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THINGS WE'RE THINKING ABOUT (TWTA).

Our Things We’re Thinking About (™) (TWTA) Blog is intended to not only share information and resources, but primarily to spark civic dialogue and civic education. Just as the blog name implies, what we share are things we at Strong & Starlike are thinking about, discussing, and researching. What is shared is not intended to serve as any type of counseling or legal advice.

The internet is a gateway to technological innovation

For the first time in history, humans are able to instantly connect with each other across the globe because of the internet.  This interaction has facilitated an explosion in collective consciousness, ideas, and technology. (“The Strength of Internet Ties”) These global interactions and exchange of ideas produce new technologies for humans to use and thrive. One of those technologies from the post-internet world is Artificial Intelligence (AI). 


What is AI?

AI is “a field of science concerned with building computers and machines that can reason, learn, and act in such a way that would normally require human intelligence or that involves data whose scale exceeds what humans can analyze.” (“What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?”)  AI is a significant tool for individuals and businesses because it allows for faster and efficient processing of large quantities of information, data analysis, and automation. 


How do businesses benefit from AI?

AI is rocket fuel for individuals and businesses who are able to learn how to use the new technology to increase their knowledge and finances. “AI can make a business workflow more efficient by automating routine operations. This allows the workforce to focus on more important things and finish pending tasks in less time.” (Weitzman) The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift to technology adopted jobs, while 97 million new roles may emerge as a result of the same shift. (“The Future of Jobs Report 2020 | World Economic Forum”) Is efficient automation the final result of human ingenuity or a tradeoff?  How do we equip as many people as possible with the necessary skills to integrate into technology-adopted jobs?


How do we integrate AI into our lives?

What I am thinking about are the pros and cons of this technology.  The internet was once a novel idea and now it is deemed a critical access issue, but it comes with many flaws. How do we use our collective knowledge of the pros and cons of the internet to help inform how we integrate AI into society? Since AI is new and based on machine learning and deep learning  (“What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?”), how do we ensure equity is built into the algorithm? How do we check for, and correct, human bias in the data output? Many of the tools to learn about AI are only available via the internet. How do we prioritize closing the digital divide so that more people have access to learn about AI, how to shift to technology-adopted jobs, and how to use AI as a tool for economic development? 


Resources

To learn more about AI consider enrolling in free AI courses

Introduction to Generative AI This is an introductory level microlearning course aimed at explaining what Generative AI is, how it is used, and how it differs from traditional machine learning methods.


Generative AI for Everyone, a free 3 module course designed to ensure everyone can be a participant in our AI-powered future.



Works Cited

Campisi, Natalie. “42 Million Americans Still Don't Have Access to Broadband Internet – Forbes Advisor.” Forbes, 26 May 2023, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/millions-lack-broadband-access/. Accessed 12 February 2024.


“The Future of Jobs Report 2020 | World Economic Forum.” The World Economic Forum, World Economic Forum, 20 October 2020, https://www.weforum.org/publications/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020/. Accessed 12 February 2024.


“The Strength of Internet Ties.” Pew Research Center, 25 January 2006, https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2006/01/25/the-strength-of-internet-ties/. Accessed 20 March 2024.


Von Ah, Andrew. “Closing the Digital Divide for the Millions of Americans without Broadband.” Government Accountability Office, 1 February 2023, https://www.gao.gov/blog/closing-digital-divide-millions-americans-without-broadband. Accessed 12 February 2024.


Weitzman, Tyler. “Understanding The Benefits And Risks Of Using AI In Business.” Understanding The Benefits And Risks Of Using AI In Business, Forbes Business Council, 9 November 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/03/01/understanding-the-benefits-and-risks-of-using-ai-in-business/?sh=928fb0b6bba5. Accessed 5 March 2024.


“What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?” Google Cloud, https://cloud.google.com/learn/what-is-artificial-intelligence. Accessed 12 February 2024.

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