Microsoft to tackle AI skills shortage with two new training programs — from zdnet.com by Nick Heath
The tech giant reveals two new training programs to boost AI-related skills in business and in universities.

Excerpts:

The first of the two programs, Microsoft AI Academy, will run face-to-face and online training sessions for business and public-sector leaders, IT professionals, developers, and startups.

Microsoft is also funding a program to help train the next generation of data scientists and machine-learning engineers. Professor Chris Bishop, director of Microsoft’s Research Lab in Cambridge, said the Microsoft Research-Cambridge University Machine Learning Initiative is designed to address the stream of leading machine-learning researchers moving from universities to the private sector.

 

 

 

Affordable and at-scale — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
Affordable degrees at scale have arrived. The momentum behind this movement is undeniable, and its impact will be significant, Ray Schroeder writes.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

How many times have we been told that major change in our field is on the near horizon? Too many times, indeed.

The promises of technologies and practices have fallen short more often than not. Just seven years ago, I was part of the early MOOC movement and felt the pulsating potential of teaching thousands of students around the world in a single class. The “year of the MOOC” was declared in 2012. Three years later, skeptics declared that the MOOC had died an ignominious death with high “failure” rates and relatively little recognition by employers.

However, the skeptics were too impatient, misunderstood the nature of MOOCs and lacked the vision of those at Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois, Arizona State University, Coursera, edX and scores of other institutions that have persevered in building upon MOOCs’ premises to develop high-quality, affordable courses, certificates and now, degrees at scale.

No, these degrees are not free, but they are less than half the cost of on-campus versions. No, they are not massive in the hundreds of thousands, but they are certainly at large scale with many thousands enrolled. In computer science, the success is felt across the country.

 

Georgia Tech alone has enrolled 10,000 students over all in its online master’s program and is adding thousands of new students each semester in a top 10-ranked degree program costing less than $7,000. Georgia Tech broke the new ground through building collaborations among several partners. Yet, that was just the beginning, and many leading universities have followed.

 

 

Also see:

Trends for the future of education with Jeff Selingo — from steelcase.com
How the future of work and new technology will make place more important than ever.

Excerpt:

Selingo sees artificial intelligence and big data as game changers for higher education. He says AI can free up professors and advisors to spend more time with students by answering some more frequently-asked questions and handling some of the grading. He also says data can help us track and predict student performance to help them create better outcomes. “When they come in as a first-year student, we can say ‘People who came in like you that had similar high school grades and took similar classes ended up here. So, if you want to get out of here in four years and have a successful career, here are the different pathways you should follow.’”

 

 

 

Should self-driving cars have ethics? — from npr.org by Laurel Wamsley

Excerpt:

In the not-too-distant future, fully autonomous vehicles will drive our streets. These cars will need to make split-second decisions to avoid endangering human lives — both inside and outside of the vehicles.

To determine attitudes toward these decisions a group of researchers created a variation on the classic philosophical exercise known as “the Trolley problem.” They posed a series of moral dilemmas involving a self-driving car with brakes that suddenly give out…

 

 

 

Reflections on “Are ‘smart’ classrooms the future?” [Johnston]

Are ‘smart’ classrooms the future? — from campustechnology.com by Julie Johnston
Indiana University explores that question by bringing together tech partners and university leaders to share ideas on how to design classrooms that make better use of faculty and student time.

Excerpt:

To achieve these goals, we are investigating smart solutions that will:

  • Untether instructors from the room’s podium, allowing them control from anywhere in the room;
  • Streamline the start of class, including biometric login to the room’s technology, behind-the-scenes routing of course content to room displays, control of lights and automatic attendance taking;
  • Offer whiteboards that can be captured, routed to different displays in the room and saved for future viewing and editing;
  • Provide small-group collaboration displays and the ability to easily route content to and from these displays; and
  • Deliver these features through a simple, user-friendly and reliable room/technology interface.

Activities included collaborative brainstorming focusing on these questions:

  • What else can we do to create the classroom of the future?
  • What current technology exists to solve these problems?
  • What could be developed that doesn’t yet exist?
  • What’s next?

 

 

 

From DSC:
Though many peoples’ — including faculty members’ — eyes gloss over when we start talking about learning spaces and smart classrooms, it’s still an important topic. Personally, I’d rather be learning in an engaging, exciting learning environment that’s outfitted with a variety of tools (physically as well as digitally and virtually-based) that make sense for that community of learners. Also, faculty members have very limited time to get across campus and into the classroom and get things setup…the more things that can be automated in those setup situations the better!

I’ve long posted items re: machine-to-machine communications, voice recognition/voice-enabled interfaces, artificial intelligence, bots, algorithms, a variety of vendors and their products including Amazon’s Alexa / Apple’s Siri / Microsoft’s Cortana / and Google’s Home or Google Assistant, learning spaces, and smart classrooms, as I do think those things are components of our future learning ecosystems.

 

 

 

Teaching technology today: One law school’s innovative offerings — from abovethelaw.com by David Lat
Lawyers of the future, regardless of practice area, need to be proficient in legal technology.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Technology is transforming the practice and profession of law — and legal education must evolve accordingly. Across the country, law schools are launching and expanding research centers, clinics, and course offerings focused on legal technology.

Earlier this month, I spoke with Judge Prudenti again, to check in on her efforts. I asked her: Why is legal-tech proficiency so important today?

“I’m a true believer,” Judge Prudenti told me. “I have seen, up close and personal, how technology has changed the legal marketplace and the practice of law — in the private sector, in the public sector, and in the courtroom.”

In private law firms, large or small, lawyers are engaged in e-discovery, e-filing, and e-billing — as a necessity. In the public sector, technology is being used to bridge the justice gap, helping to deliver legal services to the unrepresented. And in the courtroom, Judge Prudenti’s former domain, technology has been revolutionary, with touch-screen monitors, iPads, and video screens being used to present and review evidence.

“Lawyers of the future, regardless of practice area, need to be proficient in legal technology,” Judge Prudenti said — which is why Hofstra Law has been focusing so intensely on its technology offerings.

 

Addendum on 10/31/18:

 

 

AI can’t replace doctors. But it can make them better. — from technologyreview.com by Rahul Parikh; via Maree Conway
A machine can collate environmental data, genetic data, and patient history way better than I can.

Excerpts:

But for physicians like me in primary care, managing 1,500 to 2,000 patients, AI presents an opportunity. I went to medical school to connect with people and make a difference. Today I often feel like an overpaid bookkeeper instead, taking in information and spitting it back to patients, prescribing drugs and adjusting doses, ordering tests. But AI in the exam room opens up the chance to recapture the art of medicine. It could let me get to know my patients better, learn how a disease uniquely affects them, and give me time to coach them toward a better outcome.

AI might also help to manage asthma flares. For many patients, asthma gets worse as air pollution levels rise, as happened this past summer when brush fires swept through Northern California. AI could let us take environmental information and respond proactively.

Not long ago, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, I saw a colorful picture drawn by a child in crayon. It portrayed her pediatrician, eyes glued to the computer, while she sat on the exam table, looking wide-eyed. I hope that AI will soon allow me to turn my attention back to that little girl.

Rahul Parikh is a pediatrician in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

 

“Confluence” by Artist Courtney Mattison — from booooooom.com

 

 

“Border Crossing” by Lisa Ericson — from booooooom.com

 

 

“Li’l Baja’s Last Ride” by Artist Seth Armstrong — from booooooom.com

 

 

 

2018 Students and Technology Research Study — from library.educause.edu

Topics Covered

  • Device access, use, and importance to academic success
  • Campus Wi-Fi experiences
  • Learning management system use and satisfaction
  • Student learning environment preferences
  • Experiences with instructors and technology
  • Commuter students and internet access
  • Student online activities
  • Institutional awareness of student disability and accessibility
  • Student use and assessment of success tools

 

Can a culture of change improve innovation? — from washingtonpost.com by Jim Whitehurst, president and chief executive officer, Red Hat

Excerpts:

Plenty of executives lay awake at night wondering how they can keep up with the waves of digital disruption that continue to shake every industry out there. Everyone wants to know how they can get their organization to innovate better and faster.

But this is more than a technology problem. Businesses can’t simply buy a solution off the shelf. Instead, leaders need to encourage people to think and act differently. And to do that, they need to rethink the way they organize to get work done.

But the pace of digital transformation today has made Industrial Era thinking and planning obsolete when it comes to overcoming the challenges an organization faces.

 

Automation requires processes to change; digital transformation requires people to change.

We’re talking about building an organizational culture that embraces innovative thinking and behaviors. But you can’t change culture overnight, because it’s an output, not an input.

 

1. Planning must be replaced by configuring for constant change…

2. Prescription must be replaced by enablement…

3. Execution must be replaced by engagement…

 

Organizations today need to spend less time charting long-term courses and more time fostering teams configured to respond effectively to constant change.

 

From DSC:
That last quote reminds me of the need for more TrimTab Groups within higher education:

 

 

 

 

 

logo.

Global installed base of smart speakers to surpass 200 million in 2020, says GlobalData

The global installed base for smart speakers will hit 100 million early next year, before surpassing the 200 million mark at some point in 2020, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report: ‘Smart Speakers – Thematic Research’ states that nearly every leading technology company is either already producing a smart speaker or developing one, with Facebook the latest to enter the fray (launching its Portal device this month). The appetite for smart speakers is also not limited by geography, with China in particular emerging as a major marketplace.

Ed Thomas, Principal Analyst for Technology Thematic Research at GlobalData, comments: “It is only four years since Amazon unveiled the Echo, the first wireless speaker to incorporate a voice-activated virtual assistant. Initial reactions were muted but the device, and the Alexa virtual assistant it contained, quickly became a phenomenon, with the level of demand catching even Amazon by surprise.”

Smart speakers give companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Alibaba access to a vast amount of highly valuable user data. They also allow users to get comfortable interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) tools in general, and virtual assistants in particular, increasing the likelihood that they will use them in other situations, and they lock customers into a broader ecosystem, making it more likely that they will buy complementary products or access other services, such as online stores.

Thomas continues: “Smart speakers, particularly lower-priced models, are gateway devices, in that they give consumers the opportunity to interact with a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant, in a “safe” environment. For tech companies serious about competing in the virtual assistant sector, a smart speaker is becoming a necessity, hence the recent entry of Apple and Facebook into the market and the expected arrival of Samsung and Microsoft over the next year or so.”

In terms of the competitive landscape for smart speakers, Amazon was the pioneer and is still a dominant force, although its first-mover advantage has been eroded over the last year or so. Its closest challenger is Google, but neither company is present in the fastest-growing geographic market, China. Alibaba is the leading player there, with Xiaomi also performing well.

Thomas concludes: “With big names like Samsung and Microsoft expected to launch smart speakers in the next year or so, the competitive landscape will continue to fluctuate. It is likely that we will see two distinct markets emerge: the cheap, impulse-buy end of the spectrum, used by vendors to boost their ecosystems; and the more expensive, luxury end, where greater focus is placed on sound quality and aesthetics. This is the area of the market at which Apple has aimed the HomePod and early indications are that this is where Samsung’s Galaxy Home will also look to make an impact.”

Information based on GlobalData’s report: Smart Speakers – Thematic Research

 

 

 

 

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2018 | Daniel Christian