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Technology Policy & Ethics

IEEE Technology Policy & Ethics is a bi-monthly digital publication featuring timely technical, policy, ethical, social, governmental, but not political commentary, related to emerging technologies and advancements that are electrical and electronic in nature. Future Directions considers the reflection of technology through the lens of social implications a key tenant as IEEE works to incubate and promote technologies.

This publication is actively promoted across IEEE Future Directions Initiatives. Readers of this newsletter include IEEE top to middle-level leadership, policy and technology experts, academicians, scholars, and students.

Technology Policy & Ethics

July 2021 — Special COVID Issue

Artificial Intelligence and Tactile Healthcare for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19

By Ali Nauman, Rashid Ali (Member, IEEE), Yousaf Bin Zikria (Senior Member, IEEE), and Sung Won Kim

The COVID-19 epidemic, and the recent related waves of variant outbreaks, have had a significant impact on every field of life. One of the major impacts of COVID is the increased stress on the already exhausted healthcare system. Tactile healthcare is revolutionizing healthcare systems. The 5G and Beyond-5G (B5G) technologies are expected to enable Tactile Healthcare applications, which are time-sensitive and critical. The 5G and B5G communication networks were constructed to support high data rates on an energy-efficient platform and to provide ultra-reliability and low latency. The use of Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms, a type Machine Learning (ML), can enhance the capability of 5G and B5G networks by optimizing latency and reliability in terms of data delivery. The idea of RL algorithms is to make a system capable of mimicking the human brain and enhancing its abilities. The New Radio (NR) in B5G offers flexible Medium Access Control (MAC) frame structures and scalable numerology. The efficient MAC scheduling approaches are of prime importance for wireless networks. The efficient MAC scheduling protocols and RL algorithms ultimately solve the problems of reliability and latency for Tactile Healthcare applications. This article provides an overview of how ML can improve the scheduling protocols for MAC layers, which can increase the performance of tactile healthcare applications in B5G networks, and in turn, contribute to resolving the challenges of tele-surgery in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems. Moreover, this article provides open research issues due to NR’s flexible frame structure and scalable numerology in future directions.

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Towards the Support of 5G Networks During COVID-19

By Divya Gupta, Shruti, & Shalli Rani, Chitkara University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Chitkara University, Punjab, India, Shruti, Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma Dutta College, Chandigarh, India, Syed Hassan Ahmed, Independent Researcher, USA

Compared to the Second World War and the 1918 Spanish flu in terms of impact on human lives and behaviors, COVID-19 is a pandemic experienced worldwide. Maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks, and staying home to quarantine are some common measures being followed to date to help control the spread of this disease. In complying with these measures, human life has taken on a new normal in which routinely in-person activities such as shopping, training, education, meetings, entertainment, etc. have fully shifted from offline to online mode. This paradigm shift has accelerated the use of digital technologies uniquely among every human. The excessive use of telecommunication technologies has put an enormous strain on both fixed and mobile networks. Existing networks often encounter various challenges due to high traffic congestion on core networks which merely degrades its performance. Even in its early stage, the recently launched 5G network combines various features, such as enhanced mobile broadband and reliable low delay communication, to provide support for some of the challenges faced during this crisis. In addition, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) features have been embedded into 5G networks to enable autonomous and intelligent telecommunication networks. The use of AI can help in dynamic resource allocation due to the ability to assign resources to different locations on-demand in real-time vs. the static resource allocation implemented in existing networks.

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Emergence of AR and AI in Educational Institutions: A COVID-19 System Transition

By Debjit Majumder1, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, and  Shibpur and Anubhav Goswami, CMR Institute of Technology, Bengaluru

Humans have been subjected to pandemics for centuries. The last pandemic to have a severe hit on humans was in the 20th century. During this time. humans were barely on the brink of a major technological renaissance. Since then, a century has passed, and this race is standing again at the forefront of another severe pandemic referred to as COVID-19. Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, people have been forced to follow isolation and social distancing mandates. Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved as a major tool to link every piece of life’s puzzle during this tough time for businesses and educational institutions [1]. A report from the AR analytics and consulting firm, Digi-Capital, predicts that by 2025, implementation of AR and virtual reality (VR) in the field of education will merely be 0.02% of the total market size of AR/VR software (as shown in figure 1) [2]. This number needs to increase for the common good of everyone, and especially for the betterment of future education systems. This article attempts to shed some light on the implementation of AR in combination with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve online laboratory classes for students and to ensure that they will have an enhanced user experience and better practical exposure from remote locations.

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Covid-19 and the Future of Higher Education

By Oyenuga Michael Oyedele, PhD and Ahungwa Agnes Iember, Department of Marketing, Veritas University, Abuja, Nigeria

One of the deadliest diseases of our time is the respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is popularly called COVID-19. This disease emanated from China in 2019 and has spread throughout the world, affecting over 200 countries [1]. This virus is so deadly that almost every sector of the economy has been affected—sports, education, religion, politics, tourism (just to mention a few). Countries in Europe and South America (e.g., Brazil, Peru) are more negatively affected compared with their counterparts in Africa. However, many believe that if countries in Africa had adequate testing facilities, they would have recorded more fatalities compared to what is presently obtainable. As of 9 June 2021, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa amounted to 5,009,823 which represented around 2.9 percent of the infections around the world. In the African continent, South Africa is the most affected country with more than 1.71 million infections [2].

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Technology Policy and Ethics Editorial Board

If you are interested in serving as an editor for IEEE Technology Policy & Ethics, please complete this form. We ask each applicant to submit 1 article for publication prior to acceptance. This article may be self-written or solicited.

Dr. Ali Kashif Bashir (EiC) Dr. Kapal Dev Professor Zhihan Lv
Dr. Syed Hassan Ahmed Dr. Yasir Faheem Dr. Gunasekaran Manogaran
Dr. Onur Alparslan Dr. Prasun Ghosal Dr. Varun G Menon
Dr. Hazrat Ali Dr. Tahir Hameed Dr. Shakil Muhammad
Priscilla Amalraj Dr. Sinan Hanay Dr. Zeeshan Pervez
Dr. Adriana Bankston Dr. Shagufta Henna Dr. Shalli Rani
Dr. Muhammad Bilal Dr. Fatima Hussain Dr. Mubashir Husain Rehmani
Dr. Syed Ahmad Chan Bukhari Dr. Steve Jones Dr. Kashif Saleem
Dr. Syed Hashim Raza Bukhari Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan Dr. Manik Sharma
Dr. Ankur Chattopadhyay Dr. Mohammad Saud Khan Dr. Amit Kumar Singh
Dr. Junaid Chaudhry Dr. Mohammad Khosravi Dr. Kathiravan Srinivasan
Dr. Jerry Chun-Wei Lin Olga Kiconco Dr. Sandeep Verma
Matteo B. Lodi Dr. Marcus R. Wigan