Tag Archives: education

Education- 4IR Summary

The world is on the precipice of another revolution. New technologies have allowed the human race to push for a new standard of living. In the new future we can help create a world with less poverty, where people can live longer, transform they way we consume energy so it is more efficient, and automate the workforce. These new advancements will drastically change the way we live, and after taking DT&L it has become apparent that the world is not ready for these new technologies. We are progressing so fast when it comes to technology that our society cannot catch up.This is why we have had such massive hacks on our public and private institutions. Us being behind explains why some scientists and inventors are worried with what we will do with AI. Our societal awareness is so far behind our technological awareness that disaster may be looming around the corner and we can not see it. Now how do we fix these problems? The consensus of our class is that education is the key to understanding this new future. The major issue we face, however is that the way our current educational system works is inadequate to help students prepare for this future.

Our current educational system is outdated, even by today’s standards and as the fourth industrial revolution begins our schooling system will be placed further behind than ever before. If students are unprepared for today’s economy then there is little hope schooling will prepare students for the future economy. As our economy is led into another technological revolution it is time for us to take schooling along with it. Yet, how do we do this?

The future of our education system has been a hotly debated issue in politics for decades. Programs like President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind are a recent reminder. Most people agree that there are massive flaws in the way we educate the nation’s youth. The video below went viral last year and has garnered millions of views.

 

 

There have also been many TED talks highlighting the importance of education reform and that the current way of teaching is inadequate. Below is a TED talk from Sir Ken Robinson talking about how to escape education’s death valley.

 

Both of these videos highlight two important flaws that our education system has: It is a rigid system and it stifles individuality. Since there are millions of students in America it was seen as an easier solution to standardize the basics. Standardized tests decided where kids can go to school, which states receive grants, and hammer in basic study skills to students. This system has in turn stifled individuality and this is an issue because it handicaps students who think differently, a perfect analogy is teaching a goldfish to climb a tree. This standardization and mechanization of our education system has held it back from change. Sir Ken Robinson create a good point in his TED Talk, “Education is not a mechanical system it’s a human system.” The main issue plaguing education is that it has failed to adapt to the individual needs of the student and has forced students into a box. Thankfully with the new technologies ushered in by the Fourth Industrial Revolution we have the potential to individualize education and make it possible for every student to learn at their own pace, so everyone can prepare themselves for the future.

 

AI will change the way students from all age groups will learn. The current education system has been in place for over one hundred years and the same static classroom look has not changed. Artificial Intelligence will change the general approach to education to a more focused and refined version for each student. AI will be able to detect what subjects are harder for students at an earlier age and will be able to work with that student to improve his/her skills. The more individualized the education is, the more likely the student will gain more out of the class. Education with the help of AI will become more immersive and will become a long term approach to generating new skills for students. Giving students exposure to smart boards and new online tools such as Slack, will empower them to learn and become more efficient. Artificial intelligence is one the most important technologies in the contemporary world, it is apart of everyone’s daily lives and we are bounded to the power it gives us. The classic student and teacher relationship will become more engaging and less hierarchical. Virtual reality and AI will go hand in hand to create a new way of learning. The ability to learn anytime and anywhere will change the way we view schools and rigid structure.  

 

There is another question we have to ask ourselves when we update our education system What do we want to get out of it? When we are able to create an education system that adapts new technologies and embraces a student’s individuality the question becomes what will we teach. The video below gives a quick explanation on what the new curriculum should be.

 

Near the end of this video an interesting point was made. Education should not end at a certain point, people can continue to grow and learn even after they are no longer in school. With the help of the internet and sites such as Udemy, people can learn new skills at a cheap price. With this new technology and system, adults can learn and experience new things just as students do. This is the future of education and this will help fix the issues like rigidity and lack of individuality. The internet is excellent at passing on information fast and creating new content in response to changing times. With online classes and YouTube teaching channels students can learn what they want to learn and in depth. All of human knowledge and history is available for humans to view. When a new disruptive technology enters the world economy, people will be able to go to the internet and learn how to adapt. In the future someone can learn new skills that will allow them to succeed in an ever changing economy.

The fourth industrial revolution is coming and it is going to completely change the way we see the world. Currently we are unprepared for this revolution. In order to become prepared we have to look at our current education system and fix the flaws plaguing it. We have to make education more personal and fitting for every student and make the system less rigid. Today we have the technology and equipment to implement this properly. In the future we can have an economy that will produce disruptive technologies, but we do not have to fear it. Using the internet we can have people constantly learning new things and adapting themselves to the changing world around them. As talked about in the last POV by some students, we have to keep ourselves up to date. We believe that this dream can be a possibility and that we can update education to fit the challenges of the future and a 21st century world.

Machine Learning Executive Summary

It is essential to understand what exactly machine learning is and how it works in order to understand the affects it has and will have on society. In basic terms, machine learning is a computer program that can learn and adapt to new data without human interference. It is a field of artificial intelligence that keeps a computer’s built-in algorithms current, regardless of changes in the worldwide economy. As more information it is given, the more it learns and the more accurate it becomes with the result. Therefore, it recognizes patterns and will give updates as relevant data is fed through. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning, which helps the algorithm learn without a human programmer. Through deep learning, information filters through a hierarchy that starts simple and gradually becomes more complex and specific. As the data is going through each level, the algorithm is able to determine what the object or data point belongs in what category. The process behind deep learning is essential to the success of machine learning. Since there is a grand amount of information that the algorithm must analyze to come to a conclusion, a human programmer would not be able to sit there and go through every single point – that would be extremely expensive and time consuming. Many industries and companies are beginning to use machine learning, to cut costs and become more efficient. Some of those industries include transportation, advertisement, medical, education and entertainment.

Transportation & Advertising – Antoneta Sevo

One industry that is being hugely affected by machine learning is transportation, particularly by autonomous vehicles. Though taxi companies like Waymo and Uber are implementing this technology within their services, companies like Tesla are creating vehicles that will be available to consumers for purchase. Tesla has introduced a system called Enhanced Autopilot that allows the driver to sit in front of the wheel and do nothing while the vehicle operates itself. The system includes features like active cruise control, forward collision warning, match speed based on traffic conditions, change lanes without the driver’s input, merge on and off highways and park itself. One main goal of Tesla is to successfully have a car drive itself across the country from LA to New York. Machine learning works by interpreting the ever-changing scenery detected by the sensors surrounding the vehicle. Once the technology is perfected within the industry, there may be no limitations to the future of driving.

As machine learning continues to be introduced into different industries, the amount of information being collected about users and consumers continues to increase. These algorithms are created to handle and sift through large amounts of data in order to identify a pattern and produce a result based on the patterns. This is beneficial to companies for advertising purposes so they can recognize habits of consumers. Essentially, companies track your browsing history to suggest products or other websites. They are also able to figure out how much the user can afford and when they might be able to afford it based on their demographics and when they usually purchase products. Since it would be time-consuming and expensive for a human to find those patterns, an algorithm is put in place and works in real-time. It is a much more efficient way to produce targeted advertisements. The more a user searches and buys, the more information the program collects, and the more accurate the advertisements become. By using machine learning, Target knew a teenager was pregnant before her father did. The algorithm noticed a pattern in her internet searches and sent advertisements designed for pregnant women to her house. That was how her father found out. Machine learning can collect an endless amount of data in order to have accurate predictions, and in some cases, they can be too accurate.

With new technology comes ethical issues and implications. When it comes to autonomous vehicles, many things can go right and there would be a smooth ride, but many things could go wrong as well. For example, the algorithm may make the wrong decision, misinterpret an object, or can be hacked, causing an accident. In order to avoid the program from making the wrong decision or misinterpreting, quantum computing must be implemented so the algorithm could work faster. It is important for companies to consider full transparency, so people understand how the car operates and how it is protected. This also means certain types of cybersecurity and encryptions should be put in place to protect the car from being hacked and causing harm to people on the road. Most car companies do not operate in an ethical manner now, however, they should begin to think differently in the future. There are also many different ethical issues that arise through the advertising industry. Once people find out they are being tracked and targeted, they begin to feel uneasy, as they should. Companies should allow consumers to opt out of their services so users will feel more in control of their information. Also, it would be beneficial if consumers were more aware in order to identify what these big corporations are tracking so they can do things differently to take themselves out of being tracked. Consumers can use a Virtual Private Network, use a search engine that does not track them like DuckDuckGo, or they can choose to use an opt out service. There are plenty of options, the first step, however, is to be aware that something is wrong.

The final scare that comes along with new technologies in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is unemployment. Many articles talk about how many blue-collar jobs will be obsolete in the coming years and most of them are not wrong. It is a topic that those who want to be employed have to know about. Some jobs that may be affected in the future are schoolteachers, taxi or commercial drivers, positions in the medical field, etc. This technology has the potential to affect an abundant amount of jobs across plenty of industries, which means a solution must be in place before mass unemployment occurs. A short-term solution may include technology companies implementing training programs for current employees to learn the new (and necessary) skills. Another solution might be considering a universal basic income for those who are unable to find work or for everyone if machines and Artificial Intelligence take a significant amount of jobs. In time, as more and more jobs disappear, we, as a society, will have to redefine the definition of work. Millions of jobs will disappear and we will have to accept the change. In order to survive the inevitable societal and economic change, we need to accept that it is happening now. The next step is to begin learning in an exponential way instead of a linear way. The way our world functions now will certainly not be the way it functions in the future and we need to prepare to face it head on.

Medical & Education- Mayra Luna

Machine learning is all about data recollection and data processing. Its capability of analyzing huge amounts of data will eventually replace a great number of human jobs, even those that require a higher education. However, as explained by Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak, the real value of artificial intelligence is in making more efficient use of human resources in healthcare.  For example, IBM’s Watson can read 40 million documents in 15 seconds, optimizing time and performance. Healthcare has loads of data: Test results, consultation notes, scans, appointment follow ups, etc., creating an ideal environment for the use of Machine Learning (More data, better results).

The ability of computer systems to assume tasks for humans has improved efficiency in healthcare. Now hospitals are getting into the game, deploying AI to take on challenges from diagnosing patients more quickly in the emergency room. Other technology developers, are focusing on software that can read CT scans and other medical images and then suggest the most likely diagnosis by reviewing similar images stored in patient databases. And these programs can accurately process these tasks far faster than human technicians. For example; Stanford researchers have developed an algorithm that offers diagnoses based off chest X-ray images. It can diagnose up to 14 types of medical conditions and is able to diagnose pneumonia better than expert radiologists working alone.

Machine learning can help healthcare executives and caregivers with things like precision medicine. Precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.” This approach will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people. It is in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach, in which disease treatment and prevention strategies are developed for the average person, with less consideration for the differences between individuals. For example, tech giant Microsoft wishes to improve health care using machine learning and AI. As part of this initiative, Microsoft is expanding into cancer research and treatment, and its approaching cancer cells as if they were a glitch in a computer system.  

Though ML promises to drastically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare, when it comes to predicting, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions there are many concerns: Data quality, Manipulation risk, Obscured logic

Four factors should be present to improve accuracy and overcoming risk: Confidence scores, Complex rules, Clinical data, Natural language processing

We must understand that machine learning is a powerful tool, not a complete solution. There is no substitute for a skilled physician’s expertise, however with the right data, ML can certainly help accelerate diagnosis, treatment, and program development.

Machine learning systems can give teachers more free time to actually teach and mentor on a more personalized level, instead of focusing on the never-ending grading and lesson planning. In addition, the current learning system consists of a “one size fits all” model. We are in desperate need of a system where the educational experience can be personalized to each students abilities and needs. Machine learning could address these issues by collecting and analyzing the data generated by students, identifying meaningful patterns and transforming that information into structural knowledge. In other words, when the student interacts with a digital learning platform, the machine learning system can accurately predict and better assess that person’s educational level, being able to tailor specific material for that individual.

Specific roles and examples of Machine Learning and its use in education: Content analytics, learning, analytics, dynamic scheduling platforms, grading systems, process intelligence, predictive analysis.

The ethical issues may include:

  • Unemployment: Labor is concerned primarily with automation. As we continue to implement machine automation, certain jobs (predictable physical work) could disappear. While this might sound like something bad, we must also keep in mind that new jobs will be created due to this disruption. The real question is how are we going to educate people for these new jobs?
  • Inequality: By using artificial intelligence, companies can drastically reduce the reliance on human workforce, which means people will work less hours (therefore make less income, broadening the labor gap).
  • Humanity: Humans are limited, while machines have unlimited resources. How will machine learning affect the way we behave and interact with others? Will we soon be interacting with machines as if they were humans? Will machines adapt to cultural norms?
  • Algorithmic Bias: Blind spots or biases in the algorithms could lead to discrimination against certain types of people (As seen in AI systems that can tell if you are homosexual).

Entertainment- Olivia Finan

The role that machine learning plays in entertainment is very interesting.  A common belief among the class is that entertainment is an industry that will more or less remain untouched in the coming years by the disruptive technology. However, research shows that this may not be the case. We have already begun to see drastic changes in the industry throughout the years, specifically in music and cinema. AI systems are being created and coded to be able to sift through video footage and put together a 10 minute video using several clips in under and hour.  This is impressive timing when you consider how long it takes to watch hours of footage, edit, tag, and compile all those clips into one succinct video my hand.

Filmmaker Oscar Sharp and technologist Ross Goodwin fed a machine learning algorithm with a bunch of Sci-Fi movie scripts to see what new script it would spit out.

The trends that we think will see in entertainment are not necessarily what is coming. How this content is created is what will change how the industry progresses through the coming years and how it is affected by disruptive technology. The entertainment industry is a prime example of how we must pivot and change how we do things rather than change what we do.

More so then ethical issues, legal issues come into play when talking about the entertainment industry. Laws regarding copyright infringement are always looked at thoroughly in this particular industry. However, ethical issues tend to revolve around the consumer rather then the company or a performer. For example, at live events, issues about safety come into play. This means that a major role would be ensuring that concert or festival goers are safe at the venue. This is just one example of what time of ethical dilemmas companies have to deal with in the entertainment industry.  What these companies now have to begin thinking that the ethical implications that once were may not be the same anymore. We may not be having live concerts, there might be other ethical issues that arise, and that is what the industry predicts.

The entertainment industry is not exempt from responsibilities associated to employment. However, if there is a change in music, for example, and humans are no longer the ones producing it then what happens to the people who world at record labels, or what happens to the artist themselves? This section of the machine learning project will explore all the changes the industry sees coming in the future and how the major players are beginning to prepare and adjust to the changes.

Gene Therapy: Present and Future

If our group has learned anything from these past few months of learning about field of gene therapy is that right now, no one truly has the answers to the ethical, societal and economic implications that this scientific cure could bring.

Taking a step back, we began our research at the start of it all. What is gene therapy? Through thorough research into this, we found that gene therapy is equal parts technology and medicine. Technologically, there are therapies ready to be put on the market to cure diseases such as blindness, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more but there is more to it than just technology, remember this is medicine. In the tech world, speed is everything. It is all about winning the race against smartphones, smart TV’s, AI, anything. In medicine, there is a time press that comes from the DOH in emergencies but most of the time, speedy remedies to disease put up red flags for those being treated later on. What gene therapy has done is take medicine from a personal relationship, to a big business, one that is on track to be bigger than the pharmaceutical sector. This big business is seen in one of our insights into the cost of gene therapy. The overall controversy of how one can afford to buy a gene therapy is due to the high costs that of the gene therapies that are on the market today such as the first FDA approved gene therapy Kymirah among others.

Such being the case, Dr. Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner and current leader of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, concluded that the healthcare system is far behind the medical industry and the advances it has made so, being that patients, doctors and researchers, and insurance companies have mutually exclusive interests, it is impossible for everyone to win. The entire gene therapy field is now looking to monetize on their ability to cure what used to be deemed incurable diseases and this is where the ethics of it all come into play.

Journalist and historian, David Perry wrote, “the pro-information approach demands that everyone involved in genetic counseling have access to the best data and presents it in a value-neutral way.” In giving everyone equal access to gene therapy, this must include attainable price points, no discrimination and equal opportunity for everyone to take advantage of. The FDA is just no longer enough to control the medical and genetic communities. The ethical future of gene therapy is now beyond the typical, “this is wrong” and “this is right” because we have never had to deal with the controversial issues that we are dealing with now as a result of gene therapy. From “designer babies” to biological weapons, these are both things that health professionals and even legislators have yet to encounter scenarios such as these but because of this, getting out ahead of the possible negative implications of these two examples, is more important now than ever.

We are in a place where CRISPR can help farmers combat climate change by genetically altering their crops, incentivize football stadiums to start “DNA Days” and, lead to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to be left in the hands of tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google. As such, there needs to be some sort of precedent set so that none of these three scenarios gets any worse than they already have. With genetic testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry becoming more familiar in the public eye, they are being sold to customers who have no idea that they are basically giving our their privacy rights to their own genetic information for results that are little to completely, inaccurate.

This is why education within this industry is more important now than ever. Without proper understanding, the Frightful Five, the FDA, the federal government could all have influence over every single person residing the in the United States because of those who feel it is important to send a swab of their DNA to a lab in order to see just what percentage English they really are. What people sending in their cheek swabs needs to know is that scientists are still working, to this day, trying to uncover the complex information of the millions of genes that reside in the human body. We simply do not know enough to give sufficient information to people who are just looking to see if they are carrying a genetic mutation. These 23andMe, Ancestry, and Helix tests cannot significantly provide lifesaving information and as a result, should be used with a grain of salt, or even less than that. It seems unlikely for anyone to give up the password to their email but when shipping their DNA to an unknown lab somewhere in the United States, people do not seem to show the same concern for their privacy. Thinking about the millions of people having their data breached across the country, by more companies than one, how can we be sure that this genetic information will not be next? Now even thinking ahead, the potentially 6 million more students studying harder, retaining more information, and ultimately becoming better learners because of gene therapy treatments will be ahead of the present generations. Taking it a step further, if this trend is multiplied across generations, eliminating prohibitive, cognitive disorders in students, it could reshape the entire education system with many subsequent disruptions.

With a Frightful Five company such as Amazon at the brink of breaking into the healthcare industry, it could mean positive things for gene therapy whether it investment in research, funding of drugs, therapies and clinical trials, these tech companies, although you do not want to trust with your health data, can contribute a lot to the gene therapy community. But, there needs to be a point at which the line is crossed and sure, donating genetic information for research is ethical and legal but when it is collected through your Google search history or updates on your Apple health app, there needs to be a call for change. In the end, with the Frightful Five having taken initiative within the healthcare industry to fund gene therapy programs and rebuild the healthcare system of the nation, they can push bounds in the battle for updated health services unlike anyone else can and this gap between the Frightful Five and everyone else is what needs to be addressed.

And to end on a global note, the future of gene therapy is the United States barely has a clear path ahead of it so thinking about how the rest of the world compares is a whole other thing on its own. Isolated countries such as North Korea, Russia and China make it difficult to know how exactly the countries have progressed in their biotechnological warfare, including gene therapy, and what the affects can be on the rest of the world when a country, although small compared to the US, can utilize science to become a super-powered population. It is to avoid scenarios such as the one posed by North Korea that the FDA was put in place. In order to ensure that the medicinal and agricultural sectors of the nation were being regulated and monitored, there needs to be an organization that oversees research that secure public health and safety. But, just having one country, out of hundreds with the capability to genetically alter genes and embryos with this agency in place, is not enough to guarantee that gene therapy will only be used for good.

There are a lot of things to ponder over here, but the best place to start is by educating yourself on the future that could be completely disrupted by this biotechnological innovation and then looking for ways to protect your genetic and health information, so if that means resisting buying genetic testing kits, not updating your Apple health data, or any of the other numerous ways to protect yourself, that at least is a good place to start.

Quantum Computing & Education

Quantum Computing has the power to revolutionize and change industries and institutions in a capacity we cannot even wrap our minds around. The outstanding capability these machines have to process and analyze information can be understood best if we take a step back and consider how a computer today relies on information. (1)  In our computers, a unit of information (called a “bit”) is represented as either a 0 or a 1. Combined, these series of on’s and off’s provide instruction on how to process information.Dario Gil  (2), Vice President of Science and Technology at IBM, compared a bit to an arrow on the inside of a sphere. That arrow can only point to the North or South Pole, a 0 or a 1. But in quantum computing that “bit” is now a “qubit”. A qubit has the capacity to exist as both a 0 and a 1. That arrow can now point to any position on the internal surface of the sphere, creating endless possibilities to the amount of states that can represented and thus the ability to analyze information on a level that is expected (3) to work beyond what all the computers in the world working in tandem could achieve. What this has the potential to do is help industries and institutions worldwide solve problems faster, innovate further, or even change completely.

In regard to education, there one area in particular that quantum computing will help and it has the ability to play huge role in the future of the institution: Artificial Intelligence. Already schools are using immersive technologies that help determine what their students are interacting with, ignoring or even not comprehending. Through the use of headsets, they can determine through pupil size the amount of mental strain or emotional entanglement in a subject. This goes back to a study done by Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman which explained that pupil size increases in proportion to the difficulty of a task at hand. As the student interact with the AI, the headset is collecting data that can then be used to create highly-accurate psychological and behavioral profiles of students. This is technology that already exists within our standard computing power, imagine what this could be with the power of quantum computing.In order to improve machine learning there must be vast amounts of data collection. Quantum computers have the ability to organize and analyze large amounts of this data and provide artificial intelligence machines with the feedback necessary to improve and develop much more efficiently than a standard computer.

 

Machine learning in education will be the future faster than we know it, with the capabilities these machines already have they will know us better than anyone. Same goes for the teachers in the profession who want to be able to teach but probably won’t over time due to the vast knowledge the machine has and continues to gain. Quantum computers have the knowledge of using existing data to their advantage to solve problems within seconds. Machine learning can definitely benefit from quantum computing because it would amplify the machine learning problem solving. Which leads back to education and the effects quantum computing can have because these machines will be impossible to keep up with. The demand for quantum computers will be greater and a cheaper rate than teachers knowing what they can do.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Introduction

Over two hundred years ago the life for the average person was relatively the same for generations. Peasants or serfs tilled the farmland of their fathers and grandfathers for generations. That all changed with the use of steam and water to help mechanize the production process. Soon goods could be transported faster and farther with steam ships, coal could be mined more efficiently, and food stuffs increased. This was the first Industrial Revolution. Now two hundred years later there had been two subsequent industrial revolutions. One involving mass production of goods and another one involving the automation of production through computers. With each transition to a different industrial revolution the world order was shattered. The balance of European governance changed with ushering in of the first industrial revolution and the french revolution. The mighty empires of Europe began to crumble as the second industrial revolution came to end. With the beginning of the third industrial revolution the United States of America stood as the sole superpower on the planet as the communist nations in Eastern Europe dissolved. Now we are on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution. What new transitions do we expect to see in the coming years as technology changes every aspect of our way of life.

Our team has been looking into how this fourth industrial revolution has had an effect on our current education system. It is interesting to see how little education has changed over time, even with our unprecedented access to technology and information like never before. The traditional classroom still looks the same and professors still lecture at students without much variation from the beginning of education. There are some recent changes that have slowly shifted the way education is used and these changes can be summed into three categories: the content effect, the technology effect and the access effect. These categories cover how education is being forced to change because standardized testing is no longer satisfactory. Professors must integrate technology and mass amounts of content into their classes and while doing this they foster an environment for team building and out-of-the-box learning. Even with these changes, there is still so much improvement to be done within the education industry and we would like to further explore the disruption across universities and how this will also overlap into employers educating employees.

The fourth revolution will affect everyone, young or old. It will change the way things are done whether we are ready for it or not. It is important we focus on the future, so we know how youth of the world will be directly affected? A forecasting article we read talked about how education will change in the next 5 years. Relating this article back to the World Economic Forum, teachers and employers need to take charge of training for the future. A video published last year talks about all changes we will see in the coming years. The technology showcased in the video will change the way we see our world and our world educators need to catch up to help aid future students.

 

Teachers and employers need to realize disruptive change and become educated in order to teach the future. Today we are currently in a transition period, classes like DT&L in the Lab below the Library is the future. The future of education in the classroom is broken down into five parts. One, grades and assignments will be done online, this will limit the number of paper and open accessibility. Two, Group projects will be done over collaborative external sites such as slack, good drive etc. Three, classroom portals will be open to the class in order to post and respond. Four, students will use cloud storage instead of flash drives or paper to store their work. Last, teachers, parents, students, and administrators communicating via social media platforms designed specifically for education. The last point is extremely important because everyone is on the same page now, the world is so much smaller. Education for the future is all about keeping open channels for communications and constantly staying educated on change. We hope that throughout this semester that we can expand on these ideas and prepare our generation for the future.

 

Virtual Reality: Ethical Issues, Global Impact, and Impact on your Career

Virtual and Augmented Reality Ethical Issues:

There are a few ethical issues in regard to virtual environments which need to be addressed. These are related to human behavior, motivations, and inappropriate/ uncensored content in open sourced VR worlds. There are also physical and physiological health concerns in regard to the virtual reality experience.

As the researchers point out, there are good reasons to be especially concerned about the influence of virtual reality on the human brain, as opposed to television or non-immersive video games. Concerns have been raised about a possible relationship between virtual reality and desensitization. This refers to virtual reality games in which there are high levels of violence or training exercises for the military in which soldiers engage in simulated combat scenarios which include killing. Desensitization means that the person is no longer affected by extreme acts of behavior such as violence and fails to show empathy or compassion as a result. This has been noticed with gamers, especially those who play first person shooters or role playing games which involve a high degree of immersion. Unlike other forms of media, VR can create a situation in which the user’s entire environment is determined by the creators of the virtual world.

The VR experience can introduce a number of opportunities for new and powerful forms of mental and behavioral manipulation. Virtual Reality is just like any other experience in the real world in the sense that it can hurt people in the same way that real-world situations can affect people in a psychological sense. To avoid an ethical dilemma in regards to VR, it is important to remember:

  1. Experiments using virtual reality should make sure that they do not cause lasting or serious harm to the subject.
  2. Those participating in the experiment should be made aware of possible psychological and physical effects from VR.
  3. Create awareness about the many ways VR can be used for something other than its original intention.
  4. Adopting procedures through policy and law that ensure a user’s privacy and safety is protected and maintained.

Virtual reality is a form of technology that is continuously developing, because of this continuous progression VR may cause some problems that many of us have not encountered before. There will be problems that include poor ergonomics and then there are psychological issues. These issues are moral and ethical concerns that need to be looked upon with these technological advancements. There are physical effects and time constraints. Due to a person’s perception being distorted VR can provide users motion sickness. Some people are affected by this after spending only 30 minutes in a virtual environment whereas others can go several hours before they notice any ill effects. This is also known as cybersickness. These virtual realities and their devices unfortunately take a very long time to create and maintain, and as we should all know, time is money. Wasted time causes many issues within the surface of a company, the products it produces for the customers, the customer service, the research, the future technological advances, and so on. Researchers are attempting to create a balance between hyper-realism and production time but the equation is yet to be solved at this point.

How Virtual Reality Will Impact Businesses In The Next Five Years:

  1. We’ll Experience Our Reality Through Virtual Reality
    • AR and VR will be tools for our future to capture knowledge. The educational world and the way we will learn will dramatically change 5 years from now. VR will truly become an essential tool in the workforce. These technology-driven tools are getting better, more realistic, and are already accepted by those entering the workforce.
  2. Prototyping Will Go to the Next Level
    • VR and AR will allow companies to present their project in newer and better ways than ever before. These virtual prototypes will allow the customers, builders, and developers to have better planned designs and models which will lead to a higher rate of sales and a higher quality of goods sold as every minute detail of a project can be shown. Decision makers and end-users will be able to provide better and more valuable feedback early in the game. This will allow business to focus and spread out their timing more throughout the company and waste less money holistically.
  3. Certain Niche Markets Will Be Impacted
    • These devices will provide happiness and ease to travel around the world without flying or spending thousands of dollars to enjoy simple moments. However, these devices will be extremely expensive to purchase and most likely maintain.
  4. Advanced VR Will Become the Social Laboratory of the Elite
    • VR and AR will be simulating business strategies, assist government policies, and so on. These choices and devices are supported by billions of dollars in capital which makes this an audience and a market to dive into rather than to ignore.

VR and AR on a Global Level:

The insurgence of VR and AR has massive global implications. International Data Corporation (IDC) has projected that in just four years, the VR/AR market will reach sales up to $162 billion. More and more 360o videos have been showing up on video channels such as Youtube, subtly reminding viewers that they could be getting a better experience via a VR device. VR and AR are by no means constrained to video gaming. As mentioned in a previous blog post, VR is already having an impact in the medical industry, education, social media, and business. Surgeons could be using VR for surgeries, and patients for therapy sessions. Education could become much cheaper if entire courses begin to be taught by one teacher embedded into an immersive software. Social media platforms will become entirely new realities with virtual social spaces and avatars. Mark Zuckerberg has created a plan to do something like this in combining Facebook and VR.

So VR is not restricted to gaming; gaming is simply the gateway to people’s interest in VR. But the “gods of technology” seem to have greater plans for Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality will forever be an experience that takes us away from the present and physical world around us. AR, however, could potentially become an everyday part of our lives.

 

Having trouble believing this could be a close representation of our future? Samsung has already put in patents for smart contact lenses. Get ready world!

Poll for the Future

Over the past two weeks a main theme within the classroom has been whether or not our classmates, family members, or friends know what we are talking about. This can discussion can lead to many talking points but as a group we collectively thought of simply questions to see whether or not people knew what we were discussing in class?

These questions include the following:

  • Do you know what Augmented Reality is?
    • Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real life atmospheres. AR creates a new environment based off the existing one rather than formulating a new environment overall, this provides a new layer of information on top of it. Augmented Reality functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality with creating this new environment. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced augmented reality technology, the world becomes interactive and digitally malleable.
  • Have you experienced virtual reality personally?
    • The majority of these people have not personally have experienced VR. We believe a portion of these users most likely have used a VR device but do not know exactly what VR is. Most of the time, whenever you walk into a Verizon store or any electronic device store for that matter the employers promote the newest VR device that pairs with the cellphones.
  • Do you believe technology will be disruptive in the workforce?
    • To gain a perspective on the many industries that VR can be disruptive in you just need to think of all of the physical limitations that the physical world has. Wherever the physical world is difficult to access like travelling to distant places, or simulating a training experience for vital industries like healthcare or the military. Looking at our past blog posts it is clear that there is a lot of potential for this newly emerging and highly disruptive technology.
  • Do you think that VR will become mainstream in the next decade (or in the next few years)?
    • This link from a previous blog post predicts that VR technology will be everywhere in just a few short years. Also, many people may not have seen the recent advertisements for VR products, but check out this article about all of the devices that are already available.
  • Will headsets be a commodity or a source of competitive advantage?
    • This question clarifies whether or not headsets will be a resource or a luxury.
  • Can this technology be used for anything more than entertainment purposes?

The majority of the class can obviously answer these questions but when we spread out the questions to our peers and parents the answers were not as we assumed. We surveyed 82 people as of Wednesday night. The most surprising statistic to the majority of was whether or not the people whom filled out the survey knew what augmented reality was.

52.4 % of the voters knew what augmented reality was. While 39% did not and 8.5% said maybe. This provides us some clarity in order to show that at minimum 50% of friends, classmates, and parents know what we are talking about. The majority of our survey was given to college aged students. Katie and Allison had their parents fill out the survey as well as Katie’s younger siblings and their friends (middle schoolers and high schoolers).  The other statistics are as followed on our poll.

the-results

survery

Overall we found this poll to be very enlightening. We found out that our friends may not be so in the dark as much as we thought but that does not necessarily mean we will be on the same page as them tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or years to come for that matter.

VR Effects on Education

Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to revolutionize industries like healthcare and entertainment, but a little known disruptive possibility for VR is in the education industry. VR is the type of technology that allows for a unique experience that can only be rivaled, if at all, by the same experience in the physical world. The advantage that VR has over the physical world itself is that it can let people experience things that are impossible to see in the physical world, or things that are imaginary in the first place. VR has the ability to allow students to observe things in a more inclusive environment, or to even interact with their surroundings – such as a VR flight simulator or surgical simulation training using VR. The possibilities for VR in education are endless.

One VR education experiment in particular called the “World of Comenius” is using VR technology to give kids learning experiences that they could not get before, like moving around a cell or meeting people from history and understanding the environment of others. “World of Comenius” is an educational software that aims to utilize the VR to show people things that weren’t possible before.” Similar programs to this one exist like Google Expeditions, which has aimed to provide educational experiences for all kids by providing teachers with cheap means to lessons that allow students experiences that are outside the limits of the physical world. Google says that their Expeditions program is accessible to everyone; “all teachers need to do is download the Expeditions app onto a set of devices and choose which one of the over 200 Expeditions they want to take their class on.” The only other materials needed are the smartphones and the smartphone headsets that students will use.

One of the leading developers of VR education is Unimersiv. Taking Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Learning” to heart, they claim that people retain 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, but 90% of what they do or simulate.

Cone of Learning

It logically follows that VR is an incredibly effective learning tool that will enhance the speed of learning. Better yet, it is free. While it still has yet to develop into a full-fledged educational system, Universiv marks the expansion of VR into education. Who knows, if outfitted with a sophisticated system of performance measurements and copious amount of content, perhaps we will eventually be able to obtain college-level degrees through VR. The company that provided it would simply be selling a copy of the software – no campus, no buildings, no parking lots, no school supplies. Combine this service with a platform such as Slack with a teacher and other students, and we now have ourselves a pretty good gig going. Imagine how many doors would open up with this kind of affordable and highly effective learning. The question remains, then, whether or not colleges will be able to adapt to this disruptive technology before students open their eyes and realize they are wasting their money and time.

One issue with using VR to advance and disrupt education is the digital divide. Between the educated and uneducated there are many factors that come to play when it comes the digital divide and the continuous technological advances surrounding society. The ability to use the Internet, to obtain news, and to be involved economically tend to be the top tier points of the educational system we are involved with today. The cost and affordability of information and communication with technology deters citizens away from education and technology as not only a pairing but as a whole. This unfortunate situation creates a deeper hole in hardships rather than focusing on the expansion of technology and its advantages for the everyday person – no matter how big or small the enjoyment that comes along from using the advances to our advantage. Only 40 percent of people have the ability to own and use a computer. This statistic appalls me to no end. I believe we all should be more grateful to our lives and privileges given to us. I totally agree that new technology could provide society easier devices to use such as computers and mobile communication. But I also feel that many people across the world do not necessarily have access to the Internet. Since they do not have the personal means to purchase these devices, they find other means to access the news with word of mouth, newspaper, television, etc. There are other options out there for most to obtain this information, but for some, the goal of holding the news freely in their hands is simply unattainable. How this affects virtual and augmented reality is far from simple. Education in the classrooms allow students to explore outside the classroom while being in a physical one across the world.

Students are provided devices to allow them to “travel” all over the world to showcase history, technology, advancements, and so on. This allows the students to finally step outside the box of the linear path of thinking. They have never been taught to do something much more beneficial for themselves in the future because of this restricted thinking. Classrooms around the world have already started to prepare for this next phase in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With these generations continuing to live in a technology based world, the baby steps of this process are to allow technology to be used and create a resourceful tool for these classrooms at all times. Classrooms around this city, country, and even the world are finally implementing the use of iPads, tablets, and video cameras that have many programs and resources for the students to learn from. These lessons that they will learn will change their lives dramatically, just like this Disruption, Technology, & Law course is doing for the majority of us. The goal is to teach these students these methods at an early age to ensure their path to success is continued throughout their entire lives without giving up on learning and falling behind like the older generations will eventually have to do. Virtual Reality is the next step in this direction, and it is important that we give our students the best opportunity possible to reach their fullest potential.

The world is slowly opening doors to the less fortunate by providing them computers. Children finally have a lost cost, rugged, low- power, connected laptop for them to finally own. This gives children an outlet to obtain a great education on their terms to truly learn, share, and create greatness together.

Scientists predict that by 2018 the number of mobile phones will equal the world population. These are facts that should awaken Governments all over the world. It also should awake the awaiting citizens who are looking for their great big break. This statistic means so much more than an arrangement of numbers, it leads to our futures becoming great again. People need to come together to power through the issues that keep us divided. As students in America who are blessed with much, being grateful for what we have is a great way to start contributing to this effort. When we are grateful, it becomes easier to help those who are in need.

The Knight Foundation has tried to find ways to bridge the digital divide in Detroit, where less than 40 percent of households have broadband access. They approached the challenge of the digital divide by focusing on three high poverty neighborhoods, and set out to fund a broadband network there in addition to digital literacy training. Partnerships were arranged between local community organizations, private companies, libraries and government by the project to fulfill its goals. The program’s achievements included a federal stimulus grant that brought in additional funding, and the donated, refurbished laptops. Through partnerships with the University of Minnesota’s Digital Divide Initiative and the Geek Squad, several hundred families have received refurbished computers for their home use and on-going instruction on how to safely use and maintain them.

In conclusion, VR is projected to have an immense impact on education, spearheaded through apps such as Google Expeditions and Unimersiv. These kinds of innovations will drive down costs and increase learning retention. But nobody said this would be a walk in the park; disruption is always messy. Colleges and other educational institutions are slow to change, and the digital divide remains a pressing issue at hand. In any case, VR will disrupt education and learning, and we should prepare ourselves for it.

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Blockchain Technology and the Disruption of the Financial Services Industry

Blockchain technology can be applied to more than just money, but for today’s post, we will be focusing on its impact on the finance industry. As the weeks go on, we will focus on an individual industry, but since it is the most famous, we will dive deep into the rise (and fall?) of bitcoin along with other ways in which finance will change forever due to the growth of Blockchain. As you might recall from our first post, forty of the world’s top financial firms are experimenting with the technology. To this date, there has been over $1 billion invested in Bitcoin, the most popular form of Blockchain.

 

 

Bitcoin is possible because of Blockchain technology, however, Bitcoin is not Blockchain! Bitcoin has fallen short of expectations, so make sure to understand that finance and Blockchain in the future is not necessarily bitcoin. Bitcoin is a distributed and decentralized digital currency. Some of the cons of Bitcoin is that you can’t move your existing money, have to pay wildly unpredictable fees that are high and rising fast, its suffering large backlogs and flaky payments. Blockchain is the underlying protocol behind the technology of the currency. The strength behind Blockchain technology is in the authenticity of records, content and transactions, and its decentralized nature. This opens up the possibilities of many uses.

 

For starters, we have IBM working on harnessing the power of Blockchain. IBM’s Blockchain solution combines data provided by the participants in the network, creating a consolidated and detailed view of transactions that is visible to all parties. The outcome of this solution is a significant reduction in number of disputes, dispute cycle time, and improvement in productive use of working capital. Key features of IBM Blockchain are immutability, non-reputability, and privacy guarantees provide a safe, trusted and decentralized ledger for sharing information, while retaining role-based control of its visibility to other participants in the network.

 

 

 

J.P. Morgan Chase is also another financial giant jumping on the Blockchain train. They are working on using the technology in a manner that would allow the bank to use a publicly available system for confidential transactions. It is interesting to note JP Morgan’s outlook on making it a public network instead of a private one like most institutions have incorporated. Cybersecurity is one of the major benefits of Blockchain that we stressed in our first blog post.

Another giant, Barclays, has just completed a Blockchain trade finance transaction. Two of its partners, Ornua and Seychelles Trading Company, successfully transferred trade documentation via a Blockchain platform created by Barclays’ program Wave. This means that in the future, adding multiple parties to a distributed ledger system can remove one of the biggest “headaches” associated with global trade, the movement of the paper documents that track and authenticate the transactions that have occurred.

 

Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, has said that Blockchain will have a significant impact on Financial Industries. Economic transactions on a digital ledger can be programmed to record any type of financial instrument. These systems tackle settlement latency in mainstream financial markets. This means the entire lifecycle of a trade, including its execution, the netting of multiple trades against each other, reconciliation of who did what with whom, and whether they agree, can occur at the trade entry level. That’s much earlier in the stack of process than what you are accustomed to seeing in mainstream financial infrastructure.