If I own a doughnut machine, I own all the doughnuts it produces. So why shouldn't the same logic apply if I own an AI that auto-generates stories and music? That's the question the authors address in this post. One argument is that "For a work to be protected by copyright, there needs to be creative involvement on the part of an 'author'", that is, "it reflects the 'author’s own intellectual creation,' i.e. the expression of the author’s personal touch and the result of free and creative choices." That's something neither a machine nor a monkey can do. More to the point, though, the authors argue that copyright serves no purpose in these cases - even if there is a market for Nirvana-esque algorithm-produced music (there is, trust me), "copyright protection of the 'artistic' outputs by an AI system is not the appropriate mechanism to stimulate this development." I find these to be extraordinarily weak arguments, and the proposal that "AI-generated outputs should be in the public domain" to be a risky remedy to the problem being perceived.
I have commented often that learning should be a part of our life and work. This article represents a necessary push-back against that sort of view. Here is the argument, in a nutshell: "The incremental delivery of small assets, designed to ensure additive learning, does not include the ability to solve for the wholesale capabilities transformation, which our workforce desperately needs." I think it's a point well-made, but I have a few thoughts. My feeling is that the current crisis represents a systemic failure. Until recently, many employers acted as though "entire roles and job families ... being displaced" was not their problem. I think we now know they can't just focus on retraining existing staff. They need to invest in the network of supports - health care, education, income support - that enables people to prepare themselves for whatever future they face. This means, first, paying their taxes to support these programs. And second, it means supporting learning opportunities in the workplace over and above 'performance support' that allow people to prepare for their next job, and not just their current one.
I think this account of 'open' is far better than one that rests on the 5Rs. This account of open actually strives toward openness rather than simply granting rights to those lucky enough to be in possession of a resource. Here are the principles, as defined by opensource.com: transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, community. This article is focused on providing examples of governments and institutions being open. The governments include Sweden and the U.K., British Columbia and Ontario. The NGOs include the Red Cross and Greenpeace. The educational institutions include (most unconvincingly) MIT, Oxford, Harvard and Edinburgh (for their use of MOOCs). I still think there's room for improvement, both in the definition and in the examples, but the thinking behind this article is sound.
This is a short post consisting mostly of paragraphs quoted from two articles on brain-to-brain communication. Such a concept is not at all as unlikely as you might suppose, but is subject (I would say) to some limitations - specifically, the activity in layers of neurons stimulated or detected will be mostly perceptual and motor layers; it would be like hearing an internal voice, say, rather than the direct apprehension of a thought. Having said that, direct neural stimulation is likely to be a lot more useful than voice assistants or augmented reality, and could be extended to include haptic and olifactory senses.
This is the very tip of a large domain of discourse on the nature of learning and communications. It starts out as an apparently abstruse discussion of Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory. But in the space of a few paragraphs it gets to a very practical point: "How should our education policy progress if it turns out that (as we suspect) the history environmental conditions are inseparable from individual development. Poverty, austerity, unemployment, stress, etc will all contribute to developmental problems - an uneven playing field which serves nobody well." This is the sort of question I ask as well, and while my own thinking doesn't have the same basis or grounding in autopoietic theory, I am sympathic with its expression. More work studying people like Luhmann, Loet Leydesdorff and Yuk Hui would no doubt be productive and fruitful - but ah! where is the time? See also: Taking stock of epigenetics and universities (highlights). Image: Vidal.
This is quite a good article looking at forms of activism that focus on quiet acts of caring rather than amplification of a message or platform (and we could, by analogy, speak of 'education in a minor key', making many of the same points). Rianka Singh takes as a starting point the work of Saidiya Hartman, who describes a movement "driven not by uplift or the struggle for recognition or citizenship, but by the vision of a world that would guarantee to every human being free access to earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." There's some good analysis in the article - the idea of 'platform inclination' as an alternative to ‘standing up to’ or ‘against’ something, the idea of producing hope rather than "looking for hope in the sky," the distinction between “a performance of care” as opposed to "doing the work of care," and connective action and the practice of 'communicative labour' "to make the point that the media use at the point of organizing rather than more visible forms of resistance."
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