Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras — from nytimes.com by Paul Mozur

Excerpts:

ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.

In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival.

In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he bought food from a street vendor.

With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.

 

In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-size displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who don’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States.

Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel in some places.

 

 

A very slippery slope has now been setup in China with facial recognition infrastructures

 

From DSC:
A veeeeery slippery slope here. The usage of this technology starts out as looking for criminals, but then what’s next? Jail time for people who disagree w/ a government official’s perspective on something? Persecution for people seen coming out of a certain place of worship?  

Very troubling stuff here….

 

 

 

State of AI — from stateof.ai

Excerpt:

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

We consider the following key dimensions in our report:

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

 

definitions of terms involved in AI

definitions of terms involved in AI

 

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

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 
 

How blockbuster MOOCs could shape the future of teaching — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt:

There isn’t a New York Times bestseller list for online courses, but perhaps there should be. After all, so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, were meant to open education to as many learners as possible, and in many ways they are more like books (digital ones, packed with videos and interactive quizzes) than courses.

The colleges and companies offering MOOCs can be pretty guarded these days about releasing specific numbers on how many people enroll or pay for a “verified certificate” or microcredential showing they took the course. But both Coursera and EdX, two of the largest providers, do release lists of their most popular courses. And those lists offer a telling snapshot of how MOOCs are evolving and what their impact is on the instructors and institutions offering them.

Here are the top 10 most popular courses for each provider:

 

Coursera Top 10 Most Popular Courses (over past 12 months)

 

edX Top 10 Most Popular Courses (all time)

 

 

So what are these blockbuster MOOCs, then? Experiential textbooks? Gateways to more rigorous college courses? A new kind of entertainment program?

Maybe the answer is: all of the above.

 

 

 

Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem — from edu2030.agorize.com
How might we empower people to design their own learning journeys so they can lead purposeful and economically stable lives?

Excerpts:

The problem
Technology is rapidly transforming the way we live, learn, and work. Entirely new jobs are emerging as others are lost to automation. People are living longer, yet switching jobs more often. These dramatic shifts call for a reimagining of the way we prepare for work and life—specifically, how we learn new skills and adapt to a changing economic landscape.

The changes ahead are likely to hurt most those who can least afford to manage them: low-income and first generation learners already ill-served by our existing postsecondary education system. Our current system stifles economic mobility and widens income and achievement gaps; we must act now to ensure that we have an educational ecosystem flexible and fair enough to help all people live purposeful and economically stable lives. And if we are to design solutions proportionate to this problem, new technologies must be called on to scale approaches that reach the millions of vulnerable people across the country.

 

The challenge
How might we empower people to design their own learning journeys so they can lead purposeful and economically stable lives?

The Challenge—Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem—seeks bold ideas for how our postsecondary education system could be reimagined to foster equity and encourage learner agency and resilience. We seek specific pilots to move us toward a future in which all learners can achieve economic stability and lead purposeful lives. This Challenge invites participants to articulate a vision and then design pilot projects for a future ecosystem that has the following characteristics:

Expands access: The educational system must ensure that all people—including low-income learners who are disproportionately underserved by the current higher education system—can leverage education to live meaningful and economically stable lives.

Draws on a broad postsecondary ecosystem: While college and universities play a vital role in educating students, there is a much larger ecosystem in which students learn. This ecosystem includes non-traditional “classes” or alternative learning providers, such as MOOCs, bootcamps, and online courses as well as on-the-job training and informal learning. Our future learning system must value the learning that happens in many different environments and enable seamless transitions between learning, work, and life.

 

From DSC:
This is where I could see a vision similar to Learning from the Living [Class] Room come into play. It would provide a highly affordable, accessible platform, that would offer more choice, and more control to learners of all ages. It would be available 24×7 and would be a platform that supports lifelong learning. It would combine a variety of AI-enabled functionalities with human expertise, teaching, training, motivation, and creativity.

It could be that what comes out of this challenge will lay the groundwork for a future, massive new learning platform.

 

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

 

Also see:

 

Andrew Ng is probably teaching more students than anyone else on the planet. (Without a university involved.) — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt:

One selling point of MOOCs (massive online open courses) has been that students can access courses from the world’s most famous universities. The assumption—especially in the marketing messages from major providers like Coursera and edX—is that the winners of traditional higher education will also end up the winners in the world of online courses.

But that isn’t always happening.

In fact, three of the 10 most popular courses on Coursera aren’t produced by a college or university at all, but by a company. That company—called Deeplearning.ai—is a unique provider of higher education. It is essentially built on the reputation of its founder, Andrew Ng, who teaches all five of the courses it offers so far.

Ng is seen as one of the leading figures in artificial intelligence, having founded and directed the Google Brain project and served as the chief scientist at the Chinese search giant Baidu, as well as having directed the artificial intelligence laboratory at Stanford University. He also happens to be the co-founder of Coursera itself, and it was his Stanford course on machine learning that helped launch the MOOC craze in the first place.

In fact, Ng’s original Stanford MOOC remains the most popular course offered by Coursera. Since the course began in 2012, it has drawn more than 1.7 million enrollments. (It now runs on demand, so people can sign up anytime.) And his new series of courses through Deeplearning.ai, which kicked off last year, have already exceeded 250,000 signups. Even allowing for the famously low completion rates of MOOCs, it still means that hundreds of thousands of people have sat through lecture videos by Ng.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are some excerpted slides from her presentation…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also see:

  • 20 important takeaways for learning world from Mary Meeker’s brilliant tech trends – from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark
    Excerpt:
    Mary Meeker’s slide deck has a reputation of being the Delphic Oracle of tech. But, at 294 slides it’s a lot to take in. Don’t worry, I’ve been through them all. It has tons on economic stuff that is of marginal interest to education and training but there’s plenty to to get our teeth into. We’re not immune to tech trends, indeed we tend to follow in lock-step, just a bit later than everyone else. Among the data are lots of fascinating insights that point the way forward in terms of what we’re likely to be doing over the next decade. So here’s a really quick, top-end summary for folk in the learning game.

 

“Educational content usage online is ramping fast” with over 1 billion daily educational videos watched. There is evidence that use of the Internet for informal and formal learning is taking off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Big Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Widely-Read Internet Report — from fortune.com by  Leena Rao

 

 

 

 

The World Will Be Painted With Data — from forbes.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpt:

The world is about to be painted with data. Every place. Every person. Every thing. In the near term this invisible digital layer will be revealed by the camera in your phone, but in the long term it will be incorporated into a wearable device, likely a head-mounted display (HMD) integrating phone, audio, and AI assistants. Users will control the system with a combination of voice, gesture and ring controller. Workers in factories use monocular displays to do this now, but it’s going to be quite some time before this benefits consumers. While this coming augmentation of man represents an evolutionary turning point, it’s adoption will resemble that of the personal computer, which took at least fifteen years. Mobile AR, on the other hand, is here now, and in a billion Android and Apple smartphones, which are about to get a lot better. Thanks to AR, we can start building the world’s digital layer for the smartphone, right now, without waiting for HMDs to unlock the benefits of an AR-enabled world.

 

 

 

12 hot augmented reality ideas for your business — from information-age.com
Augmented reality is one of the most exciting technologies that made its way into the mass market in the recent years.

Excerpt:

In this article we will tell you about other ways to use this technology in a mobile app except for gaming and give you some augmented reality business ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Google Maps is getting augmented reality directions and recommendation features — from theverge.com by Chaim Gartenberg
Plus, the ability to vote on restaurants with friends

Excerpt:

The new AR features combine Google’s existing Street View and Maps data with a live feed from your phone’s camera to overlay walking directions on top of the real world and help you figure out which way you need to go.

 

 

 

VR Travel: Virtual Reality Can Show You The World — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski

Excerpt:

The VR travel industry may be in its infancy, but if you expect to see baby steps leading to market adoption, think again. Digital travel sales are expected to reach $198 billion this year, with virtual reality travel apps and VR tours capturing a good share of market revenue.

Of course, this should come as no surprise. Consumers increasingly turn to digital media when planning aspects of their lives, from recreational activities to retirement. Because VR has the power to engage travelers like no other technology can do, it is a natural step in the evolution of the travel industry. It is also likely to disrupt travel planning as we know it.

In this article, we will explore VR travel technology, and what it means for business in 2018.

 

 

From Inside VR & AR

HP Inc. is teaming up with DiSTI to create VR training programs for enterprise customers. DiSTI is a platform for user interface software and custom 3D training solutions. The companies are partnering to create maintenance and operations training in VR for vehicle, aircraft and industrial equipment systems. DiSTI’s new VE Studio software lets customers develop their own virtual training applications or have DiSTI and HP professional services teams assist in designing and building the program. — TECHRADAR

 

 

 

HP and DiSTI to enhance enterprise training through VR solutions — from techradar.com by Nick Rego
Global alliance will combine HP’s VR solutions with DiSTI’s advanced development platform

Excerpt:

HP Inc. today announced an alliance with the DiSTI Corporation, a leading global provider of VR and advanced human machine interface development solutions, to address the growing demand for high-impact, cost-effective VR training.

The two companies will work together to develop unique VR training solutions for enterprise customers, with a specific focus on maintenance and operations training for complex systems such as vehicle, aircraft and industrial equipment.

 

 


Addendum:


  • Why 360 Video and Virtual Reality Matters and 5 Great Ways To Use It — from  mediamerse.com
    Excerpt:

    It’s a different approach to storytelling: Just as standard video is a step up from photography in terms of immersiveness, 360 video and VR amp this up considerably further. Controlling what’s in the frame and editing to hone in on the elements of the picture that we’d like the viewer to focus on is somewhat ‘easy’ with photography. With moving pictures (video), this is harder but with the right use of the camera, it’s still easy to direct the viewer’s attention to the elements of the narrative we’d like to highlight.Since 360 and VR allow the user to essentially take control of the camera, content creators have a lot less control in terms of capturing attention. This has its upsides too though…360 video and particularly VR provide for a very rich sensory environment that standard video just can’t match.

 

 

 

The scary amount that college will cost in the future — from cnbc.com by Annie Nova

Excerpt:

Think college is expensive now? Then new parents will probably want to take a seat for this news.

In 2036, just 18 years from now, four years at a private university will be around $303,000, up from $167,000 today.

To get a degree at a public university you’ll need about $184,000, compared with $101,000 now.

These forecasts were provided by Wealthfront, an automated investment platform that offers college saving options. It uses Department of Education data on the current cost of schools along with expected annual inflation to come up with its projections.

 

Excerpted graphic:

 

From DSC:
We had better be at the end of the line of thinking that says these tuition hikes can continue. It’s not ok. More and more people will be shut out by this kind of societal gatekeeper. The ever-increasing cost of obtaining a degree has become a matter of social justice for me. Other solutions are needed. The 800 pound gorilla of debt that’s already being loaded onto more and more of our graduates will impact them for years…even for decades in many of our graduates’ cases.

It’s my hope that a variety of technologies will make learning more affordable, yet still provide a high quality of education. In fact, I’m hopeful that the personalization/customization of learning will take some major steps forward in the very near future. We will still need and want solid teachers, professors, and trainers, but I’m hopeful that those folks will be aided by the heavy lifting that will be done by some powerful tools/technologies that will be aimed at helping people learn and grow…providing lifelong learners with more choice, more control.

I love the physical campus as much as anyone, and I hope that all students can have that experience if they want it. But I’ve seen and worked with the high costs of building and maintaining physical spaces — maintaining our learning spaces, dorms, libraries, gyms, etc. is very expensive.

I see streams of content becoming more prevalent in the future — especially for lifelong learners who need to reinvent themselves in order to stay marketable. We will be able to subscribe and unsubscribe to curated streams of content that we want to learn more about. For example, today, that could involve RSS feeds and Feedly (to aggregate those feeds). I see us using micro-learning to help us encode information and then practice recalling it (i.e., spaced practice), to help us stop or lessen the forgetting curves we all experience, to help us sort information into things we know and things that we need more assistance on (while providing links to resources that will help us obtain better mastery of the subject(s)).

 

 

Microsoft’s meeting room of the future is wild — from theverge.com by Tom Warren
Transcription, translation, and identification

Excerpts:

Microsoft just demonstrated a meeting room of the future at the company’s Build developer conference.

It all starts with a 360-degree camera and microphone array that can detect anyone in a meeting room, greet them, and even transcribe exactly what they say in a meeting regardless of language.

Microsoft takes the meeting room scenario even further, though. The company is using its artificial intelligence tools to then act on what meeting participants say.

 

 

From DSC:
Whoa! Many things to think about here. Consider the possibilities for global/blended/online-based learning (including MOOCs) with technologies associated with translation, transcription, and identification.

 

 

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