87 STASHED IDEAS
Companies are leveraging data and artificial intelligence to create scalable solutions — but they’re also scaling their reputational, regulatory, and legal risks.
Just a few years ago discussions of “data ethics” and “AI ethics” were reserved for nonprofit organizations and academics. Today the biggest tech companies in the world are putting together fast-growing teams to tackle the ethical problems that arise from the widespread collection, analysis, and use of massive troves of data, particularly when that data is used to train machine learning models, aka AI.
These companies realized one simple truth: failing to operationalize data and AI ethics is a threat to the bottom line. Missing the mark can expose companies to reputational, regulatory, and legal risks, but that’s not the half of it. Failing to operationalize data and AI ethics leads to wasted resources, inefficiencies in product development and deployment, and even an inability to use data to train AI models at all.
The fundamental question is if one can teach intelligence. If we view intelligence as using some basic cognitive abilities for efficient information processing, it is probably impossible.
Other definitions of intelligence include problem-solving and decision-making, planning, strategic exploration, testing hypothesis and correcting them.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has given high priority to a broadened understanding of intelligence and found that problem-solving skills broader than the traditional conception of intelligence are markedly different from the traditional proficiency in maths, science and reading.
Looking at the broader implications of this on the existing education systems, teaching and instruction should focus more on cognitive flexibility, problem-solving and aspects of intelligence that are amenable to change.
For decades, scientists have investigated intelligent and less intelligent behaviour. Many definitions of intelligence, sometimes even contradicting each other, have emerged as a result.
Despite the differing views among scientists, we do know that intelligence affects life outcomes. In education, several programmes have aimed at increasing intelligence among students with disappointing results.
The methods boil down to providing students with as many active problem-solving learning opportunities as possible.
Søren Kierkegaard was influenced by Socrates, who thought that his task was not to discover the truth and then communicate it to his students, but to open the question to the pupils and ensure they stay open.
The last thing you should do is turn to an authority to tell you what you should think. You have to do that for yourself.
Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) believed that in order to practice philosophy, you have to doubt everything.
His belief in thinking for oneself is noticed throughout his pseudonymous works. In writing under aliases, he lessened the sense that an authority wrote the books.
Psychologists and comedians are working in a similar fashion: They observe the world and test a new hypothesis (raw joke matter) on how people see it. They run experiments on individuals and groups that confirm or deny their new theories or jokes.
Both rely on the feedback of the colleagues, scholars or the audience to shape their experimental jokes or theories.
In his book Rhetoric, Aristotle has analyzed what a joke is: Creating an expectation and then breaking it.
“What’s the best thing about Switzerland?”
“I don’t know, but the flag’s a big plus.”
This joke builds an expectation in the first sentence (Chocolates? Watches?) but breaks it in the second, and after a confusing pause, we see that the answer does make sense: The Swiss flag has a big plus sign.
When inquired about an occupation that has the most insight on human behaviour and human nature, one would assume it would be teaching, as it requires shaping and developing a lot of young minds.
However, it is a comedian who has a much deeper insight into human behaviour, as he(or she) has to make the audience laugh and yet ensure that the comfort barrier isn’t broken. It requires a great deal of insight into the immediate reaction that a live audience is going to have.
Named after "The Fox and the Grapes", the sour-grape effect is a systematic tendency to downplay the value of unattainable goals and rewards. We underestimate our future happiness because we don't always know what we want, and adjust our desires to what appears within reach.
People will rather devalue a goal than devalue the self. It means that people could miss out on the chance to try again because what once seemed impossible might now be within reach.
We have all encountered failure, be it failing a final exam, or a job interview. We're told that overcoming difficult obstacles will make a future success much sweeter.
But new research shows that initial failure can lead people to underestimate how good it would feel to succeed.
In a study, people who see grass as greener on the other side predict higher happiness with future success. Participants that reacted like Aesop's fox would try to distance themselves from failure. It suggests that initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed.