In Move Towards More Online Degrees, Coursera Introduces Its First Bachelor’s — from by Sydney Johnson


These days, though, many MOOC platforms are courting the traditional higher-ed market they once rebuked, often by hosting fully-online masters degrees for colleges and universities. And today, one of the largest MOOC providers, Coursera, announced it’s going one step further in that direction, with its first fully online bachelor’s degree.

“We are realizing that the vast reach of MOOCs makes them a powerful gateway to degrees,” Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda said in a statement.

The new degree will be a bachelor of science in computer science from the University of London. The entire program will cost between £9,600 and £17,000 (approximately $13,300 to $23,500), depending on a student’s geographic location. According to a spokesperson for Coursera, the program’s “cost is adjusted based on whether a student is in a developed or developing economy.”



From DSC:
At least a couple of questions come to mind here:

  • What might the future hold if the U.S. Department of Education / the Federal Government begins funding these types of alternatives to traditional higher education?
  • Will Coursera be successful here and begin adding more degrees? If so, a major game-changer could be on our doorsteps.




From DSC:
After seeing the article entitled, “Scientists Are Turning Alexa into an Automated Lab Helper,” I began to wonder…might Alexa be a tool to periodically schedule & provide practice tests & distributed practice on content? In the future, will there be “learning bots” that a learner can employ to do such self-testing and/or distributed practice?



From page 45 of the PDF available here:


Might Alexa be a tool to periodically schedule/provide practice tests & distributed practice on content?




Scientists Are Turning Alexa into an Automated Lab Helper — from by Jamie Condliffe
Amazon’s voice-activated assistant follows a rich tradition of researchers using consumer tech in unintended ways to further their work.


Alexa, what’s the next step in my titration?

Probably not the first question you ask your smart assistant in the morning, but potentially the kind of query that scientists may soon be leveling at Amazon’s AI helper. Chemical & Engineering News reports that software developer James Rhodes—whose wife, DeLacy Rhodes, is a microbiologist—has created a skill for Alexa called Helix that lends a helping hand around the laboratory.

It makes sense. While most people might ask Alexa to check the news headlines, play music, or set a timer because our hands are a mess from cooking, scientists could look up melting points, pose simple calculations, or ask for an experimental procedure to be read aloud while their hands are gloved and in use.

For now, Helix is still a proof-of-concept. But you can sign up to try an early working version, and Rhodes has plans to extend its abilities…


Also see:




Personalized Learning Meets AI With Watson Classroom

Personalized Learning Meets AI With Watson Classroom — from by Erin Gohl

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Teaching is truly a Herculean challenge. Even the very best teachers can keep only so many of these insights in their heads and make only so many connections between expectations and circumstances. They can be aware of only a fraction of the research on best practices. They have only so much time to collaborate and communicate with the other adults in a particular student’s life to share information and insights. To be the best of themselves, teachers need to have access to a warehouse of information, a research assistant to mine best practices, note takers to gather and record information on each student, a statistician to gauge effective practices, and someone to collaborate with to distill the next best step with each student. In recent years, a plethora of vendors have developed software solutions that promise to simplify this process and give schools and teachers the answers to understand and address the individual needs of each student. One of the most promising, which I recently had a chance to learn about, is IBM’s Watson Classroom.

IBM is clear about what makes Watson different than existing solutions. First of all, it is a cognitive partner; not a solution. Secondly, it does not require proprietary or additional assessments, curriculum, or content. It uses whatever a district has in place. But it goes beyond the performance of tiering difficulty, pace, and reading level that is now standard fare for the solutions promising individualized, adaptive and personalized learning. Watson takes the stew of data from existing systems (including assessments, attendance records, available accommodations), adds the ability to infer meaning from written reports, and is able to connect the quality of the result to the approach that was taken. And then adjust the next recommendation based on what was learned. It is artificial intelligence (AI) brought to education that goes far beyond the adaptive learning technologies of today.

Watson Classroom is currently being piloted in 12 school districts across the country. In those classrooms, Watson Classroom is utilizing cutting-edge computing power to give teachers a full range of support to be the best versions of themselves. Watson is facilitating the kind of education the great teachers strive for every day–one where learning is truly personalized for each and every student. Bringing the power of big data to the interactions between students and teachers can help assure that every student reaches beyond our expectations to achieve their full potential.




Learn with Google AI: Making ML education available to everyone — from


To help everyone understand how AI can solve challenging problems, we’ve created a resource called Learn with Google AI. This site provides ways to learn about core ML concepts, develop and hone your ML skills, and apply ML to real-world problems. From deep learning experts looking for advanced tutorials and materials on TensorFlow, to “curious cats” who want to take their first steps with AI, anyone looking for educational content from ML experts at Google can find it here.

Learn with Google AI also features a new, free course called Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC). The course provides exercises, interactive visualizations, and instructional videos that anyone can use to learn and practice ML concepts.



7 Ways Chatbots and AI are Disrupting HR — from
Enterprises are embracing AI for automating human resources


Chatbots and AI have become household names and enterprises are taking notice. According to a recent Forrester survey, roughly “85% of customer interactions within an enterprise will be with software robots in five years’ time” and “87% of CEOs are looking to expand their AI workforce” using AI bots.

In an effort to drive increased labor efficiencies, reduce costs, and deliver better customer/employee experiences enterprises are quickly introducing AI, machine learning, and natural language understanding as core elements of their digital transformation strategy in 2018.

Human resources (HR) is one area ripe for intelligent automation within an enterprise. AI-powered bots for HR are able to streamline and personalize the HR process across seasonal, temporary, part-time, and full-time employees.

There are 7 ways in which enterprises can use HR bots to drive increased labors efficiencies, reduced costs, and better employee experiences:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Onboarding
  3. Company Policy FAQs
  4. Employee Training
  5. Common Questions
  6. Benefits Enrollment
  7. Annual Self-Assessment/Reviews


From DSC:
Again, this article paint a bit too rosy of a picture for me re: the use of AI and HR, especially in regards to recruiting employees.




Implementation of AI into eLearning. Interview with Christopher Pappas — from by Darya Tarliuk


Every day we hear more and more about the impact that Artificial Intelligence gains in every sphere of our life. In order to discover how AI implementation is going to change the eLearning we decided to ask Christopher Pappas to share his views and find out what he thinks about it. Christopher is an experienced eLearning specialist and the Founder of the eLearning Industry’s Network.

How to get ready preparing course materials now, while considering the future impact of AI?
Christopher: Regardless of whether you plan to adopt an AI system as soon as they’re available to the mass market or you opt to hold off (and let others work out the glitches), infrastructure is key. You can prepare your course materials now by developing course catalogs, microlearning online training repositories, and personalized online training paths that fall into the AI framework. For example, the AI system can easily recommend existing resources based on a learners’ assessment scores or job duties. All of the building blocks are in place, allowing the system to focus on content delivery and data analysis.




Can You Trust Intelligent Virtual Assistants? — from by Gary Audin
From malicious hackers to accidental voice recordings, data processed through virtual assistants may open you to security and privacy risks.


Did you know that with such digital assistants your voice data is sent to the cloud or another remote location for processing? Is it safe to talk in front of your TV remote? Are you putting your business data at risk of being compromised by asking Alexa to start your meeting?





Thanks, Robots! Now These Four Non-Tech Job Skills Are In Demand — from by Christian Madsbjerg
The more we rely on AI and machine learning, the more work we need social scientists and humanities experts to do.


Automation isn’t a simple struggle between people and technology, with the two sides competing for jobs. The more we rely on robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, the clearer it’s become just how much we need social scientists and humanities experts–not the reverse.

These four skills in particular are all unique to us humans, and will arguably rise in value in the coming years, as more and more companies realize they need the best of both worlds to unleash the potential from both humans and machines.






From DSC:
My comments below are not meant to bash anyone at the Institute for the Future (which I really respect) nor at MIT Technology Review, in fact I recently posted an item from the latter organization that I thought was great. But l
ooking at the list below, I can’t help but think, “Oh…that should be no problem!  Geez that’s easy! ………NOT!”

As people lose their jobs to AI, robots, bots, algorithms, automation and the like — and try to reinvent themselves — many people won’t have the skills, interests, aptitudes, funding, background/prior knowledge, etc. to carve out their niches, to find out how to build teams that utilize robots and AI, and to make sense of complex systems. How many of us truly understand the world we’re living in these days? No one does.

Again, no problem on mastering these 5 peak performance zones. Easy peazy lemon squeezy. Geeez.  (Please hear the intense sarcasm dripping off my comments.)

How unrealistic can we get? It’s like saying, “Everyone can learn to code. No problem.”  That’s not true at all, especially given the current state of computer programming. Many (most?) people simply don’t think that way. That’s why programmers are always in demand and they are often highly paid. Why? Because most people don’t want to do it, can’t do it, or choose not to do it.

Please, let’s get realistic.


From the 2/22/18 e-newsletter from MIT Technology Review

The five skills you need for jobs of the future

The Palo Alto-based think tank Institute for the Future partnered with software company Cornerstone OnDemand to produce a report that identifies 15 skills that workers need to succeed in the workplace of tomorrow. They fall into five main buckets:

  1. Make yourself known through reputation management: Carve out your niche and brand across a variety of platforms to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
  2. Master human and machine collaboration: Know how to build teams that utilize robots and AI, as well as humans.
  3. Build your tribe: Personal networks and social connections will take you to the next level in a tech-focused world.
  4. Make sense of complex systems: The ability to be creative and connect the dots between different industries and organizations will be rewarded.
  5. Build resilience in extreme environments: Learn to thrive in more a risk prone society and build yourself new safety nets.



“To be fit for this future, you need to master five peak performance zones. These are the basics of future fitness for everyone. No matter what your own personal mission in life is, these are the workout zones that will get you ready to face whatever comes next.”





The top 7 programming languages to learn in 2018 — from by Speros Misirlakis
Which programming languages are the ones employers want most?


Software development is a dynamic field. New programming languages, frameworks, and technologies can emerge, become popular, and then fade away in the course of a few years. Developers need to constantly be learning new skills to stay relevant. At Coding Dojo, we’re continually evaluating which programming languages are in high demand from employers so we can prepare our students to enter the job market. There are many ways to measure a programming language’s popularity, but we believe examining job demand is most useful because it shows developers how to improve their career prospects.

To accomplish that, we analyzed data from job website on 25 programming languages, stacks, and frameworks to determine the top seven most in-demand coding languages as we move into 2018. This analysis is based on the number of job postings for each language. Some languages like Swift and Ruby didn’t make the top seven because they have lower job demand, even though developers love them. You can read the results of similar analysis from 2016 and 2017 on our blog.

Here’s our list, in order from most to least in-demand.




AI plus human intelligence is the future of work — from by Jeanne Meister


  • 1 in 5 workers will have AI as their co worker in 2022
  • More job roles will change than will be become totally automated so HR needs to prepare today

As we increase our personal usage of chatbots (defined as software which provides an automated, yet personalized, conversation between itself and human users), employees will soon interact with them in the workplace as well. Forward looking HR leaders are piloting chatbots now to transform HR, and, in the process, re-imagine, re-invent, and re-tool the employee experience.

How does all of this impact HR in your organization? The following ten HR trends will matter most as AI enters the workplace…

The most visible aspect of how HR is being impacted by artificial intelligence is the change in the way companies source and recruit new hires. Most notably, IBM has created a suite of tools that use machine learning to help candidates personalize their job search experience based on the engagement they have with Watson. In addition, Watson is helping recruiters prioritize jobs more efficiently, find talent faster, and match candidates more effectively. According to Amber Grewal, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, “Recruiters are focusing more on identifying the most critical jobs in the business and on utilizing data to assist in talent sourcing.”


…as we enter 2018, the next journey for HR leaders will be to leverage artificial intelligence combined with human intelligence and create a more personalized employee experience.



From DSC:
Although I like the possibility of using machine learning to help employees navigate their careers, I have some very real concerns when we talk about using AI for talent acquisition. At this point in time, I would much rather have an experienced human being — one with a solid background in HR — reviewing my resume to see if they believe that there’s a fit for the job and/or determine whether my skills transfer over from a different position/arena or not. I don’t think we’re there yet in terms of developing effective/comprehensive enough algorithms. It may happen, but I’m very skeptical in the meantime. I don’t want to be filtered out just because I didn’t use the right keywords enough times or I used a slightly different keyword than what the algorithm was looking for.

Also, there is definitely age discrimination occurring out in today’s workplace, especially in tech-related positions. Folks who are in tech over the age of 30-35 — don’t lose your job! (Go check out the topic of age discrimination on LinkedIn and similar sites, and you’ll find many postings on this topic — sometimes with 10’s of thousands of older employees adding comments/likes to a posting). Although I doubt that any company would allow applicants or the public to see their internally-used algorithms, how difficult would it be to filter out applicants who graduated college prior to ___ (i.e., some year that gets updated on an annual basis)? Answer? Not difficult at all. In fact, that’s at the level of a Programming 101 course.




Artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance – from by James Vincent
What happens when digital eyes get the brains to match?

From DSC:
Persons of interest” comes to mind after reading this article. Persons of interest is a clever, well done show, but still…the idea of combining surveillance w/ a super intelligent is a bit unnerving.




Artificial intelligence | 2018 AI predictions — from


  • AI brings a new set of rules to knowledge work
  • Newsrooms embrace AI
  • Lawyers assess the risks of not using AI
  • Deep learning goes mainstream
  • Smart cars demand even smarter humans
  • Accountants audit forward
  • Wealth managers look to AI to compete and grow




Chatbots and Virtual Assistants in L&D: 4 Use Cases to Pilot in 2018 —  from by Steven Boller


  1. Use a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to answer spoken questions from on-the-go learners.
  2. Answer common learner questions in a chat window or via SMS.
  3. Customize a learning path based on learners’ demographic information.
  4. Use a chatbot to assess learner knowledge.




Suncorp looks to augmented reality for insurance claims — from by Ry Crozier with thanks to Woontack Woo for this resource


Suncorp has revealed it is exploring image recognition and augmented reality-based enhancements for its insurance claims process, adding to the AI systems it deployed last year.

The insurer began testing IBM Watson software last June to automatically determine who is at fault in a vehicle accident.

“We are working on increasing our use of emerging technologies to assist with the insurance claim process, such as using image recognition to assess type and extent of damage, augmented reality that would enable an off-site claims assessor to discuss and assess damage, speech recognition, and obtaining telematic data from increasingly automated vehicles,” the company said.




6 important AI technologies to look out for in 2018 — from by  Olga Egorsheva
Will businesses and individuals finally make AI a part of their daily lives?






The Skills Companies Need Most in 2018 – And The Courses to Get Them — from by Paul Petrone


Using a combination of LinkedIn data and survey results, we determined both the soft and the hard skills companies need most. And then we provided LinkedIn Learning courses that teach those skills, which we’ve made free for all of January 2018.

Enjoy. Learning these skills will help you stay ahead of change and make the most of all that opportunity in 2018.


Also see:

LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs and In-Demand Skills of 2018 — from by Rachel Bowley


As we enter 2018 it’s become clear that the jobs landscape in the United States is changing. How people are thinking about their careers and how they define success is changing. The rise of technology across every industry has created a flurry of new jobs and associated skills (and these aren’t necessarily all tech roles). While we all may take a different approach to reach our own definition of success, we’ve compiled a list of the most promising jobs and in-demand skills, plus a few stand-out trends, to help you get there.

The Trends

  • You don’t need to be technical to be successful. Despite the prominence of technical jobs and skills, soft skills like management, leadership, and strategy are equally as important. The proof is in the data: we surveyed 2,000 business leaders who told us the soft skills most in-demand are leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management. In fact, 57% of them said these soft skills are more important than hard skills.
  • Customer is king. As we saw in our Emerging Jobs Report, as a side effect of the technology boom, customer success, marketing, and sales-related jobs are growing quickly. Reaching potential customers and ensuring current customers are successful with your product are both critical for business success.
  • Technology is here to stay. Year-over-year technology jobs and skills have dominated these lists, and that’s a trend that’s likely here to stay. All jobs are likely going to require some technical skills in the future, so make sure to brush up on the basics.




Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech — from


The top 10 technology trends predicted to reach adoption in 2018 are:

  1. Deep learning (DL)
  2. Digital currencies.
  3. Blockchain.
  4. Industrial IoT.
  5. Robotics.
  6. Assisted transportation.
  7. Assisted reality and virtual reality (AR/VR).
  8. Ethics, laws, and policies for privacy, security, and liability.
  9. Accelerators and 3D.
  10. Cybersecurity and AI.

Existing Technologies: We did not include the following technologies in our top 10 list as we assume that they have already experienced broad adoption:

A. Data science
B. “Cloudification”
C. Smart cities
D. Sustainability
E. IoT/edge computing




Also relevant/see:




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