The United States’ Office of Educational Technology has released a new policy report entitled Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning: Insights and Recommendations. The report offers high-level definitions and policy suggestions aimed at public school educators and administrators and examines the strengths of AI as “pattern detection” technology. It also makes the case for an AI-driven future in which new technologies could help differentiate instruction, enable new forms of classroom interaction, and support educators in their jobs through various methods of automation. It also discusses risks, both known and unknown, associated with AI and suggests that educators need to become much more involved in conversations concerning the creation, use, and governance of AI and LLMs. Though it lacks detail, the document is a useful primer for educators; if anything, it paints an overly-rosy picture of the potential of currently-available ed tech solutions that employ AI. Artificial intelligence is an evolving chapter in a story written against the backdrop of a zeitgeist that encourages leaping before it looking. Anyone who claims to have a firm grasp on all of the ways in which AI may impact us (positively and negatively) is either a savant or a smoke-blower.

Speaking of blowing smoke, the FCC definitively squashed efforts by the U.S.’s major Internet service providers to roll back new transparency measures for broadband fee disclosure. Last year, the FCC announced the new rules, which require ISPs to display “nutrition labels” disclosing features, fees, discounts, data caps, and other broadband plan quirks (and gotchas) in a prominent and easy-to-read format. The first major proposal for broadband “nutrition labels” was made all the way back in 2009 by New America’s Open Technology Institute; telecoms have been fighting the idea since its inception. Representatives of Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and more have lobbied against the labels, claiming that they would somehow increase consumer confusion and create an undue burden on ISPs. While I’m convinced that the nutrition labels will be better for consumers than the current spaghetti of hidden terms and conditions that providers have used to befuddle consumers for years (especially since the rollback of Net Neutrality), this debate is a lot of sound and fury, signaling next to nothing. Nutrition labels for broadband services is a pyrrhic victory insofar as least 83.3 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider.

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