A reasonable robot in the eyes of the law — from innovationaus.com by Stuart Corner

Excerpts:

“But what happens when an autonomous vehicle kills someone? A robot is not subject to the law. So is the car manufacturer liable, or the developer of the software? And how do you pinpoint the cause of such an accident?”

You can’t tax a robot worker
“If my employer, the University of Surrey could get a robot to automate my job, which they will someday, they would save money doing that, even if we were both equally good, because they have to make National Insurance contributions [a UK earnings tax that funds state pensions and other benefits] for my work and a host of other reasons, but the machine is taxed more favourably.

 

Penn students use digital platform Gather to imitate in-person office hours — from by Isaac Lee; with thanks to Professor Sue Ellen Christian for this resource

Excerpt:

As students yearn for in-person interaction and the familiarity of their school buildings, platforms like Gather are filling the void — virtually.

Gather, also known as Gather.town, simulates buildings and classrooms on campus where students, professors, and teaching assistants can interact with one another through personal avatars during office hours. Its main feature, “Interaction Distance,” launches a video call between users whose avatars are within five steps from each other in the virtual space. As the users’ avatars walk away from each other, their video and audio quality decrease, simulating an in-person interaction.

Also see:

Image shows how people can gather around at the office, in a conference room, at a university, other -- https://gather.town/

From DSC:
Now picture this in VR.

 

 

Supporting Students Where They Are: Bentley’s CIS Sandbox — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Mark Frydenberg

Excerpt:

Frydenberg: …So, we started offering tutoring services in four ways: drop-in hours online; drop-in hours in person (following safety guidelines); online review sessions with a tutor assigned to each class; and tutoring on demand by appointment, which I like to call “Uber” tutoring.

Grush: Tutoring that follows an “Uber” model?

Frydenberg: Sure. When you reserve an Uber, you ask for a driver to pick you up at a specific place at a designated time. The same model applies here: Students complete an online form to request a tutor on a given topic and indicate when they want to meet with a tutor. Through a software application, the request is automatically routed to all tutors capable of tutoring in that subject. The first tutor who claims the request may contact the student to set up an appointment on Zoom. This creates an incentive for tutors to accept appointments, and offers flexibility as to when they choose to work. They don’t have to set aside a block of hours to be available and wait for someone to show up to meet with them. This model of reserving a tutor is available for students in 17 sections of upper level and graduate courses.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook: AR Is “Critically Important” For The Company’s Future — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Excerpts:

When the subject of AR and it’s potential came up, Cook said “You and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear.”

In Cook’s opinion, AR will change the way we communicate with our friends, colleagues, and family. It’ll reshape communication in fields such as health, education, gaming, and retail. “I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future,” said Cook.

Also see:

Woman using Augmented Reality to further learn about something.

And it is not enough to try to use existing VR/XR applications and tailor them to educational scenarios. These tools can and should be created with pedagogy, student experience, and learning outcomes as the priority.

 

Supreme Court sides with Google in Oracle’s API copyright case — from theverge.com by Russell Brandom and Adi Robertson
The ruling overturns a federal circuit decision favoring Oracle

Excerpt:

The court’s opinion concludes that APIs — which let programmers access other code — are significantly different from other kinds of computer programs. “As part of an interface, the copied lines are inherently bound together with uncopyrightable ideas … and the creation of new creative expression,” Justice Stephen Breyer writes in his opinion. Unlike many other computer programs, Breyer wrote, much of the copied lines’ value came from developers being invested in the ecosystem, rather than the actual operations of the program. Google used the API to let Java programmers build Android apps, which the court declared is a fundamentally transformative use.

“Google copied only what was needed to allow programmers to work in a different computing environment without discarding a portion of a familiar programming language. Google’s purpose was to create a different task-related system for a different computing environment (smartphones) and to create a platform — the Android platform — that would help achieve and popularize that objective.”

Also see:

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
Syllabus | GOOGLE LLC v. ORACLE AMERICA, INC. — from supremecourt.gov
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT No. 18–956.
Argued October 7, 2020—Decided April 5, 2021

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Held: Google’s copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. Pp. 11–36.

 

Clicking this image will take you to the 2021 Tech Trends Report -- from the Future Today Institute

14th Annual Edition | 2021 Tech Trends Report — from the Future Today Institute

Our 2021 Tech Trends Report is designed to help you confront deep uncertainty, adapt and thrive. For this year’s edition, the magnitude of new signals required us to create 12 separate volumes, and each report focuses on a cluster of related trends. In total, we’ve analyzed  nearly 500 technology and science trends across multiple industry sectors. In each volume, we discuss the disruptive forces, opportunities and strategies that will drive your organization in the near future.

Now, more than ever, your organization should examine the potential near and long-term impact of tech trends. You must factor the trends in this report into your strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust your planning, operations and business models accordingly. But we hope you will make time for creative exploration. From chaos, a new world will come.

Some example items noted in this report:

  • Natural language processing is an area experiencing high interest, investment, and growth.
  • + No-code or low-code systems are unlocking new use cases for businesses.
  • Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Google Cloud’s low-code and no-code offerings will trickle down to everyday people, allowing them to create their own artificial intelligence applications and deploy them as easily as they could a website.
  • The race is on to capture AI cloudshare—and to become the most trusted provider of AI on remote servers.
  • COVID-19 accelerated the use of AI in drug discovery last year. The first trial of an AI-discovered drug is underway in Japan.
 

How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation — from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

By the time thousands of rioters stormed the US Capitol in January, organized in part on Facebook and fueled by the lies about a stolen election that had fanned out across the platform, it was clear from my conversations that the Responsible AI team had failed to make headway against misinformation and hate speech because it had never made those problems its main focus. More important, I realized, if it tried to, it would be set up for failure.

The reason is simple. Everything the company does and chooses not to do flows from a single motivation: Zuckerberg’s relentless desire for growth. Quiñonero’s AI expertise supercharged that growth. His team got pigeonholed into targeting AI bias, as I learned in my reporting, because preventing such bias helps the company avoid proposed regulation that might, if passed, hamper that growth. Facebook leadership has also repeatedly weakened or halted many initiatives meant to clean up misinformation on the platform because doing so would undermine that growth.

In other words, the Responsible AI team’s work—whatever its merits on the specific problem of tackling AI bias—is essentially irrelevant to fixing the bigger problems of misinformation, extremism, and political polarization. And it’s all of us who pay the price.

Artificial Intelligence In 2021: Five Trends You May (or May Not) Expect — from forbes.com by Nisha Talagala

5 trends for AI in 2021

 

ARHT Media Inc.
Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

Excerpt:

ARHT Media mounted a holographic display at the event in Vancouver and had Sunlife’s executive captured and transmitted live as a hologram to the event from our Toronto studio. He was able to see the audience and interact with them in realtime as if he was attending the event and present in the room.

ARHT Media Inc. launches the Holopod | A holograph of the head of global sales appears on stage. Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

From DSC:

  • Will holographic displays change what we mean by web-based collaboration?
  • Will this be a part of the future learning ecosystems inside of higher education? Inside of the corporate training world? Inside the world of events and webinars?
  • How will this type of emerging technology impact our communications? Levels of engagement?
  • Will this type of thing impact telehealth? Telelegal?
  • How will this impact storytelling? Media? Drama/acting? Games?
  • Will the price come down to where online and blended learning will use this type of thing?
  • Will streams of content be offered by holographic displays?

 

 

The future of work after COVID-19 -- Woman working on a computer with wireless headset

The future of work after COVID-19 — from mckinsey.com

Excerpts:

This report on the future of work after COVID-19 is the first of three MGI reports that examine aspects of the postpandemic economy. The others look at the pandemic’s long-term influence on consumption and the potential for a broad recovery led by enhanced productivity and innovation. Here, we assess the lasting impact of the pandemic on labor demand, the mix of occupations, and the workforce skills required in eight countries with diverse economic and labor market models: China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these eight countries account for almost half the global population and 62 percent of GDP.

Physical proximity scores of a variety of occupations

 

Future occupations in 2030 -- increases or decreases

 

Student Builds Volumetric 3D TV To Complete Bachelor’s Program — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

In the end, they ended up building a volumetric 3D closed-circuit TV system capable of producing live holographic imager; I’d say that’s pretty noteworthy.

From DSC:
If we can imagine it…

A picture of the Jedi Council from Star Wars

Addendum on 3/12/21:

The future of telepresence article out at Inavate EMEA -- March 2021

 

Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates— from kjzz.org

Excerpt:

According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.

KJZZ is not naming the whistleblowers because they fear retaliation. The employees said they have been raising the issue internally for more than a year, but prison administrators have not acted to fix the software bug. The sources said Chief Information Officer Holly Greene and Deputy Director Joe Profiri have been aware of the problem since 2019.

The Arizona Department of Corrections confirmed there is a problem with the software.

 

Hiperwall Introduces Cost-Effective ‘Essentials’ Video Wall Hardware and Software Packages — from hiperwall.com with thanks to Michael Farino for this resource
Hiperwall Essentials video wall bundles eliminate barriers to entry for organizations wanting enhanced collaboration, clearer communication, and the ability to make informed real-time decisions

Excerpt:

February 24, 2021 – IRVINE, Calif., – Hiperwall Inc., an industry-leader in commercialized, IP-based visualization technology, today introduces ‘Hiperwall Essentials,’ two all-inclusive video wall hardware and software bundles that get users started with a full-featured, control-room grade video wall powered by Hiperwall for just $9,995.

Most major decisions made in the public and private sectors are driven by vast amounts of data. Due to the volume of data sources, data complexity, and different analytics tools, video walls have become the perfect canvas for decision-makers to put all of this data together clearly to arrive at an informed decision faster and more confidently.

At a price point that effectively removes barriers to implementation for small to medium businesses, small government agencies, and local law enforcement, Hiperwall Essentials serves as a great baseline for integrating video wall technology into any organization. As dependence on the video wall grows, Hiperwall’s modular platform makes scaling the video wall footprint and capabilities seamless and cost-effective.


Below are some example settings:

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

January hiring slips 2.8%; bright spots in U.S. are legal, software and finance — from linkedin.com by George Anders

Excerpt:

If you’re looking for further evidence that U.S. industry is running on two different tracks these days — in which “laptop economy” professions such as legal and finance are doing fairly well, while face-to-face jobs are facing tough times — that message is starkly clear in the latest edition of LinkedIn’s Hiring Report.

For January, the U.S. Hiring Report showed a 2.8% decline from December’s reading, and an overall 7.6% drop from a year earlier. What looks like relatively mild slippage in aggregate turns out to be two trends pointing in sharply different directions once the focus switches to industry-by-industry outcomes.

Three industries remain ahead of their hiring tempo a full year ago, in spite of the overall decline. They are legal (+3.8%), finance (3.4%) and software and information technology (+3.0%).

 

How Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther inspired this Black engineer — from fastcompany.com by Karl Zelik
The best superheroes are those that inspire real people to make the world a better place.

Excerpt:

On Twitter, Black in Engineering was launched in the week leading up to Boseman’s passing in August 2020, and Black in Computing was launched two months earlier. The same cathartic experience of seeing Wakandan scientists and engineers on the big screen is how I felt reading all the posts tagged #BiERollCall—Black engineers and scientists across STEM disciplines introduced themselves and their work, their passions, and their expertise.

[Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images]

[Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images]
 

This avocado armchair could be the future of AI — from technologyreview.com by Will Douglas
OpenAI has extended GPT-3 with two new models that combine NLP with image recognition to give its AI a better understanding of everyday concepts.

This avocado armchair could be the future of AI OpenAI has extended GPT-3 with two new models that combine NLP with image recognition to give its AI a better understanding of everyday concepts.

“We live in a visual world,” says Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist at OpenAI. “In the long run, you’re going to have models which understand both text and images. AI will be able to understand language better because it can see what words & sentences mean.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian