Women of Foresight: Changes in Education for Future Student Success — from leadingthought.us.com by Dr. Liz Alexander




Education. A topic that remains hotly debated all over the world. Especially now, as we struggle to find our footing as our futures hurtle towards us, faster and more profoundly different than ever before.

What changes do existing schools and colleges need to make to better prepare students for the trends we already see? Together with those “weak signals” that suggest other, possible futures? In “trying to adapt education for what the American economy is evolving into,” is mandating “coding classes” part of the answer?  Are we doing enough to take into account contrarian perspectives like this one? Who gets to decide what the purpose of education should be, in any case?

These are just some of the questions everyone–from policy makers to parents, academics to students themselves–need to think about.

Intrigued as to what the global futurist and foresight communities might have in mind, I posed them the following question:

If there was one thing I could change in education to better prepare students for the future of work, it would be…

The twenty women that responded to my call are either professional futurists or apply foresight in their roles as leaders in global firms and consultancies, think tanks and foundations. They’re from countries as geographically disperse as Australia, Egypt, Germany, India, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

(If you’re wondering why I only asked women, it was a deliberate move to broaden commentary on “our futures,” so people don’t think it’s the sole purview of older, white men. Also, because I believe women’s natural inclinations toward relationships and collaboration, communities and mutual support, are the future!)



One example/answer:

“…to put more emphasis on HOW students will contribute, rather than WHAT their expertise will be, by helping them answer these three questions:

  • How do I most want to contribute to something larger than myself, aka my ‘mission in life’?
  • In what work environment will I be able to make the meaningful contributions I’m capable of?
  • How do I interact with others? What might derail my ambitions, dreams, and wishes? What can I do about it?”







From DSC:
I have attended the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference for the past two years. Both conferences were very solid and they made a significant impact on our campus, as they provided the knowledge, research, data, ideas, contacts, and the catalyst for us to move forward with building a Sandbox Classroom on campus. This new, collaborative space allows us to experiment with different pedagogies as well as technologies. As such, we’ve been able to experiment much more with active learning-based methods of teaching and learning. We’re still in Phase I of this new space, and we’re learning new things all of the time.

For the upcoming conference in February, I will be moderating a New Directions in Learning panel on the use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Time permitting, I hope that we can also address other promising, emerging technologies that are heading our way such as chatbots, personal assistants, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, tvOS, blockchain and more.

The goal of this quickly-moving, engaging session will be to provide a smorgasbord of ideas to generate creative, innovative, and big thinking. We need to think about how these topics, trends, and technologies relate to what our next generation learning environments might look like in the near future — and put these things on our radars if they aren’t already there.

Key takeaways for the panel discussion:

  • Reflections regarding the affordances that new developments in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) — such as AR, VR, and MR — might offer for our learning and our learning spaces (or is our concept of what constitutes a learning space about to significantly expand?)
  • An update on the state of the approaching ed tech landscape
  • Creative, new thinking: What might our next generation learning environments look like in 5-10 years?

I’m looking forward to catching up with friends, meeting new people, and to the solid learning that I know will happen at this conference. I encourage you to check out the conference and register soon to take advantage of the early bird discounts.



The Few, The Proud, the Unusual — by Jack Uldrich


An army of ants is an awe-inspiring and efficient force of nature. While each ant is individually small, collectively they accomplish amazing things—provided they have a sufficient source of food. The same is true of today’s modern corporation—if it has a profitable source of revenue. Alas, when the food or the money dries up, both the army and the corporation are endangered.

To protect themselves, ants rely on a unique sub-group of “pioneer ants.” Their sole job is to move out away from the main army in search of the next source of food. In this way, the pioneers act as a hedge against the possibility of being caught without a future source of food.

Every organization should also have at least a few “pioneers ants” whose single job is to identify future opportunities. To ensure these individuals have the best chance of success, I have outlined a series of unusual characteristics that I believe will bolster their odds of success–and, thus, your success…



Every organization should also have at least a few “pioneers ants” whose single job is to identify future opportunities.




FACT SHEET: ED Launches Initiative for Low-Income Students to Access New Generation Of Higher Education Providers — from ed.gov


[On 8/16/16], the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is inviting eight selected partnerships between institutions of higher education and non-traditional providers to participate in the EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships) experiment.

These partnerships will allow students—particularly low-income students—to access federal student aid for the first time to enroll in programs offered by non-traditional training providers, in partnership with colleges and universities, including coding bootcamps, online courses, and employer organizations. The goals of the experiment are to: (1) test new ways of allowing Americans from all backgrounds to access innovative learning and training opportunities that lead to good jobs, but that fall outside the current financial aid system; and (2) strengthen approaches for outcomes-based quality assurance processes that focus on student learning and other outcomes. The experiment aims to promote and measure college access, affordability, and student outcomes.



Obama Administration to Fund Nontraditional Training for Students — from wsj.com
Education Department will give up to $17 million in loans and grants for training at eight entities that aren’t traditional colleges


WASHINGTON—The Obama administration will inject millions of dollars into a group of nontraditional education providers to address a vexing problem: Many Americans are leaving college with debt but without skills the economy needs.

The administration is turning to the private sector for help. In a novel experiment, the Education Department announced Tuesday up to $17 million in loans and grants for students to undergo training at eight entities that aren’t traditional colleges. Most are for-profit companies. They include coding academies such as New York startup Flatiron School and Portland, Ore.-based Epicodus, as well as websites such as Study.com and StraighterLine that provide online courses at reduced costs.

The one that stands out from the group is corporate giant General Electric Co., which won’t receive funds directly but will provide training at one of its jet-engine plants under the program.

The program, called Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships, or Equip, is designed to enable low-income Americans to learn skills in areas where colleges often fall short, such as learning how to write computer code, or using new software to operate high-tech manufacturing equipment to make jet engines.




Can’t Afford Coding Camp? The Feds May Have a Loan for You — from wired.com by Issie Lapowsky


A new Department of Education program focused on skills training aims to address that second part. Announced last year, the so-called Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships program will offer federal student aid to students enrolled at non-traditional institutions like coding bootcamps and skills-training programs.

[On 8/16/16], the Department of Education revealed the eight organizations and educational institutions with programs that will be covered as part of the EQUIP pilot program. For now, the programs are located on both coasts and in Texas. They include bootcamps like The Flatiron School, as well as newly launched training programs from companies like General Electric. The Department of Education chose the programs from dozens of applications, and each organization will partner with an established, accredited college or university. Meanwhile, third-party quality assurance partners have signed up to monitor students’ results.






The future of financial infrastructure: An ambitious look at how blockchain can reshape financial services — from weforum.org

Key findings include:

  • Distributed ledger technology (blockchain) has the potential to drive simplicity and efficiency by establishing new financial services infrastructure and processes
  • Distributed ledger technology will form the foundation of next generation financial services infrastructure in conjunction with other existing and emerging technologies
  • Similar to technological advances in the past, new financial services infrastructure will transform and question traditional orthodoxies in today’s business models
  • The most impactful distributed ledger technology applications will require deep collaboration between incumbents, innovators, and regulators, adding complexity and delaying implementation

The report is centered on use cases, considering how distributed ledger technology could benefit each scenario. How will blockchain transform the future of financial services?




Ernst & Young’s report anticipates blockchain to reach critical mass in 3-5 years — from coinspeaker.com by Tatsiana Yablonskaya
Ernst and Young explains that financial industry is far from being the only one that can benefit from the blockchain technology.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Ernst & Young, leading consulting firm, one of the “Big Four” audit firms and the third largest professional services firm in the world, has made some predictions about the future of the blockchain technology and its significance in various industry sectors in the recent report.

The attention of multiple financial companies has been focused on the blockchain lately. This unique technology is well adaptable to the increasing requirements of secure bookkeeping and automation in various industries.

The EY report predicts that blockchain will reach critical mass in financial services in 3-5 years, with other industries following quickly. “One reason the blockchain reaction is racing toward critical mass faster than previous disruptive technologies is that it is arriving in the midst of the digital transformation already sweeping through most sectors of the global economy. Consequently, despite the obstacles still to be overcome, businesspeople and governments are preconditioned to recognize blockchain’s potential. Tech companies have already established much of the digital infrastructure required to realize blockchain business visions.”



From DSC:
Applying this technology towards the world of learning…

I wonder how blockchain might impact credentialing for lifelong learning, and will it be integrated into services available via tvOS-based applications?  This type of cloud-based offering/service could likely be a piece of our future learning ecosystems. Innovative, forward-thinking institutions should put this on their radar now, and start working on such efforts.


The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV



Infographic: IoT and the classroom of tomorrow — from cr80news.com by Andrew Hudson
Student IDs among list of most used smart devices on campus


The classroom of tomorrow will undoubtedly employ more and more smart devices, and coupled with the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon, the way in which students learn could be very different in the not-so-distant future.

A new survey conducted by Extreme Networks reveals that while smart classrooms and schools only represent a small fraction of campuses today, the promise is there for the technology to redefine the academic experience going forward. There are K-12 schools and universities across the country that are already using the IoT to connect smart devices that can “talk” to one another for the purpose of enhancing the learning experience.

From DSC:
I look forward to the time when machine-to-machine communications and sensors will give faculty members the settings that they want setup/initiated as soon as they walk into a room (some of this is most likely already occurring somewhere else…just not on our campus yet!):

  • The front lights lower down 50% (as the professor had requested previously)
  • The front 80′ LCD — a smart/Internet connected device — display is turned on and brings up that specific course on the screen (having already signed into the cloud-based CMS/LMS upon that professor entering the room; the system has already queried the appropriate back end system to ascertain what that professor teaches at that particular time and place)
  • The window treatments are lowered all the way down for better viewing
  • The speakers play a previously scheduled song, or a spoken poem, or an announcement, or what the students should be doing for the first 5-10 minutes of class
  • Etc.


  • Attendance is automatic (this clearly is already here today and has been for a while).
  • Students could receive any handouts that the professor wanted to wait to deliver until that particular date and time — again, automatically
  • Students could upload content that they created — automatically to an electronic parking lot, for the professor or other students to review and comment on

Also see the infographic, a portion of which is seen below:



Campus Technology 2016: Revolution is in the air — from edtechmagazine.com by Amy Burroughs
Georgia Tech educator and author forecasts that technology may be the answer to higher education’s ‘triple threat.’


In his keynote address at Campus Technology 2016, educator and author Richard DeMillo predicted that technology will be the key to resolving the toughest challenges facing higher education. In his speech, “A Revolution in Higher Education: Tales from Unlikely Allies,” DeMillo said that this revolution may be quiet, but it is happening, as more educators and leaders embrace innovation.

One problem, he said, is that the model of education that has dominated until now — small classrooms built around lecture-based pedagogy — is too expensive to be sustainable. Technology, however, now makes it possible to deliver education that is equally effective, yet less costly and less exclusionary (think MOOCs, online learning and emerging capabilities such as artificial intelligence). All this prompts a revolutionary rethinking of time-tested assumptions, he said.


What persists, he said, is his belief that higher education, for all its greatness, is not immune from the influence of politics, business, sociology and the economy.



How might these enhancements to Siri and tvOS 10 impact education/training/learning-related offerings & applications? [Christian]

From DSC:
I read the article mentioned below.  It made me wonder how 3 of the 4 main highlights that Fred mentioned (that are coming to Siri with tvOS 10) might impact education/training/learning-related applications and offerings made possible via tvOS & Apple TV:

  1. Live broadcasts
  2. Topic-based searches
  3. The ability to search YouTube via Siri

The article prompted me to wonder:

  • Will educators and trainers be able to offer live lectures and training (globally) that can be recorded and later searched via Siri? 
  • What if second screen devices could help learners collaborate and participate in active learning while watching what’s being presented on the main display/”TV?”
  • What if learning taken this way could be recorded on one’s web-based profile, a profile that is based upon blockchain-based technologies and maintained via appropriate/proven organizations of learning? (A profile that’s optionally made available to services from Microsoft/LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com and/or to a service based upon IBM’s Watson, and/or to some other online-based marketplace/exchange for matching open jobs to potential employees.)
  • Or what if you could earn a badge or prove a competency via this manner?

Hmmm…things could get very interesting…and very powerful.

More choice. More control. Over one’s entire lifetime.

Heutagogy on steroids.


Perhaps this is a piece of the future for MOOCs…





The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV







Apple TV gets new Siri features in tvOS 10 — from iphonefaq.org by Fred Straker


The forthcoming update to Apple TV continues to bring fresh surprises for owners of Apple’s set top box. Many improvements are coming to tvOS 10, including single-sign-on support and an upgrade to Siri’s capabilities. Siri has already opened new doors thanks to the bundled Siri Remote, which simplifies many functions on the Apple TV interface. Four main highlights are coming to Siri with tvOS 10, which is expected to launch this fall.



Addendum on 7/17/16:

CBS News Launches New Apple TV App Designed Exclusively for tvOS — from macrumors.com


CBS today announced the launch of an all-new Apple TV app that will center around the network’s always-on, 24-hour “CBSN” streaming network and has been designed exclusively for tvOS. In addition to the live stream of CBSN, the app curates news stories and video playlists for each user based on previously watched videos.

The new app will also take advantage of the 4th generation Apple TV’s deep Siri integration, allowing users to tell Apple’s personal assistant that they want to “Watch CBS News” to immediately start a full-screen broadcast of CBSN. While the stream is playing, users can interact with other parts of the app to browse related videos, bookmark some to watch later, and begin subscribing to specific playlists and topics.






What will higher education look like 5, 10 or 20 years from now? — from goodcall.com by Donna Fuscaldo


  • More Focus on ROI
    Students and families will focus more on college return on investment, affordability and student loan debt
    Over the next five years, D’Amico sees a shift happening, where potential students will weigh college return on investment, including the outcomes of the past students, job prospects upon graduation and the overall college experience more seriously than whether a school has a state-of-the-art gym. Similar to how people get real-person reviews of restaurants, doctors and other services, the same diligence will be applied to shopping for college.
  • Blending the Traditional and the Technological
    Internet will play bigger role in learning
    …progress will continue to be made in marrying a traditional college education with online classes. The Internet is increasingly becoming a tool for colleges and universities around the country who see the value it can bring.
  • Greater Accountability
    Schools will be more accountable to students and graduates






2026 The Decade Ahead — from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Jeff Selingo

What changes are in store for higher education over the next 10 years? Evolutionary shifts in three critical areas will have significant consequences for students and institutions as a whole.

Tomorrow’s students will be significantly more diverse and demand lower tuition costs. Faculty tenure policies will be reexamined as deep-seated Boomers retire. And how colleges are preparing students to succeed in an evolving global economy will be intensely scrutinized. What does this mean for your institution?

Digital Edition: $149.00
Print Edition:   $199.00



The Midwest, which produces 100,000 more graduates than the Northeast in any given year, will face an even steeper decline. The biggest producers of high schools graduates in the Midwest — Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois — will all experience historic downturns, with Michigan ending with 86,000 fewer graduates by 2028, a nearly 30 percent drop from 2009. (p.10)



Since 2007, 72 institutions have shut down, nearly all of them with enrollments of less than 1,000. The report outlined six different factors facing higher education institutions in the future, including small size, no online programs, tuition discount rates greater than 35%, and deficit spending. (p.19)





We can do nothing to change the past, but we have enormous power to shape the future. Once we grasp that essential insight, we recognize our responsibility and capability for building our dreams of tomorrow and avoiding our nightmares.

–Edward Cornish


From DSC:
This posting represents Part VI in a series of such postings that illustrate how quickly things are moving (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and to ask:

  • How do we collectively start talking about the future that we want?
  • How do we go about creating our dreams, not our nightmares?
  • Most certainly, governments will be involved….but who else should be involved in these discussions? Shouldn’t each one of us participate in some way, shape, or form?





Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem — from nytimes.com by Kate Crawford


But this hand-wringing is a distraction from the very real problems with artificial intelligence today, which may already be exacerbating inequality in the workplace, at home and in our legal and judicial systems. Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many “intelligent” systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to.

If we look at how systems can be discriminatory now, we will be much better placed to design fairer artificial intelligence. But that requires far more accountability from the tech community. Governments and public institutions can do their part as well: As they invest in predictive technologies, they need to commit to fairness and due process.



Facebook is using artificial intelligence to categorize everything you write — from futurism.com


Facebook has just revealed DeepText, a deep learning AI that will analyze everything you post or type and bring you closer to relevant content or Facebook services.



March of the machines — from economist.com
What history tells us about the future of artificial intelligence—and how society should respond


EXPERTS warn that “the substitution of machinery for human labour” may “render the population redundant”. They worry that “the discovery of this mighty power” has come “before we knew how to employ it rightly”. Such fears are expressed today by those who worry that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) could destroy millions of jobs and pose a “Terminator”-style threat to humanity. But these are in fact the words of commentators discussing mechanisation and steam power two centuries ago. Back then the controversy over the dangers posed by machines was known as the “machinery question”. Now a very similar debate is under way.

After many false dawns, AI has made extraordinary progress in the past few years, thanks to a versatile technique called “deep learning”. Given enough data, large (or “deep”) neural networks, modelled on the brain’s architecture, can be trained to do all kinds of things. They power Google’s search engine, Facebook’s automatic photo tagging, Apple’s voice assistant, Amazon’s shopping recommendations and Tesla’s self-driving cars. But this rapid progress has also led to concerns about safety and job losses. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others wonder whether AI could get out of control, precipitating a sci-fi conflict between people and machines. Others worry that AI will cause widespread unemployment, by automating cognitive tasks that could previously be done only by people. After 200 years, the machinery question is back. It needs to be answered.


As technology changes the skills needed for each profession, workers will have to adjust. That will mean making education and training flexible enough to teach new skills quickly and efficiently. It will require a greater emphasis on lifelong learning and on-the-job training, and wider use of online learning and video-game-style simulation. AI may itself help, by personalising computer-based learning and by identifying workers’ skills gaps and opportunities for retraining.





In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures — from nytimes.com by Mitch Smith


CHICAGO — When Eric L. Loomis was sentenced for eluding the police in La Crosse, Wis., the judge told him he presented a “high risk” to the community and handed down a six-year prison term.

The judge said he had arrived at his sentencing decision in part because of Mr. Loomis’s rating on the Compas assessment, a secret algorithm used in the Wisconsin justice system to calculate the likelihood that someone will commit another crime.

Compas is an algorithm developed by a private company, Northpointe Inc., that calculates the likelihood of someone committing another crime and suggests what kind of supervision a defendant should receive in prison. The results come from a survey of the defendant and information about his or her past conduct. Compas assessments are a data-driven complement to the written presentencing reports long compiled by law enforcement agencies.



Google Tackles Challenge of How to Build an Honest Robot — from bloomberg.com by


Researchers at Alphabet Inc. unit Google, along with collaborators at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and OpenAI — an artificial intelligence development company backed by Elon Musk — have some ideas about how to design robot minds that won’t lead to undesirable consequences for the people they serve. They published a technical paper Tuesday outlining their thinking.

The motivation for the research is the immense popularity of artificial intelligence, software that can learn about the world and act within it. Today’s AI systems let cars drive themselves, interpret speech spoken into phones, and devise trading strategies for the stock market. In the future, companies plan to use AI as personal assistants, first as software-based services like Apple Inc.’s Siri and the Google Assistant, and later as smart robots that can take actions for themselves.

But before giving smart machines the ability to make decisions, people need to make sure the goals of the robots are aligned with those of their human owners.



Policy paper | Data Science Ethical Framework — from gov.uk
From: Cabinet Office, Government Digital Service and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
First published: 19 May 2016
Part of: Government transparency and accountability

This framework is intended to give civil servants guidance on conducting data science projects, and the confidence to innovate with data.

Detail: Data science provides huge opportunities for government. Harnessing new forms of data with increasingly powerful computer techniques increases operational efficiency, improves public services and provides insight for better policymaking. We want people in government to feel confident using data science techniques to innovate. This guidance is intended to bring together relevant laws and best practice, to give teams robust principles to work with. The publication is a first version that we are asking the public, experts, civil servants and other interested parties to help us perfect and iterate. This will include taking on evidence from a public dialogue on data science ethics. It was published on 19 May by the Minister for Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock. If you would like to help us iterate the framework, find out how to get in touch at the end of this blog.





Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We need to update the New Deal for the 21st century and establish a trainee program for the new jobs artificial intelligence will create. We need to retrain truck drivers and office assistants to create data analysts, trip optimizers and other professionals we don’t yet know we need. It would have been impossible for an antebellum farmer to imagine his son becoming an electrician, and it’s impossible to say what new jobs AI will create. But it’s clear that drastic measures are necessary if we want to transition from an industrial society to an age of intelligent machines.

The next step in achieving human-level ai is creating intelligent—but not autonomous—machines. The AI system in your car will get you safely home, but won’t choose another destination once you’ve gone inside. From there, we’ll add basic drives, along with emotions and moral values. If we create machines that learn as well as our brains do, it’s easy to imagine them inheriting human-like qualities—and flaws.



DARPA to Build “Virtual Data Scientist” Assistants Through A.I. — from inverse.com by William Hoffman
A.I. will make up for the lack of data scientists.


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Friday the launch of Data-Driven Discovery of Models (D3M), which aim to help non-experts bridge what it calls the “data-science expertise gap” by allowing artificial assistants to help people with machine learning. DARPA calls it a “virtual data scientist” assistant.

This software is doubly important because there’s a lack of data scientists right now and a greater demand than ever for more data-driven solutions. DARPA says experts project 2016 deficits of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists worldwide, and increasing shortfalls in coming years.



Robot that chooses to inflict pain sparks debate about AI systems — from interestingengineering.com by Maverick Baker


A robot built by roboticist Alexander Reben from the University of Berkeley, California has the ability to decide using AI whether or not to inflict pain.

The robot aims to spark a debate on if an AI system can get out of control, reminiscent of the terminator. The robot design is incredibly simple, designed to serve only one purpose; to decide whether or not to inflict pain. The robot was engineered by Alexander Reben of the University of Berkeley and was published in a scientific journal aimed to spark a debate on whether or not artificial intelligent robots can get out of hand if given the opportunity.



The NSA wants to spy on the Internet of Things. Everything from thermostats to pacemakers could be mined for intelligence data. — from engadget.com by Andrew Dalton


We already know the National Security Agency is all up in our data, but the agency is reportedly looking into how it can gather even more foreign intelligence information from internet-connected devices ranging from thermostats to pacemakers. Speaking at a military technology conference in Washington D.C. on Friday, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett said the agency is “looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now.” The Intercept reports Ledgett was quick to point out that there are easier ways to keep track of terrorists and spies than to tap into any medical devices they might have, but did confirm that it was an area of interest.



The latest tool in the NSA’s toolbox? The Internet of Things — from digitaltrends.com by Lulu Chang


You may love being able to set your thermostat from your car miles before you reach your house, but be warned — the NSA probably loves it too. On Friday, the National Security Agency — you know, the federal organization known for wiretapping and listening it on U.S. citizens’ conversations — told an audience at Washington’s Newseum that it’s looking into using the Internet of Things and other connected devices to keep tabs on individuals.


Addendum on 6/29/16:


Addendums on 6/30/16


Addendum on 7/1/16

  • Humans are willing to trust chatbots with some of their most sensitive information — from businessinsider.com by Sam Shead
    A study has found that people are inclined to trust chatbots with sensitive information and that they are open to receiving advice from these AI services. The “Humanity in the Machine” report —published by media agency Mindshare UK on Thursday — urges brands to engage with customers through chatbots, which can be defined as artificial intelligence programmes that conduct conversations with humans through chat interfaces.




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