Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Through a thirty year career Downes has contributed pioneering work in the fields of online learning games, learning objects and metadata, podcasting, open educational resources. Today he is developing gRSShopper, a personal learning environment, offering a course on new e-learning technologies, and supporting research and development in the use of distributed ledger technology in learning applications. He is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in three dozen countries on six continents.

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After 30% uplift in subscriptions, publishers roll out ‘Subscribe with Google’

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This is similar to the 'book flights with Google' service I referenced yesterday. According to this report, "Earlier this year, Google announced it is testing Subscribe with Google with The Guardian, which has managed to turn memberships into a bigger source of revenue than advertising." It's having an impact. "To date, almost 50 publishers from all across the world have begun integrating the product into their operations." How long before MOOC companies, newsletters, and sites like mine all have their own 'subscribe with Google' buttons?

Today: 83 Total: 83 Monojoy Bhattacharjee, What's New in Publishing, 2019/08/23 [Direct Link]

Statistical foundations of virtual democracy

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Nobody can vote on everything. We simply don't have the time or inclination. But what if an AI could analyze us and predict how we would vote on an issue, and then cast the vote for us? That's the premise of the article Statiscal foundations of virtual democracy by Kahng et al. and summarized here by Adrian Colyer. The paper looks at some different prediction algorithms an settles on something called the Borda count as the best approximation of voter intentions.

Today: 98 Total: 98 Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, 2019/08/23 [Direct Link]

New Research Alliance Cements Split on AI Ethics

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I reiterate a point I've made in the past, specifically, that a lot of literature on ethics in AI (and in our field generally) presumes that we have some agreement on what is ethical. But we don't. This article makes that clear. "Germany, France and Japan have joined forces to fund research into 'human-centered' artificial intelligence that aims to respect privacy and transparency, in the latest sign of a global split with the U.S. and China over the ethics of AI."

Today: 104 Total: 104 David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed, 2019/08/23 [Direct Link]

In Open Access’s Long Shadow – A view from the Humanities

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This is an intelligent and very well informed discussion of the history of open access (dating to the 1800s, when 'open acess' referred to the freedom to browse the stacks in a library) and some of the points of discussion pro and con, especially from the perspective of the humanities. Though the author doesn't take a point of view, this article offers probably the best argument against open access I've seen: "the reason why open access is being pushed forward is primarily to serve the interests of the economy, and not for the benefit of the public good... this is problematic because this process takes place in a context of commercial enclosure. Scientific literature and data ought to be given out for free, while knowledge produced under patents, or subject to commercial exploitation, is exempt from the requirements of open science... that open access is undermining the value of intellectual labour and dispossessing academics of their work."

Today: 183 Total: 357 Enrico Natale, Journal for Library Culture, 2019/08/22 [Direct Link]

GitHub Adds LMS Integration for More Efficient Workflows

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Keeping in mind that GitHub is now owned by Microsoft... "GitHub Education helps students, teachers, and schools access the tools and events they need to shape the next generation of software development." To that end, as this story reports, "GitHub announced integrations between GitHub Classroom and popular learning management systems Google Classroom, Instructure Canvas, D2L Brightspace and Moodle, enabling the automatic syncing of students from the LMS platform to GitHub Classroom." There's more in this GitHub blog post from last week.

Today: 182 Total: 420 Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, 2019/08/22 [Direct Link]

A critique of pure learning and what artificial neural networks can learn from animal brains

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There's a lot to like in this article. It looks at animal learning (including human learning from the perspective of a computer scientist, and then tries to apply the lessons learned back to artificial neural network (ANN) theory. Where the article gets interesting is where it looks deeply at just what constitutes learning, the role of experience in learning, and how (interestingly) experience shapes even innate knowledge through the long-term learning mechanism of evolution and natural selection. What are the lessons to be drawn? Pay more attention to network architecture, and look for underlying processes or skills that can be applied in multiple cognitive domains.

Today: 143 Total: 343 Anthony M. Zador, Nature, 2019/08/22 [Direct Link]

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