Disinformation on Steroids: The Threat of Deep Fakes

Disinformation on Steroids:  The Threat of Deep Fakes. Council on Foreign Relations. Robert Chesney and Danielle K. Citron. October 16, 2018

  Disinformation and distrust online are set to take a turn for the worse. Rapid advances in deep-learning algorithms to synthesize video and audio content have made possible the production of “deep fakes”—highly realistic and difficult-to-detect depictions of real people doing or saying things they never said or did. As this technology spreads, the ability to produce bogus yet credible video and audio content will come within the reach of an ever-larger array of governments, nonstate actors, and individuals. As a result, the ability to advance lies using hyperrealistic, fake evidence is poised for a great leap forward. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Boris Granovskiy.  June 12, 2018

 The term STEM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels— from pre-school to post-doctorate—in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings. Federal policymakers have an active and enduring interest in STEM education, and the topic is frequently raised in federal science, education, workforce, national security, and immigration policy debates. 

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Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe

Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe. Atlantic Council.  Frances Burwell. May 8, 2018

 In an age of transatlantic tensions over the Iran deal, trade balances, and steel tariffs, digital policy is uniquely poised to offer opportunities for greater US-EU cooperation. At the same time, the digital arena also has the potential to be a policy minefield, with issues such as privacy, digital taxation, and competition policy still unresolved. Making America First in the Digital Economy: The Case for Engaging Europe addresses these challenges and explores how the US-EU digital agenda fits in the larger transatlantic relationship. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Blockchains Will Change the Way the World Votes

Blockchains Will Change the Way the World Votes. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Phillip Meylan, Daniel F. Runde. January 26, 2018

 Amid the clamor around bitcoin’s ascendant (now descendant) value, the potential of a far greater contributor to society has been clouded. Bitcoin—which has in recent months been both the godsend and the bane of speculative investors around the world—is made possible by its underlying blockchain technology. Lauded as a technological innovation on the same magnitude as the internet, blockchains at their simplest are diffuse electronic ledgers that garner efficiency, transparency, and remarkable security through a decentralized structure. You don’t have to understand everything about the underlying technology to see how such a system could have a significant impact on our lives.

Blockchains are now being adopted globally for things as diverse as smart contracts, property rights, health care, and humanitarian assistance. But, blockchains also have enormous potential to revolutionize the way elections are conducted. If implemented correctly, such systems could mobilize new electorates, increase voter participation, reduce election violence, and make elections more secure and reliable than ever before. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Did Technology Kill the Truth?

Did Technology Kill the Truth? Brookings Institution. Tom Wheeler. November 14, 2017

We carry in our pockets and purses the greatest democratizing tool ever developed. Never before has civilization possessed such an instrument of free expression.

Yet, that unparalleled technology has also become a tool to undermine truth and trust. The glue that holds institutions and governments together has been thinned and weakened by the unrestrained capabilities of technology exploited for commercial gain. The result has been to de-democratize the internet. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education

Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education. Brookings Institution. Rebecca Winthrop et al. February 23, 2017

Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, sets out a grand ambition for education systems around the globe to achieve not just universal primary schooling, but to expand universal education from early childhood to secondary school and achieve relevant learning outcomes. While the Millennium Development Goals helped propel millions of children into primary school, meeting this larger goal in the coming decade and a half will require accelerated progress and a break from business as usual.

This report, prepared by researchers from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, describes the major gaps in education and the need for innovation to meet ambitious goals. Not only are children in low- and middle-income countries about 100 years behind their peers in measures of schooling, but rapid advances in technology, changes to the world of work, and the complex global challenges we face today call for a broader set of competencies every young person will need to be successful. To thrive in a changing world, young people will need skills and competencies that include information literacy, flexibility, critical thinking and collaboration in addition to academic knowledge. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 89 pages, 2.27 MB].

Inequality Breeds Resistance to Globalization.

Inequality Breeds Resistance to Globalization. YaleGlobal. Pranab Bardhan. November 27, 2012.

Many critics point to globalization, its swirling influences over worldwide connections through trade, technology and communications, as a culprit behind growing inequality. Yet the author points out that the connections deliver both opportunities and challenges. Multiple forces contribute to entrenched economic inequality in so many countries, that limits opportunity, and Bardhan contends that countries can control many of these with development of education, infrastructure and labor-market conditions. Economic rent is the amount required by a property or business owner to proceed with a specific purpose; some sectors of the economy benefit from new development and others seek to freeze development to deter competitors. Closing markets doesn’t curtail special interests within a nation who yearn for more. Technological development, composition of exports, government subsidies and regulation, as well as skewed pricing for use of natural resources also contribute to determining globalization’s winners and losers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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