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Getting Smart Podcast

May 6, 2020

In this episode, the team is diving into artificial intelligence and the future of work and learning.

Today’s guest, Flynn Coleman, is an international human rights attorney, a professor, and a social entrepreneur. She’s also a former competitive athlete, she speaks five languages, and she has lived and learned in a dozen different countries!

Flynn has spoken and written extensively on issues of war crimes, gender equality, behavioral economics, and emerging technologies. Her new book, A Human Algorithm, explores how artificial intelligence is redefining who we are. The Getting Smart team appreciates her focus on equity and inclusion in this innovation age.

Listen in as Flynn talks to Tom about the future of work and learning and explore how A.I. will change the future of education!

Key Takeaways:

[:10] About today’s episode and special guest.

[:52] Tom Vander Ark welcomes Flynn Coleman to the podcast!

[:59] How and why did Flynn gain the opportunity to study in so many countries during high school and college?

[1:56] Did Flynn’s parents value travel or support her in traveling?

[2:32] What led Flynn to become interested in human rights?

[3:39] If Flynn had to pick out her favorite interesting place to learn, which would she choose?

[6:25] Why place-based education is so incredibly valuable for learners.

[7:32] After doing a JD at Berkeley, Flynn went on to the London School of Economics and Political Science for a master’s in law. Flynn elaborates on why she took this path.

[9:09] Flynn has crafted a life for herself that uniquely combines the practice of human rights law with teaching and writing. What is the thread that runs through it?

[10:58] When and how did artificial intelligence come across Flynn’s radar?

[11:46] Flynn speaks about her book, A Human Algorithm, and why she decided to write it.

[14:19] Flynn shares more about what her book encompasses, the process of writing it, and some of the challenges she faced while working on it.

[15:57] Jessica shares an important resource with listeners: the Getting Through microsite.

[16:36] Does Flynn feel that A.I. will be the best thing we’ve ever invented or the biggest existential threat we’ve ever faced?

[19:09] Why right now, more than ever, it’s easier for young people to make a difference.

[21:07] Which should we be most concerned with right now? Discrimination, autonomous weapons, or excessive surveillance?

[24:26] Tom and Flynn dive deeper into the human rights legal issue emerging today that is excessive surveillance.

[29:19] Tom and Flynn discuss the need for a different economic system moving forward and a more nimble form of governance. Flynn also provides her thoughts on how we could build more nimble political structures that would allow us to be more responsive to certain complex systems.

[33:20] What should young people know about artificial intelligence? And what are some of the implications regarding education?

[36:30] Does Flynn think it’s a good idea that some leading school districts are beginning to teach their middle school students the ethics of A.I?

[39:51] Flynn shares what her new book will be about.

[41:21] Tom and Flynn speak about the audience her recently published book, A Human Algorithm, is for.

[42:52] Where to find Flynn online!

[43:03] Tom thanks Flynn for joining the Getting Smart podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Flynn Coleman

A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are, by Flynn Coleman

The Power of Place: Authentic Learning Through Place-Based Education, by Tom Vander Ark

Dr. Sharon Blackie


Want to Hear More? Listen to:

Getting Smart Ep. 245: “David Blustein on Working in America


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