NOTICE News for January 19, 2023

Happy Thursday! It’s January 19, 2023, and there are 347 days left in the year. On today’s NOTICE News: A major university just joined the growing list of places that’s banned TikTok. We’ll look at why they’re doing it. Plus: Are robots the answer to America’s nurse shortage? Here’s a transcript of today’s show.

Discussion Questions

  1. What might happen to TikTok’s availability in the U.S. if large colleges like UT-Austin and state governments continue restricting access to the app?
  2. Why are the U.S. government, state governments, and large institutions concerned about their people consistently using TikTok?
  3. How is the relationship different between companies and the government in the United States versus China?
  4. Do you view the ability of the Chinese government to collect data on millions of Americans as a problem?  Why or why not?
  5. The nursing robot, Moxi, has a simple but important job–delivering medication.  In what ways could this help the nursing shortage that’s occurring as Baby Boomers are both retiring from nursing and getting older and in need of more care?
  6. Why might some people be uncomfortable with the idea of a robot taking over the job of something that traditionally a live person would do–like a nurse delivering medication?

Writing Prompts

  1. A major concern about TikTok is how addicting it can be to users, but right now access is being restricted due to the company’s associations with China, and perhaps the Chinese government.  What do you think is a greater concern, and why?
  2. Obviously, TikTok is very popular among high school and college students. You could very easily be attending a school that decides it doesn’t want its students on the app anymore.  If this suddenly applied to you, how would it make you feel?  Do you think that schools or other institutions like business have the right to restrict their people from using TikTok when they’re on their networks?
  3. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has received worldwide recognition for her efforts, particularly in regard to her young age.  Do you think her youth makes her more or less influential as an activist? Can you think of any other types of activism that have been particularly tied to young people?  How do you think having young activists influences an issue, and why? 
  4. Throughout history, humans have used advancements in technology to make tasks easier, from the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century and assembly lines, to today’s robot floor cleaners and the introduction of Moxi, the robot delivering supplies in a hospital outside Chicago.  What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of continuing down the path of  technological advances taking the place of human jobs?

Further Reading