At the recent Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference, during one of the workshops, the question was asked:

What skills do your current facilities promote/develop?

A minority of workshop attendees said multidisciplinary collaboration, engagement, and creativity. One university had purposely designed and built a new ecosystem of spaces such that students had different experiences when moving into a variety of setups/rooms.  Thus, they viewed this new facility as helping the students adapt to change – which was one of the characteristics and skills they wanted their learning spaces to facilitate in their students.

That said, most of the answers were along the lines of:

  • listening
  • note-taking
  • memorization
  • regurgitating knowledge from lectures

Then yesterday, I ran across a tweet from Zeina Chalich (from Sydney, Australia) — and I thought to myself, now THERE’s a great list of skills that our facilities should help develop!

 

 

 

From DSC:
Can you imagine this as a virtual reality or a mixed reality-based app!?! Very cool.

This resource is incredible on multiple levels:

  • For their interface/interaction design
  • For their insights and ideas
  • For their creativity
  • For their graphics
  • …and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The following questions came to my mind today:

  • What are the future ramifications — for higher education — of an exponential population growth curve, especially in regards to providing access?
  • Are our current ways of providing an education going to hold up?
  • What about if the cost of obtaining a degree maintains its current trajectory?
  • What changes do we need to start planning for and/or begin making now?

 

 

 

 

 

Links to sources:

 

 

The Periodic Table of AI — from ai.xprize.org by Kris Hammond

Excerpts:

This is an invitation to collaborate.  In particular, it is an invitation to collaborate in framing how we look at and develop machine intelligence. Even more specifically, it is an invitation to collaborate in the construction of a Periodic Table of AI.

Let’s be honest. Thinking about Artificial Intelligence has proven to be difficult for us.  We argue constantly about what is and is not AI.  We certainly cannot agree on how to test for it.  We have difficultly deciding what technologies should be included within it.  And we struggle with how to evaluate it.

Even so, we are looking at a future in which intelligent technologies are becoming commonplace.

With that in mind, we propose an approach to viewing machine intelligence from the perspective of its functional components. Rather than argue about the technologies behind them, the focus should be on the functional elements that make up intelligence.  By stepping away from how these elements are implemented, we can talk about what they are and their roles within larger systems.

 

 

Also see this article, which contains the graphic below:

 

 

 

From DSC:
These graphics are helpful to me, as they increase my understanding of some of the complexities involved within the realm of artificial intelligence.

 

 

 


Also relevant/see:

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Research study suggests VR can have a huge impact in the classroom — from uploadvr.com by Joe Durbin

Excerpt:

“Every child is a genius in his or her own way. VR can be the key to awakening the genius inside.”

This is the closing line of a new research study currently making its way out of China. Conducted by Beijing Bluefocus E-Commerce Co., Ltd and Beijing iBokan Wisdom Mobile Internet Technology Training Institution, the study takes a detailed look at the different ways virtual reality can make public education more effective.

 

“Compared with traditional education, VR-based education is of obvious advantage in theoretical knowledge teaching as well as practical skills training. In theoretical knowledge teaching, it boasts the ability to make abstract problems concrete, and theoretical thinking well-supported. In practical skills training, it helps sharpen students’ operational skills, provides an immersive learning experience, and enhances students’ sense of involvement in class, making learning more fun, more secure, and more active,” the study states.

 

 

VR for Education – what was and what is — from researchvr.podigee.io

Topics discussed:

  • VR for education: one time use vs everyday use
  • Ecological Validity of VR Research
  • AR definition & history
  • Tethered vs untethered
  • Intelligent Ontology-driven Games for Teaching Human Anatomy
  • Envelop VR
  • VR for Education
  • Gartner curve – then and now

 

 

 

Virtual reality industry leaders come together to create new association — from gvra.com

Excerpt:

CALIFORNIA — Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment [on 12/7/16] announced the creation of a non-profit organization of international headset manufacturers to promote the growth of the global virtual reality (VR) industry. The Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) will develop and share best practices for industry and foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders around the world.

The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally. The association’s members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses. The group will also serve as a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR.

VR has the potential to be the next great computing platform, improving sectors ranging from education to healthcare, and contribute significantly to the global economy. Through research, international engagement, and the development of best practices, the founding companies of the Global Virtual Reality Association will work to unlock and maximize VR’s potential and ensure those gains are shared as broadly around the world as possible.

For more information, visit www.GVRA.com.

 

 

 

Occipital shows off a $399 mixed reality headset for iPhone — from techcrunch.com by Lucas Matney

Excerpt:

Occipital announced today that it is launching a mixed reality platform built upon its depth-sensing technologies called Bridge. The headset is available for $399 and starts shipping in March; eager developers can get their hands on an Explorer Edition for $499, which starts shipping next week.

 

 

From DSC:
While I hope that early innovators in the AR/VR/MR space thrive, I do wonder what will happen if and when Apple puts out their rendition/version of a new form of Human Computer Interaction (or forms) — such as integrating AR-capabilities directly into their next iPhone.

 

 

Enterprise augmented reality applications ready for prime time — from internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com by Beth Stackpole
Pokémon Go may have put AR on the map, but the technology is now being leveraged for enterprise applications in areas like marketing, maintenance and field service.

Excerpt:

Unlike virtual reality, which creates an immersive, computer-generated environment, the less familiar augmented reality, or AR, technology superimposes computer-generated images and overlays information on a user’s real-world view. This computer-generated sensory data — which could include elements such as sound, graphics, GPS data, video or 3D models — bridges the digital and physical worlds. For an enterprise, the applications are boundless, arming workers walking the warehouse or selling on the shop floor, for example, with essential information that can improve productivity, streamline customer interactions and deliver optimized maintenance in the field.

 

 

15 virtual reality trends we’re predicting for 2017 — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

2016 is fast drawing to a close. And while many will be glad to see the back of it, for those of us who work and play with Virtual Reality, it has been a most exciting year.

By the time the bells ring out signalling the start of a new year, the total number of VR users will exceed 43 million. This is a market on the move, projected to be worth $30bn by 2020. If it’s to meet that valuation, then we believe 2017 will be an incredibly important year in the lifecycle of VR hardware and software development.

VR will be enjoyed by an increasingly mainstream audience very soon, and here we take a quick look at some of the trends we expect to develop over the next 12 months for that to happen.

 

 

Murdoch University hosts trial of virtual reality classroom TeachLivE — from communitynews.com.au by Josh Zimmerman

Excerpt:

IN an Australian first, education students will be able hone their skills without stepping foot in a classroom. Murdoch University has hosted a pilot trial of TeachLivE, a virtual reality environment for teachers in training.

 

The student avatars are able to disrupt the class in a range of ways that teachers may encounter such as pulling out mobile phones or losing their pen during class.

 

murdoch-university-teachlive-dec017

 

 

8 Cutting Edge Virtual Reality Job Opportunities — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski
Today we’re highlighting the top 8 job opportunities in VR to give you a current scope of the Virtual Reality job market.

 

 

 

Epson’s Augmented Reality Glasses Are a Revolution in Drone Tech — from dronelife.com by Miriam McNabb

Excerpt:

The Epson Moverio BT-300, to give the smart glasses their full name, are wearable technology – lightweight, comfortable see-through glasses – that allow you to see digital data, and have a first person view (FPV) experience: all while seeing the real world at the same time. The applications are almost endless.

 

 

 

Volkswagen Electric Car To Feature Augmented Reality Navigation System — from gas2.org by Steve Hanley

Excerpt:

Volkswagen’s pivot away from diesel cars to electric vehicles is still a work in progress, but some details about its coming I.D. electric car — unveiled in Paris earlier this year — are starting to come to light. Much of the news is about an innovative augmented reality heads-up display Volkswagen plans to offer in its electric vehicles. Klaus Bischoff, head of the VW brand, says the I.D. electric car will completely reinvent vehicle instrumentation systems when it is launched at the end of the decade.

