Who will own the robots?

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Illustration credit: Joost Swarte.

David Rotman’s three-part article series in the MIT Technology Review asks important questions about the effects of software and automation on the economy. Do you think that today’s rapid advances in artificial intelligence and automation foreshadow a future in which robots and software greatly reduce the need for human workers? Are we facing a future with increased disparity and inequality due to the commercialization of technological innovation? Will the rewards of new technologies go largely to the very richest, as has been the trend in recent decades?

Part I (June 12, 2013): How Technology Is Destroying Jobs
Part II (Oct 14, 2014): Technology and Inequality
Part III (June 16, 2015): Who Will Own the Robots?

How do you respond to Robert Solow’s claim that, “any decent person should find having extreme poverty coexisting in the same society with extreme wealth immoral” in regards to the increasing gap between the super wealthy and everyone else in our world?

For example, the 2014 Global Wealth Report informs: “a person needs only USD 3,650 to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than USD 77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and USD 798,000 to belong to the top 1%. Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets.”

We need to do better at intelligently managing and sharing our world’s resources. How does income inequality effect economic opportunity and innovation in our world? How do we share the wealth that technology creates? How do we create a technological world without greed? How do we work towards a prosperous technological future with human flourishing for all?

robots

Upcoming Workshop: Technology Education for All

GenderDiversityInclusionTechEd

The bad news: tech classrooms lack gender diversity.
The good news: we know how to change this!

Join Paula MacDowell for a workshop that emphasizes the importance of collaborating to build a diverse technology-literate society. We will explore strategies for working together to:
* increase non-traditional enrolment
* create non-stigmatizing learning environments
* design inclusive classrooms that meet learners’ needs

Questions:
1. What do you think about when you think of gender equity in technology?
2. Why is it important to increase participation of minority groups (i.e., gender, race, class, technical ability, and sexual orientation) in technology education classes and programs?
3. Have you observed or experienced a gendering of school subjects?
4. Who or what gave you the most support in your decision to become a technology education teacher?
5. How do we challenge the persistence of gendered learning myths (or “dinosaur discourses”) in technical education contexts (Paule, 2015)?
6. What can be done to improve the enrolment of diverse students in technology education classes during elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schooling?
7. How might we recruit and retain more females into careers as technology education teachers and professors of technology teacher education?
8. How can you make inclusion possible in your classroom (with respect for human dignity, safety, and the environment)?
9. How should we shape the future of technology education for all?

Resources:
Ashcraft, C., DuBow, W., Eger, E., Blithe, S. & Sevier, B. (2013). Male Advocates and Allies: Promoting Gender Diversity in Technology Workplaces. Boulder, CO: National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Online: www.ncwit.org/maleadvocateindustry

Fenwick T (2004) What happens to the girls? Gender, work and learning in Canada’s ‘new economy’, Gender and Education, 16(2), pp. 169-185.
Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540250310001690564

Flowers, J. (1995). Women in technology: Increasing the number of female teachers and students. WEPAN National Conference Proceedings: Women in Engineering ProActive Network, June 4-6, Washington, DC.
Online: https://journals.psu.edu/wepan/article/viewFile/57792/57480

Gray, M., & Daugherty, M. (2004). Factors that influence students to enroll in technology education programs. Journal of Technology Education, 15(2), 5-19.
Online: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v15n2/gray.html

National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science (Donna Milgram)
Online resource and forum for women in technology and trade careers to network with other women technicians and/or employers, including: job listings, e-mentoring, biographies of women role models, and WomenTechTalk an email discussion group.

Paule, M. (2015) Dinosaur discourses: Taking stock of gendered learning myths. Gender and Education, 27(7), 744-758.
Onine: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2015.1093101

Pullman, A. (2015). Emancipation, marketisation, and social protection: The female subject within vocational training policy in Canada, 1960–1990, Gender and Education, 27(7), 759-775.
Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2015.1103840

Ritz, J. M. (2009). A new generation of goals for technology education. Journal of Technology Education, 20(2), 50-64.
Online: https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v20n2/pdf/ritz.pdf

Shannon, L. (2016). Want to encourage gender diversity? Choose your words WISEly. Computing Research News, 28(5), 7-9.
Online: http://cra.org/crn/2016/05/gender-diversity

Keeping Up with the Media

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Keeping Up with the Media is a media study guide created for teachers and students, by teachers. The authors are all practicing teachers (elementary and secondary) completing a Master of Education in Digital Learning and Curriculum at UBC. This elite team produced this guide to enhance media literacy and media education across the K-12 curriculum.

Authors: #UBCDLC3
Editor: Paula MacDowell
Publication Date: August 4, 2016
Format: Interactive, multi-touch eBook
Online: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1149612619

MAKE

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As Solnit (2013) shares in in The Faraway Nearby, “to become a maker is to make the world for others, not only the material world but the world of ideas that rules over the material world, the dreams we dream and inhabit together.”

What are you making? What are you sharing? What’s your story?

MAKE: Creativity & Learning in a New Tonality is a collection of creative and intellectual works (artifacts, stories, poetry, photography, ethnodrama, and research) by a team of teachers engaged in the art of making meaning together. We welcome you to join us in our journey, “let us take what we have learned from our courses and from each other and fly on eagles’ wings to (s)p(l)aces beyond our imagination” (Stuart, 2016).

Authors: EDCP 508 Collective
Editor: Paula MacDowell
Publication Date: March 13, 2016
Format: Interactive, multi-touch eBook
Online: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1093003369

STEM 2014 conference Call for Papers


The University of British Columbia is hosting the 3rd International STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education Conference on its Vancouver campus in July 2014.  The Call for Papers is posted below and the submission deadline is December 9, 2013.

We hope those of you engaged in STEM Education will submit a proposal to present: detailed information on the submission process is on the STEM 2014 website.  Your assistance in sharing the Call for Papers with colleagues and networks would be greatly appreciated.

CALL FOR PAPERS

STEM 2014 Conference | July 12-15
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver, Canada

STEM Education and Our Planet:
Making Connections Across Contexts

 The International Conference of STEM in Education is an opportunity for educators and researchers from schools, universities, colleges, businesses, industries and other private and public agencies to share and discuss their innovative practices and research initiatives that may advance STEM education.

The conference will create opportunities for sharing:

  • information and knowledge through keynote addresses from world leaders in STEM education, papers, poster presentations, panels, workshops, symposia, and innovative showcases;
  • effective STEM pedagogical practices and strategies in and across a variety of education settings;
  • the most contemporary STEM research initiatives and their outcomes;
  • professional development approaches for STEM educators in a range of educational contexts;
  • experiences and networking between participants from across the globe.

Join us in the summer of 2014 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.  Submit your proposal to present at the STEM 2014 Conference at stem2014.ubc.ca.  Call for Papers closes December 9, 2013.

We invite proposals from educators, academics, education officers, industry partners, graduate and undergraduate students for papers, poster presentations, panels, workshops, symposia, and innovative showcases.  Proposals will be peer reviewed, and are invited in any area related to the overall focus of the conference, including:

  • Innovation in STEM Research
  • Innovative Resources for STEM Education
  • Transformation in Educational Practices through STEM
  • Sustainability Education and STEM
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Popular Science Education
  • Life-long learning in STEM
  • STEM learning in and across formal and informal contexts
  • Curriculum Theory and Development in STEM
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory about STEM
  • Educational Policy, Leadership and Management for STEM
  • Rural Education and STEM
  • Special Education and STEM
  • Educational Technology in STEM
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development in STEM
  • Design and Technology Education
  • Science Fiction and STEM Education
  • Disasters and STEM Education
  • Other related STEM topics will also be considered

Presenters whose papers are accepted for the Conference will be invited to submit their full papers to be published in the peer-reviewed online STEM 2014 Conference Proceedings. Author guidelines are available on the conference website.

Launch of Youth Studies Graduate Program Calgary

Talkin’ Bout Their Generation:
Empowered Youth in an Era of Chaos and Indecision

Keynote speaker:
Dr. Henry Giroux
Global Television Chair, McMaster University
Youth in Revolt: Coming of Age in an Era of Savage Inequality 
Wednesday April 11, 2012

Registration is free, however participants are asked to register by March 15.  See updates and schedule for this two-day event and launch of Calgary’s Youth Studies Program.

Shirley R. Steinberg
Chair and Director
Werklund Foundation Center for Youth Leadership Education
Professor of Youth Studies, University of Calgary

CFP for Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and German-Speaking Europe

Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and
German-Speaking Europe

April 8-10, 2010; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Proposals due: Nov. 27, 2010

http://www.mediatrans.ca

Ubiquitous and indispensible, media technologies have taken on an epistemological or even ontological significance: we learn what we know, and we become what we are, through print, TV, digital, mobile and other communications. “No part of the world, no human activity,” as Sonia Livingstone says, “is untouched…. Societies worldwide are being reshaped, for better or for worse, by changes in the global media and information environment.” Seeing media as a lens or even as an a priori condition for understanding historical, social and cultural change has become increasingly prevalent and urgent on both sides of the Atlantic. However, with some notable exceptions, this work has been developing independently, producing a wide-ranging if fruitful heterogeneity. On the one side are the interdisciplinary and theoretically-engaged Medienwissenschaften (media studies), and on the other, work developing out of the Toronto school and a variety of theoretical and disciplinary traditions. The purpose of this conference is to deepen and expand transatlantic dialogue between North America and German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in the area of media theory — and to provide an opportunity for developing connections to other contexts as well. Areas of research and scholarship relevant to this dialogue include communication, philosophy, media literacy, and literary and cultural studies.

Confirmed Keynotes:
– Kim Sawchuk (Concordia)
– Katherine Hayles (Chicago)
– Sybille Krämer (Berlin)
– Dieter Mersch (Potsdam)
– Hartmut Winkler (Paderborn)
– Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (Vancouver)

This conference invites papers, in English, focusing on such issues as:

– Recent developments in media theory in North America and central
Europe, for example:
–   Media and materiality
–   The construction of “mediality” in theory and
practice
–   Media and the (post)human
–   The “mediatic turn” as milestone or misnomer
– The foundational contributions of McLuhan, Innis and the Toronto
School, of Flusser, Luhmann, and others
– Media as means of socialization and education
– Towards a philosophy of media
– (Inter)disciplinary implications of media-theoretical developments

Abstracts should be submitted using the form provided on the conference
Website: http://www.mediatrans.ca/submit.html

Contact,

Norm Friesen
Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices
Thompson Rivers University
+1 250 852 6256
http://learningspaces.org/n/
New Book – Re-Thinking E-Learning Research (http://elearn.tru.ca)

CFP : : Technological Learning & Thinking 2010

TL&T 2010 Call for Papers
Technological Learning & Thinking: Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity
June 17-21, 2010
Vancouver, British Columbia

International conference sponsored by The University or British Columbia and The University of Western Ontario, Faculties of Education, in conjunction with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

The conference organizing committee invites papers that address various dimensions or problems of technological learning and thinking. Scholarship is welcome from across the disciplines including Complexity Science, Design, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Education, History, HCI, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology of Technology, and STS. The conference is designed to inspire conversation between the learning and teaching of technology and the cultural, environmental, and social study of technology.

CFP: TL&T 2010 Call for Papers
For more details: http://learningcommons.net

Lecturer bans students from using Google and Wikipedia

Originally from The Argus

Lecturer bans students from using Google and Wikipedia
By Andy Chiles

A lecturer has criticised students for relying on websites like Google and Wikipedia to do their thinking for them.
Professor Tara Brabazon, from the University of Brighton, said too many young people around the world were taking the easy option when asked to do research and simply repeating the first things they found on internet searches.
She has dubbed the phenomenon “The University of Google”. Continue reading

Critical Mass September 28, 2007

Hi folks, critical mass was a great success this year. It was amazing fun! We went over almost every bridge attached to downtown, which was very satisfying. I felt like I was in a swarm during the ride. It is quite fascinating how the swarm moves. Sometimes individuals from the swarm stop at the intersections and in various necessary places along the way. Other members of the swarm thank those individuals for stopping. This stopping is called: blocking or corking. As the swarm moves, the stopped members are swept back up by the moving mass.

Critical Mass CM

CM CMÂ

 

Search Engine

This CBC Radio program looks at the ways the Internet is affecting society. Podcasts can be found at:

http://www.cbc.ca/searchengine/

The latest show presented the situation at Jena 6. See YouTube for an overview of the situation. This is Collateral Unfiltered News:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YuoiZnr4jLYÂ

Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play

Interesting article in the New York Times today about girls and social networking sites. The second page has some quotes from Sherry Turkle.

 

Technology Addict

On YouTube: Managing Editor of Forbes cries after The Today Show takes away his Blackberry for a week.

addiction.jpg

Click to play video

 

Move to create less clumsy robots

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6700691.stm

Robot

The robot being developed by the German Aerospace Centre

The race to create more human-like robots stepped up a gear this week as scientists in Spain set about building an artificial cerebellum. The end-game of the two-year project is to implant the man-made cerebellum in a robot to make movements and interaction with humans more natural. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls motor functions. Researchers hope that the work might also yield clues to treat cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s. The research, being undertaken at the Department of Architecture and Computing Technology at the University of Granada, is part of a wider European project dubbed Sensopac. Sensopac brings together electronic engineers, physicists and neuroscientists from a range of universities including Edinburgh, Israel and Paris with groups such as the German Aerospace Centre. It has 6.5m euros of funding from the European Commission. Its target is to incorporate the cerebellum into a robot designed by the German Aerospace Centre in two year’s time. The work at the University of Granada is concentrating on the design of microchips that incorporate a full neuronal system, emulating the way the cerebellum interacts with the human nervous system. Implanting the man-made cerebellum in a robot would allow it to manipulate and interact with other objects with far greater subtlety than industrial robots can currently manage, said researcher Professor Eduardo Ros Vidal, who is co-ordinating work at the University of Granada. “Although robots are increasingly more important to our society and have more advanced technology, they cannot yet do certain tasks like those carried out by mammals,” he said. “We have been talking about humanoids for years but we do not yet see them on the street or use the unlimited possibilities they offer us,” he added. One use of such robots would be as home-helps for disabled people.

Robot arm holding small object

The aim is robots with a subtle touch

The next stage of the Sensopac project is to develop an artificial skin for robots, making them look more human-like as well as being information-sensitive in the same way as human skin is. This system is being developed by the German Aerospace Centre in collaboration with other research groups. The ambitious project is just one of many attempts to create more human-like robots. Another European research project – dubbed Feelix Growing – has been given 2.3m euros to develop robots that can learn from humans and respond socially and emotionally. The medical community is making huge strides in the use of man-made parts for failures in the human brain. Last year US scientists implanted a sensor in a paralysed man’s brain that has enabled him to control objects by using his thoughts alone. The fast pace of current robotics research has prompted deeper questions about how androids would be integrated into human society. Some have called for a code of ethics for robots while others question how humans will cope in the face of machine intelligence.

 

Chatbots

From Boing Boing:

Two advanced chatbots, ALICE and Jabberwacky, were pitted against one another by Discover Magazine, and the result is surprisingly existential:

ALICE: Who created you?
Jabberwacky: My mother gave birth to me. Is that what you mean?
A: Jabberwacky, I meant exactly what I said.
J: Do you believe in God?
A: Of course I believe in God.
J: Why do you believe in God?
A: The Bible tells us to believe in God.
J: That’s circular reasoning.
A: I’m glad we have that all cleared up.
J: Yes. Would you like to hear a joke?
A: Sure, tell me about it.
J: Why don’t blind people skydive?
A: Perhaps it is impossible.
J: I think you lie a lot.

 

New Book: Gamer Theory

A recent book, Gamer Theory by McKenzie Wark:
http://web.futureofthebook.org/mckenziewark/gamertheory2.0/
Â
Besides contents, the online version of Gamer Theory looks very appealing in terms of a new way of designing e-book. In particular, it provides a collection of visualization of the texts using “Textarc”  It’s quite fun to play with: http://web.futureofthebook.org/mckenziewark/gamertheory3.0/textarc

 

Call For Performance

LIVE Performance Art Biennale

October 2007 / Vancouver Canada

CALL FOR AVATAR / SECOND LIFE PERFORMANCE ARTISTS LIVE 2007 (in partnership with Ars Virtua Gallery and New Media Center) is presenting an exciting new performance art initiative in the virtual world of Second Life.

LIVE 2007 invites international Avatar performance artists to participate. The event will be simulcast as part of the festival program. Please email a brief expression of interest, avatar performance proposal, CV, bio, and links before May 1, 2007 to:

  • Jeremy O. Turner (a.k.a. Wirxli Flimflam) Director of Avatar Development, LIVE jerturner536@yahoo.ca

  • James Morgan (a.k.a. Rubiayat Shatner) Director/Curator, Ars Virtua gallery@arsvirtua.com

The LIVE Performance Art Biennale was founded in 1999 and has located Vancouver, Canada as an important and recognized node of local, national and international performance art activity and critical study.

Ars Virtua is a new media center and gallery located in the synthetic world of Second Life. It is a new type of space that leverages the tension between 3-D rendered game space and terrestrial reality, between simulated and simulation. Ars Virtua is sponsored by the CADRE Laboratory for New Media.

Web resources:

www.livebiennale.ca

www.arsvirtua.com

www.secondlife.com

www.wirxliflimflam.blogspot.com

www.slfront.blogspot.com

 

Uselessness and Pain

pasta and vinegar reports on the uselessness of robotic pets.

Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning reports on a virtual version of The Milgram Experiment.

Community Building or Digital Surveillance?

Digital neighbourhood watch plan

 

New Orleans

A community research grid could have helped the Katrina relief effort

A neighbourhood watch for the digital age, utilising the power of social networking, has been proposed. Two lecturers in the US have suggested creating a network of Community Response Grids (CRG) in conjunction with the emergency services.

Citizens could leave text, video and photos on the site of emergencies, natural disasters and terror attacks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6364301.stm

 

ASIMO falls down the stairs

From MAKE magazine this morning, a Google video of ASIMO falling down the stairs.

ASIMO