Weeknote WN202018 – Desconfinament

Ahir per primer cop en 7 setmanes vam poder sortir lliurement a fer exercici. Vaig agafar la biciclete ben d’hora, ben d’hora, i vaig anar a la Vall de Sant Daniel. Una explosió primaveral de la Natura, aigua pertot arreu gràcies a les pluges continuades… una meravella. I la sensació de llibertat. I molta, moltíssima gent, lògicament. Desconfinament, és a dir: Fase zero.

Aquesta setmana hem tingut reunió de la comissió permanent del Departament de Química (dilluns), Consell de Departament (dimarts, fent servir el correu electrònic, procediment lent però que facilita la participació), i reunió de Directors de Departament amb el Vicerector de Personal. És a dir, la universitat continua funcionant amb una certa normalitat. Ah! i també hem fet una trobada amb la gent d’Enginy-era, per parlar de futurs projectes i col·laboracions.

I dijous vam tenir Ciencia en Redes en línia: s’havia de fer just abans del confinament… ara s’ha fet en format no presencial, ha estat bé! I per acabar-ho d’adobar: seminari de Computació Quàntica (dura!) des de Toronto…

I una gran notícia: la Comissió Europea ha tornat a donar la Nit de la Recerca a Catalunya… amb un projecte coordinat a casa: per la @silviasimonr.

La imatge de la setmana

De fet, en són tres, tires còmiques de l’AJC:

Selecció del que he trobat per la xarxa:

#artinthe IA i Educació Superior: he vist a Educause Review l’article molt interessant Three Corporate Voices: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on es parla d’aquestes tecnologies i de les seves implicacions ètiques. Em quedo amb la darrera resposta d’un dels tres entrevistats: l’#artint complementa, no substitueix pas:

I know I’ve reiterated this idea quite a bit, but my main advice in this situation is for institutions to choose AI-powered services that complement the work that is being done by higher education staff. While comparatively mundane tasks, such as answering students’ frequently asked questions, can be handed off to AI, I think it’s worth stating again that student-facing staff members cannot be fully replaced by AI. If AI technology promises to decrease the number of staff members versus alleviate existing staff members’ workloads, it is likely that institutions may face backlash from the students who require interaction with a human to succeed. The importance of a partnership versus a replacement cannot be overstated.

I és que l’#artint implica personalització de l’experiència d’aprenentatge i del pas per la Universitat:

At the same time, today’s students are changing. As consumers, they demand their favorite brands to offer them a deeply personalized experience.1 This can be a challenging demand to meet with so many students and so little time. This is where AI can truly save the day.

Amb #artint també he vist que es continua fent música: OpenAI’s Jukebox AI Produces Music in Any Style From Scratch — Complete With Lyrics

OpenAI this week released Jukebox, a machine learning framework that generates music — including rudimentary songs — as raw audio in a range of genres and musical styles. From a report: Provided with a genre, artist, and lyrics as input, Jukebox outputs a new music sample produced from scratch. The code and model are available on GitHub, along with a tool to explore the generated samples. Jukebox might not be the most practical application of AI and machine learning, but as OpenAI notes, music generation pushes the boundaries of generative models. Synthesizing songs at the audio level is challenging because the sequences are quite long — a typical 4-minute song at CD quality (44 kHz, 16-bit) has over 10 million timesteps. As a result, learning the high-level semantics of music requires models to deal with very long-range dependencies.

A l’IHE, hi ha l’article Zoom Boom: Synchronous instruction is trending, but experts say a more intentional mix of live and asynchronous classwork is necessary for future remote terms. Hi ha moltes idees, aquí en dono algunes:

Synchronous delivery with tools such as Zoom more closely approximates that environment, but flexibility is essential in the current context, Lockee said. So a “blended strategy” that incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous activities can serve to “keep learners on track, while providing some flexibility in the engagement with other content or assessments.”

Arguably, a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction is a kind of flipped classroom, in which students front-load content outside class and reserve actual class time for the application of that content through active learning exercises.

“Learning is not just something that happens when a teacher is watching,” Blum said.

Similarly, Hodges, of Georgia Southern, said that an asynchronous delivery format “can allow students to dig deeper into readings, questions and assignments before responding in a synchronous format.”

Més en el camp de la química i de la comunicació científica, Chemistry World parla de la comunicació en temps d’aïllament: It’s good to talk – I és que no és el mateix mantenir una conversa en directe, que mantenir-la a una videoconferència: llenguatge no beral, àudio inintel·ligible, retards, etc… Tot és més pausat!

That’s not to say you’ll be able to ask that question more efficiently in a phone or video call. Despite the similarities these share with talking face to face, they still seem to take longer and often lack a natural conversational flow. In part, I think this stiltedness stems from the fact that many of us naturally interrupt and talk over each other, something that digital audio streams struggle to process. On a call, if you’re talking, you have to consciously pause and invite others to contribute. If you’re not talking, you have to be a good listener.

And so, through all the difficulties and frustrations, maybe we’ll emerge from lockdown as better communicators. After all, great communication is a two-way process. It’s not just about what you say or write – it’s about how you consider the needs of others and pay attention to what they say. Even if you’re still working in the same room as your colleagues, you’re probably still getting more practice at this than normal, as social distancing measures force you to be more aware of where the people around you are, and to take note of what they are doing and how your actions might affect them. In the end, perhaps all this distance between us will bring us closer together.

Congressos en línia

El Chemistry World parla de com els congressos s’han de fer actualment en línia: The rise of the virtual chemistry conference

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, online talks and poster sessions are moving to the mainstream

Sobre mems

A Wired es parla de mems, un dels temes que m’interessen actualment, com a elment de comunicació científica i com a dèria (humor): An AI Meme Generator Gives Us the Absurdist Art We All Need

That is likely why the AI meme generator has taken off. Wenzlau posted his first paper on the project a little over a year ago, and researchers at Stanford have been using machine learning to make memes for nearly two years. Yet it’s only been recently, perhaps even in the last 24 hours, that social media has latched onto these memes. Such are the ways of the internet; memes that fall in the woods don’t get LOLs, memes that land on Twitter do.

I és que l’#artint no pot remplaçar la nostra capacitat de crear acudits… però pot ajudar a fer més fàcil la tasca de fer-ne. Jo, ja ho he constatat amb ImgFlip.

Els tweets d’aquesta setmana