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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 7)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, artificial intelligence has a bias problem, CBT Nuggets says you should get an AWS cloud cert even if you aren't interested in cloud computing, and more.

Artificial Intelligence Is Not as Rational as You Think

 

Baked-in bias could harm the future of AI.Or perhaps to put it another way, artificial intelligence is *only* as rational as we think. At this stage of its development, AI is programmed entirely by humans. To the extent that present-day AI "thinks" anything, it only thinks what we tell (or have told) it to think. And what, or how, or why we tell it to think things is influenced by the various biases held by whoever is doing the programming. So while the tech world is still in the formational stages of AI technology, laying foundations that others will build on for generations to come, there's concern about who is doing the programming, and how to separate that work from the inherent biases of the people doing it. Tech writer Mark Feffer discusses the problem in a pair of recent posts to the Insights blog of IT employment facilitator Dice, one published in January and a second published this week. The British Computer Society is also voicing concerns about bias in AI, noting a problematic lack of diversity among teams that are tackling AI projects around the globe.

BCS policy director Bill Mitchell describes the problem is a statement to media: "There is a very old adage in computer science that sums up many of the concerns around AI-enabled public services: ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ In other words, if you put poor, partial, flawed data into a computer it will mindlessly follow its programming and output poor, partial, flawed computations. AI is a statistical-inference technology that learns by example. This means if we allow AI systems to learn from ‘garbage’ examples, then we will end up with a statistical-inference model that is really good at producing ‘garbage’ inferences."

 

Are Computers Still a Thing in IT Workplaces?

 

A whole lot of people who don't actually work in IT jobs use a computer every day. So it stands to reason that many, if not most people who do IT thing for a living, either at IT companies or in IT-focused roles in non-tech workplaces, probably also use a desktop or laptop computer to do their jobs. Reporting data from their recent Salary Survey, the team at Certification Magazine put some numbers to the question. A CertMag report posted last week reveals that, though we may think of IT jobs as being increasingly reliant on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile or handheld devices, there's still plenty of demand for traditional desktop and laptop computers: more than 80 percent of certified IT professionals who participated in the survey use a desktop or laptop computer to do their jobs for at least seven hours per day.

 

CompTIA's Cloud+ Credential Gets Federal Thumbs Up

 

Uncle Sam now wants YOU ... to get CompTIA's Cloud+ cloud computing credential. It's well-known that the U.S. Department of Defense already uses CompTIA credentials as an important hiring baseline for potential government IT job candidates. Now Cloud+ has officially joined the club, standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the widely-referenced DoD 8570 list with the likes of A+, Security+, Network+, and CySA+. It's just another reason to consider putting Cloud+ on your certification to-do list.

 

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