The Hidden Algorithms used to Collect Data and Profile Children. And a Warning on Algorithms from Microsoft.
And you thought Common Core State Standards was bad? Meet common data sets being aligned to algorithms to track your human capital (your children). The excerpt above is from Business Insider and Microsoft exec: ‘AI is the most important technology that anybody on the planet is working on today’.
Why be concerned about algorithms and who is developing those algorithms that will predict your child’s success/failure and career path? From Cheri Kiesecker and Hidden computer algorithms in schools: Personalized Learning #RobotTeaching:
Personal information about you can be gathered by a computer algorithm, be further analyzed, packaged by data brokers and sold to different markets. Lists can be sold to drug companies, insurance companies, possible employers, colleges, literally anyone with an interest. Are you wondering what lists you are on? Wondering whether your data on these lists are accurate or wondering how that data are being used? You should be curious and concerned because data algorithms can be biased; data can be wrong and passive data collecting algorithms seem to be everywhere, including schools, but no one can see them.
Facebook claims to know your posture, can map your face, and claims it can recognize you from the back of your head. Facebook also reportedly has a patent for technology that could potentially be used for evaluating your credit risk, which they say could be used to view your social network connections and determine your credit worthiness. (So, who you are friends with on Facebook could affect your credit score?!) Wow. This sounds incredibly similar to what is already happening in China:
In China, every citizen is being assigned a credit score that drops if a person buys and plays video games, or posts political comments online “without prior permission,” or even if social media “friends” do so. The ACLU said the credit rating system, an Orwellian nightmare, should serve as a warning to Americans.–ACLU
Not to unfairly single out Facebook, others have been questioned about their data gathering technology. Consider Pearson’s Quotient that tracks children’s micro-movements and can detect ADHD or what Pearson calls “ADHD fakers”. There’s also Microsoft’s Cortana that has voice recording and facial recognition, and then there’s Google’s microphone can record your voice unless disabled. TIME Magazine recently called out Google for its voice recording feature, saying “This is not OK Google.”
Is personalized learning getting too personal?
Let’s switch gears and talk about the astonishing amount of data being collected on school children, much of it generated and collected while students are online. There is huge push for innovation and machine learning in education, moving all curriculum and testing to computers, online, rather than traditional text books and paper pencil.
When computers “teach” your child, the online algorithms can gather millions of data points about your child.
We have been warned by Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer: “We’ve got to start to make some decisions about whether the right people are making these algorithms,” he said. “What biases will be inferred by those people, by those companies? These are things we don’t know about. This is new. We talk about unchartered territory.”
We know what happened when a few people wrote Common Core and their biases for central control were embraced by NGOs, state agencies, governors and The Federal Government. We’ve seen Part I with the adoption and implementation of CCSSI. Now welcome to the data revolution happening because of this centralization, expansion of longitudinal data systems, and the sharing/accessing personally identifiable information.
Who gets to set the algorithms which will control your child’s future via their data set? From Cheri: “personalized learning”, ” blended, adaptive learning”–these use hidden algorithms to collect data and profile children. There are NO LAWS governing these predictive algorithms.
What legislator wants to step up as the Chief Envisioning Politician who will pass laws that will govern predictive algorithms? Anyone? Heck, when you get tagged as a tin foil hat wearer even as Microsoft tells us what is coming, I’m not not holding my breath that our rights and freedoms are important to the political class which apparently has sold out to the Chambers of Commerce, NGOs, bureaucrats and technology companies.