Adobe Brings Conversational AI to Trillions of PDFs with the New AI Assistant in Reader and Acrobat — from news.adobe.com; via AI Secret

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – [On 2/20/23], Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) introduced AI Assistant in beta, a new generative AI-powered conversational engine in Reader and Acrobat.

Simply open Reader or Acrobat and start working with the new capabilities, including:

  • AI Assistant: AI Assistant recommends questions based on a PDF’s content and answers questions about what’s in the document – all through an intuitive conversational interface.
  • Generative summary: Get a quick understanding of the content inside long documents with short overviews in easy-to-read formats.
  • Intelligent citations: Adobe’s custom attribution engine and proprietary AI generate citations so customers can easily verify the source of AI Assistant’s answers.
  • Easy navigation:
  • Formatted output:
  • Respect for customer data:  
  • Beyond PDF: Customers can use AI Assistant with all kinds of document formats (Word, PowerPoint, meeting transcripts, etc.)

Along these lines, also see:


5 ways Sora AI will change the creator economy and how to take advantage of that — from techthatmatters.beehiiv.com by Harsh Makadia

Essential skills to thrive with Sora AI
The realm of video editing isn’t about cutting and splicing.

A Video Editor should learn a diverse set of skills to earn money, such as:

  • Prompt Writing
  • Software Mastery
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Collaboration and communication skills
  • Creative storytelling and visual aesthetics

Invest in those skills that give you a competitive edge.


The text file that runs the internet — from theverge.com by David Pierce
For decades, robots.txt governed the behavior of web crawlers. But as unscrupulous AI companies seek out more and more data, the basic social contract of the web is falling apart. 


 

AI fast-tracks research to find battery material that halves lithium use — from inavateonthenet.net

Using AI, the team was able to plow through 32.6 million possible battery materials in 80 hours, a task the team estimates would have taken them 20 years to do.


Other interesting items from inavateonthenet.net:

Medical ‘hologram’ market to reach 6.8 bn by 2029

Providing audio for open spaces

 

The Transformative Trends Reshaping Higher Education in 2024 — from evolllution.com by Janet Spriggs; via Amrit Ahluwalia on LinkedIn

  • Artificial Intelligence: Embrace It or Fall Behind
  • Reassessing Value: Tackling Confidence and ROI in Higher Education
  • Innovating for the Future: Adapting to Changing Needs
  • Fostering Strategic Partnerships: Collaboration for Progress
  • Leadership Matters: Driving Innovation and Inclusivity
 

A Community Micro-Credentials Effort Connects Students to Local Employers — from gettingsmart.com by David McCool

Key Points

  • Partnering credentialing opportunities alongside pre-existing regional initiatives is a great way to get buy-in and create momentum.

***

When Polk County schools began focusing on career and technical education in the spring of 2023, one of their goals was to help students succeed in the workplace by offering the opportunity to develop soft skills and earn micro-credentials to communicate with potential employers. The district collaborated with Education Design Lab, Muzzy Lane, Polk Vision, the Central Florida Development Council, and Southern New Hampshire University to make this dream a reality.

In its first few years, this collaboration has not only taught students valuable skills but has also provided employers with new recruitment opportunities and a linkage to a talent pipeline that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

 

Scammers trick company employee using video call filled with deepfakes of execs, steal $25 million — from techspot.com by Rob Thubron; via AI Valley
The victim was the only real person on the video conference call

The scammers used digitally recreated versions of an international company’s Chief Financial Officer and other employees to order $25 million in money transfers during a video conference call containing just one real person.

The victim, an employee at the Hong Kong branch of an unnamed multinational firm, was duped into taking part in a video conference call in which they were the only real person – the rest of the group were fake representations of real people, writes SCMP.

As we’ve seen in previous incidents where deepfakes were used to recreate someone without their permission, the scammers utilized publicly available video and audio footage to create these digital versions.


Letter from the YouTube CEO: 4 Big bets for 2024 — from blog.youtube by Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube; via Ben’s Bites

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#1: AI will empower human creativity.

#2: Creators should be recognized as next-generation studios.

#3: YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions.

#4: Protecting the creator economy is foundational.

Viewers globally now watch more than 1 billion hours on average of YouTube content on their TVs every day.


Bard becomes Gemini: Try Ultra 1.0 and a new mobile app today — from blog.google by Sissie Hsiao; via Rundown AI
Bard is now known as Gemini, and we’re rolling out a mobile app and Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0.

Since we launched Bard last year, people all over the world have used it to collaborate with AI in a completely new way — to prepare for job interviews, debug code, brainstorm new business ideas or, as we announced last week, create captivating images.

