From DSC:
In the future, I’d like to see holograms provide stunning visual centerpieces for the entrance ways into libraries, or in our classrooms, or in our art galleries, recital halls, and more. The object(s), person(s), scene(s) could change into something else, providing a visually engaging experience that sets a tone for that space, time, and/or event.

Eventually, perhaps these types of technologies/setups will even be a way to display artwork within our homes and apartments.

 

hologram-earth

Image from 900lbs.com

 

 

 

From DSC:
When I saw the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder…what are the teaching & learning-related ramifications when new “skills” are constantly being added to devices like Amazon’s Alexa?

What does it mean for:

  • Students / learners
  • Faculty members
  • Teachers
  • Trainers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Interaction Designers
  • User Experience Designers
  • Curriculum Developers
  • …and others?

Will the capabilities found in Alexa simply come bundled as a part of the “connected/smart TV’s” of the future? Hmm….

 

 

NASA unveils a skill for Amazon’s Alexa that lets you ask questions about Mars — from geekwire.com by Kevin Lisota

Excerpt:

Amazon’s Alexa has gained many skills over the past year, such as being able to read tweets or deliver election results and fantasy football scores. Starting on Wednesday, you’ll be able to ask Alexa about Mars.

The new skill for the voice-controlled speaker comes courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It’s the first Alexa app from the space agency.

Tom Soderstrom, the chief technology officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was on hand at the AWS re:invent conference in Las Vegas tonight to make the announcement.

 

 

nasa-alexa-11-29-16

 

 


Also see:


 

What Is Alexa? What Is the Amazon Echo, and Should You Get One? — from thewirecutter.com by Grant Clauser

 

side-by-side2

 

 

Amazon launches new artificial intelligence services for developers: Image recognition, text-to-speech, Alexa NLP — from geekwire.com by Taylor Soper

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Amazon today announced three new artificial intelligence-related toolkits for developers building apps on Amazon Web Services

At the company’s AWS re:invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon showed how developers can use three new services — Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, Amazon Rekognition — to build artificial intelligence features into apps for platforms like Slack, Facebook Messenger, ZenDesk, and others.

The idea is to let developers utilize the machine learning algorithms and technology that Amazon has already created for its own processes and services like Alexa. Instead of developing their own AI software, AWS customers can simply use an API call or the AWS Management Console to incorporate AI features into their own apps.

 

 

Amazon announces three new AI services, including a text-to-voice service, Amazon Polly  — from by D.B. Hebbard

 

 

AWS Announces Three New Amazon AI Services
Amazon Lex, the technology that powers Amazon Alexa, enables any developer to build rich, conversational user experiences for web, mobile, and connected device apps; preview starts today

Amazon Polly transforms text into lifelike speech, enabling apps to talk with 47 lifelike voices in 24 languages

Amazon Rekognition makes it easy to add image analysis to applications, using powerful deep learning-based image and face recognition

Capital One, Motorola Solutions, SmugMug, American Heart Association, NASA, HubSpot, Redfin, Ohio Health, DuoLingo, Royal National Institute of Blind People, LingApps, GoAnimate, and Coursera are among the many customers using these Amazon AI Services

Excerpt:

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 30, 2016– Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced three Artificial Intelligence (AI) services that make it easy for any developer to build apps that can understand natural language, turn text into lifelike speech, have conversations using voice or text, analyze images, and recognize faces, objects, and scenes. Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition are based on the same proven, highly scalable Amazon technology built by the thousands of deep learning and machine learning experts across the company. Amazon AI services all provide high-quality, high-accuracy AI capabilities that are scalable and cost-effective. Amazon AI services are fully managed services so there are no deep learning algorithms to build, no machine learning models to train, and no up-front commitments or infrastructure investments required. This frees developers to focus on defining and building an entirely new generation of apps that can see, hear, speak, understand, and interact with the world around them.

To learn more about Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, or Amazon Rekognition, visit:
https://aws.amazon.com/amazon-ai

 

 

 

 

 

learningthemes2016-elliottmasie

Learning Themes
Curated Content from Learning 2016
Open Source eBook – No Cost
http://www.masie.com/eBookL16

 

From an email from Elliott Masie and the Masie Center:

This 35-page eBook is packed with content, context, conversations, video links, and curated resources that include:

  • Learning Perspectives from Anderson Cooper, Scott Kelly, Tiffany Shlain, George Takei, Richard Culatta, Karl Kapp, Nancy DeViney, and other Learning 2016 Keynotes
  • Graphic Illustrations from Deirdre Crowley, Crowley & Co.
  • Video Links for Content Segments
  • Learning Perspectives from Elliott Masie
  • Segments focusing on:
    • Brain & Cognitive Science
    • Gamification & Gaming
    • Micro-Learning
    • Visual Storytelling
    • Connected & Flipped Classrooms
    • Compliance & Learning
    • Engagement in Virtual Learning
    • Video & Learning
    • Virtual Reality & Learning
  • And much more!

We have created this as an open source, shareable resource that will extend the learning from Learning 2016 to our colleagues around the world. We are using the Open Creative Commons license, so feel free to share!

We believe that CURATION, focusing on extending and organizing follow-up content, is a growing and critical dimension of any learning event. We hope that you find your eBook of value!

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence Ethics, Jobs & Trust – UK Government Sets Out AI future — from cbronline.com by Ellie Burns

Excerpt:

UK government is driving the artificial intelligence agenda, pinpointing it as a future technology driving the fourth revolution and billing its importance on par with the steam engine.

The report on Artificial Intelligence by the Government Office for Science follows the recent House of Commons Committee report on Robotics and AI, setting out the opportunities and implications for the future of decision making. In a report which spans government deployment, ethics and the labour market, Digital Minister Matt Hancock provided a foreword which pushed AI as a technology which would benefit the economy and UK citizens.

 

 

 

 

MIT’s “Moral Machine” Lets You Decide Who Lives & Dies in Self-Driving Car Crashes — from futurism.com

In brief:

  • MIT’S 13-point exercise lets users weigh the life-and-death decisions that self-driving cars could face in the future.
  • Projects like the “Moral Machine” give engineers insight into how they should code complex decision-making capabilities into AI.

 

 

Wearable Tech Weaves Its Way Into Learning — from edsurge.com by Marguerite McNeal

Excerpt:

“Ethics often falls behind the technology,” says Voithofer of Ohio State. Personal data becomes more abstract when it’s combined with other datasets or reused for multiple purposes, he adds. Say a device collects and anonymizes data about a student’s emotional patterns. Later on that information might be combined with information about her test scores and could be reassociated with her. Some students might object to colleges making judgments about their academic performance from indirect measurements of their emotional states.

 

 

New era of ‘cut and paste’ humans close as man injected with genetically-edited blood – from telegraph.co.uk by Sarah Knapton

Excerpt:

A world where DNA can be rewritten to fix deadly diseases has moved a step closer after scientists announced they had genetically-edited the cells of a human for the first time using a groundbreaking technique.

A man in China was injected with modified immune cells which had been engineered to fight his lung cancer. Larger trials are scheduled to take place next year in the US and Beijing, which scientists say could open up a new era of genetic medicine.

The technique used is called Crispr, which works like tiny molecular scissors snipping away genetic code and replacing it with new instructions to build better cells.

 

 

 

Troubling Study Says Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Who Will Be Criminals Based on Facial Features — from theintercept.com by Sam Biddle

 

 

 

Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming as biased as we are — from thenextweb.com by Bryan Clark

 

 

 

A bug in the matrix: virtual reality will change our lives. But will it also harm us? — from theguardian.stfi.re
Prejudice, harassment and hate speech have crept from the real world into the digital realm. For virtual reality to succeed, it will have to tackle this from the start

Excerpt:

Can you be sexually assaulted in virtual reality? And can anything be done to prevent it? Those are a few of the most pressing ethical questions technologists, investors and we the public will face as VR grows.

 

 

 

Light Bulbs Flash “SOS” in Scary Internet of Things Attack — from fortune.com by Jeff John Roberts

 

 

 

How Big Data Transformed Applying to College — from slate.com by Cathy O’Neil
It’s made it tougher, crueler, and ever more expensive.

 

 

Not OK, Google — from techcrunch.com by Natasha Lomas

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The scope of Alphabet’s ambition for the Google brand is clear: It wants Google’s information organizing brain to be embedded right at the domestic center — i.e. where it’s all but impossible for consumers not to feed it with a steady stream of highly personal data. (Sure, there’s a mute button on the Google Home, but the fact you have to push a button to shut off the ear speaks volumes… )

In other words, your daily business is Google’s business.

“We’re moving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world,” said CEO Sundar Pichai…

But what’s really not OK, Google is the seismic privacy trade-offs involved here. And the way in which Alphabet works to skate over the surface of these concerns.

 

What he does not say is far more interesting, i.e. that in order to offer its promise of “custom convenience” — with predictions about restaurants you might like to eat at, say, or suggestions for how bad the traffic might be on your commute to work — it is continuously harvesting and data-mining your personal information, preferences, predilections, peccadilloes, prejudices…  and so on and on and on. AI never stops needing data. Not where fickle humans are concerned. 

 

 

Welcome to a world without work — from by Automation and globalisation are combining to generate a world with a surfeit of labour and too little work

Excerpt:

A new age is dawning. Whether it is a wonderful one or a terrible one remains to be seen. Look around and the signs of dizzying technological progress are difficult to miss. Driverless cars and drones, not long ago the stuff of science fiction, are now oddities that can occasionally be spotted in the wild and which will soon be a commonplace in cities around the world.

 

From DSC:
I don’t see a world without work being good for us in the least. I think we humans need to feel that we are contributing to something. We need a purpose for living out our days here on Earth (even though they are but a vapor).  We need vision…goals to works towards as we seek to use the gifts, abilities, passions, and interests that the LORD gave to us.  The author of the above article would also add that work:

  • Is a source of personal identity
  • It helps give structure to our days and our lives
  • It offers the possibility of personal fulfillment that comes from being of use to others
  • Is a critical part of the glue that holds society together and smooths its operation

 

Over the last generation, work has become ever less effective at performing these roles. That, in turn, has placed pressure on government services and budgets, contributing to a more poisonous and less generous politics. Meanwhile, the march of technological progress continues, adding to the strain.

 

 

10 breakthrough technologies for 2016 — from technologyreview.com

Excerpts:

Immune Engineering
Genetically engineered immune cells are saving the lives of cancer patients. That may be just the start.

Precise Gene Editing in Plants
CRISPR offers an easy, exact way to alter genes to create traits such as disease resistance and drought tolerance.

Conversational Interfaces
Powerful speech technology from China’s leading Internet company makes it much easier to use a smartphone.

Reusable Rockets
Rockets typically are destroyed on their maiden voyage. But now they can make an upright landing and be refueled for another trip, setting the stage for a new era in spaceflight.

Robots That Teach Each Other
What if robots could figure out more things on their own and share that knowledge among themselves?

DNA App Store
An online store for information about your genes will make it cheap and easy to learn more about your health risks and predispositions.

SolarCity’s Gigafactory
A $750 million solar facility in Buffalo will produce a gigawatt of high-efficiency solar panels per year and make the technology far more attractive to homeowners.

Slack
A service built for the era of mobile phones and short text messages is changing the workplace.

Tesla Autopilot
The electric-vehicle maker sent its cars a software update that suddenly made autonomous driving a reality.

Power from the Air
Internet devices powered by Wi-Fi and other telecommunications signals will make small computers and sensors more pervasive

 

 

The 4 big ethical questions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — from 3tags.org by the World Economic Forum

Excerpts:

We live in an age of transformative scientific powers, capable of changing the very nature of the human species and radically remaking the planet itself.

Advances in information technologies and artificial intelligence are combining with advances in the biological sciences; including genetics, reproductive technologies, neuroscience, synthetic biology; as well as advances in the physical sciences to create breathtaking synergies — now recognized as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Since these technologies will ultimately decide so much of our future, it is deeply irresponsible not to consider together whether and how to deploy them. Thankfully there is growing global recognition of the need for governance.

 

 

Scientists create live animals from artificial eggs in ‘remarkable’ breakthrough — from telegraph.co.uk by Sarah Knapton

 

 

 

Robot babies from Japan raise questions about how parents bond with AI — from singularityhub.com by Mark Robert Anderson

Excerpt:

This then leads to the ethical implications of using robots. Embracing a number of areas of research, robot ethics considers whether the use of a device within a particular field is acceptable and also whether the device itself is behaving ethically. When it comes to robot babies there are already a number of issues that are apparent. Should “parents” be allowed to choose the features of their robot, for example? How might parents be counseled when returning their robot baby? And will that baby be used again in the same form?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon’s Vision of the Future Involves Cops Commanding Tiny Drone ‘Assistants’ — from gizmodo.com by Hudson Hongo

 

 

 

DARPA’s Autonomous Ship Is Patrolling the Seas with a Parasailing Radar — from technologyreview.com by Jamie Condliffe
Forget self-driving cars—this is the robotic technology that the military wants to use.

 

 

 

China’s policing robot: Cattle prod meets supercomputer — from computerworld.com by Patrick Thibodeau
China’s fastest supercomputers have some clear goals, namely development of its artificial intelligence, robotics industries and military capability, says the U.S.

 

 

Report examines China’s expansion into unmanned industrial, service, and military robotics systems

 

 

 

Augmented Reality Glasses Are Coming To The Battlefield — from popsci.com by Andrew Rosenblum
Marines will control a head-up display with a gun-mounted mouse

 

 

———-

Addendum on 12/2/16:

Regulation of the Internet of Things — from schneier.com by Bruce Schneier

Excerpt:

Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and PayPal went down for most of a day. The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology. If we want to secure our increasingly computerized and connected world, we need more government involvement in the security of the “Internet of Things” and increased regulation of what are now critical and life-threatening technologies. It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when.

An additional market failure illustrated by the Dyn attack is that neither the seller nor the buyer of those devices cares about fixing the vulnerability. The owners of those devices don’t care. They wanted a webcam —­ or thermostat, or refrigerator ­— with nice features at a good price. Even after they were recruited into this botnet, they still work fine ­— you can’t even tell they were used in the attack. The sellers of those devices don’t care: They’ve already moved on to selling newer and better models. There is no market solution because the insecurity primarily affects other people. It’s a form of invisible pollution.

 

 

 

Explosive IoT growth could produce skills shortage — from rtinsights.com by Joe McKendrick

Excerpts:

CIO’s Sharon Florentine took a look at data from global freelance marketplace Upwork, based on annual job posting growth and skills demand. The following are leading IoT skills Florentine identified that will be demand as the IoT proliferates, with level the growth seen over a one-year period:

Circuit design (231% growth): Builds miniaturized circuit boards for sensors and devices.

Microcontroller programming (225% growth): Writes code that provides intelligence to microcontrollers, the embedded chips within IoT devices.

AutoCAD (216% growth): Designs the devices.

Machine learning (199% growth): Writes the algorithms that recognize data patterns within devices.

Security infrastructure (194% growth): Identifies and integrates the standards, protocols and technologies that protect devices, as well as the data inside.

Big data (183% growth): Data scientists and engineers “who can collect, organize, analyze and architect disparate sources of data.” Hadoop and Apache Spark are two areas with particularly strong demand.

 

From DSC:
(With thanks to Woontack Woo for his posting this via his paper.li entitled “#AR #CAMAR for Ubiquitous VR”)

Check this out!

On December 3rd, the Legend of Sword opera comes to Australia — but this is no ordinary opera!  It is a “holographic sensational experience!” Set designers and those involved with drama will need to check this out. This could easily be the future of set design!

But not only that, let’s move this same concept over to the world of learning.  What might augmented reality do for how our learning spaces look and act like in the future?  What new affordances and experiences could they provide for us? This needs to be on our radars. 

Some serious engagement might be heading our way!

 

 

Per this web page:

Legend of Sword 1 is a holographic sensational experience that has finished its 2nd tour in China. A Chinese legend of the ages to amaze and ignite your imagination. First time ever such a visual spectacular stage in Australia on Sat 3rd Dec only. Performed in Chinese with English subtitles.

Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 is based on a hit video game in China. Through the hardworking of the renowned production team, the performance illustrates the beautiful fantasy of game on stage, and allow the audience feel like placing themselves in the eastern fairy world. With the special effects with the olfactory experience, and that actors performing and interact with audience at close distance, the eastern fairy world is realised on stage. It is not only a play with beautiful scenes, but also full of elements from oriental style adventure. The theatre experience will offer much more than a show, but the excitement of love and adventure.

 

Per this web page:

Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 was premiered in April 2015 at Shanghai Cultural Plaza, which set off a frenzy of magic in Shanghai, relying on the perfect visual and 5D all-round sensual experience. Because of the fantasy theme that matches with top visual presentation, Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 became the hot topic in Shanghai immediately. With only just 10 performances at the time, its Weibo topic hits have already exceeded 100 million mark halfway.

So far, Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 has finished its second tour in a number of cities in China, including Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Xiamen, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Wuxi, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhengzhou, Lishui, Ma’anshan, Kunshan, Changzhou etc.

 

 

legendofsword-china-australia-2016

 

 

 

Google Earth lets you explore the planet in virtual reality — from vrscout.com by Eric Chevalier

 

 

 

How virtual reality could change the way students experience education — from edtechmagazine.com by  by Andrew Koke and Anthony Guest-Scott
High-impact learning experiences may become the norm, expanding access for all students.

Excerpt:

The headlines for Pokémon GO were initially shocking, but by now they’re familiar: as many as 21 million active daily users, 700,000 downloads per day, $5.7 million in-app purchases per day, $200 million earned as of August. Analysts anticipate the game will garner several billion dollars in ad revenue over the next year. By almost any measure, Pokémon GO is huge.

The technologies behind the game, augmented and virtual reality (AVR), are huge too. Many financial analysts expect the technology to generate $150 billion over the next three years, outpacing even smartphones with unprecedented growth, much of it in entertainment. But AVR is not only about entertainment. In August 2015, Teegan Lexcen was born in Florida with only half a heart and needed surgery. With current cardiac imaging software insufficient to assist with such a delicate operation on an infant, surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami turned to 3D imaging software and a $20 Google Cardboard VR set. They used a cellphone to peer into the baby’s heart, saw exactly how to improve her situation and performed the successful surgery in December 2015.

“I could see the whole heart. I could see the chest wall,” Dr. Redmond Burke told Today. “I could see all the things I was worried about in creating an operation.”

 

 

 

Visionary: How 4 institutions are venturing into a new mixed reality — from ecampusnews.com by Laura Devaney
Mixed reality combines virtual and augmented realities for enhanced learning experiences–and institutions are already implementing it.

Excerpt:

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and San Diego State University are both part of a Pearson mixed reality pilot aimed at leveraging mixed reality to solve challenges in nursing education.

At Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, faculty, students, and staff are exploring various educational applications for the HoloLens mixed reality devices. They are testing Skype for HoloLens to connect students with tutors in Pearson’s 24/7 online tutoring service, Smarthinking.

At Canberra Grammar School in Australia, Pearson is working with teachers in a variety of disciplines to develop holograms for use in their classrooms. The University of Canberra is partnering with Pearson to provide support for the project and evaluate the impact these holograms have on teaching and learning.

 

 

 

ZapBox brings room-scale mixed reality to the masses — from slashgear.com by JC Torres

Excerpt:

As fantastic as technologies like augmented and mixed reality may be, experiencing them, much less creating them, requires a sizable investment, financially speaking. It is just beyond the reach of consumers as well as your garage-type indie developer. AR and VR startup Zappar, however, wants to smash that perception. With ZapBox, you can grab a kit for less than a triple-A video game to start your journey towards mixed reality fun and fame. It’s Magic Leap meets Google Cardboard. Or as Zappar itself says, making Magic Leap, magic cheap!

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Tempest gets mixed reality makeover — from bbc.com by Jane Wakefield

 

intel-flying-whale-at-ces-2014Intel’s flying whale was the inspiration for the technology in The Tempest

 

 

 

eon-reality-education-nov2016

 

 

 

Excerpts from the 9/23/16 School Library Journal Webcast:

vr-in-education-thejournal-sept2016

 

 

 

 

 

ar-vr-elearningguildfall2016

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • New Technologies: Do They Really Change Learning Strategies? — by Joe Ganci and Sherry Larson
  • Enhanced Realities: An Opportunity to Avoid the Mistakes of the Past — by David Kelly
  • Let the Use Case Drive What Gets Augmented—Not the Other Way Around — by Chad Udell
  • Augmented Reality: An Augmented Perspective — by Alexander Salas
  • Virtual Reality Will Be the Perfect Immersive Learning Environment — by Koreen Pagano
  • Will VR Succeed? Viewpoint from Within a Large Corporation — by John O’Hare
  • Will VR Succeed? Viewpoint from Running a VR Start-up — by Ishai Albert Jacob

 

 

 

From DSC:
I think Technical Communicators have a new pathway to pursue…check out this piece from Scope AR and Caterpillar.

 

scopear-nov2016

 

 

 

Some brief reflections from DSC:

will likely be used by colleges, universities, bootcamps, MOOCs, and others to feed web-based learner profiles, which will then be queried by people and/or organizations who are looking for freelancers and/or employees to fill their project and/or job-related needs.

As of the end of 2016, Microsoft — with their purchase of LinkedIn — is strongly positioned as being a major player in this new landscape. But it might turn out to be an open-sourced solution/database.

Data mining, algorithm development, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will likely have roles to play here as well. The systems will likely be able to tell us where we need to grow our skillsets, and provide us with modules/courses to take. This is where the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision becomes highly relevant, on a global scale. We will be forced to continually improve our skillsets as long as we are in the workforce. Lifelong learning is now a must. AI-based recommendation engines should be helpful here — as they will be able to analyze the needs, trends, developments, etc. and present us with some possible choices (based on our learner profiles, interests, and passions).

 

 

Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are remaking themselves around AI — from wired.com by Cade Metz

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Alongside a former Stanford researcher—Jia Li, who more recently ran research for the social networking service Snapchat—the China-born Fei-Fei will lead a team inside Google’s cloud computing operation, building online services that any coder or company can use to build their own AI. This new Cloud Machine Learning Group is the latest example of AI not only re-shaping the technology that Google uses, but also changing how the company organizes and operates its business.

Google is not alone in this rapid re-orientation. Amazon is building a similar group cloud computing group for AI. Facebook and Twitter have created internal groups akin to Google Brain, the team responsible for infusing the search giant’s own tech with AI. And in recent weeks, Microsoft reorganized much of its operation around its existing machine learning work, creating a new AI and research group under executive vice president Harry Shum, who began his career as a computer vision researcher.

 

But Etzioni says this is also part of very real shift inside these companies, with AI poised to play an increasingly large role in our future. “This isn’t just window dressing,” he says.

 

 

Intelligence everywhere! Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017 — from which-50.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

AI and Advanced Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are composed of many technologies and techniques (e.g., deep learning, neural networks, natural-language processing [NLP]). The more advanced techniques move beyond traditional rule-based algorithms to create systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. This is what makes smart machines appear “intelligent.”

“Applied AI and advanced machine learning give rise to a spectrum of intelligent implementations, including physical devices (robots, autonomous vehicles, consumer electronics) as well as apps and services (virtual personal assistants [VPAs], smart advisors), ” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “These implementations will be delivered as a new class of obviously intelligent apps and things as well as provide embedded intelligence for a wide range of mesh devices and existing software and service solutions.”

 

gartner-toptechtrends-2017

 

 

 

 

aiexperiments-google-nov2016

 

Google’s new website lets you play with its experimental AI projects — from mashable.com by Karissa Bell

Excerpt:

Google is letting users peek into some of its most experimental artificial intelligence projects.

The company unveiled a new website Tuesday called A.I. Experiments that showcases Google’s artificial intelligence research through web apps that anyone can test out. The projects include a game that guesses what you’re drawing, a camera app that recognizes objects you put in front of it and a music app that plays “duets” with you.

 

Google unveils a slew of new and improved machine learning APIs — from digitaltrends.com by Kyle Wiggers

Excerpt:

On Tuesday, Google Cloud chief Diane Greene announced the formation of a new team, the Google Cloud Machine Learning group, that will manage the Mountain View, California-based company’s cloud intelligence efforts going forward.

 

Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate — from blog.google by Barak Turovsky

Excerpt:

In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google’s version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.

 

 

‘Augmented Intelligence’ for Higher Ed — from insidehighered.com by Carl Straumsheim
IBM picks Blackboard and Pearson to bring the technology behind the Watson computer to colleges and universities.

Excerpts:

[IBM] is partnering with a small number of hardware and software providers to bring the same technology that won a special edition of the game show back in 2011 to K-12 institutions, colleges and continuing education providers. The partnerships and the products that might emerge from them are still in the planning stage, but the company is investing in the idea that cognitive computing — natural language processing, informational retrieval and other functions similar to the ones performed by the human brain — can help students succeed in and outside the classroom.

Chalapathy Neti, vice president of education innovation at IBM Watson, said education is undergoing the same “digital transformation” seen in the finance and health care sectors, in which more and more content is being delivered digitally.

IBM is steering clear of referring to its technology as “artificial intelligence,” however, as some may interpret it as replacing what humans already do.

“This is about augmenting human intelligence,” Neti said. “We never want to see these data-based systems as primary decision makers, but we want to provide them as decision assistance for a human decision maker that is an expert in conducting that process.”

 

 

What a Visit to an AI-Enabled Hospital Might Look Like — from hbr.org by R “Ray” Wang

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The combination of machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and cognitive computing will soon change the ways that we interact with our environments. AI-driven smart services will sense what we’re doing, know what our preferences are from our past behavior, and subtly guide us through our daily lives in ways that will feel truly seamless.

Perhaps the best way to explore how such systems might work is by looking at an example: a visit to a hospital.

The AI loop includes seven steps:

  1. Perception describes what’s happening now.
  2. Notification tells you what you asked to know.
  3. Suggestion recommends action.
  4. Automation repeats what you always want.
  5. Prediction informs you of what to expect.
  6. Prevention helps you avoid bad outcomes.
  7. Situational awareness tells you what you need to know right now.

 

 

Japanese artificial intelligence gives up on University of Tokyo admissions exam — from digitaltrends.com by Brad Jones

Excerpt:

Since 2011, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics has been working on an AI, with the end goal of having it pass the entrance exam for the University of Tokyo, according to a report from Engadget. This endeavor, dubbed the Todai Robot Project in reference to a local nickname for the school, has been abandoned.

It turns out that the AI simply cannot meet the exact requirements of the University of Tokyo. The team does not expect to reach their goal of passing the test by March 2022, so the project is being brought to an end.

 

 

“We are building not just Azure to have rich compute capability, but we are, in fact, building the world’s first AI supercomputer,” he said.

— from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spruiks power of machine learning,
smart bots and mixed reality at Sydney developers conference

 

Why it’s so hard to create unbiased artificial intelligence — from techcrunch.com by Ben Dickson

Excerpt:

As artificial intelligence and machine learning mature and manifest their potential to take on complicated tasks, we’ve become somewhat expectant that robots can succeed where humans have failed — namely, in putting aside personal biases when making decisions. But as recent cases have shown, like all disruptive technologies, machine learning introduces its own set of unexpected challenges and sometimes yields results that are wrong, unsavory, offensive and not aligned with the moral and ethical standards of human society.

While some of these stories might sound amusing, they do lead us to ponder the implications of a future where robots and artificial intelligence take on more critical responsibilities and will have to be held responsible for the possibly wrong decisions they make.

 

 

 

The Non-Technical Guide to Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence — from medium.com by Sam DeBrule

Excerpt:

This list is a primer for non-technical people who want to understand what machine learning makes possible.

To develop a deep understanding of the space, reading won’t be enough. You need to: have an understanding of the entire landscape, spot and use ML-enabled products in your daily life (Spotify recommendations), discuss artificial intelligence more regularly, and make friends with people who know more than you do about AI and ML.

News: For starters, I’ve included a link to a weekly artificial intelligence email that Avi Eisenberger and I curate (machinelearnings.co). Start here if you want to develop a better understanding of the space, but don’t have the time to actively hunt for machine learning and artificial intelligence news.

Startups: It’s nice to see what startups are doing, and not only hear about the money they are raising. I’ve included links to the websites and apps of 307+ machine intelligence companies and tools.

People: Here’s a good place to jump into the conversation. I’ve provided links to Twitter accounts (and LinkedIn profiles and personal websites in their absence) of the founders, investors, writers, operators and researchers who work in and around the machine learning space.

Events: If you enjoy getting out from behind your computer, and want to meet awesome people who are interested in artificial intelligence in real life, there is one place that’s best to do that, more on my favorite place below.

 

 

 

How one clothing company blends AI and human expertise — from hbr.org by H. James Wilson, Paul Daugherty, & Prashant Shukla

Excerpt:

When we think about artificial intelligence, we often imagine robots performing tasks on the warehouse or factory floor that were once exclusively the work of people. This conjures up the specter of lost jobs and upheaval for many workers. Yet, it can also seem a bit remote — something that will happen in “the future.” But the future is a lot closer than many realize. It also looks more promising than many have predicted.

Stitch Fix provides a glimpse of how some businesses are already making use of AI-based machine learning to partner with employees for more-effective solutions. A five-year-old online clothing retailer, its success in this area reveals how AI and people can work together, with each side focused on its unique strengths.

 

 

 

 

he-thinkaboutai-washpost-oc2016

 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As the White House report rightly observes, the implications of an AI-suffused world are enormous — especially for the people who work at jobs that soon will be outsourced to artificially-intelligent machines. Although the report predicts that AI ultimately will expand the U.S. economy, it also notes that “Because AI has the potential to eliminate or drive down wages of some jobs … AI-driven automation will increase the wage gap between less-educated and more-educated workers, potentially increasing economic inequality.”

Accordingly, the ability of people to access higher education continuously throughout their working lives will become increasingly important as the AI revolution takes hold. To be sure, college has always helped safeguard people from economic dislocations caused by technological change. But this time is different. First, the quality of AI is improving rapidly. On a widely-used image recognition test, for instance, the best AI result went from a 26 percent error rate in 2011 to a 3.5 percent error rate in 2015 — even better than the 5 percent human error rate.

Moreover, as the administration’s report documents, AI has already found new applications in so-called “knowledge economy” fields, such as medical diagnosis, education and scientific research. Consequently, as artificially intelligent systems come to be used in more white-collar, professional domains, even people who are highly educated by today’s standards may find their livelihoods continuously at risk by an ever-expanding cybernetic workforce.

 

As a result, it’s time to stop thinking of higher education as an experience that people take part in once during their young lives — or even several times as they advance up the professional ladder — and begin thinking of it as a platform for lifelong learning.

 

Colleges and universities need to be doing more to move beyond the array of two-year, four-year, and graduate degrees that most offer, and toward a more customizable system that enables learners to access the learning they need when they need it. This will be critical as more people seek to return to higher education repeatedly during their careers, compelled by the imperative to stay ahead of relentless technological change.

 

 

From DSC:
That last bolded paragraph is why I think the vision of easily accessible learning — using the devices that will likely be found in one’s apartment or home — will be enormously powerful and widespread in a few years. Given the exponential pace of change that we are experiencing — and will likely continue to experience for some time — people will need to reinvent themselves quickly.

Higher education needs to rethink our offerings…or someone else will.

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If we had more beacons on our campus (a Christian liberal arts college), I could see where we could offer a variety of things in new ways:

For example, we might use beacons around the main walkways of our campus where, when we approach these beacons, pieces of advice or teaching could appear on an app on our mobile devices. Examples could include:

  • Micro-tips on prayer from John Calvin, Martin Luther, or Augustine (i.e., 1 or 2 small tips at a time; could change every day or every week)
  • Or, for a current, campus-wide Bible study, the app could show a question for that week’s study; you could reflect on that question as you’re walking around
  • Or, for musical events…when one walks by the Covenant Fine Arts Center, one could get that week’s schedule of performances or what’s currently showing in the Art Gallery
  • Peaces of scripture, with links to Biblegateway.com or other sites
  • Further information re: what’s being displayed on posters within the hallways — works that might be done by faculty members and/or by students
  • Etc.

A person could turn the app’s notifications on or off at any time.  The app would encourage greater exercise; i.e., the more you walk around, the more tips you get.

 

 

 
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