A smorgasboard of ideas to put on your organization’s radar! [Christian]

From DSC:
At the Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference, held recently in San Diego, CA, I moderated a panel discussion re: AR, VR, and MR.  I started off our panel discussion with some introductory ideas and remarks — meant to make sure that numerous ideas were on the radars at attendees’ organizations. Then Vinay and Carrie did a super job of addressing several topics and questions (Mary was unable to make it that day, as she got stuck in the UK due to transportation-related issues).

That said, I didn’t get a chance to finish the second part of the presentation which I’ve listed below in both 4:3 and 16:9 formats.  So I made a recording of these ideas, and I’m relaying it to you in the hopes that it can help you and your organization.

 


Presentations/recordings:


 

Audio/video recording (187 MB MP4 file)

 

 


Again, I hope you find this information helpful.

Thanks,
Daniel

 

 

 

From DSC:
At the recent
Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference, in my introductory piece for our panel discussion, I relayed several ideas/areas that should be on our institutions’ radars. That is, at least someone at each of our institutions of higher education should be aware of these things and be pulse-checking them as time goes by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of these ideas/areas involved the use of blockchain technologies:

 

 

If #blockchain technologies are successful within the financial/banking world, then it’s highly likely that other use cases will be developed as well (i.e., the trust in blockchain-enabled applications will be there already).

Along those lines, if that occurs, then colleges and universities are likely to become only 1 of the feeds into someone’s cloud-based, lifelong learning profile. I’ve listed several more sources of credentials below:

 

 

Given the trend towards more competency-based education (CBE) and the increased experimentation with badges, blockchain could increasingly move onto the scene.

In fact, I could see a day when an individual learner will be able to establish who can and can’t access their learner profile, and who can and can’t feed information and updates into it.

Artificial intelligence and big data also come to mind here…and I put Microsoft on my radar a while back in this regard; as Microsoft (via LinkedIn and Lynda.com) could easily create online-based marketplaces matching employers with employees/freelancers.

 

 

 


Along these lines, see:


 

  • The Mainstreaming of Alternative Credentials in Postsecondary Education — from by Deborah Keyek-Franssen
    Excerpt:

    • The Context of Alternative Credentials
      The past few years have seen a proliferation of new learning credentials ranging from badges and bootcamp certifications to micro-degrees and MOOC certificates. Although alternative credentials have been part of the fabric of postsecondary education and professional development for decades—think prior learning assessments like Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, or industry certifications—postsecondary institutions are increasingly unbundling their degrees and validating smaller chunks of skills and learning to provide workplace value to traditional and non-traditional students alike.
      Many are experimenting with alternative credentials to counter the typical binary nature of a degree. Certifications of learning or skills are conferred after the completion of a course or a few short courses in a related field. Students do not have to wait until all requirements for a degree are met before receiving a certificate of learning, but instead can receive one after a much shorter period of study. “Stackable” credentials are combined to be the equivalent of an undergraduate or graduate certificate (a micro-degree), or even a degree.
    • The National Discussion of Alternative Credentials
      Discussions of alternative credentials are often responses to a persistent and growing critique of traditional higher educational institutions’ ability to meet workforce needs, especially because the cost to students for a four-year degree has grown dramatically over the past several decades. The increasing attention paid to alternative credentials brings to the fore questions such as what constitutes a postsecondary education, what role universities in particular should play vis-à-vis workforce development, and how we can assess learning and mastery.

 

 


Addendums added on 3/4/17, that show that this topic isn’t just for higher education, but could involve K-12 as well:


 

 

 

 

 

HarvardX rolls out new adaptive learning feature in online course — from edscoop.com by Corinne Lestch
Students in MOOC adaptive learning experiment scored nearly 20 percent better than students using more traditional learning approaches.

Excerpt:

Online courses at Harvard University are adapting on the fly to students’ needs.

Officials at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, institution announced a new adaptive learning technology that was recently rolled out in a HarvardX online course. The feature offers tailored course material that directly correlates with student performance while the student is taking the class, as well as tailored assessment algorithms.

HarvardX is an independent university initiative that was launched in parallel with edX, the online learning platform that was created by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both HarvardX and edX run massive open online courses. The new feature has never before been used in a HarvardX course, and has only been deployed in a small number of edX courses, according to officials.

 

 

From DSC:
Given the growth of AI, this is certainly radar worthy — something that’s definitely worth pulse-checking to see where opportunities exist to leverage these types of technologies.  What we now know of as adaptive learning will likely take an enormous step forward in the next decade.

IBM’s assertion rings in my mind:

 

 

I’m cautiously hopeful that these types of technologies can extend beyond K-12 and help us deal with the current need to be lifelong learners, and the need to constantly reinvent ourselves — while providing us with more choice, more control over our learning. I’m hopeful that learners will be able to pursue their passions, and enlist the help of other learners and/or the (human) subject matter experts as needed.

I don’t see these types of technologies replacing any teachers, professors, or trainers. That said, these types of technologies should be able to help do some of the heavy teaching and learning lifting in order to help someone learn about a new topic.

Again, this is one piece of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room that we see developing.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:

 

 

  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:

 

 

 

 

 


 

A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

 

 

 


 

 

 

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with AI, NLP, and blockchain-based technologies! [Christian]

From DSC:

Don’t discount the game-changing power of the morphing “TV” when coupled with artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and blockchain-based technologies!

When I saw the article below, I couldn’t help but wonder what (we currently know of as) “TVs” will morph into and what functionalities they will be able to provide to us in the not-too-distant future…?

For example, the article mentions that Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will be offering TVs that can not only access Alexa — a personal assistant from Amazon which uses artificial intelligence — but will also be able to provide access to over 7,000 apps and games via the Amazon Fire TV Store.

Some of the questions that come to my mind:

  • Why can’t there be more educationally-related games and apps available on this type of platform?
  • Why can’t the results of the assessments taken on these apps get fed into cloud-based learner profiles that capture one’s lifelong learning? (#blockchain)
  • When will potential employers start asking for access to such web-based learner profiles?
  • Will tvOS and similar operating systems expand to provide blockchain-based technologies as well as the types of functionality we get from our current set of CMSs/LMSs?
  • Will this type of setup become a major outlet for competency-based education as well as for corporate training-related programs?
  • Will augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) capabilities come with our near future “TVs”?
  • Will virtual tutoring be one of the available apps/channels?
  • Will the microphone and the wide angle, HD camera on the “TV” be able to be disconnected from the Internet for security reasons? (i.e., to be sure no hacker is eavesdropping in on their private lives)

 

Forget a streaming stick: These 4K TVs come with Amazon Fire TV inside — from techradar.com by Nick Pino

Excerpt:

The TVs will not only have access to Alexa via a microphone-equipped remote but, more importantly, will have access to the over 7,000 apps and games available on the Amazon Fire TV Store – a huge boon considering that most of these Smart TVs usually include, at max, a few dozen apps.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 


Addendums


 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

.

  • Once thought to be a fad, MOOCs showed staying power in 2016 — from educationdive.com
    Dive Brief:

    • EdSurge profiles the growth of massive online open courses in 2016, which attracted more than 58 million students in over 700 colleges and universities last year.
    • The top three MOOC providers — Coursera, Udacity and EdX — collectively grossed more than $100 million last year, as much of the content provided on these platforms shifted from free to paywall guarded materials.
    • Many MOOCs have moved to offering credentialing programs or nanodegree offerings to increase their value in industrial marketplaces.
 

Alexa, Tell Me Where You’re Going Next — from backchannel.com by Steven Levy
Amazon’s VP of Alexa talks about machine learning, chatbots, and whether industry is strip-mining AI talent from academia.

Excerpt:

Today Prasad is giving an Alexa “State of the Union” address at the Amazon Web Services conference in Las Vegas, announcing an improved version of the Alexa Skills Kit, which helps developers create the equivalent of apps for the platform; a beefed-up Alexa Voice Service, which will make it easier to transform third-party devices like refrigerators and cars into Alexa bots; a partnership with Intel; and the Alexa Accelerator that, with the startup incubator Techstars, will run a 13-week program to help newcomers build Alexa skills. Prasad and Amazon haven’t revealed sales numbers, but industry experts have estimated that Amazon has sold over five million Echo devices so far.

Prasad, who joined Amazon in 2013, spent some time with Backchannel before his talk today to illuminate the direction of Alexa and discuss how he’s recruiting for Jeff Bezos’s arsenal without drying up the AI pipeline.

 

 

What DeepMind brings to Alphabet — from economist.com
The AI firm’s main value to Alphabet is as a new kind of algorithm factory

Excerpt:

DeepMind’s horizons stretch far beyond talent capture and public attention, however. Demis Hassabis, its CEO and one of its co-founders, describes the company as a new kind of research organisation, combining the long-term outlook of academia with “the energy and focus of a technology startup”—to say nothing of Alphabet’s cash.

Were he to succeed in creating a general-purpose AI, that would obviously be enormously valuable to Alphabet. It would in effect give the firm a digital employee that could be copied over and over again in service of multiple problems. Yet DeepMind’s research agenda is not—or not yet—the same thing as a business model. And its time frames are extremely long.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence: Silicon Valley’s Next Frontier — from toptechnews.com by Ethan Baron

Excerpt:

Silicon Valley needs its next big thing, a focus for the concentrated brain power and innovation infrastructure that have made this region the world leader in transformative technology. Just as the valley’s mobile era is peaking, the next frontier of growth and innovation has arrived: It’s Siri in an Apple iPhone, Alexa in an Amazon Echo, the software brain in Google’s self-driving cars, Amazon’s product recommendations and, someday, maybe the robot surgeon that saves your life.

It’s artificial intelligence, software that can “learn” and “think,” the latest revolution in tech.

“It’s going to be embedded in everything,” said startup guru Steve Blank, an adjunct professor at Stanford. “We’ve been talking about artificial intelligence for 30 years, maybe longer, in Silicon Valley. It’s only in the last five years, or maybe even the last two years, that this stuff has become useful.”

 

 

 

What Is The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning? — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two very hot buzzwords right now, and often seem to be used interchangeably. They are not quite the same thing, but the perception that they are can sometimes lead to some confusion. So I thought it would be worth writing a piece to explain the difference.

In short, the best answer is that:
Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”.
And,
Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves.

 

 

Why we are still light years away from full artificial intelligence — from techcrunch.com by Clara Lu

Excerpt:

Yet, the truth is, we are far from achieving true AI — something that is as reactive, dynamic, self-improving and powerful as human intelligence.

Full AI, or superintelligence, should possess the full range of human cognitive abilities. This includes self-awareness, sentience and consciousness, as these are all features of human cognition.

 

 

Udacity adds 14 hiring partners as AI, VR and self-driving talent wars heat up — from techcrunch.com by Darrell Etherington

Excerpt:

Udacity is positioned perfectly to benefit from the rush on talent in a number of growing areas of interest among tech companies and startups. The online education platform has added 14 new hiring partners across its Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Self-Driving Car Engineer and Virtual Reality Developer Nanodegree programs, as well as in its Predictive Analytics Nanodegree, including standouts like Bosch, Harma, Slack, Intel, Amazon Alexa and Samsung.

That brings the total number of hiring partners for Udacity to over 30, which means a lot of potential soft landings for graduates of its nanodegree programs. The nanodegree offered by Udacity is its own original form of accreditation, which is based on a truncated field of study that spans months, rather than years, and allows students to direct the pace of their own learning. It also all takes place online, so students can potentially learn from anywhere.

 

 

 

 

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence – from livestream.com

 

 

 

 

The Great A.I. Awakening — from nytimes.com by Gideo Lewis-Kraus
How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.

Excerpt:

Google’s decision to reorganize itself around A.I. was the first major manifestation of what has become an industrywide machine-learning delirium. Over the past four years, six companies in particular — Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and the Chinese firm Baidu — have touched off an arms race for A.I. talent, particularly within universities. Corporate promises of resources and freedom have thinned out top academic departments. It has become widely known in Silicon Valley that Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, personally oversees, with phone calls and video-chat blandishments, his company’s overtures to the most desirable graduate students. Starting salaries of seven figures are not unheard-of. Attendance at the field’s most important academic conference has nearly quadrupled. What is at stake is not just one more piecemeal innovation but control over what very well could represent an entirely new computational platform: pervasive, ambient artificial intelligence.

 

 

 

Microsoft bets on AI — from businessinsider.com

Excerpt:

On [December 12th, 2016], Microsoft announced a new Microsoft Ventures fund dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) investments, according to TechCrunch. The fund, part of the company’s investment arm that launched in May, will back startups developing AI technology and includes Element AI, a Montreal-based incubator that helps other companies embrace AI. The fund further supports Microsoft’s focus on AI. The company has been steadily announcing major initiatives in support of the technology. For example, in September, it announced a major restructuring and formed a new group dedicated to AI products. And in mid-November, it partnered with OpenAI, an AI research nonprofit backed by Elon Musk, to further its AI research and development efforts.

 

 

The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in E-commerce — from redstagfulfillment.com by Jake Rheude

Excerpt:

Whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something you’ve just come across or it’s something you’ve been monitoring for a while, there’s no denying that it’s starting to influence many industries. And one place that it’s really starting to change things is e-commerce. Below you’ll find some interesting stats and facts about how AI is growing in e-commerce and how it’s changing the way we do things. From personalizing the shopping experience for customers to creating personal buying assistants, AI is something retailers can’t ignore. We’ll also take a look at some examples of how leading online stores have used AI to enrich the customer buying experience.

 

 

Will AI built by a ‘sea of dudes’ understand women? AI’s inclusivity problem — from digitaltrends.com by Dyllan Furness

Excerpt:

Only 26 percent of computer professionals were women in 2013, according to a recent review by the American Association of University Women. That figure has dropped 9 percent since 1990.

Explanations abound. Some say the industry is masculine by design. Others claim computer culture is unwelcoming — even hostile — to women. So, while STEM fields like biology, chemistry, and engineering see an increase in diversity, computing does not. Regardless, it’s a serious problem.

Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but it’s poised to become the most disruptive technology since the Internet. AI will be everywhere — in your phone, in your fridge, in your Ford. Intelligent algorithms already track your online activity, find your face in Facebook photos, and help you with your finances. Within the next few decades they’ll completely control your car and monitor your heart health. An AI may one day even be your favorite artist.

The programs written today will inform the systems built tomorrow. And if designers all have one worldview, we can expect equally narrow-minded machines.

 

 

 

 

Some reflections/resources on today’s announcements from Apple

tv-app-apple-10-27-16

 

tv-app2-apple-10-27-16

From DSC:
How long before recommendation engines like this can be filtered/focused down to just display apps, channels, etc. that are educational and/or training related (i.e., a recommendation engine to suggest personalized/customized playlists for learning)?

That is, in the future, will we have personalized/customized playlists for learning on our Apple TVs — as well as on our mobile devices — with the assessment results of our taking the module(s) or course(s) being sent in to:

  • A credentials database on LinkedIn (via blockchain)
    and/or
  • A credentials database at the college(s) or university(ies) that we’re signed up with for lifelong learning (via blockchain)
    and/or
  • To update our cloud-based learning profiles — which can then feed a variety of HR-related systems used to find talent? (via blockchain)

Will participants in MOOCs, virtual K-12 schools, homeschoolers, and more take advantage of learning from home?

Will solid ROI’s from having thousands of participants paying a smaller amount (to take your course virtually) enable higher production values?

Will bots and/or human tutors be instantly accessible from our couches?

Will we be able to meet virtually via our TVs and share our computing devices?

 

bigscreen_rocket_league

 

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

 

 

 


Other items on today’s announcements:


 

 

macbookpro-10-27-16

 

 

All the big announcements from Apple’s Mac event — from amp.imore.com by Joseph Keller

  • MacBook Pro
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Apple TV > new “TV” app
  • Touch Bar

 

Apple is finally unifying the TV streaming experience with new app — from techradar.com by Nick Pino

 

 

How to migrate your old Mac’s data to your new Mac — from amp.imore.com by Lory Gil

 

 

MacBook Pro FAQ: Everything you need to know about Apple’s new laptops — from amp.imore.com by Serenity Caldwell

 

 

Accessibility FAQ: Everything you need to know about Apple’s new accessibility portal — from imore.com by Daniel Bader

 

 

Apple’s New MacBook Pro Has a ‘Touch Bar’ on the Keyboard — from wired.com by Brian Barrett

 

 

Apple’s New TV App Won’t Have Netflix or Amazon Video — from wired.com by Brian Barrett

 

 

 

 

Apple 5th Gen TV To Come With Major Software Updates; Release Date Likely In 2017 — from mobilenapps.com

 

 

 

 

IBM Watson Education and Pearson to drive cognitive learning experiences for college students — from prnewswire.com

Excerpt:

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Pearson (FTSE: PSON) the world’s learning company, today announced a new global education alliance intended to make Watson’s cognitive capabilities available to millions of college students and professors.

Combining IBM’s cognitive capabilities with Pearson’s digital learning products will give students a more immersive learning experience with their college courses, an easy way to get help and insights when they need it, all through asking questions in natural language just like they would with another student or professor. Importantly, it provides instructors with insights about how well students are learning, allowing them to better manage the entire course and flag students who need additional help.

For example, a student experiencing difficulty while studying for a biology course can query Watson, which is embedded in the Pearson courseware. Watson has already read the Pearson courseware content and is ready to spot patterns and generate insights.  Serving as a digital resource, Watson will assess the student’s responses to guide them with hints, feedback, explanations and help identify common misconceptions, working with the student at their pace to help them master the topic.

 

 

ibm-watson-2016

 

 

Udacity partners with IBM Watson to launch the AI Nanodegree — from venturebeat.com by Paul Sawers

Excerpt:

Online education platform Udacity has partnered with IBM Watson to launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) Nanodegree program.

Costing $1,600 for the full two-term, 26-week course, the AI Nanodegree covers a myriad of topics including logic and planning, probabilistic inference, game-playing / search, computer vision, cognitive systems, and natural language processing (NLP). It’s worth noting here that Udacity already offers an Intro to Artificial Intelligence (free) course and the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree, but with the A.I. Nanodegree program IBM Watson is seeking to help give developers a “foundational understanding of artificial intelligence,” while also helping graduates identify job opportunities in the space.

 

 

The Future Cognitive Workforce Part 1: Announcing the AI Nanodegree with Udacity — from ibm.com by Rob High

Excerpt:

As artificial intelligence (AI) begins to power more technology across industries, it’s been truly exciting to see what our community of developers can create with Watson. Developers are inspiring us to advance the technology that is transforming society, and they are the reason why such a wide variety of businesses are bringing cognitive solutions to market.

With AI becoming more ubiquitous in the technology we use every day, developers need to continue to sharpen their cognitive computing skills. They are seeking ways to gain a competitive edge in a workforce that increasingly needs professionals who understand how to build AI solutions.

It is for this reason that today at World of Watson in Las Vegas we announced with Udacity the introduction of a Nanodegree program that incorporates expertise from IBM Watson and covers the basics of artificial intelligence. The “AI Nanodegree” program will be helpful for those looking to establish a foundational understanding of artificial intelligence. IBM will also help aid graduates of this program with identifying job opportunities.

 

 

The Future Cognitive Workforce Part 2: Teaching the Next Generation of Builders — from ibm.com by Steve Abrams

Excerpt:

Announced today at World of Watson, and as Rob High outlined in the first post in this series, IBM has partnered with Udacity to develop a nanodegree in artificial intelligence. Rob discussed IBM’s commitment to empowering developers to learn more about cognitive computing and equipping them with the educational resources they need to build their careers in AI.

To continue on this commitment, I’m excited to announce another new program today geared at college students that we’ve launched with Kivuto Solutions, an academic software distributor. Via Kivuto’s popular digital resource management platform, students and academics around the world will now gain free access to the complete IBM Bluemix Portfolio — and specifically, Watson. This offers students and faculty at any accredited university – as well as community colleges and high schools with STEM programs – an easy way to tap into Watson services. Through this access, teachers will also gain a better means to create curriculum around subjects like AI.

 

 

 

IBM introduces new Watson solutions for professions — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE:IBM) today unveiled a series of new cognitive solutions intended for professionals in marketing, commerce, supply chain and human resources. With these new offerings, IBM is enabling organizations across all industries and of all sizes to integrate new cognitive capabilities into their businesses.

Watson solutions learn in an expert way, which is critical for professionals that want to uncover insights hidden in their massive amounts of data to understand, reason and learn about their customers and important business processes. Helping professionals augment their existing knowledge and experience without needing to engage a data analyst empowers them to make more informed business decisions, spot opportunities and take action with confidence.

“IBM is bringing Watson cognitive capabilities to millions of professionals around the world, putting a trusted advisor and personal analyst at their fingertips,” said Harriet Green, general manager Watson IoT, Cognitive Engagement & Education. “Similar to the value that Watson has brought to the world of healthcare, cognitive capabilities will be extended to professionals in new areas, helping them harness the value of the data being generated in their industries and use it in new ways.”

 

 

 

IBM says new Watson Data Platform will ‘bring machine learning to the masses’ — from techrepublic.com by Hope Reese
On Tuesday, IBM unveiled a cloud-based AI engine to help businesses harness machine learning. It aims to give everyone, from CEOs to developers, a simple platform to interpret and collaborate on data.

Excerpt:

“Insight is the new currency for success,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president at IBM Analytics. “And Watson is the supercharger for the insight economy.”

Picciano, speaking at the World of Watson conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, unveiled IBM’s Watson Data Platform, touted as the “world’s fastest data ingestion engine and machine learning as a service.”

The cloud-based Watson Data Platform, will “illuminate dark data,” said Picciano, and will “change everything—absolutely everything—for everyone.”

 

 

 

See the #IBMWoW hashtag on Twitter for more news/announcements coming from IBM this week:

 

ibm-wow-hashtag-oct2016

 

 

 

 

Previous postings from earlier this month:

 

  • IBM launches industry first Cognitive-IoT ‘Collaboratory’ for clients and partners
    Excerpt:
    IBM have unveiled an €180 million investment in a new global headquarters to house its Watson Internet of Things business.  Located in Munich, the facility will promote new IoT capabilities around Blockchain and security as well as supporting the array of clients that are driving real outcomes by using Watson IoT technologies, drawing insights from billions of sensors embedded in machines, cars, drones, ball bearings, pieces of equipment and even hospitals. As part of a global investment designed to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, IBM has allocated more than $200 million USD to its global Watson IoT headquarters in Munich. The investment, one of the company’s largest ever in Europe, is in response to escalating demand from customers who are looking to transform their operations using a combination of IoT and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Currently IBM has 6,000 clients globally who are tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, up from 4,000 just 8 months ago.

 

 

cognitiveapproachhr-oct2016

 

 

 

 

 

9 Best Augmented Reality Smart Glasses 2016 — from appcessories.co.uk

Excerpt:

2016 has been promoted as the year of virtual reality. In the space of a few months, we have seen brands like Facebook, Samsung and Sony have all come out with VR products of their own. But another closely related industry has been making a growing presence in the tech industry. Augmented reality, or simply AR, is gaining ground among tech companies and even consumers. Google was the first contender for coolest AR product with its Google Glass. Too bad that did not work out; it felt like a product too ahead of its time. Companies like Microsoft, Magic Leap and even Apple are hoping to pick up from where Google left off. They are creating their own smart glasses that will, hopefully, do better than Google Glass. In our article, we look at some of the coolest Augmented Reality smart glasses around.

Some of them are already out while others are in development.

 

 

The holy grail of Virtual Reality: A complete suspension of disbelief — from labster.com by Marian Reed

Excerpt:

It’s no secret that we here at Labster are pretty excited about VR.  However, if we are to successfully introduce VR into education and training we need to know how to create VR simulations that unlock these new great ways of learning.

 

 

 

 

Computer science researchers create augmented reality education tool — from ucalgary.ca by Erin Guiltenane

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Christian Jacob and Markus Santoso are trying to re-create the experience of the aforementioned agents in Fantastic Voyage. Working with 3D modelling company Zygote, they and recent MSc graduate Douglas Yuen have created HoloCell, an educational software. Using Microsoft’s revolutionary HoloLens AR glasses, HoloCell provides a mixed reality experience allowing users to explore a 3D simulation of the inner workings, organelles, and molecules of a healthy human cell.

 

holocell-sept2016

 

 

 

Upload, Google, HTC and Udacity join forces for new VR education program — from  uploadvr.com

Excerpt:

Upload is teaming up with Udacity, Google and HTC to build an industry-recognized VR certification program.

According to Udacity representatives, the organization will now be adding a VR track to its “nanodegree”program. Udacity’s nanodegrees are certification routes that can be completed completely online at a student’s own pace. These courses typically take between 6-12 months and cost $199 per month. Students will also receive half of their tuition back if they complete a course within six months. The new VR course will follow this pattern as well.

The VR nanodegree program was curated by Udacity after the organization interviewed dozens of VR savvy companies about the type of skills they look for in a potential new hire. This information was then built into a curriculum through a joint effort between Google, HTC and Upload.

 

 

 

Virtual reality helps Germany catch last Nazi war criminals — from theguardian.com by Agence France-Presse
Lack of knowledge no longer an excuse as precise 3D model of Auschwitz, showing gas chambers and crematoria, helps address atrocities

Excerpt:

German prosecutors and police have developed 3D technology to help them catch the last living Nazi war criminals with a highly precise model of Auschwitz.

Also related to this:

Auschwitz war criminals targeted with help of virtual reality — from jpost.com by

Excerpt:

German prosecutors and police have begun using virtual reality headsets in their quest to bring the last remaining Auschwitz war criminals to justice, AFP reported Sunday.

Using the blueprints of the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Bavarian state crime office digital imaging expert Ralf Breker has created a virtual reality model of Auschwitz which allows judges and prosecutors to mimic moving around the camp as it stood during the Holocaust.

 

 

 

How the UN thinks virtual reality could not only build empathy, but catalyze change, too — from yahoo.com by Lulu Chang

Excerpt:

Technology is hoping to turn empathy into action. Or at least, the United Nations is hoping to do so. The intergovernmental organization is more than seven decades old at this point, but it’s constantly finding new ways to better the world’s citizenry. And the latest tool in its arsenal? Virtual reality.

Last year, the UN debuted its United Nations Virtual Reality, which uses the technology to advocate for communities the world over. And more recently, the organization launched an app made specifically for virtual reality films.  First debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, this app encourages folks to not only watch the UN’s VR films, but to then take action by way of donations or volunteer work.

 

 

 

Occipital Wants to Turn iPhones into Mixed Virtual Reality Headsets — from next.reality.news by Adam Dachis

Excerpt:

If you’re an Apple user and want an untethered virtual reality system, you’re currently stuck with Google Cardboard, which doesn’t hold a candle to the room scale VR provided by the HTC Vive (a headset not compatible with Macs, by the way). But spatial computing company Occipital just figured out how to use their Structure Core 3D Sensor to provide room scale VR to any smartphone headset—whether it’s for an iPhone or Android.

 

occipital-10-2-16

 

 

‘The Body VR’ Brings Educational Tour Of The Human Body To HTC Vive Today — from uploadvr.com by Jamie Feltham on October 3rd, 2016

 Excerpt:

The Body VR is a great example of how the Oculus Rift and Gear VR can be used to educate as well as entertain. Starting today, it’s also a great example of how the HTC Vive can do the same.

The developers previously released this VR biology lesson for free back at the launch of the Gear VR and, in turn, the Oculus Rift. Now an upgraded version is available on Valve and HTC’s Steam VR headset. You’ll still get the original experience in which you explore the human body, travelling through the bloodstream to learn about blood cells and looking at how organelles work. The piece is narrated as you go.

 

 

 

 

Virtual Reality Dazzles Harvard University — from universityherald.com

Excerpt:

For a moment, students were taken into another world without leaving the great halls of Harvard. Some students had a great time exploring the ocean floor and saw unique underwater animals, others tried their hand in hockey, while others screamed as they got into a racecar and sped on a virtual speedway. All of them, getting a taste of what virtual and augmented reality looks like.

All of these, of course, were not just about fun but on how especially augmented and virtual reality can transform every kind of industry. This will be discussed and demonstrated at the i-lab in the coming weeks with Rony Abovitz, CEO of Magic Leap Inc., as the keynote speaker.

Abovitz was responsible for developing the “Mixed Reality Lightfield,” a technology that combines augmented and virtual reality. According to Abovitz, it will help those who are struggling to “transfer two-dimensional information or text into “spatial learning.”

“I think it will make life easier for a lot of people and open doors for a lot of people because we are making technology fit how our brains evolved into the physics of the universe rather than forcing our brains to adapt to a more limited technology,” he added.

 

 


 

Addendum on 10/6/16:

 

 

 

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities — from hechingerreport.org by Nichole Dobo
From Hong Kong to Holland, 14 institutions join MOOC partnership

Excerpt:

A new kind of credential has entered the crowded market for online learning.

EdX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides online courses, announced last week the creation of 19 “MicroMasters” courses, a new type of online educational program. These courses are tailored master’s degree-level classes that can help students hone skills that will be immediately useful in the workplace.

“I think the MicroMasters is a big next step in the evolution of education,” Anant Agarwal, the CEO of edX and an MIT professor, said in an interview last week.

These courses – offered through 14 universities including Columbia, Arizona State University and the University of Michigan, as well as some in Australia, Europe and India – are open to anyone who wants to take them. No transcripts or prerequisites required. Students don’t even need a GED to enroll.

Anyone can learn in the MicroMasters program for free, although those who wish to receive a certificate of completion must pay a $1,000 fee. That money gives the student more than a piece of paper; it also pays for extra services, such as more attention from the instructor.

 

 

edx-micromasters-sept2016

 

Also somewhat related/see (emphasis DSC):

  • An Online Education Breakthrough? A Master’s Degree for a Mere $7,000 — from nytimes.com by Kevin Carey
    Excerpt:
    Georgia Tech rolled out its online master’s in computer science in 2014. It already had a highly selective residential master’s program that cost about the same as those of competitor colleges. Some may see online learning as experimental or inferior, something associated with downmarket for-profit colleges. But the nation’s best universities have fully embraced it. Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, U.S.C. and others have also developed online master’s degrees, for which they charge the same tuition as their residential programs.Georgia Tech decided to do something different. It charges online students the smallest amount necessary to cover its costs. That turned out to be $510 for a three-credit class. U.S.C. charges online students $5,535 for a three-credit class. (Both programs also charge small per-semester fees.)

    With one of the top 10 computer science departments in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech had a reputation to uphold. So it made the online program as much like the residential program as possible.

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems