How ethics, AI, Europe’s Green Deal, and COVID-19 are connected

In their critical review of the European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (Feb 2020) two members of the High-Level Expert Group for AI (HLEG AI), Mark Coeckelbergh and Thomas Metzinger, come to the conclusion that “Europe needs more guts when it comes to AI ethics”. On the one hand, they highlight positive aspects of this paper, such as the emphasis on trustworthiness or the importance of recognizing psychological risks that are induced by excessive application of AI. On the other hand, they complain about the fact that the ethical dimension is almost absent in this document and that there are no plans to develop educational ecosystems training future interdisciplinary experts in AI ethics.
In the context of COVID-19, the authors point to interesting emerging opportunities of merging Europe’s Green Deal with an ambitious European AI approach as one strategy to recover from this crisis.


Towards a culture of flourishing. Reflections on designing our complex future with machines, exponentiality, and singularity

How should we design our futures? What is the role of technology, and, more specifically, of Artificial Intelligence and cognitive technologies in this context?

In his manifesto “Resisting Reduction”, Joichi Ito points us a way—not blindly following the “new religion” of singularity and exponentiality—into a future that is taking seriously the insights from complex adaptive systems and second-order cybernetics. He describes how we can transform complex, self-adaptive systems by intervening not primarily with a strategy of problem solving and optimizing, but by following a more organic and evolutionary approach aiming at regulating growth, increasing diversity and complexity, and enhancing the system´s  own resilience, adaptability, and sustainability. It turns out that changing parameters or even rules is not nearly as powerful as changing the system’s purpose, goals, and paradigms, if we want to engage in creating a culture of flourishing.

Innovation from within: Why meaning and purpose are essential in Emergent Innovation

Emergent innovation uses the future as its origin and is based on a deep knowledge of the subject of innovation. A profound understanding of the innermost core of the innovation subject (and its potentials) helps us to see what seeks to evolve or emerge from it. This approach of “learning from the future as it emerges” is based on a number of fundamental premises of innovation: most importantly, innovation must emerge “from the inside out;” it must have a paramount purpose (“why”) and meaning (“what”); and anyone involved must “embrace” reality and be open to personal change.

For further details see:

3 ways the coronavirus pandemic could reshape education

Not only our meeting culture has changed dramatically over the last weeks. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way students are learning, how teachers are teaching all over the world. Interestingly, it was just a matter of weeks that this switch of mode had taken place; suddenly things became possible which have been thought to be reserved only for “elite or alternative educational institutions”. This short essay by the World Economic Forum sketches some of these changes and highlights possible positive and negative long term implications:

  1. Education – nudged and pushed to change – could lead to surprising innovations
  2. Public-private educational partnerships could grow in importance
  3. The digital divide could widen

See here for article:

Guide to Machine Learning courses on the internet | Medium & BigThink

Training computers instead of programming them is at the core of machine learning and deep learning. In a nutshell, this means that computers are learning to “learn by experience” (as we humans do) and make predictions by learning from (normally, huge amounts of) data (see also here).

The link below provides a well curated collection and guide to machine learning and deep learning courses on the internet offered by the world’s leading universities.

For this guide, I spent a dozen hours trying to identify every online machine learning course offered as of May 2017, extracting key bits of information from their syllabi and reviews, and compiling their ratings. My end goal was to identify the three best courses available and present them to you. (David Venturi)

Read more: Every single Machine Learning course on the internet, ranked by your reviews

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The Price of Google’s New Conveniences? Your Data | WIRED

Trading convenience for your privacy.

Google just announced a whole new range of services that are “awfully” convenient (visual search, personalized news services, personalized suggestions for new restaurants in Google Maps, monitoring and supporting  your digital well-being, etc.). All this comes at a high price: your data and your privacy, knowledge about your habits, your interests, mindsets, etc., finally your identity. “Proactive” services are convenient, however they are based on prediction models operating on your personal interaction history.

Read more: The Price of Google’s New Conveniences? Your Data | WIRED

Why we should bulldoze the business school | The Guardian

A critical review on business schools, their (hidden) curricula and their almost exclusively market/capitalism-driven strategies. Martin Parker describes the shortcomings of business schools, their limited view on humans, economics, management, and organizations, their ideologies and hidden agenda, and that they are “places that teach people how to get money out of the pockets of ordinary people and keep it for themselves.

“But in the business school, both the explicit and hidden curriculums sing the same song. The things taught and the way that they are taught generally mean that the virtues of capitalist market managerialism are told and sold as if there were no other ways of seeing the world.

…consider human resource management. This field applies theories of rational egoism – roughly the idea that people act according to rational calculations about what will maximise their own interest – to the management of human beings in organisations.” ()

Source: Why we should bulldoze the business school | News | The Guardian

The last question | The EDGE.ORG Question 2018

What is the last question?

The asks this year its final question. An interesting collection of questions moving the world collected from brilliant minds.

“Our kind of innovation consists not in the answers, but in the true novelty of the questions themselves; in the statement of problems, not in their solutions. (Paul Valery)

What is important is not to illustrate a truth—or even an interrogation—known in advance, but to bring to the world certain interrogations . . . not yet known as such to themselves. (Alain Robbe-Grillet)”

Read more: The EDGE Question—2018 |