Read for Later - “To what extent should we be addressing developmental needs and to what extent should we be enforcing college norms?”

This week’s headline quotes Dr. Julia Duncheon, an assistant professor at the University of Texas El Paso, who studies dual credit, dual enrollment, and early colleges, on the growing popularity and challenges in opportunities for high school students to take college courses (MarketWatch “The line between high school and college is blurring — why that’s not always a good thing”).

You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures.

What new information has sparked your interest? Drop me a line to let me know what you're reading or discovering that helps you consider the future of libraries.

Five Highlights

The New York Times “Google’s Duplex uses A.I. to mimic humans (sometimes)”
Google confirmed that about 25% of calls placed through Duplex (the free service that uses artificial intelligence to call restaurants and mimic humans to book an appointment) start with a human and that about 15% of those that began with an automated system had a human intervene at some point.

TechCrunch “In Ford’s future, two-legged robots and self-driving cars could team up on deliveries”
Ford is partnering with startup Agility Robotics on a research project that will test how two-legged robots and self-driving vehicles can work together to solve the last few feet of delivery from curbside to door – Agility’s Digit robot will ride along in a self-driving vehicle and be deployed when needed to deliver packages.

Bloomberg “Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly pessimistic about their lives, survey finds”
Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey of 13,416 Millennials and 3,009 Gen Z respondents finds a continuously diminishing level of trust among Millennials and Gen Zs and declining aspirations for purchasing a home and starting a family. See also The Wall Street Journal “‘Playing catch-up in the game of life.’ Millennials approach middle age in crisis”

Vice “Snapchat employees abused data access to spy on users”
According to several current and former employees as well as internal company emails, social media giant Snap has dedicated tools for accessing user data that allowed employees to access user data, including location information, saved Snaps (photos and videos), and personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses – although Snap has introduced strict access controls to user data and takes abuse and user privacy very seriously according to several sources, the news highlights employee access to highly sensitive user data.

MarketWatch “The line between high school and college is blurring — why that’s not always a good thing”
While a growing number of policy makers and educators encourage opportunities for high-school students to take college courses, there are difficulties in creating a middle space where teens learn like college students and high school teachers teach like college teachers

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines

Bloomberg “Self-driving trucks will carry mail in U.S. for the first time”
The US Postal Service will use customized Peterbilt trucks run by autonomous trucking startup TuSimple to transport letters and packages moving between Phoenix and Dallas – it is the first time that the Postal Service has contracted with an autonomous provider for long-haul service.

Mashable “Now even the U.N. is worried about sexism in voice assistants”
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has published an in-depth report about how women, girls, and the world as a whole, lose when technical education and the tech sector exclude women – one section focuses on gendered A.I. voice assistants, like Siri or Alexa, which provide a powerful illustration of gender biases coded into technology products.

Cities and Governments

Government Technology “Philadelphia funds digital literacy to prep for the Census”
Philadelphia’s Digital Literacy Alliance — a coalition that works to ensure city residents have access to technology and the skills to use it — will focus its annual grant-making on the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, leveraging roughly $200,000 to push digital literacy and help educate citizens on why they should get counted and preparing census workers for the unique challenges of 2020.

Gallup “Four in 10 Americans embrace some form of socialism”
Americans are more closely divided when asked whether some form of socialism would be a good or bad thing for the country – 51% of U.S. adults say socialism would be a bad thing for the country, while 43% believe it would be a good thing.

Communities and Demographics

CNET “World Health Organization deems 'gaming disorder' an official illness”
The World Health Organization has added "gaming disorder" under the "disorders due to addictive behavior" section of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) - gaming disorder is described as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."

Internet of Things

The Verge “Google announces a new $999 Glass augmented reality headset”
Google has announced a new Glass Enterprise Edition 2 version of its business-focused Glass augmented reality headset, priced at $999 with a new processor, an improved camera, a USB-C port for faster charging, and a variety of other updates.

Bloomberg “Amazon is working on a device that can read human emotions”
Amazon is reportedly developing a voice-activated wearable device that can recognize human emotions – described as a health and wellness product, the device works with a smartphone app and pairs with software that can discern the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of their voice.


Engadget “London Underground will track everyone's Tube trip via WiFi”
Transport for London, the British capital's transit authority, will start collecting data on how people move around the Underground system by tracking phones and other connected devices using its extensive WiFi network – the data should offer details on how people move around the Tube system and even within stations, which will help the agency with long-term planning and providing effective updates to travelers.

Streaming Media

TechCrunch “Subscription fatigue hasn’t hit yet”
A new report from eMarketer citing data from subscription platform Zuora and The Harris Poll finds that more than a third (34%) of Americans say they believe they’ll increase the number of subscription services they use over the next two years with over half of U.S. consumers (57%) saying they were interested in TV and video-on-demand services and 38% interested in music services.