Are Colleges Ready For an Online-Education World Without OPMs? — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell (Columnist)
Online Program Management companies have helped hundreds of colleges build online degree programs, but the sector is showing signs of strain.

For more than 15 years, a group of companies known as Online Program Management providers, or OPMs, have been helping colleges build online degree programs. And most of them have relied on an unusual arrangement — where the companies put up the financial backing to help colleges launch programs in exchange for a large portion of tuition revenue.

As a longtime administrator of online programs at colleges, I have mixed feelings about the idea of shutting down the model. And the question boils down to this: Are colleges ready for a world without OPMs?


Guy Raz on Podcasts and Passion: Audio’s Ability to Spark Learning — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn

This conversation went in a bunch of unexpected directions. And that’s what’s so fun about it. After all, podcasting is all about bringing audio back and turning learning into leisure. And the question Guy and his partner Mindy Thomas asked a while back was: Why not bring kids in on the fun? Guy shared how his studio, Tinkercast, is leveraging the medium to inspire and educate the next generation of problem solvers.

We discussed the power of audio to capture curiosities and foster imagination, how Tinkercast is doing that in and out of the classroom, and how it can help re-engage students in building needed skills at a critical time. Enjoy!



April 2024 Job Cuts Announced by US-Based Companies Fall; More Cuts Attributed to TX DEI Law, AI in April — from challengergray.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Education
Companies in the Education industry, which includes schools and universities, cut the second-most jobs last month with 8,092 for a total of 17,892. That is a 635% increase from the 2,435 cuts announced during the first four months of 2023.

“April is typically the time school districts are hiring and setting budgets for the next fiscal year. Certainly, there are budgetary constraints, as labor costs rise, but school systems also have a retention and recruitment issue,” said Challenger.


Lifetime college returns differ significantly by major, research finds — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Engineering and computer science showed the best return out of 10 fields of study that were examined.

Dive Brief:

  • The lifetime rate of return for a college education differs significantly by major, but it also varies by a student’s gender and race or ethnicity, according to new peer-reviewed research published in the American Educational Research Journal.
  • A bachelor’s degree in general provides a roughly 9% rate of return for men, and nearly 10% for women, researchers concluded. The majors with the best returns were computer science and engineering.
  • Black, Hispanic and Asian college graduates had slightly higher rates of return than their White counterparts, the study found.
 

Forbes 2024 AI 50 List: Top Artificial Intelligence Startups  — from forbes.com by Kenrick Cai

The artificial intelligence sector has never been more competitive. Forbes received some 1,900 submissions this year, more than double last year’s count. Applicants do not pay a fee to be considered and are judged for their business promise and technical usage of AI through a quantitative algorithm and qualitative judging panels. Companies are encouraged to share data on diversity, and our list aims to promote a more equitable startup ecosystem. But disparities remain sharp in the industry. Only 12 companies have women cofounders, five of whom serve as CEO, the same count as last year. For more, see our full package of coverage, including a detailed explanation of the list methodology, videos and analyses on trends in AI.


Adobe Previews Breakthrough AI Innovations to Advance Professional Video Workflows Within Adobe Premiere Pro — from news.adobe.com

  • New Generative AI video tools coming to Premiere Pro this year will streamline workflows and unlock new creative possibilities, from extending a shot to adding or removing objects in a scene
  • Adobe is developing a video model for Firefly, which will power video and audio editing workflows in Premiere Pro and enable anyone to create and ideate
    Adobe previews early explorations of bringing third-party generative AI models from OpenAI, Pika Labs and Runway directly into Premiere Pro, making it easy for customers to draw on the strengths of different models within the powerful workflows they use every day
  • AI-powered audio workflows in Premiere Pro are now generally available, making audio editing faster, easier and more intuitive

Also relevant see:




 

AI fast-tracks research to find battery material that halves lithium use — from inavateonthenet.net

Using AI, the team was able to plow through 32.6 million possible battery materials in 80 hours, a task the team estimates would have taken them 20 years to do.


Other interesting items from inavateonthenet.net:

Medical ‘hologram’ market to reach 6.8 bn by 2029

Providing audio for open spaces

 

From DSC:
I recently ran into the following item:


UK university opens VR classroom — from inavateonthenet.net

Students at the University of Nottingham will be learning through a dedicated VR classroom, enabling remote viewing and teaching for students and lecturers.

Based in the university’s Engineering Science and Learning Centre (ELSC), this classroom, believed to be the first in the UK to use a dedicated VR classroom, using 40 VR headsets, 35 of which are tethered overhead to individual PCs, with five available as traditional, desk-based systems with display screens.


I admit that I was excited to see this article and I congratulate the University of Nottingham on their vision here. I hope that they can introduce more use cases and applications to provide evidence of VR’s headway.

As I look at virtual reality…

  • On the plus side, I’ve spoken with people who love to use their VR-based headsets for fun workouts/exercises. I’ve witnessed the sweat, so I know that’s true. And I believe there is value in having the ability to walk through museums that one can’t afford to get to. And I’m sure that the gamers have found some incredibly entertaining competitions out there. The experience of being immersed can be highly engaging. So there are some niche use cases for sure.
  • But on the negative side, the technologies surrounding VR haven’t progressed as much as I thought they would have by now. For example, I’m disappointed Apple’s taken so long to put a product out there, and I don’t want to invest $3500 in their new product. From the reviews and items on social media that I’ve seen, the reception is lukewarm. At the most basic level, I’m not sure people want to wear a headset for more than a few minutes.

So overall, I’d like to see more use cases and less nausea.


Addendum on 2/27/24:

Leyard ‘wall of wonder’ wows visitors at Molecular Biology Lab — from inavateonthenet.net

 

The Future of Generative AI in Architecture, Design, and Engineering — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com; report referenced was prepared by Greg Lindsay & Anthony Townsend

The key findings of the report “The Future of Generative AI in Architecture, Design, and Engineering” include:

  1. Generative AI (GAI) has the potential to disrupt fields such as architecture, design, and engineering by enabling users to quickly generate digital content in response to prompts.
  2. GAI, represented by large language models like GPT-4, has shown remarkable capabilities in natural language processing, machine translation, and content generation.
  3. GAI’s ability to produce thoughtful content and analysis at almost zero marginal cost is causing significant impact in global politics, industry, and culture.
  4. The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is already experiencing the effects of GAI, with concerns about job displacement and the use of AI-generated avatars.
  5. GAI is compute-bound, leading to a high demand for computing power, particularly GPUs. However, emerging trends suggest that future developments will establish a
 

Thandiwe Muriu Confronts Notions of Value in Her Vividly Disguised Portraits — from thisiscolossal.com by Grace Ebert

“A Cycle of Joy” (2023). All images © Thandiwe Muriu


“Santa Monica” by Photographer Francesca Forquet — from booooooom.com by Francesca Forquet


 


ElevenLabs’ AI Voice Generator Can Now Fake Your Voice in 30 Languages — from gizmodo.com by Kyle Barr
ElevenLabs said its AI voice generator is out of beta, saying it would support video game and audiobook creators with cheap audio.

According to ElevenLabs, the new Multilingual v2 model promises it can produce “emotionally rich” audio in a total of 30 languages. The company offers two AI voice tools, one is a text-to-speech model and the other is the “VoiceLab” that lets paying users clone a voice by inputting fragments of theirs (or others) speech into the model to create a kind of voice cone. With the v2 model, users can get these generated voices to start speaking in Greek, Malay, or Turkish.

Since then, ElevenLabs claims its integrated new measures to ensure users can only clone their own voice. Users need to verify their speech with a text captcha prompt which is then compared to the original voice sample.

From DSC:
I don’t care what they say regarding safeguards/proof of identity/etc. This technology has been abused and will be abused in the future. We can count on it. The question now is, how do we deal with it?



Google, Amazon, Nvidia and other tech giants invest in AI startup Hugging Face, sending its valuation to $4.5 billion — from cnbc.com by Kif Leswing

But Hugging Face produces a platform where AI developers can share code, models, data sets, and use the company’s developer tools to get open-source artificial intelligence models running more easily. In particular, Hugging Face often hosts weights, or large files with lists of numbers, which are the heart of most modern AI models.

While Hugging Face has developed some models, like BLOOM, its primary product is its website platform, where users can upload models and their weights. It also develops a series of software tools called libraries that allow users to get models working quickly, to clean up large datasets, or to evaluate their performance. It also hosts some AI models in a web interface so end users can experiment with them.


The global semiconductor talent shortage — from www2.deloitte.com
How to solve semiconductor workforce challenges

Numerous skills are required to grow the semiconductor ecosystem over the next decade. Globally, we will need tens of thousands of skilled tradespeople to build new plants to increase and localize manufacturing capacity: electricians, pipefitters, welders; thousands more graduate electrical engineers to design chips and the tools that make the chips; more engineers of various kinds in the fabs themselves, but also operators and technicians. And if we grow the back end in Europe and the Americas, that equates to even more jobs.

Each of these job groups has distinct training and educational needs; however, the number of students in semiconductor-focused programs (for example, undergraduates in semiconductor design and fabrication) has dwindled. Skills are also evolving within these job groups, in part due to automation and increased digitization. Digital skills, such as cloud, AI, and analytics, are needed in design and manufacturing more than ever.

The chip industry has long partnered with universities and engineering schools. Going forward, they also need to work more with local tech schools, vocational schools, and community colleges; and other organizations, such as the National Science Foundation in the United States.


Our principles for partnering with the music industry on AI technology — from blog.youtube (Google) by Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube
AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners.

  • Principle #1: AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners.
  • Principle #2: AI is ushering in a new age of creative expression, but it must include appropriate protections and unlock opportunities for music partners who decide to participate.
  • Principle #3: We’ve built an industry-leading trust and safety organization and content policies. We will scale those to meet the challenges of AI.

Developers are now using AI for text-to-music apps — from techcrunch.com by Ivan Mehta

Brett Bauman, the developer of PlayListAI (previously LinupSupply), launched a new app called Songburst on the App Store this week. The app doesn’t have a steep learning curve. You just have to type in a prompt like “Calming piano music to listen to while studying” or “Funky beats for a podcast intro” to let the app generate a music clip.

If you can’t think of a prompt the app has prompts in different categories, including video, lo-fi, podcast, gaming, meditation and sample.


A Generative AI Primer — from er.educause.edu by Brian Basgen
Understanding the current state of technology requires understanding its origins. This reading list provides sources relevant to the form of generative AI that led to natural language processing (NLP) models such as ChatGPT.


Three big questions about AI and the future of work and learning — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Alex Swartsel
AI is set to transform education and work today and well into the future. We need to start asking tough questions right now, writes Alex Swartsel of JFF.

  1. How will AI reshape jobs, and how can we prepare all workers and learners with the skills they’ll need?
  2. How can education and workforce leaders equitably adopt AI platforms to accelerate their impact?
  3. How might we catalyze sustainable policy, practice, and investments in solutions that drive economic opportunity?

“As AI reshapes both the economy and society, we must collectively call for better data, increased accountability, and more flexible support for workers,” Swartsel writes.


The Current State of AI for Educators (August, 2023) — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
A podcast interview with the University of Toronto on where we’re at & where we’re going.

 

 

ChatGPT scams are the new crypto scams, Meta warns — from engadget.com by Karissa Bell
Meta plans to roll out new “Work Accounts” for businesses to guard against hacks.

Excerpt:

As the buzz around ChatGPT and other generative AI increases, so has scammers’ interest in the tech. In a new report published by Meta, the company says it’s seen a sharp uptick in malware disguised as ChatGPT and similar AI software.

In a statement, the company said that since March of 2023 alone, its researchers have discovered “ten malware families using ChatGPT and other similar themes to compromise accounts across the internet” and that it’s blocked more than 1,000 malicious links from its platform. According to Meta, the scams often involve mobile apps or browser extensions posing as ChatGPT tools. And while in some cases the tools do offer some ChatGPT functionality, their real purpose is to steal their users’ account credentials.

AI Is Reshaping the Battlefield and the Future of Warfare — from bloomberg.com by Jackie Davalos and Nate Lanxon
In this episode of AI IRL, Jackie Davalos and Nate Lanxon talk about one of the most dangerous applications of artificial intelligence: modern warfare

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has triggered an arms race with the potential to transform modern-day warfare. Countries are vying to develop cutting-edge technology at record speed, sparking concerns about whether we understand its power before it’s deployed.

From DSC:
I wish that humankind — especially those of us in the United States — would devote less money to warfare and more funding to education.

 

From DSC:
As Rob Toews points out in his recent article out at Forbes.com, we had better hope that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) builds out the capacity to make chips in various countries. Why? Because:

The following statement is utterly ludicrous. It is also true. The world’s most important advanced technology is nearly all produced in a single facility.

What’s more, that facility is located in one of the most geopolitically fraught areas on earth—an area in which many analysts believe that war is inevitable within the decade.

The future of artificial intelligence hangs in the balance.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) makes ***all of the world’s advanced AI chips.*** Most importantly, this means Nvidia’s GPUs; it also includes the AI chips from Google, AMD, Amazon, Microsoft, Cerebras, SambaNova, Untether and every other credible competitor.

— from The Geopolitics Of AI Chips Will Define The Future Of AI
out at Forbes.com by Rob Toews

Little surprise, then, that Time Magazine described TSMC
as “the world’s most important company that you’ve
probably never heard of.”

 


From DSC:
If that facility was actually the only one and something happened to it, look at how many things would be impacted as of early May 2023!


 

Examples of generative AI models

 

Cleveland Cavaliers Turn Their Arena Into An AR Arcade — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

.

How Audi Used AR Tech To Build Its New Concept Car  — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

.

Celebrate Earth Day With An Out-Of-This-World VR Film — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

 

Explore Breakthroughs in AI, Accelerated Computing, and Beyond at NVIDIA's GTC -- keynote was held on March 21 2023

Explore Breakthroughs in AI, Accelerated Computing, and Beyond at GTC — from nvidia.com
The Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse

 


Addendums on 3/22/23:

Generative AI for Enterprises — from nvidia.com
Custom-built for a new era of innovation and automation.

Excerpt:

Impacting virtually every industry, generative AI unlocks a new frontier of opportunities—for knowledge and creative workers—to solve today’s most important challenges. NVIDIA is powering generative AI through an impressive suite of cloud services, pre-trained foundation models, as well as cutting-edge frameworks, optimized inference engines, and APIs to bring intelligence to your enterprise applications.

NVIDIA AI Foundations is a set of cloud services that advance enterprise-level generative AI and enable customization across use cases in areas such as text (NVIDIA NeMo™), visual content (NVIDIA Picasso), and biology (NVIDIA BioNeMo™). Unleash the full potential with NeMo, Picasso, and BioNeMo cloud services, powered by NVIDIA DGX™ Cloud—the AI supercomputer.

 

Top 6 VR learning trends in 2023 — from chieflearningofficer.com by Anders Gronstedt

Excerpt:

From virtual to mixed reality
A new class of “mixed reality” headsets will launch in 2023, promising to break the barriers between the real and virtual worlds. Meta launched a developer version of this technology a few months ago called “Quest Pro,” which superimposes computer-generated images into the real world around us. The mass-market version of this headset, Quest 3, will hit the shelves this fall for $400. Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to finally premiere a more premium mixed reality headset this spring. This can be an important step toward a vision of true augmented reality glasses that is still years away.

The new year will see the mainstream adoption of VR for safety, equipment operations and service, logistics, manufacturing, emergency response and health care training. Other applications will take several more years to mature. Current XR technology is not ripe for soft skills training, IT systems training, conferences and all-purpose collaboration (Meta can’t even get its own employees to hold regular meetings in VR). Procedural hands-on training simulations will be the edge of the new frontier of XR learning in the new year.

 

From DSC:
For all you folks out there who like to fish, you have to check this out! (Though I don’t think even this high-tech fishing rod could help me out.)

Overengineered Fishing Rod

A modified excerpt:

Handy Geng [shows off his] latest build: a multifunctional fishing rod with an ice-breaking shovel on one end, a smartphone-controlled motorized reel, accent lighting, and the ability to detect when a fish is on the hook. It also works as a pot stand for cooking your fresh catch.

 

 

Female scientists challenge stereotypes | Not the Science Type — from 3M.com
Female scientists challenge stereotypes and blaze paths for future generations in this 3M-produced docuseries

Excerpt:

STEM education has an access issue: let’s change that.

Around the world, people believe the we need more people in STEM careers. Eighty-seven percent of people believe we need to do more to encourage and retain girls in STEM education. At the same time, barriers remain – 73% of people believe underrepresented minorities often lack equal access STEM education.

Not The Science Type gets to the heart of access and gender inequity in STEM education and STEM fields. This four-part docuseries features four female scientists who are challenging stereotypes and confronting gender, racial and age discrimination as they rise to prominence.

Not The Science Type highlights four brilliant minds, showcasing women who break down boundaries within their fields – biology, engineering and science and technology-based applications.
.

Female scientists challenge stereotypes and blaze paths for future generations in this 3M-produced docuseries.

While each woman has taken a different path to pursue scientific excellence, they are bound by the common experience of feeling excluded, or “not the type” in traditionally homogenous fields.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian