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Algorithmic Nudges Don’t Have to Be Unethical | Behavioral economics - Harvard Business Review

Summary: “Nudging” — the strategy of changing users’ behavior based on how apparently free choices are presented to them — has come a long way since the concept was popularized by University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein in 2008. With so much data about individual users and with the AI to process it, companies are increasingly using algorithms to manage and control individuals — and in particular, employees. This has implications for workers’ privacy and has been deemed by some to be manipulation. The author outlines three ways ways that companies can take advantage of these strategies while staying within ethical bounds: Creating win-win situations, sharing information about data practices, and being transparent about the algorithms themselves.


Companies are increasingly using algorithms to manage and control individuals not by force, but rather by nudging them into desirable behavior — in other words, learning from their personalized data and altering their choices in some subtle way by Mareike Möhlmann, assistant professor at Bentley University. 

Photo: Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty ImagesSince the Cambridge Analytica Scandal in 2017, for example, it is widely known that the flood of targeted advertising and highly personalized content on Facebook may not only nudge users into buying more products, but also to coax and manipulate them into voting for particular political parties.

University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein popularized the term “nudge” in 2008, but due to recent advances in AI and machine learning, algorithmic nudging is much more powerful than its non-algorithmic counterpart. With so much data about workers’ behavioral patterns at their fingertips, companies can now develop personalized strategies for changing individuals’ decisions and behaviors at large scale. These algorithms can be adjusted in real-time, making the approach even more effective.

Algorithmic nudging tactics are increasingly being employed in work environments as companies are using texts, gamification, and push notifications to influence their workforce...

One way to approach this problem is counterfactual explanations. These show what the outcome of a decision-making algorithm would have been for a specific individual if they had different characteristics or attributes — a simple and non-technical way to show how the algorithm works.

Read more... 

Source: Harvard Business Review

51 Machine Learning Statistics to Get You Thinking | Tech - G2

If machine learning were a kid in school, it would be the most brilliant and coolest student, observes Aayushi Sanghavi is a Content Community Writer at G2.

We've all heard about how important machine learning has become, but what do we really know about the impact it has on how we make decisions daily?

Machine learning (ML) has transformed how we as humans interact with machines, technologies, and data. But it wasn't always so popular; what started out as a niche industry has grown into a billion-dollar market...

In a world that thrives in disruptive technologies, these 51 machine learning statistics will help you navigate your way through this cryptic field.

Read more... 

Source: G2  

A Critical Look at the Myth of “Deep Learning” | Machine Learning - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

William A. Dembski argues, “Deep learning” is as misnamed a computational technique as exists.

In the Futuristic Laboratory Creative Engineer Works on the Transparent Computer Display. Screen Shows Interactive User Interface with Deep Learning System, Artificial Intelligence Prototype.I’ve been reviewing philosopher and programmer Erik Larson’s The Myth of Artificial Intelligence. See my earlier posts, herehere, and here.

“Deep learning” is as misnamed a computational technique as exists. The actual technique refers to multi-layered neural networks, and, true enough, those multi-layers can do a lot of significant computational work. But the phrase “deep learning” suggests that the machine is doing something profound and beyond the capacity of humans.

Read more... 

Additional resources

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence:
Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do

Source: Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

The robots of the future are already among us | Science - Wired.co.uk

From robot priests to apple pickers, these machines are bringing a robotic touch to the workplace, concluded Nicole Kobie, Freelance journalist.

Designed in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab at the University of Texas at Austin by researcher Andrea Thomaz, Poli uses machine learning and cameras to move through new spaces, while its flexible, multi-jointed arm can pick up and manipulate items. The aim was to build a service robot, which Thomaz has since released with her company Diligent Robotics.
Photo: Spencer Lowell

Robots might not be coming for our jobs, but they're already proving useful coworkers in fields as diverse as medicine, horticulture and religion. Able to interpret the world around them using sensors and machine learning, these robots have very specific roles to play in industrial processes, working side by side with their human colleagues.

Read more... 

Source: Wired.co.uk 

Machine learning, explained | Artificial Intelligence - MIT Sloan News

Sara Brown, News Writer at MIT Sloan says, This pervasive and powerful form of artificial intelligence is changing every industry. Here’s what you need to know about the potential and limitations of machine learning and how it’s being used.

In just the last five or 10 years, machine learning has become a critical way, arguably the most important way, most parts of AI are done,” said MIT Sloan professor Thomas W. Malone the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence...

Machine learning is one way to use AI. It was defined in the 1950s by AI pioneer Arthur Samuel as “the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmeMIT Sloan Newsd.”

The definition holds true, according to a lecturer at MIT Sloan and head of machine learning at Kensho, which specializes in artificial intelligence for the finance and U.S. intelligence communities.

Read more... 

Source: MIT Sloan News

Helge Scherlund celebrates World Book Day! | World Book Day 2021 - Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Happy World Book Day 2021!  

Photo: Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

World Book Day was created by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) on April 23, 1995 with the aim of celebrating books and their authors.

The day is now observed in order to encourage the youth to discover the pleasure of reading.

World Book Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on April 23, 1995. This date is chosen because it is the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and prominent Spanish chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Source: Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Suggested Books Today | Books - Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Check out these books below by Cambridge University Press.

Climate Mathematics - Theory and Applications 

Climate Mathematics
Theory and Applications

This unique text provides a thorough, yet accessible, grounding in the mathematics, statistics, and programming that students need to master for coursework and research in climate science, meteorology, and oceanography. Assuming only high school mathematics, it presents carefully selected concepts and techniques in linear algebra, statistics, computing, calculus and differential equations within the context of real climate science examples...

Additional online supplements to aid classroom teaching include datasets, images, and animations. Guidance is provided on how the book can support a variety of courses at different levels, making it a highly flexible text for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers and professional climate scientists who need to refresh or modernize their quantitative skills.

  • Tailored specifically to the needs of climate science, combining all the relevant math topics into a single resource
  • Accessible and self-contained, assuming only high school mathematical knowledge Presents each formula alongside relevant climate science examples to demonstrate the physical meaning and context
  • Uses R and Python code to integrate computational techniques with mathematical 
  •

    Environmental Sustainability for Engineers and Applied Scientists

    Environmental Sustainability for Engineers and Applied Scientists

    This textbook presents key theoretical approaches to understanding issues of sustainability and environmental management, perfectly bridging the gap between engineering and environmental science...

    Students will learn quantitative methods while also gaining an understanding of qualitative, legal, and ethical aspects of sustainability. Practical applications are included throughout, and there are study questions at the end of each chapter. PowerPoint slides and jpegs of all the figures in the book are provided online. This is the perfect textbook on environmental studies for engineering and applied science students.

    •  Includes both quantitative and qualitative aspects of environmental sustainability that a well-rounded engineering or applied science graduate should know
    • Provides study questions at the end of each chapter to ensure that the reader is learning, which will appeal to both instructors and students
    • Offers a scientific perspective of sustainability by bridging engineering and environmental science

    Read more... 

    Happy Earth Day 2021 and drink ☕️coffee!   

    Source: Cambridge University Press. 

    Cyber Security Deal Tracker Market Future Outlook of Statistics on Industry Growth till 2027 | Technology - The Courier

    The research report on global Cyber Security Deal Tracker Market presents a holistic snapshot of the market scenario during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027 by rmoz.

    It assesses key trends and recent developments in the market to evaluate their impact on the shifting dynamics of global market. The study presents crucial insights regarding the current evaluation of the market, estimated CAGR during the forecast period, and projected evaluation of the global Cyber Security Deal Tracker market by the end of the forecast period.

    The study highlights impact of Covid-19 pandemic on various segments in global Cyber Security Deal Tracker market. It analyzes the changes in marketing, advertising, production, and distribution channels caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The report evaluates the changing landscape of the global Cyber Security Deal Tracker market and provides information regarding the changes in consumer purchasing trends.

    Get Free Sample Copy of Cyber Security Deal Tracker Market Report@ https://www.researchmoz.us/enquiry.php?type=S&repid=2601904

    Read more... 

    Source: The Courier 

    What is “representation” in the human brain and AI systems? | Philosophy - OUPblog (blog)

    Nicholas Shea, professor of philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London, and an associate member of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford summarizes, You know the way Google search will sometimes finish your sentences for you? Or, when you’re typing an email, there’s some ghostly predictive text that floats just in front of your cursor? 

    Photo: issaronow

    Well, there’s a new kid on the block that makes these gadgets look like toy tricks out of a Christmas cracker. Give it a sentence of Jane Austen and it will finish the paragraph in the same style. Give it a philosophical conjecture and it will fill the page with near-coherent academic ruminations. GPT-3 is essentially just predicting what words should come next, following on from the prompt it’s been given...

    Neuroscientists are recording these patterns with new techniques. But what do the patterns mean? How should they be understood? Neuroscience is increasingly tackling these questions by asking what the activation patterns represent. For example, “representational similarity analysis” (RSA) is used to ask whether the human brain processes images in the same way as the brain of the macaque monkey. Surprisingly, similar techniques can be used to compare the human brain to an AI computer system trained to perform the same task. These AIs are deep neural networks, cousins of the seemingly unfathomable GPT-3 and AlphaFold brains we met at the start. Astoundingly, it turns out that sometimes the deep neural network is processing images in roughly the same way as the human brain. In a general sense, both are performing the same computations en route to working out that they are looking at a picture of two cats on a sofa. In other cases, we see the brain using a hexagonal code to represent physical space—and more abstract conceptual spaces—and to reason about them.

    Read more... 

    Additional resources

    Representation in Cognitive Science

    Source: OUPblog (blog)

    Best of arXiv.org for AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning | AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning - insideBIGDATA

    In this recurring monthly feature, we filter recent research papers appearing on the arXiv.org preprint server for compelling subjects relating to AI, machine learning and deep learning – from disciplines including statistics, mathematics and computer science – and provide you with a useful “best of” list for the past month by Daniel Gutierrez, Author at insideBIGDATA. 

    Researchers from all over the world contribute to this repository as a prelude to the peer review process for publication in traditional journals. arXiv contains a veritable treasure trove of statistical learning methods you may use one day in the solution of data science problems. The articles listed below represent a small fraction of all articles appearing on the preprint server. They are listed in no particular order with a link to each paper along with a brief overview. Links to GitHub repos are provided when available. Especially relevant articles are marked with a “thumbs up” icon. Consider that these are academic research papers, typically geared toward graduate students, post docs, and seasoned professionals. They generally contain a high degree of mathematics so be prepared.

    Read more... 

    Enjoy your reading and have a cup of tasty☕️coffee!   
    Source: insideBIGDATA 

    Remote or office work? Try to make a hybrid model work | Employment & Management - North Bay Business Journal

    For some companies, allowing remote work to continue can produce better results, writes Nicole Serres of Star Staffing.

    A lot of employees are happy with their new remote work arrangement, but what about the other half that would rather go back to the office?
    Photo: Vera Petrunina / Shutterstock

    It’s been more than one year since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 an international emergency and mandatory lockdowns were enforced across the world.

    Many companies that weren’t already accustomed to working remotely were forced to leave their offices and digitize their workforce and processes. Needless to say, hiring was majorly affected as well.

    In a lot of ways, this March doesn’t feel too different compared to the year before...

    Transitioning back to the office

    The feasibility of continuing to operate in work from home protocol will determine the future of many companies’ working structures.

    The fact is, some industries simply don’t support remote working environments as much as others do.

    For those preparing to return back to the office, consider bringing in some habits from the “work from home era” such as:

    1. Trust your employees

    If there’s anything that the pandemic has demonstrated to us, it’s that managers have needed to become accustomed to not physically being in-person to oversee projects. They’ve needed to instead look to project completion as a determinant of hard work, rather than relying on in-office presence.

    2. Communicate, communicate, communicate

    Continue over-communicating and offering support once “things are back to normal” - you never know if a coworker might need extra help transitioning back to in-office life after being away from it for so long.

    3.Consider a hybrid model

    It’s true that a certain level of freedom is provided when employees are given the opportunity to work from home. Instead of taking that fully away from them, consider allowing a day or two out of the workweek for employees to work from home if they’d like to.

    As long as the productivity levels remain the same, it shouldn’t cause too much of a difference for your company’s operations.

    Besides, it may be beneficial to have in-person meetings and collaboration to take place in the office, and focused, independent work to be completed at home.

    Read more... 

    Source: North Bay Business Journal

    This place will pay you $10,000 to relocate for remote work | Innovation - TechRepublic

    The program is offering cold hard cash, outdoor recreational packages, coworking space, educational opportunities and more to lure professionals in the work-from-home era, according to R. Dallon Adams, Staff Writer at TechRepublic.

    Photo: iStock/vasyl dolmatov

    While some companies have transitioned back to the in-person office after months of remote work, other organizations have made long-term commitments to telecommuting. In the age of remote work, telecommuters are no longer tethered to a set location.

    Due to this flexibility, a herd of digital nomads could be on the move as remote workers relocate en masse. A number of towns and areas around the globe are looking to attract top talent using myriad incentives such as cold hard cash, sandwich shop perks, free bicycles and more... 

    People who choose to relocate can also take advantage of professional development and entrepreneurial programs at West Virginia University's John Chambers College of Business and Economics including a Remote Manager or Remote Worker Certification.  


    Source: TechRepublic

    Digital nomads from all over the world under one historic roof in Dubrovnik | Dubrovnik - The Dubrovnik Times

    Mark Thomas, The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times writes, Digital Nomads from all over the world took part in special event held in Dubrovnik this weekend. 

    Digital Nomad event in Dubrovnik

    Adriatic SeaChange, a Dubrovnik based agency offering services for remote workers and digital nomads worldwide, hosted the event which was held on the 17th of April in the iconic Lazareti complex.

    “Keeping in line with the international flavour of our agency, and indeed our clients, the event included a range of topics. Firstly, a Croatian class was organised to give our nomads a chance to pick up some important phrases, from ordering a coffee to greeting their host,” explained the co-founder of Adriatic SeaChange, Barbara Loncaric Lucic.

    And then the nomads in Dubrovnik got a feel of the traditions of Croatia with a guest appearance from Croata...

    “To meet people from Ecuador, Italy, the UK and the US was just fantastic. These nomads have all been here for some time and therefore in the position to let us know what we are doing well and what needs changing. To see so many smiling faces and international accents in such an iconic Dubrovnik building made it all worthwhile,” concluded Barbara Loncaric Lucic.

    Read more... 

    Source: The Dubrovnik Times

    Digital Nomads Are Here to Stay | Remote Work - Built In

    Hal Koss, Reporter: Marketing, Media, Tech explains, Their ranks doubled between 2018 and 2020. And a year away from offices will likely accelerate the trend. 

    Photo: Built In

    Dany Caissy, a freelance software developer, was already working remotely when the pandemic caused many businesses to shutter their offices and send employees home.

    Caissy’s job isn’t done from a home office or a shared co-working space, however. Instead, he works from Airbnbs rented for months at a time while he travels the world. In the past couple of years, he’s hopped from Canada to France to Malaysia to Panama to the Philippines to Mexico.

    “I don’t have a home base,” Caissy said. “I’m not an actual resident of any country at the moment.”

    He’s what is known as a digital nomad, a type of professional who has enough flexibility to work remotely while traveling the world, often staying in hotels, hostels, rental homes or recreational vehicles for short bursts of time...

    Researchers behind a 2019 ethnographic study of digital nomads noted that the biggest theme that emerged from their data was “the individuals’ quest for flexibility and autonomy at work,” adding, “participants referred not only to professional, but also technological, geographical, and temporal independence.”

    It’s not just the cubicle and the commute to the office park that digital nomads want to be liberated from. They also want to be freed from the trappings of the nine-to-five timeframe, the always-on synchronous communication, and the outdated idea that productivity is measured by time spent at a desk, rather than output alone.

    Read more... 

    Source: Built In

    Mathematical theory of everything | Mathematics- Medium

    How do we manage the math things that we don’t really think are math like? Can we go beyond that? Is Mathematics capable of describing everything and anything. That is the question that I will try to answer today by Waldo Otis, Medium, published in However Mathematics…

    Photo: Medium

    Note: I also recommend you to read this book: The Mathematical Theory of Communication

    Before we begin let me ask you a question; When some say “mathematics”, what’s the first thing that comes up in your head? Numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? A multiplication, a division, an equation? All that nice stuff, but the thing is that is not mathematics itself. That’s just the language of mathematics. However, the language of mathematics that we use today didn’t just spring up. It is an evolution of previous types of mathematical languages.

    We had Sumerian mathematics, Mayan mathematics, Egyptian mathematics, Roman mathematics. All type of mathematics that ended up evolving into the language of mathematics that we use today...

    Now, those video games are also described using mathematics as well. How? Through a high level computing language. That high level computing language is itself mathematically described using a hierarchy of mathematical languages. And the lower-level mathematical computing languages are also mathematically described using things that exist in our own universe. In this case, transistors… And those transistors are made up of fundamental particles in our own universe atoms which are purely mathematical. But the interesting thing here is is that those video games have laws that makes them behave differently than our own universe.

    And how did we do that? We just described them mathematically. Teleportation? Mathematically describe it. Unrealistic bodies? Mathematically describe it. Faster than light travel? It is not possible in our own universe but in a video game you can mathematically describe it. So, with all that said does mathematics describe everything.

    Read more... 

    Source: Medium

    A Classroom Where Math And Community Intersect | Short Wave - NPR

    When you think of mathematicians, do you think of lone geniuses scribbling away at complex equations? 

    Ranthony Edmonds is a post-doctoral researcher at Ohio State University, where she researches pure mathematics. In addition to her research, Edmonds focuses on service and math outreach both in and out of the classroom.
    Photo: Joshua Kendall Edmonds/JKE Photography
    This myth of the lone genius is one mathematician Ranthony Edmonds actively tries to dispel in her classroom as a post-doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University.

    Edmonds herself is a testament to this — her journey to post-doctoral researcher wasn't a straight line...

    So, community is something Edmonds now tries to replicate in her classroom.

    Along with Professor John Johnson, she co-developed a course called Intersections of Math and Society: Hidden Figures. The course centers the lives of the NASA Hidden Figures, the Black women mathematicians who helped launch the United States into space. It also contextualizes how their relatively elite social status (for Black Americans at the time) and communities enabled their journeys as mathematicians.

    Students then interview "local hidden figures," professionals in the area community who use math in their daily lives and translate and design service projects to engage the wider community in math. Along the way, students are encouraged to reflect on their own journeys — and broaden who they consider mathematicians.

    "I do love academic research ... It's what kind of grounds me, if that makes sense, but it doesn't drive me. What drives me is, is trying to create access for others to be able to experience mathematics," Edmonds says.

    Read more... 

    Source: NPR

    The Art of Mathematics in Chalk | The Sciences - Scientific American

    This article was originally published with the title "Chalkboard Art" in Scientific American 324, 5, 66-75 (May 2021)


    A photography project reveals the allure of equations in mathematicians’ blackboard work, as Scientific American’s senior editor Clara Moskowitz reports.

    ISOPERIMETRY: A conundrum dating back to the ancient Greeks called Dido's problem asks: Among all planar figures having the same perimeter, which one encloses the greatest area? The answer, the Greeks knew, is the circle, and it was finally proved in the 19th century. But a related problem persists in non-Euclidean geometry. Gilles Courtois, director of research at the Institute of Mathematics of Jussieu in France, was studying this question. “We thought that we had found a path toward a solution,” he says. “The scheme was so simple that we were able to write it on the board.” Unfortunately, the idea didn't pan out, and the project “remains a work in progress.”
    Photo: Jessica Wynne

    Even when it is inscrutable, math is beautiful. Photographer Jessica Wynne set out to capture this appeal when she began photographing mathematicians' chalkboards around the world in 2018. “I've always been interested in entering into worlds outside my realm of knowledge,” Wynne says. Without comprehending what the math on the chalkboards represented, she was able to appreciate it on a purely aesthetic level. “It's a similar feeling as when I'm looking at an abstract painting. But it added more interest that beyond the surface there's great meaning and great depth, and they're trying to reveal universal truth.”

    Wynne was first drawn into the world of math when she befriended two mathematicians who vacationed near where she spent summers on Cape Cod. As she learned about their research, she found many parallels between the process of math and the process of art. “I was really surprised to witness how they work and how creative what they do is,” she says.

    As Wynne began to travel to different universities to meet more mathematicians, she discovered how diverse their chalkboard styles are...

    Many of the photographs will be collected in a book, Do Not Erase: Mathematicians and Their Chalkboards, forthcoming in June from Princeton University Press...

    She had planned to visit the mathematics department of the University of Cambridge until she learned that their chalkboards had all been replaced by dry-erase and digital boards. “I'm very attracted to the whole analog nature of working on a chalkboard,” she says. “I noticed a lot of places were getting rid of their blackboards, and I felt an urgency to document this.”

    Read more...  

    Additional resources

    Do Not Erase:
    Mathematicians and Their ChalkboardsSource: Scientific American

    Saturday’s Google Doodle Celebrates Physicist Laura Bassi | Science - Forbes

    Kiona N. Smith, Forbes observes, Saturday’s Google Doodle honors physicist Laura Bassi, the first woman to earn a doctorate in science. 


    Bassi spent much of her 46-year career exploring the physics of electricity and popularizing Isaac Newton’s ideas about motion and gravity. She also fought for decades to be allowed to teach, research, and publicly present her work on the same terms as her male colleagues.

    Nerves Of Steel

    24 years before Bassi was born, an English physicist and mathematician named Isaac Newton published a book explaining the physical laws that govern how objects move and how gravity influences them. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (commonly known as Newton’s Principia, because he published it in Latin, as one did in the 1600s) is one of the foundations of modern physics...

    It’s worth pausing to take note of a couple of things about that particular “first.” The most important is that obtaining a doctorate from a university was, at the time, a specifically European way of recognizing a person’s knowledge. The fact that Piscopia and Bassi were the first women to earn PhDs doesn’t mean they were the first women in the world to teach philosophy and science, or to engage in research or writing about those subjects. It just means that they were the first in Europe to have their knowledge and work recognized in a particular way.

    Second, the average doctoral thesis in 1732 was a few orders of magnitude shorter than the average doctoral thesis in 2021, so we shouldn’t picture Bassi defending 49 modern-style dissertations, each with hundreds of pages of text and references. 

    Read more... 

    Source: Forbes

    5 Tips to Help Managers Coach in a Virtual World | Leadership and management - Learning Blog

    In early 2020, the workplace was already changing. It was dynamic, fast-paced, and accelerating at a speed not witnessed since the Industrial Revolution, says Gemma Leigh Roberts, Chartered Psychologist - Founder at The Resilience Edge.  

    Photo: Learning Blog
    But since navigating a global pandemic, the rate of change is unlike anything we've ever seen, and it's coming at leaders and managers faster than anyone. 

    If you lead or manage a team, you've dealt with challenges and changes over the course of the past year that you've never experienced before, like the shift to virtual working. While it isn't a new concept, the global focus on this way of working has been accelerated in a way we could never have predicted...

    In my course, Manager as Coach, I discuss how to coach your teams through the challenges and changes we’re all experiencing right now. You and your teams can come through this stronger when you learn to coach on the skills needed for this dynamic and evolving work environment.

    Read more... 

    Source: Learning Blog


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