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Twitter to end free access to its API in Elon Musk's latest monetization push
Ivan Mehta, Manish Singh, TechCrunch, 2023/02/03


According to this article, "Twitter will discontinue offering free access to the Twitter API starting February 9 and will launch a paid version." I use the Twitter API to publish posts to the Twitter edition of OLDaily. If the free API ceases working, then the Twitter edition of OLDaily will cease publication on that date. It of course will still be available on this web page, by email, by RSS and on @Mastodon. If that happens I'll probably shut down my Twitter account as well, because what's the point? More on In the Know, The Verge, CNet, Reddit.

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Vale Roger Schank - Learnlets
Clark Quinn, Learnlets, 2023/02/03


Clark Quinn recognizes the contributions of Roger Schank to the field to mark his passing. "Roger's work connected story to cognition," writes Quinn. "Roger realized that there must be cognitive structures for events that were similar to the proposed schemas for things. He investigated the phenomena computationally, advancing artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Roger subsequently applied his thinking to education, writing Engines for Education (amongst other works), while leading a variety of efforts in using technology to support learning." I never met him, but was certainly aware of his valuable work. See also Harold Jarche and Socratic Arts.

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Athabasca U President Firing: Board Members Raise Questions
Charles Rusnell, The Tyee, 2023/02/03


There's a coda to the story about the agreement reached between Athabasca University and the Alberta government on relocating staff to the small northern community, reported here this week. It's this: after the agreement was signed, and while on leave for his wife's funeral, AU President Peter Scott was fired by (some) members of the government-appointed board and replaced, without apparently any process at all, by a more government-friendly appointee. It feels to me to be petty and vindictive. Tony Bates pulls no punches in his criticism. "Danielle Smith's government is truly awful in many ways," he writes. "It has failed to understand or appreciate the uniqueness and value of Athabasca University, which serves students from far beyond the borders of Alberta. It placed the financial welfare of a few merchants in the town of Athabasca over the needs of 25,000 students – and what for? 30 more people in town. It's a sick joke." No argument here.

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‘Nothing, Forever,’ an AI ‘Seinfeld’ spoof, is the next ‘Twitch Plays Pokémon’
Amanda Silberling, TechCrunch, 2023/02/03


Things slowed for a bit, but in the last few days we has another wave of chatGPT and AI posts, so I collect them here. Here's what the discussion looked like:

Should chatGPT be used in learning? It should be thought of as a tool, says Tim Stahmer, just like "tools to help with that syntax, grammar, spelling stuff." It's just assistive technology, writes Mary Guillory. For example, Kristal Kuykendall writes about "MathGPT: a Chatbot Tutor Built Specific to a Math Textbook". And like any tool, chatGPT should not be cited as an author, says arXiv in its new policy, but its use should be referenced in the paper. Springer Nature has said essentially the same thing. Maybe it can fix what's broken in education. Maybe it can help with assessment. Maybe it means it's pointless to teach students how to write essays.

Can chatGPT or AI in general create quality original content? Some wish it could. Peter Houston offers an overview of BuzzFeed's plan to make it happen. Poynter demonstrates the AI generation of fake news sites in minutes. Also in Poynter, Seth Smalley asks whether ChatGPT could supercharge false narratives? I'd say yes, but not as fast as Fox News. Then there's the AI that creates an endless Seinfeld show about nothing - I watched it, and it's frankly dreadful. The stuff of nightmares. There are fears text-generating AI could be an industry-killer, though Arvind Narayanan calls it a "bullshit generator" and some, like Evan Armstrong, argue that AI looks like a bubble.

We had more on the 'AI will not replace teachers' front. Some teachers are discussiong (amusingly) whether chatGPT will be 'allowed'. Maha Bali comments on my thoughts about about what teachers can do that AI can't. Some interesting Twitter discussion follows. But more likely, the new role of teachers will be to teach AI. Also, Christina Hendricks offers an overview of ethical issues involved in using chatGPT (I'll cross-reference this list with my own). Contact North is creating an AI Hub that pulls together and highlights key applications of AI in higher education, with a focus on practice and practical applications. Finally, the days of free chatGPT are waning, as openAI as announced a $20/month subscription model.

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We publish six to eight or so short posts every weekday linking to the best, most interesting and most important pieces of content in the field. Read more about what we cover. We also list papers and articles by Stephen Downes and his presentations from around the world.

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