Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates

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Prisoners participating in Bard College initiative to provide them a liberal arts education beat Ivy League students who won national title only months ago

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York prison inmates.

The showdown took place at the Eastern correctional facility in New York, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. Last month they invited the Ivy League undergraduates and this year’s national debate champions over for a friendly competition.

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Why the generalist has a bright future in an increasingly automated world

 

 

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The age of the specialist is giving way to the age of the Renaissance person.

It was only a matter of time before a precocious set of tweens came along and broke the damn spelling bee. And lo, after a 14-hour contest, the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee was forced to crown eight co-winners after running out of hard words.

“We’ll soon run out of words that will challenge you,” Jacques Bailly told the contestants, according to the New York Times account. “We’re throwing the dictionary at you. And so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss.”

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Digital immortality: How your life’s data means a version of you could live forever

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Your family and friends will be able to interact with a digital “you” that doles out advice—even when you’re gone.

Hossein Rahnama knows a CEO of a major financial company who wants to live on after he’s dead, and Rahnama thinks he can help him do it.

Rahnama is creating a digital avatar for the CEO that they both hope could serve as a virtual “consultant” when the actual CEO is gone. Some future company executive deciding whether to accept an acquisition bid might pull out her cell phone, open a chat window, and pose the question to the late CEO. The digital avatar, created by an artificial-intelligence platform that analyzes personal data and correspondence, might detect that the CEO had a bad relationship with the acquiring company’s execs. “I’m not a fan of that company’s leadership,” the avatar might say, and the screen would go red to indicate disapproval.

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Are bots entitled to free speech?

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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT BOTS. How will the courts address free-expression rights for artificially intelligent communicators? This conversation is coming, and it may push the Supreme Court to do something it has avoided: define who is and is not a journalist.

For nearly half a century, the US legal system has lived a double life. On the one hand, the Supreme Court has held that journalists do not have greater or lesser rights than other citizens (see Branzburg v. Hayes). On the other, the lower courts have generally ignored or let stand numerous laws or privileges that provide journalists special protections. These include the qualified First Amendment–based reporter’s privilege in some federal jurisdictions and fee waivers in FOI statutes.

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A third of Millennials aren’t sure the earth is round, survey finds

CBS Local — A new survey has found that a third of young millennials in the U.S. aren’t convinced the Earth is actually round. The national poll reveals that 18 to 24-year-olds are the largest group in the country who refuse to accept the scientific facts of the world’s shape.

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Paul Allen wants to teach machines common sense

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“To make real progress in A.I., we have to overcome the big challenges in the area of common sense,” said Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft in the 1970s with Bill Gates.

Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday that he was pumping an additional $125 million into his nonprofit computer research lab for an ambitious new effort to teach machines “common sense.”

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Where do you go when you die? The increasing signs that human consciousness remains after death

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Clinically, we understand death to mean the state that takes hold after our hearts stop beating. Blood circulation comes to a halt, we don’t breathe, our brains shut down—and that’s what divides the states we occupy from one moment (alive) to the next (dead).

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Your next job interview could be with a recruiter bot

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Some worry artificial intelligence will steal human jobs — but one startup is betting that its AI will actually help you get a job.

San Francisco-based Mya Systems has developed an AI recruiter that can evaluate resumes, schedule and conduct applicant screenings, and even congratulate you on your first day of work.

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What do mega-trends mean for schooling?

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Greg Whitby:  I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2017 Edutech conference in Sydney recently. The conference is a ‘finger on the pulse’ on what is happening in schooling and the trends that are shaping the educational landscape.

Interesting isn’t it that we live at a time where we have moved on from talking about trends and data to ‘mega-trends’ and ‘big-data’. Connectivity, scaleability and mobility have been massive game-changers in that we no longer see business dictating trends. Instead we have technology delivering greater power to clients, customers and learners.

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