10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 -- from MIT Technology Review

 

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 — from MIT Technology Review

Excerpt:

Dueling neural networks. Artificial embryos. AI in the cloud. Welcome to our annual list of the 10 technology advances we think will shape the way we work and live now and for years to come.

Every year since 2001 we’ve picked what we call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. People often ask, what exactly do you mean by “breakthrough”? It’s a reasonable question—some of our picks haven’t yet reached widespread use, while others may be on the cusp of becoming commercially available. What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.

  1. 3-D Metal Printing
  2. Artificial Embryos
  3. Sensing City
  4. AI for Everybody
  5. Dueling Neural Networks
  6. Babel-Fish Earbuds
    In the cult sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you slide a yellow Babel fish into your ear to get translations in an instant. In the real world, Google has come up with an interim solution: a $159 pair of earbuds, called Pixel Buds. These work with its Pixel smartphones and Google Translate app to produce practically real-time translation. One person wears the earbuds, while the other holds a phone. The earbud wearer speaks in his or her language—English is the default—and the app translates the talking and plays it aloud on the phone. The person holding the phone responds; this response is translated and played through the earbuds.
  7. Zero-Carbon Natural Gas
  8. Perfect Online Privacy
  9. Genetic Fortune-Telling
  10. Materials’ Quantum Leap

 

 

 

Fake videos are on the rise. As they become more realistic, seeing shouldn’t always be believing — from latimes.com by David Pierson Fe

Excerpts:

It’s not hard to imagine a world in which social media is awash with doctored videos targeting ordinary people to exact revenge, extort or to simply troll.

In that scenario, where Twitter and Facebook are algorithmically flooded with hoaxes, no one could fully believe what they see. Truth, already diminished by Russia’s misinformation campaign and President Trump’s proclivity to label uncomplimentary journalism “fake news,” would be more subjective than ever.

The danger there is not just believing hoaxes, but also dismissing what’s real.

The consequences could be devastating for the notion of evidentiary video, long considered the paradigm of proof given the sophistication required to manipulate it.

“This goes far beyond ‘fake news’ because you are dealing with a medium, video, that we traditionally put a tremendous amount of weight on and trust in,” said David Ryan Polgar, a writer and self-described tech ethicist.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Though I’m typically pro-technology, this is truly disturbing. There are certainly downsides to technology as well as upsides — but it’s how we use a technology that can make the real difference. Again, this is truly disturbing.

 

 

The NEW Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

 

You can download a high-quality version of the table here.

 

 

 

Lenovo is including its standalone Daydream headset in classroom VR kits starting this Spring — from 9to5google.com by Ben Schoon

 

 

 

 

Our Screenless Future Calls For Augmented Parenting — from fastcompany.com by Anya Kamenetz
How will parents manage their children’s screen time when there are no screens?

 

 

 

8 ways augmented and virtual reality are changing medicine — from israel21c.org by Abigail Klein Leichman
Israeli companies are using futuristic technologies to simplify complex surgery, manage rehab, relieve pain, soothe autistic kids and much more.

 

 

 

 

Augmented reality system lets doctors see under patients’ skin without the scalpel — from ualberta.ca by Katie Willis
New technology lets clinicians see patients’ internal anatomy displayed right on the body.

 

 

 

27 Mixed Reality (MR / AR) Influencers to Follow in 2018 — from by Mark Metry
Influencers to Follow in 2018

 

 

 

DAQRI Founder’s Passionate TED Talk on Potential Impact of Augmented Reality Gets Personal — from augmented.reality.news by Adario Strange

 

 

 

 

AI plus human intelligence is the future of work — from forbes.com by Jeanne Meister

Excerpts:

  • 1 in 5 workers will have AI as their co worker in 2022
  • More job roles will change than will be become totally automated so HR needs to prepare today


As we increase our personal usage of chatbots (defined as software which provides an automated, yet personalized, conversation between itself and human users), employees will soon interact with them in the workplace as well. Forward looking HR leaders are piloting chatbots now to transform HR, and, in the process, re-imagine, re-invent, and re-tool the employee experience.

How does all of this impact HR in your organization? The following ten HR trends will matter most as AI enters the workplace…

The most visible aspect of how HR is being impacted by artificial intelligence is the change in the way companies source and recruit new hires. Most notably, IBM has created a suite of tools that use machine learning to help candidates personalize their job search experience based on the engagement they have with Watson. In addition, Watson is helping recruiters prioritize jobs more efficiently, find talent faster, and match candidates more effectively. According to Amber Grewal, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, “Recruiters are focusing more on identifying the most critical jobs in the business and on utilizing data to assist in talent sourcing.”

 

…as we enter 2018, the next journey for HR leaders will be to leverage artificial intelligence combined with human intelligence and create a more personalized employee experience.

 

 

From DSC:
Although I like the possibility of using machine learning to help employees navigate their careers, I have some very real concerns when we talk about using AI for talent acquisition. At this point in time, I would much rather have an experienced human being — one with a solid background in HR — reviewing my resume to see if they believe that there’s a fit for the job and/or determine whether my skills transfer over from a different position/arena or not. I don’t think we’re there yet in terms of developing effective/comprehensive enough algorithms. It may happen, but I’m very skeptical in the meantime. I don’t want to be filtered out just because I didn’t use the right keywords enough times or I used a slightly different keyword than what the algorithm was looking for.

Also, there is definitely age discrimination occurring out in today’s workplace, especially in tech-related positions. Folks who are in tech over the age of 30-35 — don’t lose your job! (Go check out the topic of age discrimination on LinkedIn and similar sites, and you’ll find many postings on this topic — sometimes with 10’s of thousands of older employees adding comments/likes to a posting). Although I doubt that any company would allow applicants or the public to see their internally-used algorithms, how difficult would it be to filter out applicants who graduated college prior to ___ (i.e., some year that gets updated on an annual basis)? Answer? Not difficult at all. In fact, that’s at the level of a Programming 101 course.

 

 

 

Artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance – from theverge.com by James Vincent
What happens when digital eyes get the brains to match?

From DSC:
Persons of interest” comes to mind after reading this article. Persons of interest is a clever, well done show, but still…the idea of combining surveillance w/ a super intelligent is a bit unnerving.

 

 

 

Artificial intelligence | 2018 AI predictions — from thomsonreuters.com

Excerpts:

  • AI brings a new set of rules to knowledge work
  • Newsrooms embrace AI
  • Lawyers assess the risks of not using AI
  • Deep learning goes mainstream
  • Smart cars demand even smarter humans
  • Accountants audit forward
  • Wealth managers look to AI to compete and grow

 

 

 

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants in L&D: 4 Use Cases to Pilot in 2018 —  from bottomlineperformance.com by Steven Boller

Excerpt:

  1. Use a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to answer spoken questions from on-the-go learners.
  2. Answer common learner questions in a chat window or via SMS.
  3. Customize a learning path based on learners’ demographic information.
  4. Use a chatbot to assess learner knowledge.

 

 

 

Suncorp looks to augmented reality for insurance claims — from itnews.com.au by Ry Crozier with thanks to Woontack Woo for this resource

Excerpts:

Suncorp has revealed it is exploring image recognition and augmented reality-based enhancements for its insurance claims process, adding to the AI systems it deployed last year.

The insurer began testing IBM Watson software last June to automatically determine who is at fault in a vehicle accident.

“We are working on increasing our use of emerging technologies to assist with the insurance claim process, such as using image recognition to assess type and extent of damage, augmented reality that would enable an off-site claims assessor to discuss and assess damage, speech recognition, and obtaining telematic data from increasingly automated vehicles,” the company said.

 

 

 

6 important AI technologies to look out for in 2018 — from itproportal.com by  Olga Egorsheva
Will businesses and individuals finally make AI a part of their daily lives?

 

 

 

 

 

The legal and ethical minefield of AI: ‘Tech has the power to do harm as well as good’ — from theguardian.com by Joanna Goodman

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are already embedded in our lives, but how should businesses that use such technology manage the associated risks?

As artificial intelligence (AI) penetrates deeper into business operations and services, even supporting judicial decision-making, are we approaching a time when the greatest legal mind could be a machine? According to Prof Dame Wendy Hall, co-author of the report Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK, we are just at the beginning of the AI journey and now is the time to set boundaries.

“All tech has the power to do harm as well as good,” Hall says. “So we have to look at regulating companies and deciding what they can and cannot do with the data now.”

AI and robotics professor Noel Sharkey highlights the “legal and moral implications of entrusting human decisions to algorithms that we cannot fully understand”. He explains that the narrow AI systems that businesses currently use (to draw inferences from large volumes of data) apply algorithms that learn from experience and feed back to real-time and historical data. But these systems are far from perfect.

Potential results include flawed outcomes or reasoning, but difficulties also arise from the lack of transparency. This supports Hall’s call for supervision and regulation. Businesses that use AI in their operations need to manage the ethical and legal risks, and the legal profession will have a major role to play in assessing and apportioning risk, responsibility and accountability.

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

 

Alexa, how can you improve teaching and learning? — from edscoop.com by Kate Roddy with thanks to eduwire for their post on this
Special report:? Voice command platforms from Amazon, Google and Microsoft are creating new models for learning in K-12 and higher education — and renewed privacy concerns.

Excerpt:

We’ve all seen the commercials: “Alexa, is it going to rain today?” “Hey, Google, turn up the volume.” Consumers across the globe are finding increased utility in voice command technology in their homes. But dimming lights and reciting weather forecasts aren’t the only ways these devices are being put to work.

Educators from higher ed powerhouses like Arizona State University to small charter schools like New Mexico’s Taos Academy are experimenting with Amazon Echo, Google Home or Microsoft Invoke and discovering new ways this technology can create a more efficient and creative learning environment.

The devices are being used to help students with and without disabilities gain a new sense for digital fluency, find library materials more quickly and even promote events on college campuses to foster greater social connection.

Like many technologies, the emerging presence of voice command devices in classrooms and at universities is also raising concerns about student privacy and unnatural dependence on digital tools. Yet, many educators interviewed for this report said the rise of voice command technology in education is inevitable — and welcome.

“One example,” he said, “is how voice dictation helped a student with dysgraphia. Putting the pencil and paper in front of him, even typing on a keyboard, created difficulties for him. So, when he’s able to speak to the device and see his words on the screen, the connection becomes that much more real to him.”

The use of voice dictation has also been beneficial for students without disabilities, Miller added. Through voice recognition technology, students at Taos Academy Charter School are able to perceive communication from a completely new medium.

 

 

 

The Ivory Tower Can’t Keep Ignoring Tech — from nytimes.com by Cathy O’Neil

Excerpt:

We need academia to step up to fill in the gaps in our collective understanding about the new role of technology in shaping our lives. We need robust research on hiring algorithms that seem to filter out people with mental health disorders, sentencing algorithms that fail twice as often for black defendants as for white defendants, statistically flawed public teacher assessments or oppressive scheduling algorithms. And we need research to ensure that the same mistakes aren’t made again and again. It’s absolutely within the abilities of academic research to study such examples and to push against the most obvious statistical, ethical or constitutional failures and dedicate serious intellectual energy to finding solutions. And whereas professional technologists working at private companies are not in a position to critique their own work, academics theoretically enjoy much more freedom of inquiry.

 

 

There is essentially no distinct field of academic study that takes seriously the responsibility of understanding and critiquing the role of technology — and specifically, the algorithms that are responsible for so many decisions — in our lives.

 

 

There’s one solution for the short term. We urgently need an academic institute focused on algorithmic accountability. First, it should provide a comprehensive ethical training for future engineers and data scientists at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with case studies taken from real-world algorithms that are choosing the winners from the losers. Lecturers from humanities, social sciences and philosophy departments should weigh in.

 

 

 

Somewhat related:

 

 

 

WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS! Per Forrester Research: In US, a net loss of 7% of jobs to automation — *in 2018*!

Forrester predicts that AI-enabled automation will eliminate 9% of US jobs in 2018 — from forbes.com by Gil Press

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A new Forrester Research report, Predictions 2018: Automation Alters The Global Workforce, outlines 10 predictions about the impact of AI and automation on jobs, work processes and tasks, business success and failure, and software development, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance.

We will see a surge in white-collar automation, half a million new digital workers (bots) in the US, and a shift from manual to automated IT and data management. “Companies that master automation will dominate their industries,” Forrester says. Here’s my summary of what Forrester predicts will be the impact of automation in 2018:

Automation will eliminate 9% of US jobs but will create 2% more.
In 2018, 9% of US jobs will be lost to automation, partly offset by a 2% growth in jobs supporting the “automation economy.” Specifically impacted will be back-office and administrative, sales, and call center employees. A wide range of technologies, from robotic process automation and AI to customer self-service and physical robots will impact hiring and staffing strategies as well as create a need for new skills.

 

Your next entry-level compliance staffer will be a robot.

 

From DSC:

Are we ready for a net loss of 7% of jobs in our workforce due to automation — *next year*? Last I checked, it was November 2017, and 2018 will be here before we know it.

 

***Are we ready for this?! ***

 

AS OF TODAY, can we reinvent ourselves fast enough given our current educational systems, offerings, infrastructures, and methods of learning?

 

My answer: No, we can’t. But we need to be able to — and very soon!

 

 

There are all kinds of major issues and ramifications when people lose their jobs — especially this many people and jobs! The ripple effects will be enormous and very negative unless we introduce new ways for how people can learn new things — and quickly!

That’s why I’m big on trying to establish a next generation learning platform, such as the one that I’ve been tracking and proposing out at Learning from the Living [Class] Room. It’s meant to provide societies around the globe with a powerful, next generation learning platform — one that can help people reinvent themselves quickly, cost-effectively, conveniently, & consistently! It involves providing, relevant, up-to-date streams of content that people can subscribe to — and drop at any time. It involves working in conjunction with subject matter experts who work with teams of specialists, backed up by suites of powerful technologies. It involves learning with others, at any time, from any place, at any pace. It involves more choice, more control. It involves blockchain-based technologies to feed cloud-based learner profiles and more.

But likely, bringing such a vision to fruition will require a significant amount of collaboration. In my mind, some of the organizations that should be at the table here include:

  • Some of the largest players in the tech world, such as Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and/or Facebook
  • Some of the vendors that already operate within the higher ed space — such as Salesforce.com, Ellucian, and/or Blackboard
  • Some of the most innovative institutions of higher education — including their faculty members, instructional technologists, instructional designers, members of administration, librarians, A/V specialists, and more
  • The U.S. Federal Government — for additional funding and the development of policies to make this vision a reality

 

 

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

 

 

The era of easily faked, AI-generated photos is quickly emerging — from qz.com by Dave Gershgorn

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Until this month, it seemed that GAN-generated images [where GAN stands for “generative adversarial networks”] that could fool a human viewer were years off. But last week research released by Nvidia, a manufacturer of graphics processing units that has cornered the market on deep learning hardware, shows that this method can now be used to generate high-resolution, believable images of celebrities, scenery, and objects. GAN-created images are also already being sold as replacements for fashion photographers—a startup called Mad Street Den told Quartz earlier this month it’s working with North American retailers to replace clothing images on websites with generated images.

 

From DSC:
So AI can now generate realistic photos (i.e., image creation/manipulation). And then there’s Adobe’s VoCo Project, a sort of a Photoshop for audio manipulation plus other related technologies out there:

 

So I guess it’s like the first article concludes:

The era of easily-faked photos is quickly emerging—much as it did when Photoshop became widely prevalent—so it’s a good time to remember we shouldn’t trust everything we see.

…and perhaps we’ll need to add, “we shouldn’t trust everything we hear either.” But how will the average person with average tools know the real deal? The concept of watermarking visuals/audio may be increasingly involved. From the ending of bbc.com article:

For its part, Adobe has talked of its customers using Voco to fix podcast and audio book recordings without having to rebook presenters or voiceover artists.

But a spokeswoman stressed that this did not mean its release was imminent.

“[It] may or may not be released as a product or product feature,” she told the BBC.

“No ship date has been announced.”

In the meantime, Adobe said it was researching ways to detect use of its software.

“Think about watermarking detection,” Mr Jin said at the demo, referring to a method used to hide identifiers in images and other media.

 

But again, we see that technology often races ahead. “Look at what we can do!”  But then the rest of society — such as developing laws, policies, questions about whether we should roll out such technologies, etc. — needs time to catch up. Morals and ethics do come into play here — as trust levels are most assuredly at stake.

Another relevant article/topic/example of this is listed below. (Though I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t pursue self-driving cars. Rather, the topic serves as another example of technologies racing ahead while it takes a while for the rest of us/society to catch up with them).

 

 

 

From DSC:
I’ve been thinking about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) for a while now, but the article below made me revisit my reflections on them. (By the way, my thoughts below are not meant to be a slam on Google. I like Google and I use their tools daily.) I’ve included a few items below, but there were some other articles/vendors’ products that I had seen on this topic that focused specifically on ATSs, but I couldn’t locate them all.

 

How Google’s AI-Powered Job Search Will Impact Companies And Job Seekers — from forbes.com by Forbes Coaches Council

Excerpt:

In mid-June, Google announced the implementation of an AI-powered search function aimed at connecting job seekers with jobs by sorting through posted recruitment information. The system allows users to search for basic phrases, such as “jobs near me,” or perform searches for industry-specific keywords. The search results can include reviews from Glassdoor or other companies, along with the details of what skills the hiring company is looking to acquire.

As this is a relatively new development, what the system will mean is still an open question. To help, members from the Forbes Coaches Council offer their analysis on how the search system will impact candidates or companies. Here’s what they said…

 

 

5. Expect competition to increase.
Google jumping into the job search market may make it easier than ever to apply for a role online. For companies, this could likely tax the already strained-ATS system, and unless fixed, could mean many more resumes falling into that “black hole.” For candidates, competition might be steeper than ever, which means networking will be even more important to job search success. – Virginia Franco

 

 

10. Understanding keywords and trending topics will be essential.
Since Google’s AI is based on crowd-gathered metrics, the importance of keywords and understanding trending topics is essential for both employers and candidates. Standing out from the crowd or getting relevant results will be determined by how well you speak the expected language of the AI. Optimizing for the search engine’s results pages will make or break your search for a job or candidate. – Maurice Evans, IGROWyourBiz, Inc 

 

 

Also see:

In Unilever’s radical hiring experiment, resumes are out, algorithms are in — from foxbusiness.com by Kelsey Gee 

Excerpt:

Before then, 21-year-old Ms. Jaffer had filled out a job application, played a set of online games and submitted videos of herself responding to questions about how she’d tackle challenges of the job. The reason she found herself in front of a hiring manager? A series of algorithms recommended her.

 

 

The Future of HR: Is it Dying? — from hrtechnologist.com by Rhucha Kulkarni

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The debate is on, whether man or machine will win the race, as they are pitted against each other in every walk of life. Experts are already worried about the social disruption that is inevitable, as artificial intelligence (AI)-led robots take over the jobs of human beings, leaving them without livelihoods. The same is believed to happen to the HR profession, says a report by Career Builder. HR jobs are at threat, like all other jobs out there, as we can expect certain roles in talent acquisition, talent management, and mainstream business being automated over the next 10 years. To delve deeper into the imminent problem, Career Builder carried out a study of 719 HR professionals in the private sector, specifically looking for the rate of adoption of emerging technologies in HR and what HR professionals perceived about it.

The change is happening for real, though different companies are adopting technologies at varied paces. Most companies are turning to the new-age technologies to help carry out talent acquisition and management tasks that are time-consuming and labor-intensive.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Are you aware that if you apply for a job at many organizations nowadays, your resume has a significant chance of not ever making it in front of a human’s eyeballs for their review?  Were you aware that an Applicant Tracking System (an ATS) will likely syphon off and filter out your resume unless you have the exact right keywords in your resume and unless you mentioned those keywords the optimal number of times?

And were you aware that many advisors assert that you should use a 1 page resume — a 2 page resume at most? Well…assuming that you have to edit big time to get to a 1-2 page resume, how does that editing help you get past the ATSs out there? When you significantly reduce your resume’s size/information, you hack out numerous words that the ATS may be scanning for. (BTW, advisors recommend creating a Wordle from the job description to ascertain the likely keywords; but still, you don’t know which exact keywords the ATS will be looking for in your specific case/job application and how many times to use those keywords. Numerous words can be of similar size in the resulting Wordle graphic…so is that 1-2 page resume helping you or hurting you when you can only submit 1 resume for a position/organization?)

Vendors are hailing these ATS systems as being major productivity boosters for their HR departments…and that might be true in some cases. But my question is, at what cost?

At this point in time, I still believe that humans are better than software/algorithms at making judgement calls. Perhaps I’m giving hiring managers too much credit, but I’d rather have a human being make the call at this point. I want a pair of human eyeballs to scan my resume, not a (potentially) narrowly defined algorithm. A human being might see transferable skills better than a piece of code at this point.

Just so you know…in light of these keyword-based means of passing through the first layer of filtering, people are now playing games with their resumes and are often stretching the truth — if not outright lying:

 

85 Percent of Job Applicants Lie on Resumes. Here’s How to Spot a Dishonest Candidate — from inc.com by  J.T. O’Donnell
A new study shows huge increase in lies on job applications.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Employer Applicant Tracking Systems Expect an Exact Match
Most companies use some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to take in résumés, sort through them, and narrow down the applicant pool. With the average job posting getting more than 100 applicants, recruiters don’t want to go bleary-eyed sorting through them. Instead, they let the ATS do the dirty work by telling it to pass along only the résumés that match their specific requirements for things like college degrees, years of experience, and salary expectations. The result? Job seekers have gotten wise to the finicky nature of the technology and are lying on their résumés and applications in hopes of making the cut.

 

From DSC:
I don’t see this as being very helpful. But perhaps that’s because I don’t like playing games with people and/or with other organizations. I’m not a game player. What you see is what you get. I’ll be honest and transparent about what I can — and can’t — deliver.

But students, you should know that these ATS systems are in place. Those of us in higher education should know about these ATS systems, as many of us are being negatively impacted by the current landscape within higher education.

 

 

Also see:

Why Your Approach To Job Searching Is Failing — from forbes.com by Jeanna McGinnis

Excerpt:

Is Your Resume ATS Friendly?
Did you know that an ATS (applicant tracking system) will play a major role in whether or not your resume is selected for further review when you’re applying to opportunities through online job boards?

It’s true. When you apply to a position a company has posted online, a human usually isn’t the first to review your resume, a computer program is. Scouring your resume for keywords, terminology and phrases the hiring manager is targeting, the program will toss your resume if it can’t understand the content it’s reading. Basically, your resume doesn’t stand a chance of making it to the next level if it isn’t optimized for ATS.

To ensure your resume makes it past the evil eye of ATS, format your resume correctly for applicant tracking programs, target it to the opportunity and check for spelling errors. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time applying online.

 

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