Ambient Intelligence

These Chinese students have put together a video which effectively shows what ambient intelligence can mean for us. Sensory technology which responds to our needs. We have had precursors to it with smart phone apps which manage climate control in our homes and security devices which ring through to back up help for us. The next step is to have ambient technology in our environment so that our experiences are driven by the changes we want. There needs to be a lot more done on privacy, though, before we give ourselves and our environments over to ambient technology. Who wants a self driven car which can be hacked by some random? A wearable device which can be giving false information because it has been remotely tampered with?

And, if ambient technology is to become as integrated into our lives as previous technological revolutions like wood joists, steel beams and engine blocks, we need to subject it to the digital equivalent of enforceable building codes and auto safety standards. Nothing less will do. And health? The current medical device standards will have to be even tougher, while still allowing for innovation.” Walt Mossberg

Walt Mossberg’s article The Disappearing Computer has a good explanation of what is occurring and how this might play out. Artificial Intelligence and Ambient Intelligence are not going to go away. They are the future. It is important we understand the developments and their implications for us. TechCrunch also has a very good article, The next stop on the road to revolution is ambient technology , looking at the future possibilities and transformations which will be brought about by ambient technology. Since the plan is to outsource cognition to devices, then we need to know what the plans and developments are so we can have some useful input and know what it will all mean for us.

Protect your privacy

Privacy

Image: Pixabay

I have mentioned BetterCloud before. I subscribe to the email and I always get very good quality tech information. Today was no different. In this morning’s email was a link to an article about 66 ways to protect your privacy. You may know some of them, you may want to try the others and then there might be some you are not sure about and you can investigate. If nothing else this is a lot of solid advice about how to protect your privacy online.

Polly want a cracker !

We are surrounded by crackers and crackpots on the internet. Par for the course and parroting of information is something we have to work to avoid. We have to know how to think , not what to think. It’s why we cannot downplay and underestimate the role of academics and librarians in our society. We need them to be vocal so we are reminded that good research skills are vital in a connected world where a lot of the information is repeated ad nauseam in well-trained ornithological style. Information regurgitation. That isn’t learning and it’s not knowledge but it is hard to avoid. The video clip points out, too, that it can put young lives in danger. The internet can make claims and pronouncements and people can feel obliged to comply because they don’t know how not to. It’s not that social media or YouTube or other popular sites are bad and evil but you have to understand how these things operate. Newly created , conventional wisdom is nothing more than pulp fiction and has to be recognised as that. Merlot II has an Internet Detective tutorial which helps gives students critical thinking skills about the internet. The stated objectives of the tutorial are that students:

be aware that there is an issue of information quality on the Internet
have learned practical tips and hints for evaluating Internet resources (eg dissecting URLs)
have a list of quality criteria to apply to information found on the Internet
have practical experience of evaluating electronic journals, mailing lists, subject Web sites and organisational home pages

The difference nowadays between the information rich and the information poor is delineated by the quality of powers if discernment with regard to information.

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