Robot students? College classrooms try letting far-away students attend via remote-control stand-in — from edsurge.com by Sydney Johnson

Excerpt:

Someone looking in on Bill McCaw’s educational leadership class at the University of Montana might see students talking in small groups, or peers helping each other on assignments. It’s an age-old classroom scene, except for one space-age detail: More than half of the students are robots.

Ok, to be more precise, nine of the fourteen students in the course are joining the class remotely by using a robot stand-in. The hope is that the approach will let students, who are working professionals, join from hundreds of miles away and feel more a part of the group than would be possible with standard videoconference links.

“The space in Montana is huge. That’s why this is really important for us,” says McCaw.

 

 

From DSC:
I appreciate the level of experimentation that’s going on here — it’s stretching the existing paradigms and asking how we might bring in remote learners into our face-to-face based classrooms. This is one approach.

Another approach uses tool like the ones below — which make having students be in the same physical learning space less important:

 

 

 

 

Veeery interesting. Alexa now adds visuals / a screen! With the addition of 100 skills a day, where might this new platform lead?

Amazon introduces Echo Show

The description reads:

  • Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
  • With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Jeopardy!, Allrecipes, CNN, and more

 

 

 

 

 

 



From DSC:

Now we’re seeing a major competition between the heavy-hitters to own one’s living room, kitchen, and more. Voice controlled artificial intelligence. But now, add the ability to show videos, text, graphics, and more. Play music. Control the lights and the thermostat. Communicate with others via hands-free video calls.

Hmmm….very interesting times indeed.

 

 

Developers and corporates released 4,000 new skills for the voice assistant in just the last quarter. (source)

 

…with the company adding about 100 skills per day. (source)

 

 

 

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

 

 



 

Addendum on 5/10/17:

 



 

 

59 impressive things artificial intelligence can do today — from businessinsider.com by Ed Newton-Rex

Excerpt:

But what can AI do today? How close are we to that all-powerful machine intelligence? I wanted to know, but couldn’t find a list of AI’s achievements to date. So I decided to write one. What follows is an attempt at that list. It’s not comprehensive, but it contains links to some of the most impressive feats of machine intelligence around. Here’s what AI can do…

 

 

 


Recorded Saturday, February 25th, 2017 and published on Mar 16, 2017


Description:

Will progress in Artificial Intelligence provide humanity with a boost of unprecedented strength to realize a better future, or could it present a threat to the very basis of human civilization? The future of artificial intelligence is up for debate, and the Origins Project is bringing together a distinguished panel of experts, intellectuals and public figures to discuss who’s in control. Eric Horvitz, Jaan Tallinn, Kathleen Fisher and Subbarao Kambhampati join Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss.

 

 

 

 

Description:
Elon Musk, Stuart Russell, Ray Kurzweil, Demis Hassabis, Sam Harris, Nick Bostrom, David Chalmers, Bart Selman, and Jaan Tallinn discuss with Max Tegmark (moderator) what likely outcomes might be if we succeed in building human-level AGI, and also what we would like to happen. The Beneficial AI 2017 Conference: In our sequel to the 2015 Puerto Rico AI conference, we brought together an amazing group of AI researchers from academia and industry, and thought leaders in economics, law, ethics, and philosophy for five days dedicated to beneficial AI. We hosted a two-day workshop for our grant recipients and followed that with a 2.5-day conference, in which people from various AI-related fields hashed out opportunities and challenges related to the future of AI and steps we can take to ensure that the technology is beneficial.

 

 


(Below emphasis via DSC)

IBM and Ricoh have partnered for a cognitive-enabled interactive whiteboard which uses IBM’s Watson intelligence and voice technologies to support voice commands, taking notes and actions and even translating into other languages.

 

The Intelligent Workplace Solution leverages IBM Watson and Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards to allow to access features via using voice. It makes sure that Watson doesn’t just listen, but is an active meeting participant, using real-time analytics to help guide discussions.

Features of the new cognitive-enabled whiteboard solution include:

  • Global voice control of meetings: Once a meeting begins, any employee, whether in-person or located remotely in another country, can easily control what’s on the screen, including advancing slides, all through simple voice commands using Watson’s Natural Language API.
  • Translation of the meeting into another language: The Intelligent Workplace Solution can translate speakers’ words into several other languages and display them on screen or in transcript.
  • Easy-to-join meetings: With the swipe of a badge the Intelligent Workplace Solution can log attendance and track key agenda items to ensure all key topics are discussed.
  • Ability to capture side discussions: During a meeting, team members can also hold side conversations that are displayed on the same whiteboard.

 


From DSC:

Holy smokes!

If you combine the technologies that Ricoh and IBM are using with their new cognitive-enabled interactive whiteboard with what Bluescape is doing — by providing 160 acres of digital workspace that’s used to foster collaboration (and to do so whether you are working remoting or working with others in the same physical space) — and you have one incredibly powerful platform! 

#NLP  |  #AI  |  #CognitiveComputing  | #SmartClassrooms
#LearningSpaces  |#Collaboration |  #Meetings 

 

 


 

 

 


 

AI Market to Grow 47.5% Over Next Four Years — from campustechnology.com by Richard Chang

Excerpt:

The artificial intelligence (AI) market in the United States education sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47.5 percent during the period 2017-2021, according to a new report by market research firm Research and Markets.

 

 

Amazon deepens university ties in artificial intelligence race — from by Jeffrey Dastin

Excerpt:

Amazon.com Inc has launched a new program to help students build capabilities into its voice-controlled assistant Alexa, the company told Reuters, the latest move by a technology firm to nurture ideas and talent in artificial intelligence research.

Amazon, Alphabet Inc’s Google and others are locked in a race to develop and monetize artificial intelligence. Unlike some rivals, Amazon has made it easy for third-party developers to create skills for Alexa so it can get better faster – a tactic it now is extending to the classroom.

 

 

The WebMD skill for Amazon’s Alexa can answer all your medical questions — from digitaltrends.com by Kyle Wiggers
WebMD is bringing its wealth of medical knowledge to a new form factor: Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Excerpt:

Alexa, Amazon’s brilliant voice-activated smart assistant, is a capable little companion. It can order a pizza, summon a car, dictate a text message, and flick on your downstairs living room’s smart bulb. But what it couldn’t do until today was tell you whether that throbbing lump on your forearm was something that required medical attention. Fortunately, that changed on Tuesday with the introduction of a WebMD skill that puts the service’s medical knowledge at your fingertips.

 

 


Addendum:

  • How artificial intelligence is taking Asia by storm — from techwireasia.com by Samantha Cheh
    Excerpt:
    Lately it seems as if everyone is jumping onto the artificial intelligence bandwagon. Everyone, from ride-sharing service Uber to Amazon’s logistics branch, is banking on AI being the next frontier in technological innovation, and are investing heavily in the industry.

    That’s likely truest in Asia, where the manufacturing engine which drove China’s growth is now turning its focus to plumbing the AI mine for gold.

    Despite Asia’s relatively low overall investment in AI, the industry is set to grow. Fifty percent of respondents in KPMG’s AI report said their companies had plans to invest in AI or robotic technology.

    Investment in AI is set to drive venture capital investment in China in 2017. Tak Lo, of Hong Kong’s Zeroth, notes there are more mentions of AI in Chinese research papers than there are in the US.

    China, Korea and Japan collectively account for nearly half the planet’s shipments of articulated robots in the world.

     

 

Artificial Intelligence – Research Areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Here! Get the 2017 NMC Horizon Report

Earlier this week, the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition at the 2017 ELI Annual Meeting. This 14th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges.

 

 

The topics are summarized in the infographic below:

 

 

 

Virtual reality homebuying is on the horizon — from latimes.com by Phillip Molnar

Excerpt:

Would you buy a home without ever stepping foot in it?

Thanks to virtual reality, prospective homebuyers can check out for-sale properties by viewing them through a headset — exploring faraway kitchens and bathrooms without ever leaving the couch.

“VR is the next natural evolution in terms of marketing real estate,” said David Scott Van Woert, account director at Transparent House, which has developed a virtual reality mobile app for home builders. “A lot of these companies are very tech-forward and always looking for, not only an edge over competition, but to stay current.”

 

 

From DSC:
For those of us working on creating and renovating learning spaces, consider producing VR-based pieces for your donors to check out. It could really help paint the picture — the vision — of what your selected space will look like once it’s done. Very compelling visuals — and a very compelling experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney – The Opera House has joined forces with Samsung to open a new digital lounge that encourages engagement with the space. — from lsnglobal.com by Rhiannon McGregor

 

The Lounge, enabled by Samsung on November 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera)

 

 

The Lounge, enabled by Samsung on November 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Anna Kucera)

 

 

Also see:

The Lounge enabled by Samsung
Open day and night, The Lounge enabled by Samsung is a new place in the heart of the Opera House where people can sit and enjoy art and culture through the latest technology. The most recent in a series of future-facing projects enabled by Sydney Opera House’s Principal Partner, Samsung, the new visitor lounge features stylish, comfortable seating, as well as interactive displays and exclusive digital content, including:

  • The Sails – a virtual-reality experience of what it’s like to stand atop the sails of Australia’s most famous building, brought to you via Samsung Gear VR;
  • Digital artwork – a specially commissioned video exploration of the Opera House and its stories, produced by creative director Sam Doust. The artwork has been themed to match the time of day and is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest Smart LED Display panel technology in Australia; and
  • Google Cultural Institute – available to view on Samsung Galaxy View and Galaxy Tab S2 tablets, the digital collection features 50 online exhibits that tell the story of the Opera House’s past, present and future through rare archival photography, celebrated performances, early architectural drawings and other historical documents, little-known interviews and Street View imagery.

 

 

 

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.
 

Planning and Designing Academic Library Learning Spaces: Expert Perspectives of Architects, Librarians, and Library Consultants
This research report was based on interviews with 49 architects, librarians, and library consultants who led a total of 22 academic library projects in the U.S. and Canada.

 

In this shifting and complex landscape, the role of academic libraries is not fully known. For many librarians and architects who are creating physical and virtual learning spaces in libraries, the million-dollar design question remains: “Is there a model that can stand the test of time as effectively as a centralized print collection has done for hundreds of years, so that libraries remain useful to students and faculty into the future?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
In the future, I’d like to see holograms provide stunning visual centerpieces for the entrance ways into libraries, or in our classrooms, or in our art galleries, recital halls, and more. The object(s), person(s), scene(s) could change into something else, providing a visually engaging experience that sets a tone for that space, time, and/or event.

Eventually, perhaps these types of technologies/setups will even be a way to display artwork within our homes and apartments.

 

hologram-earth

Image from 900lbs.com

 

 

 

From DSC:
(With thanks to Woontack Woo for his posting this via his paper.li entitled “#AR #CAMAR for Ubiquitous VR”)

Check this out!

On December 3rd, the Legend of Sword opera comes to Australia — but this is no ordinary opera!  It is a “holographic sensational experience!” Set designers and those involved with drama will need to check this out. This could easily be the future of set design!

But not only that, let’s move this same concept over to the world of learning.  What might augmented reality do for how our learning spaces look and act like in the future?  What new affordances and experiences could they provide for us? This needs to be on our radars. 

Some serious engagement might be heading our way!

 

 

Per this web page:

Legend of Sword 1 is a holographic sensational experience that has finished its 2nd tour in China. A Chinese legend of the ages to amaze and ignite your imagination. First time ever such a visual spectacular stage in Australia on Sat 3rd Dec only. Performed in Chinese with English subtitles.

Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 is based on a hit video game in China. Through the hardworking of the renowned production team, the performance illustrates the beautiful fantasy of game on stage, and allow the audience feel like placing themselves in the eastern fairy world. With the special effects with the olfactory experience, and that actors performing and interact with audience at close distance, the eastern fairy world is realised on stage. It is not only a play with beautiful scenes, but also full of elements from oriental style adventure. The theatre experience will offer much more than a show, but the excitement of love and adventure.

 

Per this web page:

Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 was premiered in April 2015 at Shanghai Cultural Plaza, which set off a frenzy of magic in Shanghai, relying on the perfect visual and 5D all-round sensual experience. Because of the fantasy theme that matches with top visual presentation, Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 became the hot topic in Shanghai immediately. With only just 10 performances at the time, its Weibo topic hits have already exceeded 100 million mark halfway.

So far, Legend of Sword and Fairy 1 has finished its second tour in a number of cities in China, including Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Xiamen, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Wuxi, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhengzhou, Lishui, Ma’anshan, Kunshan, Changzhou etc.

 

 

legendofsword-china-australia-2016

 

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems