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The Problem is Not the AI
Steven D. Krause, 2023/02/28


Now this is good advice on how to teach writing: "Teaching writing means a series of assignments that build on each other, that involve brainstorming and prewriting activities, and that involve activities like peer reviews, discussions of revision, reflection from students on the process, and so forth. I require students in my first year comp/rhet classes to 'show their work'. And yes, this would make the assignment AI-proof. Just one caveat, though. I did this the first time I ever taught a class. I had 80 students. It involved giving each iteration a careful review and offering thoughtful, meaningful comments. The students appreciated, but even they recognized just how much work it involved. I never did it for a whole class again, because I wanted to have a life beyond assessing student work. Ah, but wouldn't it be great if computers could provide this sort of assessment! See also: chatGPT and assessment, by Selena. Image: E-Learning Industry.

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Section 230 Is a Load-Bearing Wall - Is It Coming Down?
Nabiha Syed, The Markup, 2023/02/28


A U.S. law known as Section 230 is currently being challenged in response to disputes about moderation on social media sites. It's popularly referred to as "the twenty-six words that created the internet," though I think this gives it too much credit. The law treats internet providers as 'common carriers' - they're not legally responsible for the content they carry, no more than the phone company or the post office is responsible. But it also allows them to moderate content if they wish, in the interest of providing good service. Online services have always been criticized for too much or too little moderation, but the current case adds a new wrinkle: whether the use of recommender algorithms changes the status of service providers, making them content publishers in their own right, and not just common carriers. It could go either way. So long as one party simply pays another to carry content, 230 would seem to apply, but the more the carrier gets paid or influenced by third parties (for example, advertisers or politicians) to shape that traffic, the more they may be considered publishers in their own right.

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