Our mission with Bard has always been to give you direct access to our AI models, and Gemini represents our most capable family of models. To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini.


A new way to discover places with generative AI in Maps — from blog.google by Miriam Daniel; via AI Valley
Here’s a look at how we’re bringing generative AI to Maps — rolling out this week to select Local Guides in the U.S.

Today, we’re introducing a new way to discover places with generative AI to help you do just that — no matter how specific, niche or broad your needs might be. Simply say what you’re looking for and our large-language models (LLMs) will analyze Maps’ detailed information about more than 250 million places and trusted insights from our community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.

Starting in the U.S., this early access experiment launches this week to select Local Guides, who are some of the most active and passionate members of the Maps community. Their insights and valuable feedback will help us shape this feature so we can bring it to everyone over time.


Google Prepares for a Future Where Search Isn’t King — from wired.com by Lauren Goode
CEO Sundar Pichai tells WIRED that Google’s new, more powerful Gemini chatbot is an experiment in offering users a way to get things done without a search engine. It’s also a direct shot at ChatGPT.


 

 

Hologram lecturers thrill students at trailblazing UK university — from theguardian.com by Rachel Hall

Prof Vikki Locke and Prof Gary Burnett try out the hologram technology. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Any university lecturer will tell you that luring students to a morning lecture is an uphill struggle. But even the most hungover fresher would surely be enticed by a physics lesson from Albert Einstein or a design masterclass from Coco Chanel.

This could soon be the reality for British students, as some universities start to beam in guest lecturers from around the globe using the same holographic technology that is used to bring dead or retired singers back to the stage.

 

OpenAI announces first partnership with a university — from cnbc.com by Hayden Field

Key Points:

  • OpenAI on Thursday announced its first partnership with a higher education institution.
  • Starting in February, Arizona State University will have full access to ChatGPT Enterprise and plans to use it for coursework, tutoring, research and more.
  • The partnership has been in the works for at least six months.
  • ASU plans to build a personalized AI tutor for students, allow students to create AI avatars for study help and broaden the university’s prompt engineering course.

A new collaboration with OpenAI charts the future of AI in higher education — from news.asu.edu

The collaboration between ASU and OpenAI brings the advanced capabilities of ChatGPT Enterprise into higher education, setting a new precedent for how universities enhance learning, creativity and student outcomes.

“ASU recognizes that augmented and artificial intelligence systems are here to stay, and we are optimistic about their ability to become incredible tools that help students to learn, learn more quickly and understand subjects more thoroughly,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “Our collaboration with OpenAI reflects our philosophy and our commitment to participating directly to the responsible evolution of AI learning technologies.”


AI <> Academia — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
What might emerge from ASU’s pioneering partnership with OpenAI?

Phil’s Wish List #2: Smart Curriculum Development
ChatGPT assists in creating and updating course curricula, based on both student data and emerging domain and pedagogical research on the topic.

Output: using AI it will be possible to review course content and make data-informed automate recommendations based on latest pedagogical and domain-specific research

Potential Impact: increased dynamism and relevance in course content and reduced administrative lift for academics.


A full list of AI ideas from AI for Education dot org

A full list of AI ideas from AI-for-Education.org

You can filter by category, by ‘What does it do?’, by AI tool or search for keywords.


Navigating the new normal: Adapting in the age of AI and hybrid work models — from chieflearningofficer.com by Dr. Kylie Ensrud

Unlike traditional leadership, adaptable leadership is not bound by rigid rules and protocols. Instead, it thrives on flexibility. Adaptable leaders are willing to experiment, make course corrections, and pivot when necessary. Adaptable leadership is about flexibility, resilience and a willingness to embrace change. It embodies several key principles that redefine the role of leaders in organizations:

  1. Embracing uncertainty

Adaptable leaders understand that uncertainty is the new norm. They do not shy away from ambiguity but instead, see it as an opportunity for growth and innovation. They encourage a culture of experimentation and learning from failure.

  1. Empowering teams

Instead of dictating every move, adaptable leaders empower their teams to take ownership of their work. They foster an environment of trust and collaboration, enabling individuals to contribute their unique perspectives and skills.

  1. Continuous learning

Adaptable leaders are lifelong learners. They are constantly seeking new knowledge, stay informed about industry trends and encourage their teams to do the same. They understand that knowledge is a dynamic asset that must be constantly updated.


Major AI in Education Related Developments this week — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
ASU integrates with ChatGPT, K-12 AI integrations, Agents & the Rabbit, Uruguay, Meta and AGI, Rethinking curriculum

“The greatest risk is leaving school curriculum unchanged when the entire world is changing.”
Hadi Partovi, founder Code.org, Angel investor in Facebook, DropBox, AirBnb, Uber

Tutorbots in college. On a more limited scale, Georgia State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Central Florida are piloting a project using chatbots to support students in foundational math and English courses.


Pioneering AI-Driven Instructional Design in Small College Settings — from campustechnology.com by Gopu Kiron
For institutions that lack the budget or staff expertise to utilize instructional design principles in online course development, generative AI may offer a way forward.

Unfortunately, smaller colleges — arguably the institutions whose students are likely to benefit the most from ID enhancements — frequently find themselves excluded from authentically engaging in the ID arena due to tight budgets, limited faculty online course design expertise, and the lack of ID-specific staff roles. Despite this, recent developments in generative AI may offer these institutions a low-cost, tactical avenue to compete with more established players.


Google’s new AI solves math olympiad problems — from bensbites.beehiiv.com

There’s a new AI from Google DeepMind called AlphaGeometry that totally nails solving super hard geometry problems. We’re talking problems so tough only math geniuses who compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad can figure them out.


 

Your classmate could be an AI student at this Michigan university  — from mlive.com by Melissa Frick

BIG RAPIDS, MI – A Michigan university is believed to be the first in the country to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create virtual students that will enroll in classes and participate in lessons and assignments.

Ferris State University, which has one of just three undergraduate AI programs in the U.S., has developed two AI students who are enrolling at Ferris State as freshmen this semester and taking classes alongside human classmates.

At first, Ann and Fry will only be able to observe the class, but the goal is for the AI students to soon be able to speak during classroom discussions and have two-way conversations with their classmates, Thompson said.

Also relevant, see:

These two new Ferris State students are actually AI

These two new Ferris State students are actually AI — from woodtv.com by Demetrios Sanders

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As Ferris State University gets ready for its spring semester, two virtual students will begin classes as part of a new artificial intelligence experiment.

Ferris State University offers one of three AI undergraduate programs in the entire country.

“We are leaders in the artificial intelligence area, and why not put us to the test?” said Dr. Kasey Thompson, special assistant to the president for innovation and entrepreneurship at Ferris State.

University enrolling AI-powered “Students” who will turn in assignments, participate in class discussions — from futurism.com
Even students aren’t safe from AI.

Students at Ferris State University in Michigan will soon be sharing the classroom with AI-powered freshman “students” who will enroll in classes alongside them, MLive reports.

And no, they won’t have humanoid robot bodies — they’ll be interacting with students via computers, microphones, and speakers.

In an experiment led by associate professor Kasey Thompson, AI students dubbed Ann and Fry will be listening — or scanning through? — lectures, work on assignments, and even actively participate in discussions with other students, per the report.


AI & “Un-Personalised” Learning — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
Exploring the full potential of AI to improve human learning, beyond the 1:1 AI tutor

In this week’s blog post we will look at AI from a different angle and ask: what are the pros and cons of using AI for personalisation? And what’s the potential impact of using AI to optimise and scale more connected, communal learning experiences?

TL;DR: while personalised learning has some benefits for some learner outcomes, the social interaction and connected aspects of communal learning are proven to offer similar academic benefits, as well as additional socio-cultural benefits for a broader range of students.

AI for “Un-Personalised” Learning
The next question is, of course: how could we use AI to scale the positive outcomes of “un-personalised”, communal learning?

Here are some initial ideas:


How to make the most of ChatGPT in 2024 — from wondertools.substack.com by Jeremy Caplan
A Wonder Tools guide


N.Y. Governor Hochul Proposes $400 Million To Launch University AI Consortium — from forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Michael T. Nietzel

New York Governor Kathy Hochul wants to make New York the nation’s leader in artificial intelligence research and development. As part of her State of the State address on Tuesday, Hochul proposed the creation of Empire AI – a consortium of the state’s research universities and other institutions that would form an artificial intelligence computing center in upstate New York.

Empire AI would include seven founding institutions—Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), and the Simons Foundation.


North Carolina AI Education Guidance Release — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
“A” grade in my mind; it just needs to anticipate the near future a bit more

TLDR
The Guidance

*North Carolina has arguably issued the best AI guidance to date (IMHO), and I explain why below (my highlighted version is here). This is in no way a knock on the other guidance reports, as I think they offer a lot them of very important and essential guidance. I just really like how NC packages it and the emphasis they put on certain things.

 

How to Co-Design Curriculum: Fostering Inclusivity through Shared Family Narratives — from gettingsmart.com by Jimmy McCue

Key Points

  • Discover a learner-centric curriculum at Embark Education, where learners recently co-designed a transformative project centered around family narratives and recipes.
  • Explore the intersection of culinary traditions, empathy, and critical analysis as learners delve into the complexities of cultural revitalization, shifting demographics, and systemic inequities in their communities.
  • Engage with a hands-on approach to competency-based education, culminating in the creation of a culturally rich product in collaboration with local community partners, fostering a deep sense of pride and ownership among learners and their respective communities, alike.

From DSC:
I especially like the learner-centered approach, along with the collaboration with local community partners here. As described in Getting Smart’s Smart Update:

Microschool Spotlight: Embark Education


Getting Smart admires Embark Education’s innovative approach for reimagining the middle school experience, recognizing the pivotal nature of adolescence. With a commitment to providing personalized and relevant learning experiences, Embark supports learners in courageously exploring, engaging, and discovering their sense of self, contributing to the broader mission of revolutionizing education.

“We are anchored in the unwavering belief that by simply trusting learners, both youth and adults, we create the conditions for them to curiously and confidently unlock their potential – and that their potential is limitless.” – Brian Hyosaka, Head of School

 

The Evolution of Collaboration: Unveiling the EDUCAUSE Corporate Engagement Program — from er.educause.edu

The program is designed to strengthen the collaboration between private industry and higher education institutions—and evolve the higher education technology market. The new program will do so by taking the following actions:

  • Giving higher education professionals better access to corporate thought leaders who can help create change at their institutions
  • Educating corporate partners on the nuances of higher education and the major challenges it faces so that they can help provide meaningful solutions
  • Giving the EDUCAUSE staff and leadership better access to corporate change-makers in order to advocate for change on behalf of our institutional community
  • Providing the institutional community with higher-quality content and services from companies that are deeply invested in the success of higher education
  • Providing the corporate community with custom-built packages that allow more meaningful connections with the institutional community—not only at our in-person events but also through online opportunities year-round

By building better bridges between our corporate and institutional communities, we can help accelerate our shared mission of furthering the promise of higher education.


Speaking of collaborations, also see:

Could the U.S. become an “Apprentice Nation?” — from Michael B. Horn and Ryan Craig

Intermediaries do the heavy lifting for the employers.


Bottom line: As I discussed with Michael later in the show, we already have the varied system that Leonhardt imagines—it’s just that it’s often by chaos and neglect. Just like we didn’t say to 8th graders a century ago, “go find your own high school,” we need to design a post-high school system with clear and well-designed pathways that include:

  1. Apprenticeships outside of the building trades so students can learn a variety of jobs by doing the job.
  2. Short-term certificates that lead to jobs without necessarily having the college degree immediately, but having the option to return for a college degree later on.
  3. Transfer pathways where credits earned in high school really count in college and the move from two-year college to any four-year institution is seamless.

? Listen to the complete episode here and subscribe to the podcast.

 

Regarding this Tweet on X/Twitter:


To Unleash Legal Tech, Lawyers And Engineers Need To Talk — from forbes.com by Tanguy Chau

Here, I’ll explore some ways that engineers and lawyers see the world differently based on their strengths and experiences, and I’ll explain how they can better communicate to build better software products, especially in AI, for attorneys. Ideally, this will lead to happier lawyers and more satisfied clients.


Zuputo: Africa’s first women-led legal tech startup launches — from myjoyonline.com

A groundbreaking legal tech startup, Zuputo, is set to reshape the legal landscape across Africa by making legal services more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly.

Founded by Jessie Abugre and Nana Adwoa Amponsah-Mensah, this women-led venture has become synonymous with simplicity and efficiency in legal solutions.


 

Michigan launches lifelong learning department with acting director — from mlive.com by Simon Schuster

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential, deemed MiLEAP, took its first steps Friday [12/1/23] as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the department with an acting director in place to lead it.

The department will handle everything from child care licensing, formerly in the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to scholarship administration, which was previously handled by the Department of Treasury.

More than 300 state government employees from four different departments are being consolidated into MiLEAP. The department will have three offices: early childhood education, higher education and education partnerships.


Also re: Michigan, see:

Growing Michigan Together Council | Recommendation Report
November 28 Discussion Draft

Excerpt:

Growing Michigan Together Council Recommendation

Develop a lifelong education system for Michigan kids that prepares them to be successful in a 21st century economy.

01 Redesign the Michigan P–12 education system so that all students have a broad set of future ready skills and competencies to thrive in work and life, and guarantee up to a 13th year to ensure all students achieve this standard
02 Provide all students opportunities to gain up to two years of publicly funded college credits or postsecondary training once they are prepared to succeed
03 Align secondary, postsecondary, higher education, and skills training to create a seamless system of continuous learning so that all Michiganders can be prepared for and adapt to a changing workplace

 

When Educators and Employers Work Together, Students Succeed — from hbsp.harvard.edu by Joseph Fuller and Manjari Raman

(Emphasis below from DSC)

Last year, in “The Partnership Imperative,” we put forth a set of more than 40 best practices that employers and educators can use to develop a close collaboration. As part of that effort, we identified three main goals and laid out strategies for achieving each.

  1. Partner with each other to offer training and education that is aligned with industry needs. (DSC: Similar to how Instructional Designers want alignment with learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments of learning.)
  2. Establish relationships with each other that result in the recruitment and hiring of students and graduates.
  3. Make supply-and-demand decisions that are informed by the latest data and trends.

From DSC:
Under #1, their strategies include:

Cocreate and regularly update college curriculums so that they reflect relevant technical and foundational skills based on industry needs. Codesign programs that fit with students’ lives and industry hiring cycles. Incorporate classroom experiences that simulate real-world settings and scenarios.

I see AI being able to identify what those changing, currently sought-after, and foundational skills are based on industry needs (which shouldn’t be hard, and vendors like Microsoft are already doing this by combing through the posted job descriptions on their platforms). These findings/results will help build regularly updated learning playlists and should provide guidance to learning-related organizations/groups/individuals/teams on what content to develop and offer  (i.e., courses/learning modules/micro-learning-based streams of content, other).

 

Why Kindness at Work Pays Off — from hbr.org by Andrew Swinand; via Roberto Ferraro

Summary:
Whether you’re just entering the workforce, starting a new job, or transitioning into people management, kindness can be a valuable attribute that speaks volumes about your character, commitment, and long-term value. Here are a few simple routines you can integrate into your everyday work life that will spread kindness and help create a culture of kindness at your organization.

  • Practice radical self-care. The best way to be a valuable, thoughtful team member is to be disciplined about your own wellness — your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • Do your job. Start with the basics by showing up on time and doing your job to the best of your ability. This is where your self-care practice comes into play — you can’t do your best work without taking care of yourself first.
  • Reach out to others with intention. Make plans to meet virtually or, even better, in person with your colleagues. Ask about their pets, their recent move, or their family. Most importantly, practice active listening.
  • Recognize and acknowledge people. Authentic, thoughtful interactions show that you’re thinking about the other person and reflecting on their unique attributes and value, which can cement social connections.
  • Be conscientious with your feedback. Being kind means offering feedback for the betterment of the person receiving it and the overall success of your company.

“When anxiety is high and morale is low, kindness isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. With mass layoffs, economic uncertainty, and geopolitical tensions, kindness is needed now more than ever, especially at work.”

 

What happens to teaching after Covid? — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

It’s an era many instructors would like to put behind them: black boxes on Zoom screens, muffled discussions behind masks, students struggling to stay engaged. But how much more challenging would teaching during the pandemic have been if colleges did not have experts on staff to help with the transition? On many campuses, teaching-center directors, instructional designers, educational technologists, and others worked alongside professors to explore learning-management systems, master video technology, and rethink what and how they teach.

A new book out this month, Higher Education Beyond Covid: New Teaching Paradigms and Promise, explores this period through the stories of campus teaching and learning centers. Their experiences reflect successes and failures, and what higher education could learn as it plans for the future.

Beth also mentioned/link to:


How to hold difficult discussions online — from chronicle.com by Beckie Supiano

As usual, our readers were full of suggestions. Kathryn Schild, the lead instructional designer in faculty development and instructional support at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, shared a guide she’s compiled on holding asynchronous discussions, which includes a section on difficult topics.

In an email, Schild also pulled out a few ideas she thought were particularly relevant to Le’s question, including:

  • Set the ground rules as a class. One way to do this is to share your draft rules in a collaborative document and ask students to annotate it and add suggestions.
  • Plan to hold fewer difficult discussions than in a face-to-face class, and work on quality over quantity. This could include multiweek discussions, where you spiral through the same issue with fresh perspectives as the class learns new approaches.
  • Start with relationship-building interactions in the first few weeks, such as introductions, low-stakes group assignments, or peer feedback, etc.
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian