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Posts Tagged ‘war

You win some, you lose some.

In the battle for good sense, I helped an education partner convince another partner to accommodate a course redesign. This was a great relief to us because this was the right thing to do for our learners — an online version in the COVID-19 era requires sound online strategies, not a blind transfer of classroom workarounds.

However, I lost a different battle with another education partner to make another course more relevant and rigorous. The course was for future educators and I recommended several strategies, among them the inclusion of current lockdown responses and a more transparent assessment process. But that partner did not budge.

I continue working with the first partner and have temporarily stopped working with the second. It is not about the pay; it is about the principles. In a war where I win a few battles, I am not ready to lose what I stand for.

If informed teachers, instructors, and facilitators could be frank about mandatory “online learning”, they might say this:

But logic and passion are up against the red tape and inertia of administrators who think they know better:

The ones who suffer the most from this learning war are the students. This war would not exist if administrators relearn their role — supporting and enabling, instead of standing in the way.

How might artificial intelligence (AI) prevent us from destroying ourselves? The seventh episode of this YouTube Original series provided some insights on how AI could help prevent animal extinction, famine, and war.

Video source

Take the battle against ivory poachers. Trap cameras take photos of anything that moves. They capture images of elephants, a host of other animals, and possibly the occasional poacher. But manually processing the photos for poachers is so time-consuming that it might be too late to save the elephants.

However, an AI-enabled camera, one with a vision processing unit, detects people and sends only those photos immediately to the park rangers. This gives the rangers more time to intercept the poachers.

In the second segment of the video, the focus shifted to the meat that we eat. Like it or not, animal husbandry contributes to climate change by taking away natural resources and emitting greenhouse gases. If we are to shift to not-meat but not rely on Impossible Burgers, what alternatives are there?

One is an AI called Giuseppe that does not reconstitute meat and creates the perception of meat instead. It analyses how molecules in all foods create taste and texture, and recommends blends of analogues from plants.

NotCo, the company that uses Giuseppe, has already created NotMayo, NotMilk, and NotMeat. The video featured the development of NotTuna.

The third part of the video focused on predicting earthquakes. Like the poacher detection tool, sensors collect more noisy data than useful data. AI can be trained to recognise cultural sounds like transportation and construction, and distinguish those from a possible earthquake.

The final segment asked a broad question: Might AI be able to prevent disasters, unrest, or wars that stem from our misuse of natural resources?

To answer this question, a small company in the USA collects satellite images and relies on AI to identify and differentiate objects like solar panels and riverbeds. With AI as a tool, the company makes predictions like the output of cultivated crops in a year.

The predictions extend to man-made infrastructure and natural water sources. The example featured in the video was how measurements of snowfall could be used to predict water supply, which in turn correlates to crop yields.

If the snowfall was low, farmers could be advised to plant drought-resistant crops instead. If unrest or war stem from food or water shortage, such predictions might inform deployments of food aid before trouble erupts.

The overall message of this video countered the popular and disaster movie narratives of human-made AI running amok and killing us. Instead, it focused on how AI actually helps us become better humans.

I hate people who only play the numbers game or hide behind numbers.

But I admire people who can use numbers to tell a compelling human story.

Video source

This video is about the latter and not to be missed. Watch all of it. It will be time well invested whether you learn something about the human waste that war is or telling a great story with numbers.


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