Amazon Opening Store That Will Eliminate Checkout — and Lines — from bloomberg.com by Jing Cao
At Amazon Seattle location items get charged to Prime account | New technology combines artificial intelligence and sensors

Excerpt:

Amazon.com Inc. unveiled technology that will let shoppers grab groceries without having to scan and pay for them — in one stroke eliminating the checkout line.

The company is testing the new system at what it’s calling an Amazon Go store in Seattle, which will open to the public early next year. Customers will be able to scan their phones at the entrance using a new Amazon Go mobile app. Then the technology will track what items they pick up or even return to the shelves and add them to a virtual shopping cart in real time, according a video Amazon posted on YouTube. Once the customers exit the store, they’ll be charged on their Amazon account automatically.

 

 

 

Amazon Introduces ‘Amazon Go’ Retail Stores, No Checkout, No Lines — from investors.com

Excerpt:

Online retail king Amazon.com (AMZN) is taking dead aim at the physical-store world Monday, introducing Amazon Go, a retail convenience store format it is developing that will use computer vision and deep-learning algorithms to let shoppers just pick up what they want and exit the store without any checkout procedure.

Shoppers will merely need to tap the Amazon Go app on their smartphones, and their virtual shopping carts will automatically tabulate what they owe, and deduct that amount from their Amazon accounts, sending you a receipt. It’s what the company has deemed “just walk out technology,” which it said is based on the same technology used in self-driving cars. It’s certain to up the ante in the company’s competition with Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and the other retail leaders.

 

 

Google DeepMind Makes AI Training Platform Publicly Available — from bloomberg.com by Jeremy Kahn
Company is increasingly embracing open-source initiatives | Move comes after rival Musk’s OpenAI made its robot gym public

Excerpt:

Alphabet Inc.’s artificial intelligence division Google DeepMind is making the maze-like game platform it uses for many of its experiments available to other researchers and the general public.

DeepMind is putting the entire source code for its training environment — which it previously called Labyrinth and has now renamed as DeepMind Lab — on the open-source depository GitHub, the company said Monday. Anyone will be able to download the code and customize it to help train their own artificial intelligence systems. They will also be able to create new game levels for DeepMind Lab and upload these to GitHub.

 

Related:
Alphabet DeepMind is inviting developers into the digital world where its AI learns to explore — from qz.com by Dave Gershgorn

 

 

 

After Retail Stumble, Beacons Shine From Banks to Sports Arenas — from bloomberg.com by Olga Kharif
Shipments of the devices expected to grow to 500 million

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Beacon technology, which was practically left for dead after failing to deliver on its promise to revolutionize the retail industry, is making a comeback.

Beacons are puck-size gadgets that can send helpful tips, coupons and other information to people’s smartphones through Bluetooth. They’re now being used in everything from bank branches and sports arenas to resorts, airports and fast-food restaurants. In the latest sign of the resurgence, Mobile Majority, an advertising startup, said on Monday that it was buying Gimbal Inc., a beacon maker it bills as the largest independent source of location data other than Google and Apple Inc.

Several recent developments have sparked the latest boom. Companies like Google parent Alphabet Inc. are making it possible for people to use the feature without downloading any apps, which had been a major barrier to adoption, said Patrick Connolly, an analyst at ABI. Introduced this year, Google Nearby Notifications lets developers tie an app or a website to a beacon to send messages to consumers even when they have no app installed.

But in June, Cupertino, California-based Mist Systems began shipping a software-based product that simplified the process. Instead of placing 10 beacons on walls and ceilings, for example, management using Mist can install one device every 2,000 feet (610 meters), then designate various points on a digital floor plan as virtual beacons, which can be moved with a click of a mouse.

 

 

Google’s Hand-Fed AI Now Gives Answers, Not Just Search Results — from wired.com by Cade Metz

Excerpt:

Ask the Google search app “What is the fastest bird on Earth?,” and it will tell you.

“Peregrine falcon,” the phone says. “According to YouTube, the peregrine falcon has a maximum recorded airspeed of 389 kilometers per hour.”

That’s the right answer, but it doesn’t come from some master database inside Google. When you ask the question, Google’s search engine pinpoints a YouTube video describing the five fastest birds on the planet and then extracts just the information you’re looking for. It doesn’t mention those other four birds. And it responds in similar fashion if you ask, say, “How many days are there in Hanukkah?” or “How long is Totem?” The search engine knows that Totem is a Cirque de Soleil show, and that it lasts two-and-a-half hours, including a thirty-minute intermission.

Google answers these questions with the help from deep neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence rapidly remaking not just Google’s search engine but the entire company and, well, the other giants of the internet, from Facebook to Microsoft. Deep neutral nets are pattern recognition systems that can learn to perform specific tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. In this case, they’ve learned to take a long sentence or paragraph from a relevant page on the web and extract the upshot—the information you’re looking for.

 

 

Deep Learning in Production at Facebook — from re-work.co by Katie Pollitt

Excerpt:

Facebook is powered by machine learning and AI. From advertising relevance, news feed and search ranking to computer vision, face recognition, and speech recognition, they run ML models at massive scale, computing trillions of predictions every day.

At the 2016 Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Andrew Tulloch, Research Engineer at Facebook, talked about some of the tools and tricks Facebook use for scaling both the training and deployment of some of their deep learning models at Facebook. He also covered some useful libraries that they’d open-sourced for production-oriented deep learning applications. Tulloch’s session can be watched in full below.

 

 

The Artificial Intelligence Gold Rush — from foresightr.com by Mark Vickers
Big companies, venture capital firms and governments are all banking on AI

Excerpt:

Let’s start with some of the brand-name organizations laying down big bucks on artificial intelligence.

  • Amazon: Sells the successful Echo home speaker, which comes with the personal assistant Alexa.
  • Alphabet (Google): Uses deep learning technology to power Internet searches and developed AlphaGo, an AI that beat the world champion in the game of Go.
  • Apple: Developed the popular virtual assistant Siri and is working on other phone-related AI applications, such as facial recognition.
  • Baidu: Wants to use AI to improve search, recognize images of objects and respond to natural language queries.
  • Boeing: Works with Carnegie Mellon University to develop machine learning capable of helping it design and build planes more efficiently.
  • Facebook: Wants to create the “best AI lab in the world.” Has its personal assistant, M, and focuses heavily on facial recognition.
    IBM: Created the Jeopardy-winning Watson AI and is leveraging its data analysis and natural language capabilities in the healthcare industry.
  • Intel: Has made acquisitions to help it build specialized chips and software to handle deep learning.
  • Microsoft: Works on chatbot technology and acquired SwiftKey, which predicts what users will type next.
  • Nokia: Has introduced various machine learning capabilities to its portfolio of customer-experience software.
    Nvidia: Builds computer chips customized for deep learning.
  • Salesforce: Took first place at the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, a test of machine learning and comprehension, and has developed the Einstein model that learns from data.
  • Shell: Launched a virtual assistant to answer customer questions.
  • Tesla Motors: Continues to work on self-driving automobile technologies.
  • Twitter: Created an AI-development team called Cortex and acquired several AI startups.

 

 

 

IBM Watson and Education in the Cognitive Era — from i-programmer.info by Nikos Vaggalis

Excerpt:

IBM’s seemingly ubiquitous Watson is now infiltrating education, through AI powered software that ‘reads’ the needs of individual  students in order to engage them through tailored learning approaches.

This is not to be taken lightly, as it opens the door to a new breed of technologies that will spearhead the education or re-education of the workforce of the future.

As outlined in the 2030 report, despite robots or AI displacing a big chunk of the workforce, they will also play a major role in creating job opportunities as never before.In such a competitive landscape, workers of all kinds, white or blue collar to begin with, should come readied with new, versatile and contemporary skills.

The point is, the very AI that will leave someone jobless, will also help him to re-adapt into a new job’s requirements.It will also prepare the new generations through the use of such optimal methodologies that will once more give meaning to the aging  and counter-productive schooling system which has the  students’ skills disengaged from the needs of the industry and which still segregates students into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Might it be that ‘bad’ students become just like that due to the system’s inability to stimulate their interest?

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
The other day I had posted some ideas in regards to how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality are coming together to offer some wonderful new possibilities for learning (see: “From DSC: Amazing possibilities coming together w/ augmented reality used in conjunction w/ machine learning! For example, consider these ideas.”) Here is one of the graphics from that posting:

 

horticulturalapp-danielchristian

These affordances are just now starting to be uncovered as machines are increasingly able to ascertain patterns, things, objects…even people (which calls for a separate posting at some point).

But mainly, for today, I wanted to highlight an excellent comment/reply from Nikos Andriotis @ Talent LMS who gave me permission to highlight his solid reflections and ideas:

 

nikosandriotisidea-oct2016

 

 

From DSC:
Excellent reflection/idea Nikos — that would represent some serious personalized, customized learning!

Nikos’ innovative reflections also made me think about his ideas in light of their interaction or impact with web-based learner profiles, credentialing, badging, and lifelong learning.  What’s especially noteworthy here is that the innovations (that impact learning) continue to occur mainly in the online and blended learning spaces.

How might the ramifications of these innovations impact institutions who are pretty much doing face-to-face only (in terms of their course delivery mechanisms and pedagogies)?

Given:

  • That Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and can amass a database of skills and open jobs (playing a cloud-based matchmaker)
  • Everyday microlearning is key to staying relevant (RSS feeds and tapping into “streams of content” are important here, and so is the use of Twitter)
  • 65% of today’s students will be doing jobs that don’t even exist yet (per Microsoft & The Future Laboratory in 2016)

 

futureproofyourself-msfuturelab-2016

  • The exponential pace of technological change
  • The increasing level of experimentation with blockchain (credentialing)
  • …and more

…what do the futures look like for those colleges and universities that operate only in the face-to-face space and who are not innovating enough?

 

 

 

From DSC:
Twitter is a tool that you should consider putting in your toolbox — or in your students’ toolboxes. Consider how it was used here –> This Henry VIII Twitter Account Is The Best Way To Learn About Brexit | @KngHnryVIII tells it like it is (and like how it was in the 1500s).

 

TwitterandKingHenryVIII-June2016

 

Microlearning: The e-Learning method taking off around the world — from educators.co.nz by Catherine Knowles

Excerpt:

Technology is disrupting traditional learning bringing new methods and tools into educational institutions and businesses.

Microlearning, for instance, has displayed great potential for growth, according to Association Learning + Technology 2016 – a report published by Tagoras and sponsored by YM Learning.

The report looks at the use of technology to enable and enhance learning in the continuing education and professional development market and provides insight into how the role technology plays in learning has and will evolve.

 

In fact, among five emerging types of learning (microlearning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), flipped classes, gamified learning, and microcredentials), microlearning shows the highest rate of adoption – and arguably the greatest potential for growth.

 

 

 

Podcasting is perfect for people with big ideas. Here’s how to do it — from by Todd Landman
Surprisingly few academics have learned how to podcast – but it’s a great way to reach a wider audience

Excerpt:

In the face of conflict in the Middle East, the flow of refugees to Europe and the violence associated with Islamic State and other militants, there has never been a more important time to talk about human rights. And talk about them is what I do – not in a lecture hall or at conferences with academics, but in a podcast series. Let me explain why.

I have worked as a political scientist for 25 years, focusing on human rights problems such as the struggle for citizenship rights in Latin America and the relationship between inequality and human rights violations.

I am part of a wide network of people dedicated to producing sound evidence on human rights, and my work has been communicated through articles, books and reports. But I am limited in my ability to reach the people I would most like to engage and influence – those who do not have an academic understanding of human rights but might benefit from finding out about it.

There is a new breed of academic who understands this and is committed to bridging the gap between academia and the real world. Many blog, actively seek media coverage of their research and appear on radio and television to shed light on the issues of the day.

 

 

From DSC:
Some of the tools that Landman mentioned were:

e-camm-for-skype-jan2016

  • A MacBook Pro and its free audio editing software GarageBand (for Mac OS X and for iOS)
  • A lapel mic used with his iPhone

 

garageband-jan2016

 

Some other tools to consider:

 

 

From DSC:
The above articles point to the idea — and the need — of creating “streams of content” — something that I wish more professors, teachers, staff, administrators, trainers, and instructional designers would create. Blogs, podcasts, and the use of Twitter come to my mind. Such channels could really help build others’ learning ecosystems.

Many professors and academics — folks who have so much information to share with the world — often produce works just for other academics in their discipline to review/check out. Such bubbles don’t have the impact that would occur if professors created streams of content for members of society to check out and learn from. Such mechanisms would also hopefully strip away some of the more academic sounding language and would get to the point.

 

 

streams-of-content-blue-overlay

 

 

 

 

Also see:

podcastscratch-june2015

 

Everything you need to know to be a social media rock star in 2016 — from onblastblog.com by Matt Banner

Excerpt:

Today websites like Facebook, Twitter, and plenty of others are becoming CRUCIAL for success as a blogger. They offer a rich potential to connect with, engage, and attract new readers and leads to your site.

This trend isn’t going anywhere in 2016, so today I’m going to give you the complete rundown on how to rock the social media world in the coming year.

 

Social Media Cheat SheetCredit:On Blast Blog via On Blast Blog

 

Also see:

 

Here are the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015 — from c4lpt.co.uk by Jane Hart

 

TopTools-2015-Hart

 

Excerpt:

Over 2,000 learning professionals from around the world from both education and enterprises contributed to the 9th Annual Survey of Learning Tools. Very many thanks to all those who took the time to complete the online form, write a blog post, send me an email or tweet me their selection.

I have now compiled the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015, updated the Top 100 Tools for Learning website and prepared a slideset, which I have hosted on Slideshare and embedded below.

For the 7th year running Twitter is the  No 1 tool on the list, although this year it is very closely followed by YouTube, and once again, the list is dominated by free online tools and services. I can also see some interesting new trends in the tools that are being used for both personal learning and for creating learning content and experiences for others, and I will provide my analysis shortly. In the meantime, beneath the presentation, you will find a summary of the new tools on the list and the big movers up the list.

 

Social Media and College Admissions — from socialassurity.com by Danilo Umali

Excerpt:

1. We want a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These are the social networks where the colleges are looking. Colleges are making a lot of inroads with LinkedIn since they are beginning to correlate job positions and success with the colleges that led these individuals to these careers. It may lay the groundwork for a new ranking system. Many students are going to need LinkedIn to find their next job. Why not start now?

2. According to Alan Katzman,  It’s OK to make mistakes. Just because you are “holding a red cup” in a photograph doesn’t mean the college is going to blacklist you. Colleges do, however, want to make sure that they are getting “more than test takers.” Do your stated passions align with what they are seeing on social media? Are the additional insights gained from your social network reinforce their admissions and scholarship award decisions? Do you come across as racist? Are you intolerant?

3. Not being on social media is a red flag. A large percentage of college applicants are on social media. Not having a presence can introduce more suspicion that can hurt your chances. At the very least, students competing against you will have the advantage of giving colleges more avenues to discover them.

4. Many parents believe that their students shouldn’t be reduced to a test score, an application, and an essay. Well, here is your chance. Leverage social networking as an enhancement to the application process. Give the colleges more opportunities to discover who your student is as a complete and well-rounded applicant.

5. College admissions is one thing and finding a job is another. Colleges and careers go hand in hand. Social networking is no different. Your student needs to embrace social media sooner rather than later. If you think colleges are flocking to social media, what do you think employers are doing? When your student learns to manage his or her social networking, they will have a leg-up when it comes to the job search.

 

5 reasons we shouldn’t be so surprised by what kids wish teachers knew — from takepart.com by Liz Dwyer
The stories being shared with #IWishMyTeacherKnew, the viral hashtag started by teacher Kyle Schwartz, are turning the spotlight on the harsh reality of many American kids.

 

Students-want-teachers-to-know-INLINE1

 

Excerpt:

Their thoughts are handwritten on sticky notes, index cards, and plain old pieces of notebook paper—and they’re providing a window into the lives of America’s children. On Friday, the story of #IWishMyTeacherKnew, the effort by Denver elementary school teacher Kyle Schwartz to get students in her classroom to share something about themselves, went viral across the Web.

 

Ferguson, Journalism, Twitter — from zeteojournal.com by (my sister) Sue Ellen Christian and Herbert Lowe

Excerpt:

Our own evaluation of the performance of traditional and social media in the Ferguson story is mixed. News consumers have had access to great reporting and predictable, tablet-thin coverage, as well as to a powerful social-media movement that has roiled the Twittersphere with posts both smart and stupid. Twitter and the news media will be intertwined for some time as the story in Ferguson and related police shootings and protests, in New York and elsewhere nationwide, continue to be broadcast via hashtags.

What follows relates to how, in a sense, and even if unintentionally, traditional and social media worked together to report what happened in Ferguson. We will first address Twitter’s most salient contributions, then traditional media’s, and then similarities between the two.

 

From DSC:
To Sue Ellen –> Nice work sister!

 

 

Seed Rapid Prototyping Kit – build connected products quickly and easily — with thanks to Joanna Wasiluk for posting the tweet below

 

 

From DSC:
Applying this concept towards learning spaces, such machine-to-machine communications would provide personalized room settings per professor, teacher, or trainer. Excellent.

 

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems