Good article by Joi Ito that Wired might let you see. The main point is that "the notion of singularity – especially as some sort of saviour or judgment day that will allow us to transcend the messy, mortal suffering of our human existence – is fundamentally a flawed one." So "Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines – not artificial intelligence but extended intelligence." I think this is a good point, though I would replace the use of the term "systems" (which implies directionality and a built-in goal) with "networks" - which function as ecosystems and tend toward equilibruim (if they tend toward anything at all).
I hadn't seen this until today (an occupational hazard). It was just cited by Joi Ito, but is important enough to include here anyway, and to get it's own post. Here's the key phrase: "you are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic." The message is that the people using a system or a network contribute to the design of that system or network, and therefore that designers should plan for this participation. He cites my new hero, Cedric Price: "Price was designing not for the uses he wished to see, but for all the uses he couldn’t imagine.... As opposed to the 'user' of a building who is interacting with a smart thermostat, the participants in a building are engaged with one another." Or as I like to say, we built a trillion-dollar communication system, and people use it to send cat pictures, and that's the beauty of it.
This is a review (4 page PDF) of Catherine Gidney's book on corporate influence in Canada's schgool system. Trevor Norris summarizes many of the examples found in the book, from the early days of school commericalism, to the rise of school-business partnerships, to the Youth News Network and vending machines in schools. Norris observes that the book could perhaps use more analysis - for example, "what exactly is so bad about consumerism and school commercialism?" Maybe, but in my own experience the challenge is often to show that commercialism even exists, so documenting a wealth of instances provides a service.
My question is, of course, how many of us had to solve machine learning problems in high school? In my case, it hadn't even been invented. Here we have a case where a high school student has been given the problem of optimizing traffic flow in his school parking lot. There's so much to love about this - how it's local, how it's practical, how it requires him to learn artificial intelligence, how he can turn to the interwebs for advice, how he's referenced existing literature, how he finds out about queuing theory. and is referred to a GitHub repository as a starting point. Learning in the 21st century isn't about memorizing trig formulae and solving problem sets.
I'm really enjoying this series of post summarizing W. David Merrill's First Principles of Instruction. The series, which began in March, is up to part 8 now, with an installment on conceptual knowledge. The presentation is what really makes this series shine. The writing is crisp and clear, the pacing and white space make it easy to read, and there's a good use of diagrams and slides. I also appreciate the background introduced where it's needed.
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