Future Today Institute's 2020 tech trends report

Key takeaways of this report:

  • Welcome to the Synthetic Decade.
  • You’ll soon have augmented hearing and sight.
  • A.I.-as-a-Service and Data-as-a-Service will reshape business.
  • China has created a new world order.
  • Home and office automation is nearing the mainstream.
  • Everyone alive today is being scored.
  • We’ve traded FOMO for abject fear.
  • It’s the end of forgetting.
  • Our new trust economy is being formed.

 

How AI can bridge the gap between business and IT — from technative.io

Excerpts:

Artificial intelligence and intelligent automation are changing how businesses function. How they collect data, capture information, present it, and leverage it to gain more customers, convert more visitors, and expand their operations.

According to Gartner, the global business value derived from AI will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022, through improved customer experience, reduced operating costs, and new revenue generation. Gartner also predicts that automating decision-making by harnessing unstructured data will be a key driving force of this trend- growing AI-derived value from just 2 percent in 2018 to 16 percent in 2022.

Also see:

Cybercrime, meet AI — from technative.io

Excerpt:

The value of AI in this model is that it lets companies take large volumes of information and find clusters of similarity. This is always the focus of cybersecurity to a degree, but organisations are often unequipped to do so in sufficient depth because of time and resourcing constraints. By contrast, AI can whittle down vast quantities of seemingly unrelated data into a few actionable incidents or outputs at speed, giving companies the ability to quickly pick out potential threats in a huge haystack.

The ability to quickly turn large amounts of data into actionable insights is something that cybersecurity teams are going to need in the coming years, because AI could become a formidable enemy. Unlike malware, which is purely automated, AI is beginning to mimic humans to a worryingly accurate degree. It can draw pictures, age photographs of people, write well enough to persuade people of truths – or lies.

 

How higher education can adapt to the future of work — from weforum.org by Farnam Jahanian, President, Carnegie Mellon University; with thanks to Evan Kirstel for sharing this here

Excerpts:

Embrace the T-shaped approach to knowledge
The broad set of skills needed by tomorrow’s workforce also affects our approach to educational structure. At Carnegie Mellon University—like many other institutions—we have been making disciplinary boundaries much more porous and have launched programmes at the edges and intersections of traditional fields, such as behavioral economics, computational biology, and the nexus of design, arts, and technology. We believe this approach prepares our students for a future where thinking and working across boundaries will be vital. The value of combining both breadth and depth in higher education has also led to many universities embracing “T-shaped” teaching and learning philosophies, in which vertical (deep disciplinary) expertise is combined with horizontal (cross-cutting) knowledge.

Invest in personalised, technology-enhanced learning
The demand for more highly skilled workers continues to grow. Recent analysis of U.S. data by The Wall Street Journal found that more than 40% of manufacturing workers now have a college degree. By 2022, manufacturers are projected to employ more college graduates than workers with a high-school education or less. Technology-enhanced learning can help us keep up with demand and offer pathways for the existing workforce to gain new skills. AI-based learning tools developed in the past decade have incredible potential to personalise education, enhance college readiness and access, and improve educational outcomes. And perhaps most importantly, technology-enhanced learning has the compelling potential to narrow socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps among students.

The rapid pace of today’s advances requires a more comprehensive workforce and education strategy across a spectrum of measures, including policy, access, programmes and outreach. The private sector, government, educators and policy-makers must work together to deliver multiple pathways to opportunity for young people looking for their first foothold in the job market, as well as to re-skill and up-skill workers striving to maintain their place in the workforce. 

 

Guides to help kids learn coding — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of the best books to help your kids learn coding. Kids will get to learn the basics of computer coding through a wide variety of interactive visuals, engaging games and project-based  activities. They will also get to experiment with different softwares and programming languages such as Python, Java, Scratch and many more. Links to the books are under the visual.

From DSC:
I don’t subscribe to the idea/expectation that every student should become a programmer and have extensive exposure to it. Why? Because:

  1. It’s been my experience that programming requires a different kind of passion, a different way of thinking and processing information, a different way of problem-solving, a different disposition/makeup that many people (including myself) don’t have. This is one of the reasons why coders are often in such demand and are often paid so much — because the vast majority of people don’t want to do it (at least as programming exists today).
  2. I’d like to see our students enjoy their learning. In fact, I’d like to see more emphasis on students enjoying their learning, and far less on grades. Given the new reality of lifelong learning, folks’ quality of life would increase if that were the case. To expect everyone to be able to code applications of some significance is an entirely different matter.

All that said, I do think it’s helpful for students to at least have some exposure to how to program — a basic understanding of coding and what are some of the things that are involved in that space. To have an appreciation of the process, some basic syntax, what’s possible, etc. would be helpful. 

Introduction to programming classes should explain why programming is relevant, list some of the various languages out there, list some different kinds of applications that we use today, and provide some basic elements of programming. Perhaps students could create some very basic, fun things. This could wet some students’ whistles big-time, while helping other students come to the conclusion of, “Well, I tried it, but I don’t want to do this for a living.”

 

The 2020 ABA Techshow

Also see:

EU Proposes Strict Regulations for AI — from futuretech360.com by John K. Waters

Excerpt:

The European Union this week unveiled its first proposed regulations for artificial intelligence (AI) technology, along with a strategy for handling personal digital data. The new regs provide guidance around such AI use cases as autonomous vehicles and biometric IDs.

Published online by the European Commission, the proposed regulations would apply to “high-risk” uses of AI in areas such as health care, transportation and criminal justice. The criteria to determine risk would include such considerations as whether a person might get hurt, say, by a self-driving car or a medical device, and how much influence a human has on an AI’s decision in areas like job recruiting and law enforcement.

 

 From DSC:
Here are two other example of AI’s further integration into the legal realm:

Casetext is Automating Litigation — from businesswire.com
Casetext’s new litigation automation technology, Compose, automates substantive legal work — and a substantial number of billable hours

Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Casetext, the legal technology company known for its groundbreaking A.I. legal research platform, today announces a new product that will define litigation automation: Compose. Compose, which automates the first draft of a legal brief, is poised to disrupt the $437 billion1 legal services industry and fundamentally change our understanding of what types of professional work are uniquely human.


UC Irvine School of Law To Integrate Blue J Legal’s AI-Enabled Tax Platform into Curriculum
— from businesswire.com
First of its kind initiative aims to prepare graduate students for careers in tax law where AI will be integral to the decision-making process

The joint effort aims to demonstrate why advanced technological integration in higher education is important and how to leverage it, specifically in tax law.

 

 

IT career goals 2020: Most-wanted technology and core skills — from enterprisersproject.com by Carla Rudder |
What are the top technology and core skills IT professionals should explore now to advance their careers in the years ahead? Recruiters and tech execs speak

Excerpt:

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind.

“You should be constantly evaluating whether you have the necessary skills to remain relevant and get ahead, and whether your career progression is aligning with your own goals and aspirations,” says Jim Johnson, senior vice president of Robert Half Technology.

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind.

From DSC:
Especially for students/grads pursuing a tech-related career: Be sure you know what you’re getting into. Developing and enhancing your learning ecosystems are key things to do — throughout your career! #LifelongLearning.

 

The 5 top tech skills companies want in new hires right now — from fortune.com by Anne Fisher; with thanks to Ryan Craig for his relaying this resource

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Tim Tully agrees. Chief technology officer at data giant Splunk—whose clients number 92 of the Fortune 100—Tully says that the most important trait IT job candidates need now is “a strong desire to learn.” It might be too broad of a requirement, but consider Tully’s own list of the five most essential tech skills now:

1. Real-time data management
2. Design thinking
3. App development
4. A.I. and machine learning
5. A composite of the first four skills

From DSC:
I’m especially posting this for students who are considering a tech-related career. If that’s you, Tim’s words ring true — you must have a strong desire to learn. And I would add, to keep learning and to keep learning and to keep learning…

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind. (source)

Also, given the pace of change and today’s current marketplace, you need to be ready to be let go and take a right turn (i.e., be flexible and adaptable). You need to have a healthy learning ecosystem built up and maintained — one that will support you over the long haul.  Heutagogy comes into play here. And at least for me, prayer helps greatly here too — as one can easily put one’s eggs into the wrong basket(s) when we’re talking about tech-related jobs.

And for you applying for jobs, don’t get discouraged by those organizations/people who are looking for those “purple unicorns” that Ryan Craig talks about in his Gap Letter Volume II, #4 (i.e., the perfect candidate who meets a ridiculously long list of requirements for the job).

 


Also see:


Below is a relevant excerpt from that report:

 

From DSC:
This type of thing will be constantly running on a next-generation learning platform — i.e., scanning open job descriptions and presenting the top/”hottest” occupations/skills/employers — but then offering the relevant courses, modules, webinars, local learning hubs, discussion forums, etc. that will teach you the necessary skills (similar to what justwatch.com or suppose.tv provides for the entertainment industry).

 

 

 

How Blockchain’s ‘paradigm shift’ puts more pressure on legal’s tech evolution — from law.com by Rhys Dipshan
As part of the Legalweek 2020 Q&A series, Legaltech News speaks with blockchain researcher and entrepreneur Bettina Warburg on blockchain’s potential disruption in the legal space, what attorneys most misunderstand about the technology, and more.

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence may still take up much of spotlight these days, but it’s far from the only technology that can fundamentally alter how the legal industry, and the broader economy, operates.

Blockchain technology, for instance, has wide-reaching consequences for record keeping, contracting, data governance and identity management. And beyond that, it may even change how the digital economy functions and work as underlying driver for integrated, autonomously running machines. What all this means for attorneys is that specialization, technical skills, and more technology knowledge will likely become even more important than it is today.

We are not just in the days of Bitcoin, where one user transfers bitcoin to another user’s account. Instead, blockchain should be understood as part of an evolution toward a third generation Web (called Web3) that provides us with virtual machines that are stateful.

Web3 will be the basis of our transition from a digital economy to a decentralized economy. The economic opportunities of the decentralized economy can include wholly new business models: everything from fractionalized ownership and rights to assets that are secured digitally, to new kinds of verifiable and unique assets (such as virtual world avatars), to the ability for machines to transact with one another autonomously. A stateful virtual machine essentially allows us to have a shared verified reality upon which to transact digitally.

While it may sound futuristic, it is also the most obvious use for a digital infrastructure that can verify the transaction of value.

 

Things I Learned at Project Voice — from thejournal.com by Bradley Metrock, who produces the Project Voice conference, hosts This Week in Voice
Could 2020 be the year of the voice? These voice experts think so.

Excerpt:

Voice experience of the year for education, with these finalists:

Highlights took this category.

And voice developer of the year, with these finalists:

Bamboo Learning won this award.

Also see:

  • 12 Education Predictions for 2020 — by Dian Schaffhauser
    The learning and innovation in education never stops. Here’s what 12 education technology experts and observers expect for the new year in K-12.
 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

From DSC:
Very disturbing that citizens had no say in this. Legislators, senators, representatives, lawyers, law schools, politicians, engineers, programmers, professors, teachers, and more…please reflect upon our current situation here. How can we help create the kind of future that we can hand down to our kids and rest well at night…knowing we did all that we could to provide a dream — and not a nightmare — for them?


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill
A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

 

Excerpts:

“But without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year…”

Clearview’s app carries extra risks because law enforcement agencies are uploading sensitive photos to the servers of a company whose ability to protect its data is untested.

 

Excerpt from Higher Education Predictions for 2020: Recession, Certificates, and Computer Science by Richard Garrett

Coding bootcamps, the educational innovation that arose over the past decade to tackle an acute supply-demand crunch in computer science, had a stellar year in 2019. Dismissed as a fad by some, in 2019, bootcamps graduated 23,000 people, up 49% in one year (37% on a same-school basis).


But short of an unprecedented surge in domestic master’s degrees awarded in 2019, that year will mark the turning point when bootcamps—dominated by U.S. students— unequivocally passed master’s degrees.

An intriguing question is: what impact does a university’s own bootcamp have on domestic enrollment in its computer science master’s program: complementary or competitive? That will have to wait for another Wake-Up Call.

 

Legal Tech’s Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2020 — from law.com by Zach Warren
We may not have robot lawyers, but lawyers and technologists agree that artificial intelligence will have a major impact on the legal profession in 2020.

Excerpts:

Alex Babin, CEO, Zero: “The biggest gains from automating legal practices will be time saved and improved workflow efficiencies as the AI ‘takes over’ more laborious tasks including litigation support, email, e-discovery, and the use of databases for case management. Lawyers will begin to trust in this process, letting AI perform these basic tasks such as auto-filing document and email for compliance. AI will enhance corporate and regulatory reporting and improves contract creation and management.”

Scott Forman, shareholder, Littler Mendelson and founder of Littler CaseSmart and Littler onDemand: “Data analytics and AI have already fundamentally changed the delivery of legal services, but I expect 2020 to bring a greater understanding of how these technologies enhance, rather than overtake, the work of lawyers. While robots and technology will never replace lawyers, they provide data and insight enabling lawyers to do their jobs faster and better. This includes automating aspects of the legal process—so that lawyers can focus on top-of-the-pyramid work—as well as synthesizing and serving up information that guides litigation strategy, identifies potential areas of risk and moves toward predicting legal outcomes.”

 

 

Web Technologies of the Year 2019 — from w3techs.com

Excerpts:
These are the technologies that gained most sites in 2019 in areas such as:

  • Content Management System of the Year 2019
  • Server-side Programming Language of the Year 2019
  • JavaScript Library of the Year 2019
  • Web Server of the Year 2019
  • Operating System of the Year 2019
  • Traffic Analysis Tool of the Year 2019
  • …and several more categories
 

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