by Stephen Downes
Mar 29, 2017
This is a series of podcasts (a.k.a. MP3 audio files) was launmched today in a CIDER workshop. There are 17 recordings in all, most of them in the 10-20 minute range. There are also videos and transcripts in the BOLT OER resource page.
This ios the first of what promises to be a series of posts on what the author calls the 'misinformation epidemic' in AI. Here are the major sorts of misinformation:
This list will be familiar to people who work in any branch of technology. The 'influencers' jump on a technology, leveraging contacts to get a book (or some such) published. The myths are spread by these and other non-experts in the field. And the journalism follows the popular icons and ignores what's actually happening in the field.
I joined Twitter as @Downes in July, 2007. Since then I've accumulated 7,217 tweets and 8902 followers. I have a second account, @OLDaily, for these posts. 7,590 tweets and 5,413 followers. By Twitter standards, both numbers are low. James Clay, who joined ten years ago, writes, "I have posted nearly 43,000 tweets and have nearly 5000 followers." Clay writes, "Twitter is mainly now about mainstream and traditional media accounts who in the main use Twitter for broadcasting, I still think there is a community there that use it for conversations and sharing." That seems right to me. And it also feels like I'm posting into the void when I post to Twitter. But that's true of online media in general these days.
I never actually did this (honestly!) but it was a thing when I was young to sneak into movie theatres. One person would buy a ticket and then open the emergency exit for others. Or you'd sneak under the ticket window (this was before the days of the multiplex). Today's dodge is to see one movie, and then as many others in the 9-plex as you can. Technically it's illegal, I suppose, but nobody is harmed, and I never heard of anyone doing hard time.
This is what illegal downloading is like. It's like sneaking into the movies, not like stealing a car. And yeah, it's not something that you do as a socially acceptable adult. But if you're young and bored and can't afford the cost of a movie, well, yeah, I can see people doing it. If you really think it's a problem in the age of Netflix then the answer isn't to make absurd comparisons, it is to give people an alternative (like, maybe, not delaying the availability of programs for years). "Make it good, make it more attractive than the alternative... Ultimately, people steal content because they can't get it otherwise."
This article is mostly speculative at this point. The idea is that Apple is working on augmented reality, but that an eyepiece (think Google Glass) isn't in the works yet. Apple’s strategy may be to release a technology that gets people used to the idea, and then release a headset in a couple of years.” From where I sit, though, the story is in the headline - Apple was impressed by the success of Pokémon Go and has decided to copy it, creating a proprietary infrastructure for the same idea into the iPhone. Augmented Reality (AR) is coming, no doubt about it. But we'll know it's here when someone sells overpriced AR contact lenses.
Though the post is about academic freedom, there's an interesting perspective about attitudes here. Here's the professor in question speaking: "I was told, ‘here’s the textbook you will teach from…here’s how you will teach, you will not assign hard papers, you will not make the class difficult…’ Basically, they turned the entire class into a unit that could be done by anybody." My emphasis. There's an attitude here that education should be so challenging that some people - most people, even - don't get through. That's fine if you're a game show and you pay the contestants. But, you know, it's not. See also: Inside Higher Ed.
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