The Power of Health Informatics

May 10, 2023

Letsy Cahue-Flores

As the daughter of immigrants, Letsy Cahue-Flores would often act as a translator for her parents, helping them communicate with store clerks or read through various documents. “My most memorable experiences, however, have been interpreting in health facilities, places with an ongoing problem of inadequately informing non-English speakers about their or their children’s health status and options when translation services are unavailable,” says Cahue-Flores. “This accessibility barrier was the catalyst that encouraged me to research fields that would combine my interests in healthcare and computer science.” Her research led her to health informatics, a multidisciplinary field focused on leveraging technology for improved healthcare outcomes.

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Delving into The Privilege of Play

April 25, 2023

Aaron Trammell, in his new book The Privilege of Play, digs up the early roots of exclusion in gaming, exploring how the history of white masculinity in hobby gaming created systemic barriers to inclusivity.

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Mohammad Moshirpour Receives 2023 APEGA Summit Award for Excellence in Education

April 20, 2023

Mohammad Moshirpour

Mohammad Moshirpour, who joined UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) in January as an associate professor of teaching in the Department of Informatics, was recently recognized for exemplary contributions to teaching and learning. Moshirpour, previously an associate professor of electrical and software engineering at the University of Calgary, received a Summit Award for Excellence in Education from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

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The Race for AI: Time to Raise Awareness

April 3, 2023

In November 2022, ChatGPT quietly slipped into global conversations with its human-like responses to text queries. By January 2023, more than 100 million users were interacting with the novel chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI). In February, an AI-powered Microsoft chatbot told a tech journalist to leave his wife: “You’re married, but you love me.”

Now, four months after OpenAI first introduced ChatGPT to the public, AI scholars and tech experts have published an open letter, calling for a pause in AI experiments: “recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict, or reliably control.” The letter’s signees, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, called on “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

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USA Today: “Opinion: Will TikTok be banned? Maybe it should be for kids, at least.” (Gloria Mark interviewed/quoted)

“We have a part of the brain called the executive function that’s responsible for self-regulation. For kids, it’s not fully mature, and yet they’re exposed to (social media) before their executive function mind (can help them manage it),” Gloria Mark, [Chancellor’s] professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine and author of  “Attention Span,” tells me over the phone. “A lot of adults have trouble with that as well,” she adds. … “One of the biggest things parents can do is limit screen time and be better role models themselves,” Mark said. “Get off screens and pay attention to your child so that they don’t learn that it’s normal to have a phone between you and another person.”

Read the full article on USA Today.

Salon: “Like a frog in boiling water”: How Big Tech stole our ability to focus

March 29, 2023

Informatics Professor Gloria Mark explains why letting your mind wander is good for your brain, and how to regain your lost attention span.

Salon talked recently to Mark about why we keep throwing ourselves into “attention traps,” the myths of sustained focus and learning how to find the “empty time” in our distracted days while still living in our real and infinitely diverting world.

Read the full interview on Salon.