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Monday, December 5th, 2022

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Verifiable work & Identity in the coming era

I was thinking this morning about how the progression of AI as being "good enough" is going to force a change on homework that is AI doable. Math, writing, computer science, all of these areas are ones we're seeing AI become capable enough to solve in a way which would make it hard to identify whether the student did it on their own, or with aid.

I noted two posts by a friend of mine on Mastodon in yesterday's favs, included again below:

On the one hand, I believe many common examples of homework to be remote busywork. At best, misguided as to the efficacy, and at worst, just work to be able to feel the student put in effort. Yes, there were definitely examples that I felt helped me understand and grow in my abilities in different academic areas, but they were exceptions. As a layman with no evidence to back this up, my feeling is that there is a sizable dip in effectiveness where the earliest years of schooling benefit from the added practice, and that in the later years of schooling it has similar levels of benefit as projects become more complex and require more than the time allotted in school. Additionally, team projects which require collaboration were good practice for communicating with others, rudimentary project management concepts, and also understanding how others work (or often didn't work.)

As Adam noted, there will likely be a growing importance in these sorts of projects to provide additional resources, proof of work, research, notes, as means of helping show your process and work, and as another piece of verification for work completed by you and not an AI assistant.

Additionally, in this same vein of verification against AI, comes the concerns over deepfakes, or more subtly the impersonation of someone in text form on social media or online. How do we know our friend really said those things when AI can generate a good-enough doppelgänger in many cases?

One idea I saw floated, though I didn't flag it so it is now lost to me, was that online identity verification could be an example of a blockchain style public ledger for verification. Obviously it has numerous security, privacy, and technology concerns; but it did strike me as perhaps the most compelling use-case for blockchain style technology that I have heard in a while. I recognize that I am not well informed enough to know if it is indeed viable; but it at least got my gears going.

Anyways, AI and this new era is definitely on my mind and likely will continue to be.

12/5/2022 10:50 am | |
Tags: artificial intelligence, machine learning, deepfake, blockchain, education

The AI Research Assistant (elicit.org)

I haven't delved into this tool deeply, but I came across it while reading another article. Seems like it would be interesting, so sharing here as a reminder to dig into it later on.

12/5/2022 3:13 pm | |
Tags: artificial intelligence, machine learning, academic research

"Duping Delight" (paulekman.com)

Why do people who are lying about things keep doing it? Or why do people who are already wealthy feeling the need to con others further?

The Navy warrant officer John Anthony Walker, Jr. was convicted as a spy for the Soviet Union in 1987, and is serving a life sentence. The New York Times said he had been the most damaging spy in history, having helped the Soviets decipher over 200,000 encrypted naval messages. It wasn't the polygraph that caught him, nor surveillance by U.S. counter-espionage officers. His wife Barbara turned him into the FBI. He was bragging about all the money he was making, but Barbara was his ex-wife and Walker was behind in alimony payments.

What motivated this smart, devious fellow to be so foolish? Probably what I call duping delight, the near irresistible thrill some people feel in taking a risk and getting away with it. Sometimes it includes contempt for the target who is being so ruthlessly and successfully exploited. It is hard to contain duping delight; those who feel it want to share their accomplishments with others, seeking admiration for their exploits.

12/5/2022 3:18 pm | |
Tags: lying, psychology, human behavior

Bitwarden enables passwordless authentication on the desktop / laptop (bitwarden.com)

If you aren't using a password manager, please reconsider. Seriously.

This feature for Bitwarden is super cool and super important. It means you can make your passwords that much more secure while also having the convenience of not having to type a very long password, instead relying on your mobile phone to act as your key.

12/5/2022 3:23 pm | |
Tags: security, password manager, digital security

"Lessons learned after living in an InForest off-grid rental" (theverge.com)

For one week this summer I was able to work and play from the middle of a forest in Sweden, despite being totally disconnected from the grid. The experience gave me a taste of what's currently possible with off-grid tech, and a better understanding of the compromises required when resources are scarce — lessons I've since applied to daily life now that energy prices in Europe have gone through the roof.

An interesting read. Nothing particularly enlightening other than the personal experience and hearing about the details of what can be done with the current era of technology.

I'd love to run something like this here in the PNW. Maybe. One day.

12/5/2022 4:20 pm | |
Tags: nature, ecofriendly, off-grid

Nine Worthies (en.wikipedia.org)

The Nine Worthies are nine historical, scriptural, and legendary personages who personify the ideals of chivalry established in the Middle Ages, whose lives were deemed a valuable study for aspirants to chivalric status. All were commonly referred to as 'Princes', regardless of their historical titles. In French they are called Les Neuf Preux or "Nine Valiants", giving a more specific idea of the moral virtues they exemplified: those of soldierly courage and generalship. In Italy they are i Nove Prodi.

The Nine Worthies include three pagans (Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar), three Jews (Joshua, David and Judas Maccabeus) and three Christians (King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon).

They were first described in the early fourteenth century, by Jacques de Longuyon in his Voeux du Paon (1312). Their selection, as Johan Huizinga pointed out, betrays a close connection with the romance genre of chivalry.

Going to have to investigate this further, very interesting.

12/5/2022 10:07 pm | |
Tags: history, literature, french literature, chivalry, virtues

Mastodon Favs for December, 5th 2022

12/5/2022 10:45 pm | |
Tags: mastodon, social media, automated

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