State of AI — from stateof.ai

Excerpt:

In this report, we set out to capture a snapshot of the exponential progress in AI with a focus on developments in the past 12 months. Consider this report as a compilation of the most interesting things we’ve seen that seeks to trigger informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future.

We consider the following key dimensions in our report:

  • Research: Technology breakthroughs and their capabilities.
  • Talent: Supply, demand and concentration of talent working in the field.
  • Industry: Large platforms, financings and areas of application for AI-driven innovation today and tomorrow.
  • Politics: Public opinion of AI, economic implications and the emerging geopolitics of AI.

 

definitions of terms involved in AI

definitions of terms involved in AI

 

hard to say how AI is impacting jobs yet -- but here are 2 perspectives

 

 

There’s nothing artificial about how AI is changing the workplace — from forbes.com by Eric Yuan

Excerpt:

As I write this, AI has already begun to make video meetings even better. You no longer have to spend time entering codes or clicking buttons to launch a meeting. Instead, with voice-based AI, video conference users can start, join or end a meeting by simply speaking a command (think about how you interact with Alexa).

Voice-to-text transcription, another artificial intelligence feature offered by Otter Voice Meeting Notes (from AISense, a Zoom partner), Voicefox and others, can take notes during video meetings, leaving you and your team free to concentrate on what’s being said or shown. AI-based voice-to-text transcription can identify each speaker in the meeting and save you time by letting you skim the transcript, search and analyze it for certain meeting segments or words, then jump to those mentions in the script. Over 65% of respondents from the Zoom survey said they think AI will save them at least one hour a week of busy work, with many claiming it will save them one to five hours a week.

 

 

 

AI can now ‘listen’ to machines to tell if they’re breaking down — from by Rebecca Campbell

Excerpt:

Sound is everywhere, even when you can’t hear it.

It is this noiseless sound, though, that says a lot about how machines function.

Helsinki-based Noiseless Acoustics and Amsterdam-based OneWatt are relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand the sound patterns of troubled machines. Through AI they are enabling faster and easier problem detection.

 

Making sound visible even when it can’t be heard. With the aid of non-invasive sensors, machine learning algorithms, and predictive maintenance solutions, failing components can be recognized at an early stage before they become a major issue.

 

 

 

Chinese university uses facial recognition for campus entry — from cr80news.com by Andrew Hudson

Excerpt:

A number of higher education institutions in China have deployed biometric solutions for access and payments in recent months, and adding to the list is Peking University. The university has now installed facial recognition readers at perimeter access gates to control access to its Beijing campus.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, anyone attempting to enter through the southwestern gate of the university will no longer have to provide a student ID card. Starting this month, students will present their faces to a camera as part of a trial run of the system ahead of full-scale deployment.

From DSC:
I’m not sure I like this one at all — and the direction that this is going in. 

 

 

 

Will We Use Big Data to Solve Big Problems? Why Emerging Technology is at a Crossroads — from blog.hubspot.com by Justin Lee

Excerpt:

How can we get smarter about machine learning?
As I said earlier, we’ve reached an important crossroads. Will we use new technologies to improve life for everyone, or to fuel the agendas of powerful people and organizations?

I certainly hope it’s the former. Few of us will run for president or lead a social media empire, but we can all help to move the needle.

Consume information with a critical eye.
Most people won’t stop using Facebook, Google, or social media platforms, so proceed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Remember that the internet can never be objective. Ask questions and come to your own conclusions.

Get your headlines from professional journalists.
Seek credible outlets for news about local, national and world events. I rely on the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. You can pick your own sources, but don’t trust that the “article” your Aunt Marge just posted on Facebook is legit.

 

 

 

 

From MIT Technology Review on 4-2-2018

*Only* 14 percent of the world has to worry about robots taking their jobs. Yay?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a major report analyzing the impact of automation on jobs in 32 countries.

Clashing views: In 2016, the OECD said only 9 percent of US and worldwide jobs face a “high degree of automobility.” That was a contradiction of one of the most widely cited reports on jobs and automation, by Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, who in 2013 said that 47 percent of US jobs were at high risk of being consumed by automation.

What’s new: The OECD’s latest report says that across the countries analyzed, 14 percent of jobs are highly automatable, meaning they have over a 70 percent likelihood of automation. In the US, the study concludes that 10 percent of jobs will likely be lost to automation. An additional 32 percent of global jobs will be transformed and require significant worker retraining.

The big “but”: As the gap between the OECD report and Frey and Osborne’s estimates illustrate, predictions like these aren’t known for their accuracy. In fact, when we compiled all of the studies we could on the subject, we found there are about as many predictions as there are experts.

 


Also see:



Automation, skills use and training
— from oecd-ilibrary.org by Ljubica Nedelkoska and Glenda Quintini

Excerpts:

Here are the study’s key findings.
Across the 32 countries, close to one in two jobs are likely to be significantly affected by automation, based on the tasks they involve. But the degree of risk varies.

The variance in automatability across countries is large: 33% of all jobs in Slovakia are highly automatable, while this is only the case with 6% of the jobs in Norway.

The cross-country variation in automatability, contrary to expectations, is better explained by the differences in the organisation of job tasks within economic sectors, than by the differences in the sectoral structure of economies.

There are upside and downside risks to the figures obtained in this paper. On the upside, it is important to keep in mind that these estimates refer to technological possibilities, abstracting from the speed of diffusion and likelihood of adoption of such technologies….But there are risks on the downside too. First, the estimates are based on the fact that, given the current state of knowledge, tasks related to social intelligence, cognitive intelligence and perception and manipulation cannot be automated. However, progress is being made very rapidly, particularly in the latter two categories.

Most importantly, the risk of automation is not distributed equally among workers. Automation is found to mainly affect jobs in the manufacturing industry and agriculture, although a number of service sectors, such as postal and courier services, land transport and food services are also found to be highly automatable.

Overall, despite recurrent arguments that automation may start to adversely affect selected highly skilled occupations, this prediction is not supported by the Frey and Osborne (2013) framework of engineering bottlenecks used in this study. If anything, Artificial Intelligence puts more low-skilled jobs at risk than previous waves of technological progress…

A striking novel finding is that the risk of automation is the highest among teenage jobs. The relationship between automation and age is U-shaped, but the peak in automatability among youth jobs is far more pronounced than the peak among senior workers.


This unequal distribution of the risk of automation raises the stakes involved in policies to prepare workers for the new job requirements. In this context, adult learning is a crucial policy instrument for the re-training and up-skilling of workers whose jobs are being affected by technology. Unfortunately, evidence from this study suggests that a lot needs to be done to facilitate participation by the groups most affected by automation.

An analysis of German data suggests that training is used to move to jobs at lower risk of automation.

 

 
 

2018 TECH TRENDS REPORT — from the Future Today Institute
Emerging technology trends that will influence business, government, education, media and society in the coming year.

Description:

The Future Today Institute’s 11th annual Tech Trends Report identifies 235 tantalizing advancements in emerging technologies—artificial intelligence, biotech, autonomous robots, green energy and space travel—that will begin to enter the mainstream and fundamentally disrupt business, geopolitics and everyday life around the world. Our annual report has garnered more than six million cumulative views, and this edition is our largest to date.

Helping organizations see change early and calculate the impact of new trends is why we publish our annual Emerging Tech Trends Report, which focuses on mid- to late-stage emerging technologies that are on a growth trajectory.

In this edition of the FTI Tech Trends Report, we’ve included several new features and sections:

  • a list and map of the world’s smartest cities
  • a calendar of events that will shape technology this year
  • detailed near-future scenarios for several of the technologies
  • a new framework to help organizations decide when to take action on trends
  • an interactive table of contents, which will allow you to more easily navigate the report from the bookmarks bar in your PDF reader

 


 

01 How does this trend impact our industry and all of its parts?
02 How might global events — politics, climate change, economic shifts – impact this trend, and as a result, our organization?
03 What are the second, third, fourth, and fifth-order implications of this trend as it evolves, both in our organization and our industry?
04 What are the consequences if our organization fails to take action on this trend?
05 Does this trend signal emerging disruption to our traditional business practices and cherished beliefs?
06 Does this trend indicate a future disruption to the established roles and responsibilities within our organization? If so, how do we reverse-engineer that disruption and deal with it in the present day?
07 How are the organizations in adjacent spaces addressing this trend? What can we learn from their failures and best practices?
08 How will the wants, needs and expectations of our consumers/ constituents change as a result of this trend?
09 Where does this trend create potential new partners or collaborators for us?
10 How does this trend inspire us to think about the future of our organization?

 


 

 

Robo retail: The automated store of the future is heading closer to our doorsteps. — from jwtintelligence.com’

Excerpt:

The automated store of the future is heading closer to our doorsteps.

Self-checkout and online delivery services might soon be outmoded. Automated, cashier-less and mobile, doorstep-accessible shopping outlets are popping up globally—these offer not only a quick and seamless shopping experience, but also allow customers to handpick the items they are seeking.

Retail giant Amazon launched its Amazon Go store in Seattle in late January 2018. Amazon Go stocks everyday items, Whole Foods Market goods and Amazon-branded meal kits, but has no cashiers, no check-out lines and no barcode scanners. Shoppers enter by scanning an app, shop and leave—items purchased are automatically charged to their accounts. Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology for Amazon Go, suggests the concept is Amazon’s answer to solving “time poverty,” which he calls people’s “number one problem.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. While Amazon Go currently only operates in Seattle, two other mobile concepts are hoping to reach a wider audience by physically bringing roving stores directly to the consumer. Robomart, based in the Bay Area, is a prototype tap-to-request grab-and-go food mart. Conventional grocery delivery services like those run by Amazon, FreshDirect or Instacart don’t let customers select products for themselves. If you’re particular about the ripeness of an avocado or conscious about bruises on tomatoes, being able to choose your own produce is essential. An autonomy-focused platform like Robomart puts consumers in the metaphorical driver’s seat, while still maintaining a high level of ease.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Speaking of cashiers, I had some comments regarding the future of cashiers towards the bottom of this posting here.  Another relevant posting is: “Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs” + 6 other items re: AI, bots, algorithms, & more

 

 

 

What really is the difference between AR / MR / VR / XR? — from medium.com by North of 41

Excerpt:

Extended Reality (XR)
Extended Reality (XR) is a newly added term to the dictionary of the technical words. For now, only a few people are aware of XR. Extended Reality refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. Extended Reality includes all its descriptive forms like the Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR). In other words, XR can be defined as an umbrella, which brings all three Reality (AR, VR, MR) together under one term, leading to less public confusion. Extended reality provides a wide variety and vast number of levels in the Virtuality of partially sensor inputs to Immersive Virtuality.

Since past few years, we have been talking regarding AR, VR, and MR, and probably in coming years, we will be speaking about XR.

 

Summary: VR is immersing people into a completely virtual environment ; AR is creating an overlay of virtual content, but can’t interact with the environment; MR is a mixed of virtual reality and the reality, it creates virtual objects that can interact with the actual environment. XR brings all three Reality (AR, VR, MR) together under one term.

 

 

 

Audi AR App Brings Advertising Into Your Living Room — from vrscout.com by Joe Durbin

Excerpt:

Audi has released a new AR smartphone application that is triggered by their TV commercials. The app brings the cars from the commercial out of the screen and into your living room or driveway.

According to a release from the company, the Audi quattro coaster AR application “recognizes” specific Audi TV commercials. If the right commercial is playing, it will then trigger a series of AR events.

 

From DSC:
How might this type of setup be used for learning-related applications?

 

 

 

Will Augmented and Virtual Reality Replace Textbooks? — from centerdigitaled.com by Michael Mathews
Students who are conceptual and visual learners can grasp concepts through AVR, which in turn allows textbooks to make sense.

Excerpt:

This past year, Tulsa TV-2, an NBC News affiliate, did a great story on the transition in education through the eyes of professors and students who are using augmented and virtual reality. As you watch the news report you will notice the following:
  • Professors will quickly embrace technology that directly impacts student success.
  • Students are more engaged and learn quicker through visual stimulation.
  • Grades can be immediately improved with augmented and virtual reality.
  • An international and global reach is possible with stimulating technology.

 

 

How augmented and virtual reality will reshape the food industry — from huffingtonpost.com by Jenny Dorsey

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Within the food industry, AR and VR have also begun to make headway. Although development costs are still high, more and more F&B businesses are beginning to realize the potential of AR/VR and see it as a worthwhile investment. Three main areas – human resources, customer experiences, food products – have seen the most concentration of AR/VR development so far and will likely continue to push the envelope on what use cases AR & VR have within the industry.

 

 

 

The Future of Education Can Be Found Within This AR Tablet — from futurism.com

Excerpt:

Hologram-like 3D images offer new ways to study educational models in science and other subjects. zSpace has built a tablet that uses a stylus and glasses to allow students to have interactive learning experiences. Technology like this not only makes education more immersive and captivating, but also can provide more accurate models for students in professional fields like medicine.

 

 

Architecture, Engineering and Construction Embrace VR — from avnetwork.com

 

 

 

The Washington Post’s latest augmented reality game brings the Winter Olympics into your living room — from journalism.co.uk by Caroline Scott
The publisher hopes the game will help audiences better engage with the different sports while becoming more familiar with AR technology

 

 

 

 

Augmented Reality Skates into New York Times Coverage of Winter Olympics — from mobile-ar.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Just days after previewing its augmented reality content strategy, the Times has already delivered on its promise to unveil its first official AR coverage, centered on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. When viewed through the NYTimes app for iPhones and iPads, the “Four of the World’s Best Olympians, as You’ve Never Seen Them Before” article displays AR content embedded at regular intervals as readers scroll along.

 

 

AR Magic Portal—The Beginning Of Your Next New Adventure — from invisible.toys

 

 

 

Tokyo Government uses VR to Promote Tourism — from vudream.com

 

 

 

Is VR the Next Big Thing in Retail? — from virtualrealitypop.com by Sophia Brooke

Excerpt:

Retail IT is still in its infancy and is yet to become general practice, but given the popularity of video, the immersive experience will undoubtedly catch on. The explanation lies in the fact that the wealth of information and the extensive range of products on offer are overwhelming for consumers. Having the opportunity to try products by touching a button in an environment that feels real is what can make the shopping experience more animated and less stressful. Also, through VR, even regular customers can experience VIP treatment at no additional cost. Sitting in the front row at the Paris Fashion Week without leaving your local mall or, soon, your own house, will become the norm.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Regarding the article below…why did it take Udacity needing to team up with Infosys to offer this type of program and curriculum? Where are the programs in institutions of traditional higher education on this?  Are similar programs being developed? If so, how quickly will they come to market? I sure hope that such program development is in progress..and perhaps it is. But the article below goes to show us that alternatives to traditional higher education seem to be more responsive to the new, exponential pace of change that we now find ourselves in.

We have to pick up the pace! To do this, we need to identify any obstacles to our institutions adapting to this new pace of change — and then address them immediately. I see our current methods of accreditation as one of the areas that we need to address. We’ve got to get solid programs to market much faster!

And for those folks in higher ed who say change isn’t happening rapidly — that it’s all a bunch of hype — you likely still have a job. But you need to go talk with some people who don’t, or who’ve had their jobs recently impacted big time. Here are some suggestions of folks to talk with:

  • Taxi drivers who were impacted by Lyft and by Uber these last 5-10 years; they may still have their jobs, if they’re lucky. But they’ve been impacted big time…and are likely driving for Lyft and/or Uber as well as their former employers; they’re likely to have less bargaining power than they used to as the supply of drivers has skyrocketed. (By the way, the very existence of such organizations couldn’t have happened without the smartphone and mobile-related technologies/telecommunications.)
  • Current managers and former employees at hotels/motels about the impacts on their industry by AirBnB over a similar time frame
  • Hiring managers at law firms who’ve cut back on hiring entry-level lawyers…work that’s increasingly being done by software (example)
  • Employees who worked at brick and mortar retailers who have been crushed by Amazon.com’s online-based presence (in not that long of time, by the way). For example, below is what our local Sears store looks like these days…go find an employee who used to work at Sears or a Sears automotive-related store:

 

This is what our local Sears store looks like today

This picture is for those who say there is no disruption.
You call
this hype?!

 

The above example list — that’s admittedly woefully incomplete — doesn’t include the folks displaced by technology over the last several decades, such as:

  • Former bank tellers who lost their jobs to ATMs
  • Checkout clerks at the grocery stores who lost their jobs to self-service stations
  • Check-in agents at the airports who lost their jobs to self-service stations
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Institutions of traditional higher education
need to pick up the pace — big time!

 


Infosys and Udacity team up to train 500 engineers in autonomous technologies — from by Leah Brown
Infosys’ COO Ravi Kumar explains how these individuals can apply what they learn to other industries.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Infosys, a global technology consulting firm, recently partnered with online learning platform Udacity to create a connected service that provides training for autonomous vehicles, and other services for B2B providers of autonomous vehicles.

TechRepublic’s Dan Patterson met with Infosys’ COO Ravi Kumar to discuss how autonomous technology can help create new industries.

Autonomous technology is going to be an emerging technology of the future, Kumar said. So Infosys and Udacity came together and developed a plan to train 500 engineers on autonomous technologies, and teach them how to apply it to other industries.

 

Per Wikipedia:
Udacity is a for-profit educational organization founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky offering massive open online courses (MOOCs). According to Thrun, the origin of the name Udacity comes from the company’s desire to be “audacious for you, the student.” While it originally focused on offering university-style courses, it now focuses more on vocational courses for professionals.

 


 

But times are changing. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are facilitating the automation of a growing number of “doing” tasks. Today’s AI-enabled, information-rich tools are increasingly able to handle jobs that in the past have been exclusively done by people—think tax returns, language translations, accounting, even some kinds of surgery. These shifts will produce massive disruptions to employment and hold enormous implications for you as a business leader. (mckinsey.com)

 


 

 


From DSC:
Audrey Willis, with Circa Interactive, reminded me that next week is Computer Science Education Week. She wrote to me with the following additional resources:


 

As you may know, Computer Science Education Week starts next week on December 4. This week aims to raise awareness of the need to bolster computer science education around the world by encouraging teachers and students to host computer science events throughout the week. These events can include teacher-guided lesson plans, participating in the Hour of Code, watching computer science videos, or using your own resources to help inspire interest among students. It is for this reason that I wanted to share a few computer science resources with you that were just published by renowned universities. I believe these resources can provide K-12 students with valuable information about different career fields that an interest in computer science can lead to, from education and health information management, to electrical engineering.

Thanks in advance,
Audrey Willis
Circa Interactive

 

 

 

 

2018 Tech Trends for Journalism & Media Report + the 2017 Tech Trends Annual Report that I missed from the Future Today Institute

 

2018 Tech Trends For Journalism Report — from the Future Today Institute

Key Takeaways

  • 2018 marks the beginning of the end of smartphones in the world’s largest economies. What’s coming next are conversational interfaces with zero-UIs. This will radically change the media landscape, and now is the best time to start thinking through future scenarios.
  • In 2018, a critical mass of emerging technologies will converge finding advanced uses beyond initial testing and applied research. That’s a signal worth paying attention to. News organizations should devote attention to emerging trends in voice interfaces, the decentralization of content, mixed reality, new types of search, and hardware (such as CubeSats and smart cameras).
  • Journalists need to understand what artificial intelligence is, what it is not, and what it means for the future of news. AI research has advanced enough that it is now a core component of our work at FTI. You will see the AI ecosystem represented in many of the trends in this report, and it is vitally important that all decision-makers within news organizations familiarize themselves with the current and emerging AI landscapes. We have included an AI Primer For Journalists in our Trend Report this year to aid in that effort.
  • Decentralization emerged as a key theme for 2018. Among the companies and organizations FTI covers, we discovered a new emphasis on restricted peer-to-peer networks to detect harassment, share resources and connect with sources. There is also a push by some democratic governments around the world to divide internet access and to restrict certain content, effectively creating dozens of “splinternets.”
  • Consolidation is also a key theme for 2018. News brands, broadcast spectrum, and artificial intelligence startups will continue to be merged with and acquired by relatively few corporations. Pending legislation and policy in the U.S., E.U. and in parts of Asia could further concentrate the power among a small cadre of information and technology organizations in the year ahead.
  • To understand the future of news, you must pay attention to the future of many industries and research areas in the coming year. When journalists think about the future, they should broaden the usual scope to consider developments from myriad other fields also participating in the knowledge economy. Technology begets technology. We are witnessing an explosion in slow motion.

Those in the news ecosystem should factor the trends in this report into their strategic thinking for the coming year, and adjust their planning, operations and business models accordingly.

 



 

 

2017 Tech Trends Annual Report — from the Future Today Institute; this is the first I’ve seen this solid report

Excerpts:

This year’s report has 159 trends.
This is mostly due to the fact that 2016 was the year that many areas of science and technology finally started to converge. As a result we’re seeing a sort of slow-motion explosion––we will undoubtedly look back on the last part of this decade as a pivotal moment in our history on this planet.

Our 2017 Trend Report reveals strategic opportunities and challenges for your organization in the coming year. The Future Today Institute’s annual Trend Report prepares leaders and organizations for the year ahead, so that you are better positioned to see emerging technology and adjust your strategy accordingly. Use our report to identify near-future business disruption and competitive threats while simultaneously finding new collaborators and partners. Most importantly, use our report as a jumping off point for deeper strategic planning.

 

 



 

Also see:

Emerging eLearning Tools and Platforms Improve Results — from learningsolutionsmag.com

  • Augmented and virtual reality offer ways to immerse learners in experiences that can aid training in processes and procedures, provide realistic simulations to deepen empathy and build communication skills, or provide in-the-workflow support for skilled technicians performing complex procedures.
  • Badges and other digital credentials provide new ways to assess and validate employees’ skills and mark their eLearning achievements, even if their learning takes place informally or outside of the corporate framework.
  • Chatbots are proving an excellent tool for spaced learning, review of course materials, guiding new hires through onboarding, and supporting new managers with coaching and tips.
  • Content curation enables L&D professionals to provide information and educational materials from trusted sources that can deepen learners’ knowledge and help them build skills.
  • eBooks, a relative newcomer to the eLearning arena, offer rich features for portable on-demand content that learners can explore, review, and revisit as needed.
  • Interactive videos provide branching scenarios, quiz learners on newly introduced concepts and terms, offer prompts for small-group discussions, and do much more to engage learners.
  • Podcasts can turn drive time into productive time, allowing learners to enjoy a story built around eLearning content.
  • Smartphone apps, available wherever learners take their phones or tablets, can be designed to offer product support, info for sales personnel, up-to-date information for repair technicians, and games and drills for teaching and reviewing content; the possibilities are limited only by designers’ imagination.
  • Social platforms like Slack, Yammer, or Instagram facilitate collaboration, sharing of ideas, networking, and social learning. Adopting social learning platforms encourages learners to develop their skills and contribute to their communities of practice, whether inside their companies or more broadly.
  • xAPI turns any experience into a learning experience. Adding xAPI capability to any suitable tool or platform means you can record learner activity and progress in a learning record store (LRS) and track it.

 



 

DevLearn Attendees Learn How to ‘Think Like a Futurist’ — from learningsolutionsmag.com

Excerpt:

How does all of this relate to eLearning? Again, Webb anticipated the question. Her response gave hope to some—and terrified others. She presented three possible future scenarios:

  • Everyone in the learning arena learns to recognize weak signals; they work with technologists to refine artificial intelligence to instill values. Future machines learn not only to identify correct and incorrect answers; they also learn right and wrong. Webb said that she gives this optimistic scenario a 25 percent chance of occurring.
  • Everyone present is inspired by her talk but they, and the rest of the learning world, do nothing. Artificial intelligence continues to develop as it has in the past, learning to identify correct answers but lacking values. Webb’s prediction is that this pragmatic optimistic scenario has a 50 percent chance of occurring.
  • Learning and artificial intelligence continue to develop on separate tracks. Future artificial intelligence and machine learning projects incorporate real biases that affect what and how people learn and how knowledge is transferred. Webb said that she gives this catastrophic scenario a 25 percent chance of occurring.

In an attempt to end on a strong positive note, Webb said that “the future hasn’t happened yet—we think” and encouraged attendees to take action. “To build the future of learning that you want, listen to weak signals now.”

 



 

 

 

 

 

Will blockchain help make Virtual Reality more social? — from thenextweb.com by Alice Bonasio

Excerpt:

Emerging social VR platforms are experimenting with new ways of democratizing access and ownership of content and information.

VR has often been considered something of a solitary experience, but that’s changing fast. Social VR platforms are on the rise, and as the acquisition of AltspaceVR by Microsoft shows, major players in that space are taking notice.

This shows how momentum is building around social VR, and although it’s unlikely that such platforms will replace social media in terms of popularity overnight, the question is certainly being asked about who will emerge as “Facebook of VR.”

“We believe virtual reality will flourish once users have a more prominent role in controlling their creations. Currently, the companies that create the virtual worlds own all of the content built by the users. They are the ones who profit, reap the benefits from the network effects, and have the power to undo, change or censor what happens within the world itself. The true potential of VR might be realized, and certainly surpass what already exists, if this power were put into the hands of the users instead,” believes Ariel Meilich, founder of blockchain-based virtual platform Decentraland.

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. Essentially each ‘block’ is like an individual bank statement. Completed ‘blocks’ (the most recent transactions) are added in chronological order allowing market participants to keep track of the transactions without the need for central record keeping. Just as Bitcoin eliminates the need for a third party to process or store payments, and isn’t regulated by a central authority, users in any blockchain structure are responsible for validating transactions whenever one party pays another for goods or services.

 

From DSC:
As this article reminded me, it’s the combination of two or more emerging technologies that will likely bring major innovation our way.  Here’s another example of that same idea/concept.

 

 

 

Warby Parker Uses Face ID in iPhone X to Measure Your Face for Glasses — from mobile-ar.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Online glasses retailer Warby Parker built its reputation by selling fashionable yet affordable eyeglasses, so it perhaps a surprise that it’s one of the first developers to take advantage of the technology in the least affordable iPhone yet.

While other developers are making adjusting to their apps to account for the infamous camera notch, Warby Parker decided to update its Glasses app to directly leverage the Face ID facial recognition system. Now, in the updated version of the app, Glasses can measure the user’s face to estimate which frames will fit best.

 

 

 

Apple Is Ramping Up Work on AR Headset to Succeed iPhone — from bloomberg.com by Mark Gurman

Excerpt:

Apple Inc., seeking a breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone, aims to have technology ready for an augmented-reality headset in 2019 and could ship a product as early as 2020.

Unlike the current generation of virtual reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen, Apple’s device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to people familiar with the situation. The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change, said the people, who requested anonymity to speak freely about a private matter.

 

 

“The power is that we can take the user anywhere in the entire universe throughout all of time for historical experiences like this.” (source)

 

 

AR navigation app promises better accuracy than GPS alone — from engadget.com by Jon Fingas
Walk the streets as if you had a local by your side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to Really Teach a Robot? Command It With VR — from wired.com by Matt Simon

Excerpt:

Ask a robot to do the same and you’ll either get a blank stare or a crumpled object in the cold, cold grasp of a machine. Because robots are good at repetitive tasks that require a lot of strength, but they’re still bad at learning how to manipulate novel objects. Which is why today a company called Embodied Intelligence has emerged from stealth mode to fuse the strengths of robots and people into a new system that could make it far easier for regular folk to teach robots new tasks. Think of it like a VR videogame—only you get to control a hulking robot.

 

From DSC:
To remain up-to-date, Engineering Departments within higher ed have their work cut out for them — big time! Those Senior Engineering Teams have many new, innovative pathways and projects to pursue these days.

 

 

 

Daqri ships augmented reality smart glasses for professionals — from venturebeat.com by Dean Takahashi

Excerpt:

Daqri has begun shipping its augmented reality smart glasses for the workplace.

Los Angeles-based Daqri is betting that AR — a technology that overlays digital animations on top of the real world — will take off first in the enterprise, where customers are willing to pay a higher price in order to solve complex problems. The idea is to help people solve real-world problems, like fixing a jet engine or piecing together an assembly. Daqri argues that the gains in productivity and efficiency make up for the initial cost.

At $4,995, the system is not cheap, but it is optimized to present complex workloads and process a lot of data right on the glasses themselves. It is available for direct purchase from Daqri’s web site and through channel partners. Daqri is targeting customers across manufacturing, field services, maintenance and repair, inspections, construction, and others.

 


 

 

 

 

The NBA really wants you to watch games in VR — from cnet.com by Terry Collins
The basketball league has now struck two partnerships to broadcast games in virtual reality. Are fans willing to watch them?

Excerpt:

What’s keeping you from watching NBA games in VR?

Is it the bulky headsets? Is it the slow camera switches that don’t follow the players quickly enough? Is it too expensive?

The NBA is betting that one reason is it just doesn’t have enough partnerships yet. So, the league is teaming up with Turner Sports and Intel TrueVR to air weekly games on TNT in VR starting with the All-Star weekend festivities from Los Angeles in February.
russell-westbrook-alley-oop.jpg

NBA fans will soon be able to see more of MVP Russell Westbrook in virtual reality.
NBAE/Getty Images

This partnership represents a doubling down of NBA’s VR efforts, despite indications it isn’t actually working. Last year, the NBA began airing games with NextVR as part of a multiyear deal.

 

 

 

Microsoft: Here’s how Mixed Reality will aid information workers and boost digital transformation — from techrepublic.com by Alison DeNisco Rayome
At Microsoft Future Decoded, the tech giant explained how mixed reality can help workers and companies achieve more.

Excerpt:

The 3 big takeaways

  1. At the Microsoft Future Decoded conference in London, executives from the tech giant offered a vision for integrating Microsoft 365, Microsoft HoloLens, Windows Mixed Reality, and 3D capabilities into modern workplaces to aid digital transformation.
  2. Firstline workers and information workers will likely be the first to benefit from mixed reality in the workplace, using the technology for collaboration, training, and more.
  3. Microsoft has made a number of moves into the mixed reality space recently, including expanding its HoloLens headset into new European markets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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