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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach

In spite of highly publicized competitions where computers have prevailed over humans, the intelligence of computer systems still remains quite limited in comparison to that of

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Abstract

Purpose

In spite of highly publicized competitions where computers have prevailed over humans, the intelligence of computer systems still remains quite limited in comparison to that of humans. Present day computers provide plenty of information but lack wisdom. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether reliance on computers with limited intelligence might undermine the quality of the education students receive.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a conceptual approach, the authors take the performance of IBM's Watson computer against human quiz competitors as a starting point to explore how society, and especially education, might change in the future when everyone has access to desktop technology to access information. They explore the issue of placing excessive trust in such machines without the capacity to evaluate the quality and reliability of the information provided.

Findings

The authors find that the day when computing machines surpass human intelligence is much further in the future than predicted by some forecasters. Addressing the problem of dependency on information technology, they envisage a technical solution ‐ wiser machines which not only return the search results, but also help make them comprehensible ‐ but find that although it is relatively simple to engineer knowledge distribution and access, it is more difficult to engineer wisdom.

Practical implications

Creating computers that are wise will be difficult, but educating students to be wise in the age of computers may also be quite difficult. For the future, one might explore the development of computer tools that demonstrate sensitivity to alternative answers to difficult questions, different courses of action, and their own limitations. For the present, one will need to train students to appreciate the limitations inherent in the technologies on which they have become dependent.

Originality/value

Critical thinking, innovation, and wisdom require skills beyond the kinds of answers computers give now or are likely to provide in the coming decade.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

David Pearce Snyder

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Abstract

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Book part
Publication date: 13 June 2001

Judith Lorber

This paper discusses the challenges to a feminism based on a stable category of ‘woman’ that are presented by the social construction and postmodern views of genders as fluid and…

Abstract

This paper discusses the challenges to a feminism based on a stable category of ‘woman’ that are presented by the social construction and postmodern views of genders as fluid and multiple, and by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender theory and research on sex and sexuality. It lays out their potential positive and negative impact on feminist theory and praxis. The paper will discuss ways of doing multidimensional research, and the implications of such research for feminist theory and politics.

Details

An International Feminist Challenge to Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-720-3

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2018

Juliane Doms, Norbert Hirschauer, Michael Marz and Falk Boettcher

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the hedging efficiency (HE) of weather index insurances (WII) based on a whole-farm approach. The aim is to identify how different types of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the hedging efficiency (HE) of weather index insurances (WII) based on a whole-farm approach. The aim is to identify how different types of WII affect the economic performance risk of real farms in the light of the heterogeneity of farm operations and natural conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using historic simulation, the HE of various hedging strategies is computed for 20 farms in regions with moderate natural conditions. A priori defined “standardized” WII and hedge ratios as well as ex post “optimized” strategies are analyzed. The latter is identified through a risk programming approach that determines the strike level and hedge ratio that would have minimized the volatility of each farm’s historic total gross margins (TGMs) ex post.

Findings

(i) The correlations between the weather indexes and the yields of the farms’ main crop (wheat) do not provide useful insights regarding the whole-farm HE because farms’ performance risk is considerably affected by volatile factors other than wheat yield; (ii) Standardized WII are ill-suited to hedge performance risk for the majority of studied farms; (iii) A considerable positive whole-farm HE could have been obtained on average if farmers had been able to use the “optimized” risk management strategy. Using farm-specific information thus seems to be essential for identifying meaningful hedging strategies.

Originality/value

This study provides added value by analyzing the HE of WII for 20 German crop farms in “moderate” regions. The results show that exemplary tests of WII in extreme conditions provide no decision support for farmers in other regions.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 78 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

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