The AR Roundup: April 2022 — from linkedin.com by Tom Emrich

Excerpts:

Every month I round up what you may have missed in Augmented Reality including the latest stats, funding news and launch announcements and more. Here is what happened in augmented reality between April 1-30, 2022.

 

The amazing opportunities of AI in the future of the educational metaverse [Darbinyan]

The amazing opportunities of AI in the future of the educational metaverse — from forbes.com by Rem Darbinyan

Excerpt:

Looking ahead, let’s go over several potential AI-backed applications of the metaverse that can empower the education industry in many ways.

Multilingual Learning Opportunities
Language differences may be a real challenge for students from different cultures as they may not be able to understand and keep up with the materials and assignments. Artificial intelligence, VR and AR technologies can enhance multilingual accessibility for learners no matter where they are in the world. Speech-to-text, text-to-speech and machine translation technologies enrich the learning process and create more immersive learning environments.

AI can process multiple languages simultaneously and provide real-time translations, enabling learners to engage with the materials in the language of their choice. With the ability to instantly transcribe speech across multiple languages, artificial intelligence removes any language barriers for students, enabling them to be potentially involved, learn and communicate in any language.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education Market size exceeded USD 1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% between 2021 and 2027. (source)

Along the lines of innovation within our educational learning ecosystems, see:

3 Questions for Coursera’s Betty Vandenbosch & U-M’s Lauren Atkins Budde on XR — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kiim
How might extended reality shape the future of learning?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

[Lauren Atkins Budde] “Being able to embed quality, effective extended reality experiences into online courses is exponentially a game-changer. One of the persistent constraints of online learning, especially at scale, is how do learners get hands-on practice? How do they experience specific contexts and situations? How do they learn things that are best experienced? XR provides that opportunity for actively doing different kinds of tasks, in various environments, in ways that would otherwise not be possible. It will open up  Lauren Atkins Buddeboth how we teach online and also what we teach online.”

These courses are really exciting and cover a broad range of disciplines, which is particularly important. To choose the right subjects, we did an extensive review of insights from industry partners, learners and market research on in-demand and emerging future-of-work skills and then paired that with content opportunities where immersive learning is really a value-add and creates what our learning experience designers call “embodied learning.”

Addendum on 5/1/22:
Can the Metaverse Improve Learning? New Research Finds Some Promise — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

“The findings support a deeper understanding of how creating unique educational experiences that feel real (i.e., create a high level of presence) through immersive technology can influence learning through different affective and cognitive processes including enjoyment and interest,” Mayer and his colleagues write.

 

WayRay’s AR Car Display Could Change Driving Forever — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

How One Hospital Is Using An AR Bear To Calm Young Patients — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOCK), a children’s hospital located in Orange County, California, has transformed its lovable mascot ‘Choco’ into an AR (augmented reality) experience that walks children through the steps of a standard MRI scan. The idea is that by familiarizing younger patients with the process, they’ll feel more comfortable during the actual procedure.

Arizona State Launching New VR/AR Classes, Nonny De La Peña To Helm — by Darragh Dandurand

Excerpt:

The Center for Narrative and Emerging Media (NEM) will be housed in Downtown Los Angeles in the Herald Examiner Building, newly renovated to welcome faculty, staff, and students. NEM’s goal is to teach and support students, from reporters to artists to entrepreneurs and engineers, who are pursuing careers across the burgeoning creative technology sector.

Why Meta decided against an open VR app store — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers and Nick Statt

 

The AR Roundup: March 2022 — from linkedin.com by Tom Emrich

Excerpt:

Every month I round up what you may have missed in Augmented Reality including the latest stats, funding news and launch announcements and more. Here is what happened in augmented reality between March 1-31, 2022.

“The metaverse is no longer a single virtual world or even a cluster of virtual worlds. It’s the entire system of virtual and augmented worlds,” Chalmers tells me over Zoom. “Where the old metaverse was like a platform on the internet, the new metaverse is more like the internet as a whole, just the immersive internet.”

~ David Chalmers, Philosopher and Author of Reality+

 

 
 

Meet The Secretive Surveillance Wizards Helping The FBI And ICE Wiretap Facebook And Google Users — from forbes.com by Thomas Brewster
A small Nebraska company is helping law enforcement around the world spy on users of Google, Facebook and other tech giants. A secretly recorded presentation to police reveals how deeply embedded in the U.S. surveillance machine PenLink has become.

Excerpts:

PenLink might be the most pervasive wiretapper you’ve never heard of.

With $20 million revenue every year from U.S. government customers such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and almost every other law enforcement agency in the federal directory, PenLink enjoys a steady stream of income. That doesn’t include its sales to local and state police, where it also does significant business but for which there are no available revenue figures. Forbes viewed contracts across the U.S., including towns and cities in California, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, North Carolina and Nevada.

 

Metaverse vs. employment law: The reality of the virtual workplace — from arstechnica.com by Kate Beoiley
It is unclear how employee protections apply in the universal digital realm.

Excerpt:

When it comes to employment laws, however, it is unclear what rules of engagement apply in a universal digital realm. What counts as harassment in the metaverse? Can an avatar be discriminated against, or worse? Will national legislation protect employees or does working in the metaverse require a new rule book altogether?

Lack of legal framework
But the metaverse takes hybrid working a step further and brings with it a host of thorny employment law issues. These range from practical challenges, such as how employees are paid, to more philosophical ones, like whether avatars have a legal identity. “The legal conundrums are about as diverse as the possibilities of the metaverse itself,” says Jonathan Newman, managing associate at law firm Simmons & Simmons.

 

22 Augmented Reality Trends to Keep an Eye on for 2022 — from linkedin.com by Tom Emrich

Excerpts:

#1 Metaverse remains at peak hype as the next iteration of the Internet feels so close but is actually much further away

#2 The smartphone continues to become an even more powerful augmented reality machine with advancements in chips, displays and connectivity

#3 Early consumer smartglasses reinforce the need for smartphones rather than attempt to replace them

The metaverse is defined differently by different people but for me, the metaverse is an aha moment. It is a realization by industry that the next wave of computing is comprised of a stack of emerging technologies (including blockchain, AI, IoT, AR and VR) that will all work together to create a fundamental shift in our relationship with technology. 

 



Also see:

 

Both of the items below are from Sam DeBrule’s Machine Learnings e-newsletter:


Also see:

 

What’s ahead for AI, VR, NFTs, and more? — from oreilly.com by Mike Loukides
Here are some predictions for tech in 2022.

Excerpt:

Just as we saw new professions and job classifications when the web appeared in the ’90s, we’ll see new professions and services appear as a result of AI—specifically, as a result of natural language processing. We don’t yet know what these new professions will look like or what new skills they’ll require. But they’ll almost certainly involve collaboration between humans and intelligent machines.

Also see:

  • How A.I. is set to evolve in 2022 — from cnbc.com by Sam Shead
    Key Points: 
    * AI can excel at specific narrow tasks such as playing chess but it struggles to do more than one thing well.
    * While AI still has a long way to go before anything like human-level intelligence is achieved, it hasn’t stopped the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon investing billions of dollars.
 

Frequently Asked Questions About Metaverse — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

You can also discover many other interesting use cases of the metaverse, such as creating virtual learning spaces or virtual tourism. 

 

Also see:

Top 5 Blockchain And Crypto Projects In The Metaverse — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

 

From DSC:
As the article below clearly relays, MOOCs did NOT fail! In the last decade, they have reached 220 million learners worldwide!

I don’t know the total number of graduates from the Ivy League — throughout all of the relevant institutions’ histories — but I would bet you that MOOCs have reached far more learners. And MOOCs did so in less than a decade. 

And you’re going to tell me MOOCs have been a failure?!!!! Are you being serious!?!?!  You can talk about completion rates all that you want to (and that misses the point, as some people sign up for MOOCs without ever intending to finish the entire course). As with other things, people get out of something what they put into that thing.


A Decade of MOOCs: A Review of Stats and Trends for Large-Scale Online Courses in 2021 — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpts:

Now, a decade later, MOOCs have reached 220 million learners, excluding China where we don’t have as reliable data, . In 2021, providers launched over 3,100 courses and 500 microcredentials.

Originally, MOOC providers relied on universities to create courses. But that dependence is declining as more and more of the courses are created by companies every year. These corporate partners in course creation include tech giants Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

…the majority of the new courses launched on Coursera in 2021 are not from universities anymore.

These mass online courses were born without a business model. Yet within a decade, MOOCs went from no revenue to bringing in well over a half a billion dollars annually.

 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

AI bots to user data: Is there space for rights in the metaverse? — from reuters.com by Sonia Elks

Summary

  • Facebook’s ‘metaverse’ plans fuel debate on virtual world
  • Shared digital spaces raise privacy, ownership questions
  • Rights campaigners urge regulators to widen safeguards

 

 

From DSC:
From my perspective, both of the items below are highly-related to each other:

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It. — from edsurge.com by Anne-Marie Núñez, Matthew J. Mayhew, Musbah Shaheen and Laura S. Dahl

Excerpt:

Change may need to start earlier in the workforce development pipeline. Undergraduate education offers a key opportunity for recruiting students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic, gender, and disability groups into computing. Yet even broadened participation in college computer science courses may not shift the tech workforce and block bias from seeping into tech tools if students aren’t taught that diversity and ethics are essential to their field of study and future careers.

Computer Science Majors Lack Citizenship Preparation
Unfortunately, those lessons seem to be missing from many computer science programs.

…and an excerpt from Why AI can’t really filter out “hate news” — with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource (emphasis DSC):

The incomprehensibility and unexplainability of huge algorithms
Michael Egnor: What terrifies me about artificial intelligence — and I don’t think one can overstate this danger — is that artificial intelligence has two properties that make it particularly deadly in human civilization. One is concealment. Even though every single purpose in artificial intelligence is human, it’s concealed. We don’t really understand it. We don’t understand Google’s algorithms.

There may even be a situation where Google doesn’t understand Google’s algorithms. But all of it comes from the people who run Google. So the concealment is very dangerous. We don’t know what these programs are doing to our culture. And it may be that no one knows, but they are doing things.

Note:Roman Yampolskiy has written about the incomprehensibility and unexplainability of AI: “Human beings are finite in our abilities. For example, our short term memory is about 7 units on average. In contrast, an AI can remember billions of items and AI capacity to do so is growing exponentially. While never infinite in a true mathematical sense, machine capabilities can be considered such in comparison with ours. This is true for memory, compute speed, and communication abilities.” So we have built-in bias and incomprehensibility at the same time.

From DSC:
That part about concealment reminds me that our society depends upon the state of the hearts of the tech leaders. We don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. The legal realm is too far behind to stop the Wild West of technological change. The legal realm is trying to catch up, but they’re coming onto the race track with no cars…just as pedestrians walking or running as fast as they can….all the while, the technological cars are whizzing by. 

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

The net effect of all of this is that we are more dependent upon the ethics, morals, and care for their fellow humankind (or not) of the C-Suites out there (especially Facebook/Meta Platforms, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple) than we care to admit. Are they producing products and services that aim to help our societies move forward, or are they just trying to make some more bucks? Who — or what — is being served?

The software engineers and software architects are involved here big time as well. “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.” But that perspective is sometimes in short supply.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian