Staying current - articles and announcements

June 2024 round up of interesting articles and vendor news


Safe, responsible use

Image Descriptions vs Alt Text: Why both matter – Interesting explanation of the differences between image descriptions and alt text in their purpose and how we should ideally have both. Medium

What does ‘open-source AI’ mean, anyway?  The long-standing debate between open source and proprietary software has now extended to AI, mainly due to differing interpretations of “open source” within AI context.  Tech Crunch

AI or not, students must still learn to think for themselves  Many educators will say we must “follow the science”. But when it comes to putting that into practice, they opt time and again for the latest technological innovation over what students need. THE

It will soon be negligent not to use AI, Master of the Rolls predicts  The day is coming, and soon, when professionals and others will be legally on the hook for not using generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), the Master of the Rolls said yesterday. Legal Futures

World’s biggest music labels sue over AI copyright The world’s biggest record labels are suing two artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups over alleged copyright violation in a potentially landmark case. BBC

AI in education and research

Let’s get serious about AI and personalisation in apprenticeships  Embracing the latest technology can help a workforce better prepare for the challenges of today and tomorrow. FE Week

A New Digital Divide: Student AI Use Surges, Leaving Faculty Behind  While both students and faculty have concerns with generative artificial intelligence, two new reports show a divergence in AI adoption.  Inside Higher Ed.

University of Northampton students prototype new AI chatbot.  In this short film, Dr Mu Mu, Programme Leader for the AI and Data Science course, and students discuss a new project that aims to improve student access to information through the development of a new AI chatbot.

Harvard Undergraduate Survey on Generative AI Harvard University released its inaugural Undergraduate survey on generative AI which ran in April 2024.

Generative AI and Postsecondary Instructional Practices. Findings from a National Survey (US) of Instructors Dylan Ruediger, Melissa Blankstein, Sage Love. ITHAKA S+R

AI and the environment

Can the climate survive the insatiable energy demands of the AI arms race?  New computing infrastructure means big tech is likely to miss emissions targets but they can’t afford to get left behind in a winner takes all market. The Guardian

AI drives 48% increase in Google emissions  Google’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2023 were 48% higher than in 2019, according to its latest environmental report.  The tech giant puts it down to the increasing amounts of energy needed by its data centres, exacerbated by the explosive growth of artificial intelligence. BBC

AI technology and applications

A real-world test of artificial intelligence infiltration of a university examinations system: A “Turing Test” case study.  Peter Scarfe, Kelly Watcham, Alasdair Clarke, Etienne Roesch. Plos One

RLUK Digital Shift Forum | Prompt engineering in libraries Video of colleagues from across the information, research, cultural and heritage communities, and third and commercial sectors, to discuss the future of the digital shift in collections, services, and audiences. University of Essex.

Vendor news

ElevenLabs partners with estates of iconic stars to bring their voices to the Reader App.  Listen to your favourite books and articles voiced by Judy Garland, James Dean, Burt Reynolds and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Google updates on how they’re using AI to support students and educators.  They’re bringing Gemini to teenage students to help them learn confidently, and adding dozens of new AI-powered tools to Chromebooks and Google Workspace for Education to help educators make learning more personal and engaging.

ChatGPT for Mac is now available to all   OpenAI’s popular AI chatbot is available to all macOS users.

Synthesia’s hyper realistic deepfakes will soon have full bodies.  With bodies that move and hands that wave, deepfakes just got a whole lot more realistic.  MIT Tech Review

Apple likely won’t release its new AI features in Europe this year because of regulatory concerns.  Apple said it does “not believe” it will roll out Apple Intelligence and other features in the E.U., citing the Digital Markets Act. Quartz.

Meta is Releasing new AI Research Models to Accelerate Innovation at Scale  Publicly releasing five models including image-to-text and text-to-music generation models, a multi-token prediction model and a technique for detecting AI-generated speech.


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