In a series of revelations made in a new research by the University of London, scientists say that parents should give their children iPads almost as soon as they are born. They claim that iPads provide more sensory stimulation for babies than books do.
The leader of the research, Annette Karmiloff-Smith, says tablets should be part of a baby’s world from birth, adding: “They learn so fast on tablets. It is shocking how fast they learn – even faster than adults – to do things like scroll up and down text.
“Books are static. When you observe babies with books, all they are interested in is the sound of the pages turning. Their visual system at that age is attracted by movement.
“That is why tablets, which have moving pictures and sound, are very good.”
In a statement given to a UK based website, KarmilOff-Smith said: “They might put a corner in their mouth. They will then explore it physically, but then they will use it to do things.
“Everything we know about child development tells us that tablet computers should not be banned for babies and toddlers.”, she added.
Other scientists, however, have a different tale to tell. Earlier claims made by scientists hinted towards the fact that computers could ‘damage the brain’, and can even result in a form of ‘temporary dementia’.
Companies could help refugees rebuild their lives by paying them to boost artificial intelligence (AI) using their phones and giving them digital skills, a tech nonprofit said Thursday.
REFUNITE has developed an app, LevelApp, which is being piloted in Uganda to allow people who have been uprooted by conflict to earn instant money by “training” algorithms for AI.
Wars, persecution and other violence have uprooted a record 68.5 million people, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
People forced to flee their homes lose their livelihoods and struggle to create a source of income, REFUNITE co-chief executive Chris Mikkelsen told the Trust Conference in London.
“This provides refugees with a foothold in the global gig economy,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s two-day event, which focuses on a host of human rights issues.
$20 a day for AI work
A refugee in Uganda currently earning $1.25 a day doing basic tasks or menial jobs could make up to $20 a day doing simple AI labeling work on their phones, Mikkelsen said.
REFUNITE says the app could be particularly beneficial for women as the work can be done from the home and is more lucrative than traditional sources of income such as crafts.
The cash could enable refugees to buy livestock, educate children and access health care, leaving them less dependant on aid and helping them recover faster, according to Mikkelsen.
The work would also allow them to build digital skills they could take with them when they returned home, REFUNITE says.
“This would give them the ability to rebuild a life … and the dignity of no longer having to rely solely on charity,” Mikkelsen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Teaching the machines
AI is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.
It is being used in a vast array of products from driverless cars to agricultural robots that can identify and eradicate weeds and computers able to identify cancers.
In order to “teach” machines to mimic human intelligence, people must repeatedly label images and other data until the algorithm can detect patterns without human intervention.
REFUNITE, based in California, is testing the app in Uganda where it has launched a pilot project involving 5,000 refugees, mainly form South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It hopes to scale up to 25,000 refugees within two years.