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'No country in the world has solved this problem': can Australia make age verification work for social media?
Josh Taylor,Tamsin Rose, The Guardian, 2024/05/22


This is note directly an edtech story but it has obvious implications in the edtech space. As documented here, "Previously unreported documents suggest age assurance technology has not been successfully implemented anywhere in the world." Now I've gone through verification processes several times - once to get a Twitter blue check back when it mattered, once to open a blockchain account, for example, and another to register at a contact-less Sonder hotel. I never felt confortable with it and was quite aware of the potential for abuse. There's no third-party solution that can be trusted not to misue the data - and that applies especially to the financial sector (even though governments have started using banks to verify ID and many other services require a credit card check).

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Yeah I feel this
Marco Rogers, Mastodon, 2024/05/22


This is a discussion those involved in free and open content should be aware of and have an answer for. Here's the gist: Sue Smith writes, "I am begging ethical web enthusiasts to understand what an extreme privilege it is to spend time working on something without worrying about money." And Marco Rogers writes, "Too many people struggle with this binary. If you care about money at all, there's only a short leap in people's heads to the worst kind of exploitative behavior. And the only way to avoid that is to not care about money at all." The full comment threads for both are worth reading. My feeling: if you are unable to share your thoughts and feelings without getting paid, because (say) you're too poor, then you don't own your own voice. It belongs to whomever is paying. People should never be in such a state of want that they have no voice. The solution here isn't to pay for content; that just entrenches the inequality and privilege of the few. It's to address the wider issue of poverty, to what is today a privilege becomes a right tomorrow.

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Real-Time Emotion Recognition and its Effects in a Learning Environment
Antoni Martínez-Ballesté, Oihane Unciti, Ramon Palau, Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, 2024/05/22


This study (18 page PDF) offers " information about the current state of emotion recognition technology and how its practical use is being carried out in educational settings." It does point out that "most of the research has been conducted from a theoretical perspective and none of them has been fully developed and implemented in the classroom." This is no surprise - the classroom is the last place I would expect to see educational technology deployed. Anyhow, it considers methods like facial recognition, speech analysis, and combinations of these and other cues. About 14% of the systems were at technology readiness level (TRL) 5,6 or 7 - "validation and demonstration in a relevant or operational environment" - and none were above that.

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