What’s ahead for AI, VR, NFTs, and more? — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides
Here are some predictions for tech in 2022.

Excerpt:

Just as we saw new professions and job classifications when the web appeared in the ’90s, we’ll see new professions and services appear as a result of AI—specifically, as a result of natural language processing. We don’t yet know what these new professions will look like or what new skills they’ll require. But they’ll almost certainly involve collaboration between humans and intelligent machines.

Also see:

  • How A.I. is set to evolve in 2022 — from cnbc.com by Sam Shead
    Key Points: 
    * AI can excel at specific narrow tasks such as playing chess but it struggles to do more than one thing well.
    * While AI still has a long way to go before anything like human-level intelligence is achieved, it hasn’t stopped the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon investing billions of dollars.
 

Frequently Asked Questions About Metaverse — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

You can also discover many other interesting use cases of the metaverse, such as creating virtual learning spaces or virtual tourism. 

 

Also see:

Top 5 Blockchain And Crypto Projects In The Metaverse — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

AI bots to user data: Is there space for rights in the metaverse? — from reuters.com by Sonia Elks

Summary

  • Facebook’s ‘metaverse’ plans fuel debate on virtual world
  • Shared digital spaces raise privacy, ownership questions
  • Rights campaigners urge regulators to widen safeguards

 

 

From DSC:
From my perspective, both of the items below are highly-related to each other:

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It. — from edsurge.com by Anne-Marie Núñez, Matthew J. Mayhew, Musbah Shaheen and Laura S. Dahl

Excerpt:

Change may need to start earlier in the workforce development pipeline. Undergraduate education offers a key opportunity for recruiting students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic, gender, and disability groups into computing. Yet even broadened participation in college computer science courses may not shift the tech workforce and block bias from seeping into tech tools if students aren’t taught that diversity and ethics are essential to their field of study and future careers.

Computer Science Majors Lack Citizenship Preparation
Unfortunately, those lessons seem to be missing from many computer science programs.

…and an excerpt from Why AI can’t really filter out “hate news” — with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource (emphasis DSC):

The incomprehensibility and unexplainability of huge algorithms
Michael Egnor: What terrifies me about artificial intelligence — and I don’t think one can overstate this danger — is that artificial intelligence has two properties that make it particularly deadly in human civilization. One is concealment. Even though every single purpose in artificial intelligence is human, it’s concealed. We don’t really understand it. We don’t understand Google’s algorithms.

There may even be a situation where Google doesn’t understand Google’s algorithms. But all of it comes from the people who run Google. So the concealment is very dangerous. We don’t know what these programs are doing to our culture. And it may be that no one knows, but they are doing things.

Note:Roman Yampolskiy has written about the incomprehensibility and unexplainability of AI: “Human beings are finite in our abilities. For example, our short term memory is about 7 units on average. In contrast, an AI can remember billions of items and AI capacity to do so is growing exponentially. While never infinite in a true mathematical sense, machine capabilities can be considered such in comparison with ours. This is true for memory, compute speed, and communication abilities.” So we have built-in bias and incomprehensibility at the same time.

From DSC:
That part about concealment reminds me that our society depends upon the state of the hearts of the tech leaders. We don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. The legal realm is too far behind to stop the Wild West of technological change. The legal realm is trying to catch up, but they’re coming onto the race track with no cars…just as pedestrians walking or running as fast as they can….all the while, the technological cars are whizzing by. 

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

The net effect of all of this is that we are more dependent upon the ethics, morals, and care for their fellow humankind (or not) of the C-Suites out there (especially Facebook/Meta Platforms, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple) than we care to admit. Are they producing products and services that aim to help our societies move forward, or are they just trying to make some more bucks? Who — or what — is being served?

The software engineers and software architects are involved here big time as well. “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.” But that perspective is sometimes in short supply.

 

Timnit Gebru Says Artificial Intelligence Needs to Slow Down — from wired.com by Max Levy
The AI researcher, who left Google last year, says the incentives around AI research are all wrong.

Excerpt:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCHERS are facing a problem of accountability: How do you try to ensure decisions are responsible when the decision maker is not a responsible person, but rather an algorithm? Right now, only a handful of people and organizations have the power—and resources—to automate decision-making.

