In a previous episode of the Interaction Hour, we discussed one potential space that could benefit from virtual reality. A group that included one of our faculty, Neha Kumar, was using the technology in the educational space, working with local teachers to develop virtual lessons that showed improved engagement and performance. Today, we return to the topic. Virtual and augmented reality continue to be among the most promising technologies, but what they are, what they will become, and where we will benefit is still up for debate. Even more pressing are the potential pitfalls – like privacy – which, without proper vigilance, could be exploited in much the same ways as social media.
In most online learning, instructors face challenges in achieving similar levels of effectiveness and retention to their on-campus offerings. With so many students to account for an the inability to meet in person, it’s important to find ways to supplement the interaction between teacher and student. As an instructor for a course in Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science program, School of Interactive Computing Professor Ashok Goel introduced the world to Jill Watson, a virtual teaching assistant who was so good in her first semester on the job that even students thought she was human. Can AIs like Jill really improve course effectiveness and satisfaction? Will they be used to augment the production of the human assistant, not replace it? And can this method, which has proven successful in an academic setting, be used as a foundation upon which other sectors of the workforce can build?
When it comes to artificial intelligence and automation, there are two common opposing schools of thought: One says that AI is on its way to solve all our problems, work for humans and allow us to perform at peak capacity in our jobs. Another says that it’s on its way to take those jobs from us entirely and leave a substantial part of the population behind. The truth probably lies somewhere between those extremes. Georgia Tech Associate Professor Mark Riedl joins the podcast to help separate fact from fear.
Years ago, mothers used to place their hands on their children's foreheads to determine if they had a fever. Thermometers now can provide more precise measurements and, thus, more appropriate health care. Like the thermometer, can we use social media to do the same for mental illness? But what do we risk by opening our social channels to algorithmic observance? Dr. Munmun De Choudhury has spent years investigating what our social media can say about our mental health.
What does a prohibition-era speakeasy have in common with modern-day cybersecurity? How can ancient biblical tales inform our development of such systems? To finally convince mainstream society to adopt good security behaviors in the future, is it imperative that we look, instead, to our past? School of Interactive Computing Assistant Professor Sauvik Das thinks so.