Think about this - Children younger than 14 may no longer have smartphones in Germany!

The Washington Post reported reasons to restrict use of smartphones from a German child psychology expert and adviser “Just as we protect children from alcohol or other drugs, we should also protect them from the risks of using smartphones at too early an age…”  The February 15, 2019 article entitled “A German government adviser recommends a ban on smartphones for children younger than 14” included these comments regarding recent legislation in France:

… barring young students from taking their smartphones and tablets to school, or at least requiring them to keep the devices powered off while in class. The French officials who supported the rules characterized the restrictions as a way to prevent children from forming addictive habits and to protect the integrity of the classroom.

Also the reported these comments about reading habits:

According to a recent study published by the American Psychological Association, smartphones and social media are altering young people’s reading habits, which may influence their critical thinking. American adolescents spend hours each day on their devices instead of reading magazines or books, according to an analysis of historical data on young people’s media consumption. Sixty percent of high school seniors said they read a book, magazine or newspaper every day in the 1970s, compared with just 16 percent of seniors in 2016.

This is very thought provoking…what do you think?

More thoughts on AI ethical issues from McKinsey

McKinsey posted a podcast started with a question about whether we should worry about AI ethics and got this response “We are right to worry about the ethical implications of AI. Equally, I think we need to celebrate some of the benefits of AI. The high-level question is, “How do we get the balance right between those benefits and the risks that go along with them?””  The January 2019 podcast is entitled “The McKinsey Podcast The ethics of artificial intelligence” included these comments:

On the benefit side, we can already see hundreds of millions, even billions of people using and benefiting from AI today. It’s important we don’t forget that. Across all of their daily use in search and things like maps, health technology, assistants like Siri and Alexa, we’re all benefiting a lot from the convenience and the enhanced decision-making powers that AI brings us.

But on the flip side, there are justifiable concerns around jobs that arise from automation of roles that AI enables, from topics like autonomous weapons, the impact that some AI-enabled spaces and forums can have on the democratic process, and even things emerging like deep fakes, which is video created via AI which looks and sounds like your president or a presidential candidate or a prime minister or some kind of public figure saying things that they have never said. All of those are risks we need to manage. But at the same time we need to think about how we can enable those benefits to come through.

I encourage my friends to listen to this interesting podcast.

VIDEO- AI & ML: Ethical and Legal Implications

Please watch my new video entitled “Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Ethical and Legal Implications” …  produced by WatchIT for whom I have worked for almost 20 years.  The learning objectives of this video are:

  • Understand the potential risk factors associated with AI and Machine Learning
  • Discuss the ethical and legal questions that have surfaced regarding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Identify best practices for AI and Machine Learning enterprise strategies

Let me know what you think of the video.

Net Neutrality: US Congress may take control over state laws

The New York Times reported that “Members of Congress are expected to introduce net neutrality laws this year that would create nationwide rules, overriding whatever states have adopted.”  The February 1, 2019 article entitled “Net Neutrality Repeal at Stake as Key Court Case Starts” presented these comments about the hearing before the “the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,…”:

The plaintiffs in the suit, led by the internet company Mozilla and supported by 22 state attorneys general, say the commission lacked a sound legal reason for scrapping the regulations.

The government was expected to argue that the rules were repealed because of the burden they imposed on broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast.

….could wind through the courts for years. If the commission loses, it might try to rewrite its order rolling back the rules to avoid further legal challenges.

Stay tuned to watch the next exciting in Net Neutrality which may never be settled!

Could you survive without the Internet for 11+ days?

The Washington Times reported the Pacific island of “Tonga was plunged into virtual darkness 11 days ago when the fiber-optic cable was severed. Initially people lost access to the internet almost entirely and couldn’t even make international phone calls.” The January 30, 2019 report entitled “Reboot: Tonga hopes to restore internet access by weekend” included these comments:

Authorities in Tonga said Thursday they’re hoping people will be able to visit Facebook and YouTube again by the weekend as experts repair the vital undersea cable that connects the Pacific nation to the rest of the world.

Tonga was plunged into virtual darkness 11 days ago when the fiber-optic cable was severed. Initially people lost access to the internet almost entirely and couldn’t even make international phone calls.

Limited access was restored via satellite, but authorities blocked most people from using social media like Facebook to preserve precious bandwidth.

Residents and businesspeople said they’ve had difficulty doing anything from reading emails to processing credit card payments.

How would you cope with no Internet for 11+ days?