Blockchain: Letting students own their credentials — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Very soon this nascent technology could securely enable registrars to help students verify credentials without the hassle of ordering copies of transcripts.

Excerpt:

While truth may seem evasive on many fronts, a joint academic and industry effort is underway to codify it for credentialing. At the core of the effort is blockchain, a trust technology developed for bitcoin and used in solving other forms of validation between individuals and organizations. Still in its nascent stage, the technology could, within just a year or two, provide the core services that would enable schools to stop acting as if they own proof of learning and help students verify their credentials as needed — without waiting on a records office to do it for them.

 

From DSC:
This article reminded me of two of the slides from my NGLS 2017 presentation back from February:

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

A smorgasboard of ideas to put on your organization’s radar! [Christian]

From DSC:
At the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference, held recently in San Diego, CA, I moderated a panel discussion re: AR, VR, and MR.  I started off our panel discussion with some introductory ideas and remarks — meant to make sure that numerous ideas were on the radars at attendees’ organizations. Then Vinay and Carrie did a super job of addressing several topics and questions (Mary was unable to make it that day, as she got stuck in the UK due to transportation-related issues).

That said, I didn’t get a chance to finish the second part of the presentation which I’ve listed below in both 4:3 and 16:9 formats.  So I made a recording of these ideas, and I’m relaying it to you in the hopes that it can help you and your organization.

 


Presentations/recordings:


 

Audio/video recording (187 MB MP4 file)

 

 


Again, I hope you find this information helpful.

Thanks,
Daniel

 

 

 

IBM to Train 25 Million Africans for Free to Build Workforce — from by Loni Prinsloo
* Tech giant seeking to bring, keep digital jobs in Africa
* Africa to have world’s largest workforce by 2040, IBM projects

Excerpt:

International Business Machines Corp. is ramping up its digital-skills training program to accommodate as many as 25 million Africans in the next five years, looking toward building a future workforce on the continent. The U.S. tech giant plans to make an initial investment of 945 million rand ($70 million) to roll out the training initiative in South Africa…

 

Also see:

IBM Unveils IT Learning Platform for African Youth — from investopedia.com by Tim Brugger

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Responding to concerns that artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the workplace will lead to companies laying off employees and shrinking their work forces, IBM (NYSE: IBM) CEO Ginni Rometty said in an interview with CNBC last month that A.I. wouldn’t replace humans, but rather open the door to “new collar” employment opportunities.

IBM describes new collar jobs as “careers that do not always require a four-year college degree but rather sought-after skills in cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, and much more.”

In keeping with IBM’s promise to devote time and resources to preparing tomorrow’s new collar workers for those careers, it has announced a new “Digital-Nation Africa” initiative. IBM has committed $70 million to its cloud-based learning platform that will provide free skills development to as many as 25 million young people in Africa over the next five years.

The platform will include online learning opportunities for everything from basic IT skills to advanced training in social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection. IBM added that its A.I. computing wonder Watson will be used to analyze data from the online platform, adapt it, and help direct students to appropriate courses, as well as refine the curriculum to better suit specific needs.

 

 

From DSC:
That last part, about Watson being used to personalize learning and direct students to appropropriate courses, is one of the elements that I see in the Learning from the Living [Class]Room vision that I’ve been pulse-checking for the last several years. AI/cognitive computing will most assuredly be a part of our learning ecosystems in the future.  Amazon is currently building their own platform that adds 100 skills each day — and has 1000 people working on creating skills for Alexa.  This type of thing isn’t going away any time soon. Rather, I’d say that we haven’t seen anything yet!

 

 

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

 

 

And Amazon has doubled down to develop Alexa’s “skills,” which are discrete voice-based applications that allow the system to carry out specific tasks (like ordering pizza for example). At launch, Alexa had just 20 skills, which has reportedly jumped to 5,200 today with the company adding about 100 skills per day.

In fact, Bezos has said, “We’ve been working behind the scenes for the last four years, we have more than 1,000 people working on Alexa and the Echo ecosystem … It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just last week, it launched a new website to help brands and developers create more skills for Alexa.

Source

 

 

Also see:

 

“We are trying to make education more personalised and cognitive through this partnership by creating a technology-driven personalised learning and tutoring,” Lula Mohanty, Vice President, Services at IBM, told ET. IBM will also use its cognitive technology platform, IBM Watson, as part of the partnership.

“We will use the IBM Watson data cloud as part of the deal, and access Watson education insight services, Watson library, student information insights — these are big data sets that have been created through collaboration and inputs with many universities. On top of this, we apply big data analytics,” Mohanty added.

Source

 

 


 

Also see:

  • Most People in Education are Just Looking for Faster Horses, But the Automobile is Coming — from etale.org by Bernard Bull
    Excerpt:
    Most people in education are looking for faster horses. It is too challenging, troubling, or beyond people’s sense of what is possible to really imagine a completely different way in which education happens in the world. That doesn’t mean, however, that the educational equivalent of the automobile is not on its way. I am confident that it is very much on its way. It might even arrive earlier than even the futurists expect. Consider the following prediction.

 


 

 

 

Your Next Personal Robot Could Be Professor Einstein

 

 

 

From DSC:
By the way, I’m not posting this to suggest that professors/teachers/trainers/etc. are going away due to AI-based technologies.  Humans like to learn with other humans (and we are decades away from a general AI anyway).

That said, I do think there’s a place for technologies to be used as beneficial tools. In this case, such an AI-backed robot could help with some of the heavy lifting of learning about a new subject or topic. This interesting piece — currently out at Kickstarter — is a good example of the combination of a variety of technologies such as AI/speech recognition/natural language processing (NLP), robotics, and other technologies.

Notice that you can download more interactive apps from the cloud with Professor Einstein. In other words, this is like a platform. (Along these lines…developers gave Alexa 4000 new skills last quarterAmazon is creating a platform as well.)

Bottom line: AI needs to be on our radars.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Amazon fumbles earnings amidst high expectations (emphasis DSC):

Aside from AWS, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices were the top-selling products across all categories on Amazon.com throughout the holiday season and the company is reporting that Echo family sales are up over 9x compared to last season. Amazon aims to brand Alexa as a platform, something that has helped the product to gain capabilities faster than its competition. Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter.

 

 

 

 

 

Alexa got 4,000 new skills in just the last quarter!

From DSC:
What are the teaching & learning ramifications of this?

By the way, I’m not saying for professors, teachers, & trainers to run for the hills (i.e., that they’ll be replaced by AI-based tools). But rather, I would like to suggest that we not only put this type of thing on our radars, but we should begin to actively experiment with such technologies to see if they might be able to help us do some heavy lifting for students learning about new topics.

 

SEEK is using artificial intelligence to find your next job — from afr.com by Max Mason

Excerpt:

Employment services business SEEK has begun using machine learning and artificial intelligence to send its users more relevant job advertisements and alerts.

Across its network, which includes Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico and China among others, SEEK’s machine learning algorithm has made more than 2.5 billion recommendations to jobseekers.

 

From DSC:
With Microsoft investing heavily in AI and with its purchase of LinkedIn (who had already purchased Lynda.com the year before), I’m wondering what Microsoft will be offering along these lines. With AI, #blockchain and other new forms of credentialing, finding work could be very different in the future.

 

 

From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:

 

 

  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:

 

 

 

 

 


 

A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

 

 

 


 

 

 

Sydney – The Opera House has joined forces with Samsung to open a new digital lounge that encourages engagement with the space. — from lsnglobal.com by Rhiannon McGregor

 

The Lounge, enabled by Samsung on November 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera)

 

 

The Lounge, enabled by Samsung on November 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera)

 

 

Also see:

The Lounge enabled by Samsung
Open day and night, The Lounge enabled by Samsung is a new place in the heart of the Opera House where people can sit and enjoy art and culture through the latest technology. The most recent in a series of future-facing projects enabled by Sydney Opera House’s Principal Partner, Samsung, the new visitor lounge features stylish, comfortable seating, as well as interactive displays and exclusive digital content, including:

  • The Sails – a virtual-reality experience of what it’s like to stand atop the sails of Australia’s most famous building, brought to you via Samsung Gear VR;
  • Digital artwork – a specially commissioned video exploration of the Opera House and its stories, produced by creative director Sam Doust. The artwork has been themed to match the time of day and is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest Smart LED Display panel technology in Australia; and
  • Google Cultural Institute – available to view on Samsung Galaxy View and Galaxy Tab S2 tablets, the digital collection features 50 online exhibits that tell the story of the Opera House’s past, present and future through rare archival photography, celebrated performances, early architectural drawings and other historical documents, little-known interviews and Street View imagery.

 

 

 

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with AI, NLP, and blockchain-based technologies! [Christian]

From DSC:

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and blockchain-based technologies!

When I saw the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder what (we currently know of as) “TVs” will morph into and what functionalities they will be able to provide to us in the not-too-distant future…?

For example, the article mentions that Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will be offering TVs that can not only access Alexa — a personal assistant from Amazon which uses artificial intelligence — but will also be able to provide access to over 7,000 apps and games via the Amazon Fire TV Store.

Some of the questions that come to my mind:

  • Why can’t there be more educationally-related games and apps available on this type of platform?
  • Why can’t the results of the assessments taken on these apps get fed into cloud-based learner profiles that capture one’s lifelong learning? (#blockchain)
  • When will potential employers start asking for access to such web-based learner profiles?
  • Will tvOS and similar operating systems expand to provide blockchain-based technologies as well as the types of functionality we get from our current set of CMSs/LMSs?
  • Will this type of setup become a major outlet for competency-based education as well as for corporate training-related programs?
  • Will augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) capabilities come with our near future “TVs”?
  • Will virtual tutoring be one of the available apps/channels?
  • Will the microphone and the wide angle, HD camera on the “TV” be able to be disconnected from the Internet for security reasons? (i.e., to be sure no hacker is eavesdropping in on their private lives)

 

Forget a streaming stick: These 4K TVs come with Amazon Fire TV inside — from techradar.com by Nick Pino

Excerpt:

The TVs will not only have access to Alexa via a microphone-equipped remote but, more importantly, will have access to the over 7,000 apps and games available on the Amazon Fire TV Store – a huge boon considering that most of these Smart TVs usually include, at max, a few dozen apps.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 


Addendums


 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

.

  • Once thought to be a fad, MOOCs showed staying power in 2016 — from educationdive.com
    Dive Brief:

    • EdSurge profiles the growth of massive online open courses in 2016, which attracted more than 58 million students in over 700 colleges and universities last year.
    • The top three MOOC providers — Coursera, Udacity and EdX — collectively grossed more than $100 million last year, as much of the content provided on these platforms shifted from free to paywall guarded materials.
    • Many MOOCs have moved to offering credentialing programs or nanodegree offerings to increase their value in industrial marketplaces.
 

Alexa, Tell Me Where You’re Going Next — from backchannel.com by Steven Levy
Amazon’s VP of Alexa talks about machine learning, chatbots, and whether industry is strip-mining AI talent from academia.

Excerpt:

Today Prasad is giving an Alexa “State of the Union” address at the Amazon Web Services conference in Las Vegas, announcing an improved version of the Alexa Skills Kit, which helps developers create the equivalent of apps for the platform; a beefed-up Alexa Voice Service, which will make it easier to transform third-party devices like refrigerators and cars into Alexa bots; a partnership with Intel; and the Alexa Accelerator that, with the startup incubator Techstars, will run a 13-week program to help newcomers build Alexa skills. Prasad and Amazon haven’t revealed sales numbers, but industry experts have estimated that Amazon has sold over five million Echo devices so far.

Prasad, who joined Amazon in 2013, spent some time with Backchannel before his talk today to illuminate the direction of Alexa and discuss how he’s recruiting for Jeff Bezos’s arsenal without drying up the AI pipeline.

 

 

What DeepMind brings to Alphabet — from economist.com
The AI firm’s main value to Alphabet is as a new kind of algorithm factory

Excerpt:

DeepMind’s horizons stretch far beyond talent capture and public attention, however. Demis Hassabis, its CEO and one of its co-founders, describes the company as a new kind of research organisation, combining the long-term outlook of academia with “the energy and focus of a technology startup”—to say nothing of Alphabet’s cash.

Were he to succeed in creating a general-purpose AI, that would obviously be enormously valuable to Alphabet. It would in effect give the firm a digital employee that could be copied over and over again in service of multiple problems. Yet DeepMind’s research agenda is not—or not yet—the same thing as a business model. And its time frames are extremely long.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence: Silicon Valley’s Next Frontier — from toptechnews.com by Ethan Baron

Excerpt:

Silicon Valley needs its next big thing, a focus for the concentrated brain power and innovation infrastructure that have made this region the world leader in transformative technology. Just as the valley’s mobile era is peaking, the next frontier of growth and innovation has arrived: It’s Siri in an Apple iPhone, Alexa in an Amazon Echo, the software brain in Google’s self-driving cars, Amazon’s product recommendations and, someday, maybe the robot surgeon that saves your life.

It’s artificial intelligence, software that can “learn” and “think,” the latest revolution in tech.

“It’s going to be embedded in everything,” said startup guru Steve Blank, an adjunct professor at Stanford. “We’ve been talking about artificial intelligence for 30 years, maybe longer, in Silicon Valley. It’s only in the last five years, or maybe even the last two years, that this stuff has become useful.”

 

 

 

What Is The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning? — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two very hot buzzwords right now, and often seem to be used interchangeably. They are not quite the same thing, but the perception that they are can sometimes lead to some confusion. So I thought it would be worth writing a piece to explain the difference.

In short, the best answer is that:
Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”.
And,
Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves.

 

 

Why we are still light years away from full artificial intelligence — from techcrunch.com by Clara Lu

Excerpt:

Yet, the truth is, we are far from achieving true AI — something that is as reactive, dynamic, self-improving and powerful as human intelligence.

Full AI, or superintelligence, should possess the full range of human cognitive abilities. This includes self-awareness, sentience and consciousness, as these are all features of human cognition.

 

 

Udacity adds 14 hiring partners as AI, VR and self-driving talent wars heat up — from techcrunch.com by Darrell Etherington

Excerpt:

Udacity is positioned perfectly to benefit from the rush on talent in a number of growing areas of interest among tech companies and startups. The online education platform has added 14 new hiring partners across its Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Self-Driving Car Engineer and Virtual Reality Developer Nanodegree programs, as well as in its Predictive Analytics Nanodegree, including standouts like Bosch, Harma, Slack, Intel, Amazon Alexa and Samsung.

That brings the total number of hiring partners for Udacity to over 30, which means a lot of potential soft landings for graduates of its nanodegree programs. The nanodegree offered by Udacity is its own original form of accreditation, which is based on a truncated field of study that spans months, rather than years, and allows students to direct the pace of their own learning. It also all takes place online, so students can potentially learn from anywhere.

 

 

 

 

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence – from livestream.com

 

 

 

 

The Great A.I. Awakening — from nytimes.com by Gideo Lewis-Kraus
How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.

Excerpt:

Google’s decision to reorganize itself around A.I. was the first major manifestation of what has become an industrywide machine-learning delirium. Over the past four years, six companies in particular — Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and the Chinese firm Baidu — have touched off an arms race for A.I. talent, particularly within universities. Corporate promises of resources and freedom have thinned out top academic departments. It has become widely known in Silicon Valley that Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, personally oversees, with phone calls and video-chat blandishments, his company’s overtures to the most desirable graduate students. Starting salaries of seven figures are not unheard-of. Attendance at the field’s most important academic conference has nearly quadrupled. What is at stake is not just one more piecemeal innovation but control over what very well could represent an entirely new computational platform: pervasive, ambient artificial intelligence.

 

 

 

Microsoft bets on AI — from businessinsider.com

Excerpt:

On [December 12th, 2016], Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Ventures fund dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) investments, according to TechCrunch. The fund, part of the company’s investment arm that launched in May, will back startups developing AI technology and includes Element AI, a Montreal-based incubator that helps other companies embrace AI. The fund further supports Microsoft’s focus on AI. The company has been steadily announcing major initiatives in support of the technology. For example, in September, it announced a major restructuring and formed a new group dedicated to AI products. And in mid-November, it partnered with OpenAI, an AI research nonprofit backed by Elon Musk, to further its AI research and development efforts.

 

 

The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in E-commerce — from redstagfulfillment.com by Jake Rheude

Excerpt:

Whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something you’ve just come across or it’s something you’ve been monitoring for a while, there’s no denying that it’s starting to influence many industries. And one place that it’s really starting to change things is e-commerce. Below you’ll find some interesting stats and facts about how AI is growing in e-commerce and how it’s changing the way we do things. From personalizing the shopping experience for customers to creating personal buying assistants, AI is something retailers can’t ignore. We’ll also take a look at some examples of how leading online stores have used AI to enrich the customer buying experience.

 

 

Will AI built by a ‘sea of dudes’ understand women? AI’s inclusivity problem — from digitaltrends.com by Dyllan Furness

Excerpt:

Only 26 percent of computer professionals were women in 2013, according to a recent review by the American Association of University Women. That figure has dropped 9 percent since 1990.

Explanations abound. Some say the industry is masculine by design. Others claim computer culture is unwelcoming — even hostile — to women. So, while STEM fields like biology, chemistry, and engineering see an increase in diversity, computing does not. Regardless, it’s a serious problem.

Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but it’s poised to become the most disruptive technology since the Internet. AI will be everywhere — in your phone, in your fridge, in your Ford. Intelligent algorithms already track your online activity, find your face in Facebook photos, and help you with your finances. Within the next few decades they’ll completely control your car and monitor your heart health. An AI may one day even be your favorite artist.

The programs written today will inform the systems built tomorrow. And if designers all have one worldview, we can expect equally narrow-minded machines.

 

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems