What motivates this research? How are economic or other interests are mentioned in research/data/data sharing?



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Angela Okune's picture
October 26, 2020

This research agenda is driven by profit and economic interests although the articulated narrative is about "solving Africa's grand challenges" which he states are "well-known." But then as he describes IBM's "solution," the program ("Lucy"), which will "combine that [student test score] data and do response curves, we'll finally learn what programs work and what programs don't work, particularly for challenges in Africa, like challenges of large class sizes."

So is the problem that we didn't know which edtech programs work for large class sizes or that the classes are too large to begin with? Are the classrooms where there are too many children able to afford the tablets that are going to be required to generate this data that he is puporting that "Lucy" will be able to analyze and use to shed new insight?


Quote describing "Africa's problems" from the transcript:

"Now we're in Africa. Now we come to Africa, much has been said about all the grand challenges in Africa. The problems of cities, food, water and energy, and government and healthcare and [inaudible]. The challenges have been well documented, that if you haven't seen IBM's film about the challenges of Africa, in fact, many of the people here in the audience have been interviewed for that film, I urge you to look on YouTube and go and see that film. These problems are well stated, well known. Many of them are almost cliches, the problems are hard problems, the difficult to solve problems in Africa...."