A String Quartet Concert, With an A.I. Assist

A String Quartet Concert, With an A.I. Assist

Published By: New York Times, 1/13/2017

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“Sight Machine”, a performance piece by Trevor Paglen, uses AI to generate a live image mapping of musicians as they play. The algorithm involves movement-analysis techniques common in automated surveillance. By showing how machines see movement, Paglen hopes to highlight the distinct divide between how AIs and humans perceive things — and how that might affect computer-aided decision-making.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of Article: 10

Extended Discussion Questions

  • The article mentions ways that AI algorithms impact our everyday lives, for example in “smart meters” at highway toll plazas.
    • Can you give some other examples of algorithms that are part of our everyday lives?
    • How do those algorithms perceive you? In other words, what information do they identify as important?
  • Paglen predicts that algorithms will probably soon use your posts on social media to determine your credit rating and what insurance you get.
    • What are some advantages of using AI in this way?
    • What are some disadvantages or risks?

Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework

Global Impact Learning Objectives:

  • LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
  • LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.
  • LO 7.4.1 Explain the connections between computing and real-world contexts, including economic, social, and cultural contexts.

Global Impact Essential Knowledge:

  • EK 7.1.1J Sensor networks facilitate new ways of interacting with the environment and with physical systems.
  • EK 7.3.1A Innovations enabled by computing raise legal and ethical concerns.

Other CSP Big Ideas:

  • Idea 1 Creativity
  • Idea 4 Algorithms

Banner Image: “Network Visualization – Violet – Offset Crop”, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0

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