by Stephen Downes
Jan 31, 2017
Something I've learned in several decades of speaking and writing is that the space between the words is as important as the words themselves. We might be tempted, as this book title suggests, to eliminate them as unessential content. But spacing mattters and you can't just dump nonstop content on people. You need to interject pauses, shifts in perspective, animation and even play and nonsense to provide people with context and space to comprehend and maybe even learn from what you are saying or presenting. That's not to say that all the content in the eBoom is wrong, it's just that the title focus is misplaced. Anyhow, you get your 'free' eBook in exchange for your name and your email address. Here's the link I got to the 47 page PDF.
We've seen how an AI can become a racist xenophobe in one day of training. We've also seen how propaganda can create the same effect in an entire nation. So it stands to reason that algorithms can embody the prejudice and hate present in the data set used to train it, and can even magnify that effect in its decision-making. So it's reasonable to require that the decisions made by these AIs be vetted in some way. This is the purpose of European Union regulations related to profiling, non-discrimination and the right to an explanation in algorithmic decision-making.
What's brilliant about "inclusive access" is that it makes universities and their professors willing accomplices in publishers' campaigns to gouge students for textbook content that should be free or nearly free. This article plugging inclusive access (which is actually the opposite, exclusive access comes in the wake of a one-day 30 percent drop in Pearson share prices due to declining sales. So they're really pushing this alternative model where the cost of expensive digital textbooks is added to course fees and made a required fee for all students, offering no escape for those wanting to borrow or buy copies of books from other people.
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