 

 

These global research centers are a proof that virtual reality is more than gaming — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergürel

Excerpt:

For decades, numerous research centers and academics around the world have been working the potential of virtual reality technology. Countless research projects undertaken in these centers are an important indicator that everything from health care to real estate can experience disruption in a few years.

  • Virtual Human Interaction Lab — Stanford University
  • Virtual Reality Applications Center — Iowa State University
  • Institute for Creative Technologies—USC
  • Medical Virtual Reality — USC
  • The Imaging Media Research Center — Korea Institute of Science and Technology
  • Virtual Reality & Immersive Visualization Group — RWTH Aachen University
  • Center For Simulations & Virtual Environments Research — UCIT
  • Duke immersive Virtual Environment —Duke University
  • Experimental Virtual Environments (EVENT) Lab for Neuroscience and Technology — Barcelona University
  • Immersive Media Technology Experiences (IMTE) — Norwegian University of Technology
  • Human Interface Technology Laboratory — University of Washington

 

 

Where Virtual and Physical Worlds Converge — from disruptionhub.com

Excerpt:

Augmented Reality (AR) dwelled quietly in the shadow of VR until earlier this year, when a certain app propelled it into the mainstream. Now, AR is a household term and can hold its own with advanced virtual technologies. The AR industry is predicted to hit global revenues of $90 billion by 2020, not just matching VR but overtaking it by a large margin. Of course, a lot of this turnover will be generated by applications in the entertainment industry. VR was primarily created by gamers for gamers, but AR began as a visionary idea that would change the way that humanity interacted with the world around them. The first applications of augmented reality were actually geared towards improving human performance in the workplace… But there’s far, far more to be explored.

 

 

VR’s killer app has arrived, and it’s Google Earth — from arstechnica.com by Sam Machkovech
Squishy geometry aside, you won’t find a cooler free VR app on any device.

Excerpt:

I stood at the peak of Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in Washington state. The sounds of wind whipped past my ears, and mountains and valleys filled a seemingly endless horizon in every direction. I’d never seen anything like it—until I grabbed the sun.

Using my HTC Vive virtual reality wand, I reached into the heavens in order to spin the Earth along its normal rotational axis, until I set the horizon on fire with a sunset. I breathed deeply at the sight, then spun our planet just a little more, until I filled the sky with a heaping helping of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Virtual reality has exposed me to some pretty incredible experiences, but I’ve grown ever so jaded in the past few years of testing consumer-grade headsets. Google Earth VR, however, has dropped my jaw anew. This, more than any other game or app for SteamVR’s “room scale” system, makes me want to call every friend and loved one I know and tell them to come over, put on a headset, and warp anywhere on Earth that they please.

 

 

VR is totally changing how architects dream up buildings — from wired.com by Sam Lubell

Excerpt:

In VR architecture, the difference between real and unreal is fluid and, to a large extent, unimportant. What is important, and potentially revolutionary, is VR’s ability to draw designers and their clients into a visceral world of dimension, scale, and feeling, removing the unfortunate schism between a built environment that exists in three dimensions and a visualization of it that has until now existed in two.

 

 

How VR can democratize Architecture — from researchvr.podigee.io

Excerpt:

Many of the VR projects in Architecture are focused on the final stages of design process, basically for selling a house to a client. Thomas sees the real potential in the early stages: when the main decisions need to be made. VR is so good for this, as it helps for non professionals to understand and grasp the concepts of architecture very intuitively. And this is what we talked mostly about.

 

 

 

How virtual reality could revolutionize the real estate industry — from uploadvr.com by Benjamin Maltbie

 

 

 

Will VR disrupt the airline industry? Sci-Fi show meets press virtually instead of flying — from singularityhub.com by Aaron Frank

Excerpt:

A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up with colleagues and associates in virtual spaces. While this would be great news for the environment and business people sick of airports, it would be troubling news for airlines.

 

 

How theaters are evolving to include VR experiences — from uploadvr.com by Michael Mascioni

 

 

 

#AI, #VR, and #IoT Are Coming to a Courthouse Near You! — from americanbar.org by Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr.

Excerpt:

Imagine during one of your future trials that jurors in your courtroom are provided with virtual reality headsets, which allow them to view the accident site or crime scene digitally and walk around or be guided through a 3D world to examine vital details of the scene.

How can such an evidentiary presentation be accomplished? A system is being developed whereby investigators use a robot system inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover using 3D imaging and panoramic videography equipment to record virtual reality video of the scene.6 The captured 360° immersive video and photographs of the scene would allow recreation of a VR experience with video and pictures of the original scene from every angle. Admissibility of this evidence would require a showing that the VR simulation fairly and accurately depicts what it represents. If a judge permits presentation of the evidence after its accuracy is established, jurors receiving the evidence could turn their heads and view various aspects of the scene by looking up, down, and around, and zooming in and out.

Unlike an animation or edited video initially created to demonstrate one party’s point of view, the purpose of this type of evidence would be to gather data and objectively preserve the scene without staging or tampering. Even further, this approach would allow investigators to revisit scenes as they existed during the initial forensic examination and give jurors a vivid rendition of the site as it existed when the events occurred.

 

 

Microsoft goes long for mixed reality — from next.reality.news

Excerpt:

The theme running throughout most of this year’s WinHEC keynote in Shenzhen, China was mixed reality. Microsoft’s Alex Kipman continues to be a great spokesperson and evangelist for the new medium, and it is apparent that Microsoft is going in deep, if not all in, on this version of the future. I, for one, as a mixed reality or bust developer, am very glad to see it.

As part of the presentation, Microsoft presented a video (see below) that shows the various forms of mixed reality. The video starts with a few virtual objects in the room with a person, transitions into the same room with a virtual person, then becomes a full virtual reality experience with Windows Holographic.

 

 

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, 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

 

 

 

 

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities — from hechingerreport.org by Nichole Dobo
From Hong Kong to Holland, 14 institutions join MOOC partnership

Excerpt:

A new kind of credential has entered the crowded market for online learning.

EdX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides online courses, announced last week the creation of 19 “MicroMasters” courses, a new type of online educational program. These courses are tailored master’s degree-level classes that can help students hone skills that will be immediately useful in the workplace.

“I think the MicroMasters is a big next step in the evolution of education,” Anant Agarwal, the CEO of edX and an MIT professor, said in an interview last week.

These courses – offered through 14 universities including Columbia, Arizona State University and the University of Michigan, as well as some in Australia, Europe and India – are open to anyone who wants to take them. No transcripts or prerequisites required. Students don’t even need a GED to enroll.

Anyone can learn in the MicroMasters program for free, although those who wish to receive a certificate of completion must pay a $1,000 fee. That money gives the student more than a piece of paper; it also pays for extra services, such as more attention from the instructor.

 

 

edx-micromasters-sept2016

 

Also somewhat related/see (emphasis DSC):

  • An Online Education Breakthrough? A Master’s Degree for a Mere $7,000 — from nytimes.com by Kevin Carey
    Excerpt:
    Georgia Tech rolled out its online master’s in computer science in 2014. It already had a highly selective residential master’s program that cost about the same as those of competitor colleges. Some may see online learning as experimental or inferior, something associated with downmarket for-profit colleges. But the nation’s best universities have fully embraced it. Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, U.S.C. and others have also developed online master’s degrees, for which they charge the same tuition as their residential programs.Georgia Tech decided to do something different. It charges online students the smallest amount necessary to cover its costs. That turned out to be $510 for a three-credit class. U.S.C. charges online students $5,535 for a three-credit class. (Both programs also charge small per-semester fees.)

    With one of the top 10 computer science departments in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech had a reputation to uphold. So it made the online program as much like the residential program as possible.

 

 

 
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