Since leaving Google, Gebru has been developing an independent research institute to show a new model for responsible and ethical AI research. The institute aims to answer similar questions as her Ethical AI team, without fraught incentives of private, federal, or academic research—and without ties to corporations or the Department of Defense.

“Our goal is not to make Google more money; it’s not to help the Defense Department figure out how to kill more people more efficiently,” she said.

From DSC:
What does our society need to do to respond to this exponential pace of technological change? And where is the legal realm here?

Speaking of the pace of change…the following quote from The Future Direction And Vision For AI (from marktechpost.com by Imtiaz Adam) speaks to massive changes in this decade as well:

The next generation will feature 5G alongside AI and will lead to a new generation of Tech superstars in addition to some of the existing ones.

In future the variety, volume and velocity of data is likely to substantially increase as we move to the era of 5G and devices at the Edge of the network. The author argues that our experience of development with AI and the arrival of 3G followed by 4G networks will be dramatically overshadowed with the arrival of AI meets 5G and the IoT leading to the rise of the AIoT where the Edge of the network will become key for product and service innovation and business growth.

Also related/see:

 
 

The Hardware and Materials Innovations Enabling Consumer Augmented Reality — from luxresearchinc.com by Vladimir Roznyatovskiy

Excerpt:

Consumer mass-market augmented reality (AR) products and applications could become a fourth wave of modern technological progress, following the PC and smartphone in transformative impact on nearly all aspects of life and business.

However, making widespread consumer AR a reality will require significant innovations in optical components, light engines, and cameras and sensors to reduce size and weight while improving performance. These advances will create significant opportunities for materials and hardware developers. It will be five years to seven years before these efforts translate into viable mass-market devices, but once they do, the opportunities for consumer insights and engagement will be tremendous and a significant source of competitive differentiation.

 

Facebook to target Nigerian learners with educational app Sabee, created by its R&D team — from techcrunch.com by Sarah Perez

Excerpt:

Last fall, Facebook announced it was opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria, which would provide the company with a hub in the region and the first office on the continent staffed with a team of engineers. We’ve now spotted one of the first products to emerge from this office: an education-focused mobile app called Sabee, which means “to know” in Nigerian Pidgin. The app aims to connect learners and educators in online communities to make educational opportunities more accessible.

 

2 Chronicles 10 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com (emphasis DSC)

Excerpt:

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

From DSC:
The new, younger king didn’t listen to the older, more experienced people (i.e., the elders) who had worked with King Solomon (a king who reigned over a united Israel for 40 years…and a person whom the Bible says was the wisest king of all time). Instead the younger king sought the counsel of his younger peers and went with that advice. This led to Rehoboam’s downfall — at least in terms of keeping a strong, united Israel. He was only a king of a much smaller kingdom due to his decision and actions.

What might the youth of today learn from this? How might entrepreneurs learn from this? What might companies like Google, Facebook, and others learn from this? How might this impact how we go about developing the culture of a company? What’s valued and what’s not valued?

There are probably different lessons one can learn from 2 Chronicles Chapter 10. But here’s one example that comes to my mind…

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

 

10 takeaways from Big Tech’s big earnings — from protocol.com by David Pierce
What Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon earnings say about the state of tech.

 

 

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

 

How to become a livestreaming teacher — from innovatemyschool.com by Bobbie Grennier

Excerpts:

What is an encoder?
The format that a video camera records content in has to be transcoded so that it can be livestreamed to a destination like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and Periscope. This is accomplished using an encoder software. An encoder optimizes the video feed for the streaming platform. The key to using an encoder is to learn to set-up scenes.

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see how learning-related platforms develop in the future. I’m continually on the lookout for innovative ideas across the learning landscapes, especially due to the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision that I’ve been tracking this last decade. The pieces continue to come together. This might be another piece to that puzzle.

An online-based teaching and learning marketplace — backed up by AI, cloud-based learning profiles, voice-driven interfaces, learning agents, and more. Feeds/streams of content into how to learn about any topic…supporting communities of practice as well as individuals. And people will be key in this platform — technology will serve the people, not the other way around.

Daniel Christian -- A technology is meant to be a tool, it is not meant to rule.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian