Knowing about the tech you use to teach

Feb 07 2023
Knowing about the tech you use to teach

More thoughts on current tech. Trigger warning, these basic questions and points may cause offense. These thoughts were initially a Facebook post, but deserve further sharing. Too many academics are rushing toward this shining hill of gilded future promises. But should they?


I went to look on Google Play at the state of Twitter 'clients' (other apps that offer Twitter streams and functionality, pls check Appstore for similar). All the apps now do not work at all. Clearly, app devs have been waiting for further news, which has since arrived - access to the API will now cost money, potentially a lot of money if your app is popular. This essentially means 'goodbye to free Twitter clients'. Another astonishing thing is that most of the recent reviews of these apps are blaming the app for not working, not Twitter, bc they are ignorant and have not been told by MSM. There is even one review who thinks the info/data comes from Facebook (!). Never underestimate the power of using ignorance as a tool of manipulation. Id suspect at least some of these people think its great that Musk has taken over Twitter. (There are also now reported incidents of porn or other 'adult content' being placed in the Twitter app feed, as these are sponsored tweets or high profile engagement. You have no control over this.) Musk owning Twitter is a big problem, and HE is intricately entwined in this platform. How will we escape? What will make us stop using such an extractive capitalist platform like this? Musk manipulates and obfuscates and there is no legal mechanism (since Twitter is no longer public) to deal with this private fiefdom. Do you want to keep supporting this? What will make you stop?

ChatGPT & AI 'art'

Here are some useful good questions to ask. Do you even know what GPT stands for? Do you know what an LLM is? Do you know what HITL stands for? Or how that affects ChatGPT? Do you know the technical aspects of how ChatGPT 'works'? Do you think AI art generators are just apps to have fun with, and do no harm? Have you ever thought about the kinds of harm they might be doing, or could do? Do you realise that Midjourney is not free? If you intend to use this 'app' (clue: its not an app) in your L&T, who will pay for Midjourney? If you use any of this 'AI' 'stuff' in your L&T how do you intend to protect student data and privacy and the safety of the learning space? Do you feel aware enough to use this kind of technology at all in any way? Have you read any critical voices in relation to either Twitter, or to 'AI'? Who owns the data? Why are they offering tools to generate such vast data banks? PS stop posting those silly FB posts that ask people to copy and paste stuff so that you can 'see more friends' in your feed. They are all hoaxes, set up to manipulate foolish people who dont understand how FB feeds work at all. PPS, learning analytics - why?

Full size image (click)

Early stable diffusion from Nightcafe with a prompt of Dune, Tatooine, circa mid 2021 Early stable diffusion from Nightcafe with prompt words Sandworms, Dune, Tatooine, circa mid 2021

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