in this increasingly important and fast-growing region Grant T. Harris warns. American universities are largely unprepared for a key global phenomenon: Africa’s growing importance. The continent’s prominent demographic, economic and political trends are impossible to overlook, and any institution aspiring to sustain a global brand and position its students to thrive in international settings will need a deliberate Africa strategy. There is no denying Africa’s growing presence in global markets and international affairs. The region’s current population of 1.2 billion is expected to double by 2050, at which point one in every four people will be African.

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2019/05/09/benefits-universities-intensifying-and-broadening-their-involvement-africa-opinion

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To Scale Online and Save Small Schools, Higher Ed Takes a Page From K-12 – Michael B. Horn (Columnist) and Scott Lomas, Ed Surge

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As online learning has grown in both higher education and K-12 schools, it has traditionally taken different pathways. But hundreds of small colleges and one company have an incentive to try and change that.Thanks to a new and growing effort by the College Consortium, a company that supports online course sharing between institutions, higher education is taking a page from K-12 education to help schools expand their course options for students. The company is allowing colleges to control already-shaky budgets in two ways: by holding the line on costs as participating schools can rely on faculty from other colleges and don’t have to hire additional ones, and by supporting the top line through revenue sharing among schools.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-05-07-to-scale-online-and-save-small-schools-higher-ed-takes-a-page-from-k-12

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May 16, 2019

Why AI Will Never Replace Teachers

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edX

AI will never replace our amazing teachers – and I’m saying that as the CEO of the online learning platform edX and in the business of developing education technology. It’s no wonder, then, that when we say “education technology,” “ed tech,” or “online learning” you might automatically think teachers are being replaced. Online learning has the power to augment and improve what’s going on in the classroom. While MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are generally designed to help students learn autonomously, and in fact millions do, as part of a classroom experience, they function much like new-age textbooks. And let’s not forget that behind every online course there can be upwards of a dozen great teachers, professors, or teaching assistants who have perfected that course in front of students before adapting it for online use. It all comes back to teachers.

https://blog.edx.org/ai-will-never-replace-teachers

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It Is Time for the Edtech Industry to Stop Denying Its Equity and Race Problem

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Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The EdTech industry is dominated by white employees, white leaders, and white entrepreneurs. If you doubt this statement, just attend an Edtech conference. Admittedly, educators and others don’t attend Edtech conferences to discuss equity. They go to get inspired, learn from each other and discover the latest technology that can benefit their teaching and their students. That’s all very well, but if we expect technology to transform how we teach and how students learn, it’s imperative that we integrate equity into our efforts. We need to have those awkward discussions.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/it-is-time-for-the-edtech-industry-to-stop-denying-its-equity-and-race-problem/

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