Skillsoft to acquire CodeAcademy, a leading platform for learning high-demand technical skills, creating a worldwide community of more than 85 million learners — from skillsoft.com with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Boston – December 22, 2021 – Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL), a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.

With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.”

Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio.

 

A Move for ‘Algorithmic Reparation’ Calls for Racial Justice in AI — from wired.com by Khari Johnson
Researchers are encouraging those who work in AI to explicitly consider racism, gender, and other structural inequalities.

Excerpt:

FORMS OF AUTOMATION such as artificial intelligence increasingly inform decisions about who gets hired, is arrested, or receives health care. Examples from around the world articulate that the technology can be used to exclude, control, or oppress people and reinforce historic systems of inequality that predate AI.

“Algorithms are animated by data, data comes from people, people make up society, and society is unequal,” the paper reads. “Algorithms thus arc towards existing patterns of power and privilege, marginalization, and disadvantage.

 

Amazon Gift Signals Confidence in Community Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Suzanne Smalley
The company is giving $3 million to kick-start a computer science bachelor’s degree program at community and technical colleges throughout Washington State.

Excerpt:

Amazon is funding a pilot that will support the launch of new computer science bachelor’s degree programs at community and technical colleges in Seattle and across Washington State, an investment meant to address a workforce shortage plaguing the e-commerce giant and other employers who can’t find qualified candidates for unfilled computer science positions.

 
 
 

From DSC:
As with many emerging technologies, there appear to be some significant pros and cons re: the use of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)

The question I wonder about is: How can the legal realm help address the massive impacts of the exponential pace of technological change in our society these days? For examples:

Technicians, network engineers, data center specialists, computer scientists, and others also need to be asking themselves how they can help out in these areas as well.

Emphasis below is mine.


NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate — from wired.com by Gregory Barber
The sale of a piece of crypto art consumed as much energy as the studio uses in two years. Now the artist is campaigning to reduce the medium’s carbon emissions.

Excerpt:

The works were placed for auction on a website called Nifty Gateway, where they sold out in 10 seconds for thousands of dollars. The sale also consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, as he later learned from a website called Cryptoart.WTF.

NFTs And Their Role In The “Metaverse” — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

Many people would perceive NFTs as mere images of digital artworks or collectibles which they can sell for massive prices. However, the frenzy surrounding digital art in present times has pointed out many new possibilities with NFTs. For example, the NFT metaverse connection undoubtedly presents a promising use case for NFTs. The road for the future of NFTs brings many new opportunities for investors, enterprises, and hobbyists, which can shape up NFT usage and adoption in the long term. 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are a new class of digital assets, which are unique, indivisible, and immutable. They help in representing the ownership of digital and physical assets on the blockchain. Starting from digital artwork to the gaming industry, NFTs are making a huge impact everywhere.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain offers the prospects for unlimited business opportunities and social interaction. Metaverse offers extremely versatile, scalable, and interoperable digital environments. Most important of all, the metaverse blends innovative technologies with models of interaction between participants from individual and enterprise perspectives. 

From DSC:
How might the developments occurring with NFTs and the Metaverse impact a next-gen learning platform?

—–

Artist shuts down because people keep their work to make NFTs — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann
NFT theft is a huge problem

Someone is selling NFTs of Olive Garden locations that they do not own — from futurism.com by
And you can mint a breadstick NFT — for free, of course

 

Python, Java, Linux and SQL: These are the hot tech skills employers are looking for — from zdnet.com by Owen Hughes
Programming languages continue to dominate jobs specs, with employers keen to build up their tech teams and deliver on expanding digital programmes.

In Q3, job listings in the tech industry suggest that organizations are on the lookout for technology professionals “who understand the core concepts of software development and project management” and possess technical skills in Linux, as well as programming languages Java, Python and SQL.

 

The 35 Best Apple and Google Apps of 2021 — from wonderoftech.com by Carolyn Nicander Mohr

Excerpt:

As 2021 draws to a close, Apple and Google have been busy creating their lists of the best apps of the year. These lists may include apps you already have or are familiar with. You may also discover your new favorite must-have app you’ll be eager to share with your friends.

 

DeepMind Says Its New AI Has Almost the Reading Comprehension of a High Schooler — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann
A provocative claim!

Excerpt:

Alphabet’s AI research company DeepMind has released the next generation of its language model, and it says that it has close to the reading comprehension of a high schooler — a startling claim.

It says the language model, called Gopher, was able to significantly improve its reading comprehension by ingesting massive repositories of texts online.

 

From DSC:
As I looked at the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder…what is the role of the American Bar Association (ABA) in this type situation? How can the ABA help the United States deal with the impact/place of emerging technologies?


Clearview AI will get a US patent for its facial recognition tech — from engadget.com by J. Fingas
Critics are worried the company is patenting invasive tech.

Excerpt:

Clearview AI is about to get formal acknowledgment for its controversial facial recognition technology. Politico reports Clearview has received a US Patent and Trademark Office “notice of allowance” indicating officials will approve a filing for its system, which scans faces across public internet data to find people from government lists and security camera footage. The company just has to pay administrative fees to secure the patent.

In a Politico interview, Clearview founder Hoan Ton-That claimed this was the first facial recognition patent involving “large-scale internet data.” The firm sells its tool to government clients (including law enforcement) hoping to accelerate searches.

As you might imagine, there’s a concern the USPTO is effectively blessing Clearview’s technology and giving the company a chance to grow despite widespread objections to its technology’s very existence. 

Privacy, news, facial recognition, USPTO, internet, patent,
Clearview AI, surveillance, tomorrow, AI, artificial intelligence

 

Top 7 Artificial Intelligence Trends In 2022 — from techfunnel.com by Anirudh Menon

Excerpt:

If we look at the last couple of years, we have seen a significant leap in the way Artificial Intelligence is becoming an integral part of many organizations’ business plans. Already the journey of digital transformation has catapulted thanks to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and because of the pandemic situation, we saw significant innovation in the technology front, which will reach new heights in the year 2022 and further.

As strongly claimed by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc, the impact of artificial intelligence will be far greater than fire and electricity on humanity. Well, it might sound a bit exaggerated but what it implies is that the year 2022 is going to see new developments in this space and it will constantly create new benchmarks.

 

From DSC:
When I ran across the items below, I couldn’t help but wonder…”What does the legal realm need to know here?”

The Ultimate List Of Crypto Lending Platforms — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

The Ultimate List Of Crypto Lending Platforms

Know The Vulnerabilities And Security Concerns Associated With NFT — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

Know The Vulnerabilities And Security Concerns Associated With NFT

Radar trends to watch: December 2021 — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides
Developments in Programming, Quantum Computing, Cryptocurrency, and More

Radar trends to watch: December 2021

NFT sales reached $27 billion this year — from protocol.com by Nat Rubio-Licht
OpenSea dominated the business.

UNISWAP – Know Everything About The Largest Decentralized Exchange (DEX) — from 101blockchains.com by Diego Geroni

UNISWAP – Know Everything About The Largest Decentralized Exchange (DEX)

 

Teaching in the ‘Metaverse’? Roblox Looks to Make It a Reality — from edweek.org by Benjamin Herold
With millions in new grants to STEM organizations like Project Lead the Way, the gaming platform is moving into K-12 education.

Excerpts:

Hoping to expand its presence in K-12 schools, gaming company Roblox announced this month a new $10 million fund to support the creation of online learning experiences that take advantage of its platform’s unique way of letting users play, explore, and socialize in an endlessly evolving virtual world.

Roblox aims to play a major role in the emerging metaverse. Expanding into classroom education is a key vehicle for making that happen, Kantar told investors at a November conference. The company’s stated goal is to reach 100 million students worldwide by the end of the decade.

Making such inroads with K-12 schools, however, is no sure bet.

Also see:

Roblox Education

 

Will Microcredentials be the Rx Needed to Fix Our Ailing Degree Systems? — from evolllution.com by David Leaser | Senior Program Executive of Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM
Amidst the dramatic social and economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, microcredentials are presenting themselves as the viable solution to getting learners prepared quickly and effectively for desperately needed jobs. 

Excerpts:

Pace of Change Accelerates Beyond Our Wildest Imagination 
But the world of work is changing at a pace that traditional education systems cannot match. Cloud computing, big data and AI technologies are replaced or improved monthly—and often faster than that.

The U.S. college system is organized around an all-or-none framework: You only get a credential after completing the entire learning path.  But when a large number of students cannot commit to a long-term commitment (the situation we have faced for decades), shouldn’t we break the learning down into credentials along the way?

The MicroBachelors: A Major Win for Credential As You Go
Today, most microcredentials provide the opposite of college degrees: high skill-signal strength but low social-signal strength.

MicroBachelors programs are a series of college classes that have been customized and grouped together to meet employers’ real-world needs. The programs typically take two to four months to complete and provide credentials and college credits.

 

 

 

EduMAX 2021 recap: Together for student success around the globe — from blog.adobe.com by Sebastian Distefano

Excerpt:

University CIOs, deans, provosts, faculty and staff from more than 100 institutions convened online for the Adobe EduMAX 2021 conference, where academic leaders shared how they are transforming teaching and learning practices across their campuses. Key discussion points included:

  • How digital literacy increases engagement to bring faculty and students together, whether they are in-person, online or in a hybrid environment.
  • How digital literacy closes the skills gap in higher education and industry by fostering critical essential skills that employers value.
  • How faculty can integrate digital literacy across the curriculum for all students.
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian