The Harvard University strategic initiative HarvardX is running a massive open online course (MOOC) that features adaptive learning and assessment algorithms that tailor course material in response to student performance.

“Adaptive learning functionality, through which a computer system can fit learning experiences to the needs of each student, had not been offered previously in a HarvardX course and is featured in a few courses across the edX online learning platform,” reports Brent Marlow, Harvard Correspondent. That all changes with the first pilot course.

Super-Earths and Life,” taught by Harvard’s Phillips Professor of Astronomy Dimitar Sasselov. The goal is to gain a preliminary assessment of the technological feasibility and impications of adaptive functionahlit to online courses. “Depending on the results, the technology may expand to other HarvardX MOOCs,” says Marlow.

“Adaptive learning programs are very good at speeding up information acquisition and lengthening retention, as well as individualizing learning to help learners see where they have difficulty,” said Peter K. Bol, Harvard’s vice provost for advances in learning (VPAL) and Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

 “One of the big advantages of learning in the digital space is the ability to get real-time feedback,” said to Robert A. Lue, HarvardX faculty director and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology. “Adaptive functionality allows users to optimize learning based on their performance, offering a personalized path to mastery.”

Learn more: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/adaptive-learning-featured-in-harvardx-course/

 

Published in New Products

 

After seeing the many AI-powered toys, consumer products and smartphones at CES this month, it is important to ask about AI's future and security. This week, tech billionaires from LinkedIn and eBay are donating $20 million to the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Funds to “protect” society from AI. The Fund will distribute money to researchers working on the tough ethical problems raised by AI.

“There’s an urgency to ensure that AI benefits society and minimizes harm,” said LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman. “AI decision-making can influence many aspects of our world – education, transportation, healthcare, criminal justice and the economy – yet data and code behind those decisions can be largely invisible.”

Last year, Elon Musk and other technology leaders invested $1 billion in OpenAI.org, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company whose mission is to assure safe and secure use of Artificial Intelligence.  OpenAI’s mission is “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return,” according to their website.

Musk has been critical of AI and its potential harm.  “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So, we need to be very careful,” said Musk. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

Musk will be co-chair of the non-profit with technology venture capitalist Sam Altman, who has backed Reddit. Similar initiatives are being funded by IBM, Google and Apple.

 

Published in Ideas

 

Most people think of leadership as an occupation or a person who is formally in charge of others, but leadership is really the mechanism that enables a group to perform better. Specifically, leadership is a process of influence that enables a group of people to function as a team to achieve more than an individual or a badly led group. Leadership, then, is a resource for the group, and the critical issue is not what the leaders look like but how they influence the group.

The good news for those hoping to automate leadership is that its scientific study is well-established. Indeed, 100 years of academic research have enabled us to identify the key ingredients of leadership, so it is now possible to predict with a relatively high degree of accuracy whether someone will become a leader and how effectively they will lead if they get there. And once we are able to decode a phenomenon to break it down into its core components, then it is feasible to automate it. As Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics and a pioneer in robotics, noted: “If we can do anything in a clear and intelligible way, we can do it by machine.”

Unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team

For example, a crucial component of effective leadership is technical expertise. Unsurprisingly, leaders make better decisions than their subordinates when they have higher levels of domain-specific knowledge and sometimes higher general intelligence than them. To the degree that this knowledge can be reduced to a fixed set of rules and facts, it would be hard for even the most experienced leader to compete with a machine.

Furthermore, while the logical and reasoning capabilities of humans tend to peak by the age of 30, intelligent machines can continue to learn and get smarter and faster as they process more data. Of course, a robot leader will not be able to replicate human intuition, but there is no real evidence that intuition – feelings about facts – makes leaders more effective. On the contrary, when intuition is not grounded on data it can produce toxic ideas and undesirable behaviors, such as prejudice, unconscious bias and discrimination.

Another key component of effective leadership is integrity, which involves putting the team ahead of the leader and displaying consistency between one’s words and actions. There are two main reasons for the importance of integrity in leadership. First, integrity is linked to trustworthiness and unless groups trust their leaders they will not be able (or willing) to perform well. Second, when leaders lack integrity they could engage in a range of unethical and counterproductive behaviours that harm their teams.

Given the frequency with which these toxic and destructive behaviours are displayed in leaders, including highly qualified and talented individuals at the top of successful and global organisations, it appears that the honesty bar is fairly low, so it should not be difficult to design robot leaders that outperform most of their human counterparts on this score.

Needless to say, unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team – that would be its only agenda. In contrast, even when people lead effectively they tend to be driven by selfish and narcissistic desires (eg the need for status, recognition and power), which explains why they often derail. Indeed, one study estimates that up to 67%  of managers can be expected to fail.

A third critical element for effective leadership is strategic self-awareness or the capacity to understand how one impacts on others. Self-aware leaders are able to examine themselves from other people’s perspective. They are alert to feedback and able the gauge how their acts and intentions may be interpreted by others, which enables them to proactively manage their reputation.

Although self-awareness might appear to be a human characteristic, it can be modelled in robots. Indeed, most AI systems comprise a feedback loop that enables them to adjust their decisions on the basis of environmental inputs (eg thermostats, chatbots and wearables). Meanwhile the technologies for identifying human emotions from audiovisual content are advancing rapidly. And again, it is not that this ability is particularly refined in leaders, which is why billions of pounds are devoted each year to executive coaching designed to help leaders increase their self-awareness.

A final key ingredient for effective leadership concerns good people-skills, often referred to as emotional intelligence (EQ). Leaders with higher EQ are able to stay calm and composed, even in stressful circumstances. They can read other people like a book and are capable of predicting and influencing the behaviour of others.

Although affective computing – the creation of emotionally intelligent systems - is still in its infancy, it is important to note that robots do not need to be able to feel in order to act in an emotionally intelligent manner. In fact, contrary to what people think, even in humans high EQ is associated with lower rather than higher emotionality: it is about controlling one’s impulses and inhibiting strong emotions in order to act rationally and minimise emotional interference.

EQ scores range from very low – with key characteristics being neurotic, hotheaded and emotionally hypersensitive – to very high, phlegmatic, impassive and unexcited, so the real challenge would be to create robots with low rather than high EQ.

Though the idea of a computer-generated manager may seem far-fetched at the moment, robot leaders could start entering the working environment and begin to outperform bad (or even average) human leaders within the next few decades.

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

-About the Author

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is professor of business psychology at University College London, visiting professor at Columbia University and the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems. He is co-founder of metaprofiling.com and author of Confidence: The Surprising Truth About How Much You Need and How to Get It.

 

Published in Top Stories

 

The Consumer Electronics Show 2017 (CES), the world’s large consumer technology event happens this week, and serves the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. Thousands of solutions and exhibitors are on display with the new and the next in consumer tech. But, which solutions will really move the needle for enterprise learning?

While many at CES are focused on autonomous cars and their intelligent systems architecture, there are some technologies to watch for enterprise learning on display. Let’s look at five interesting solutions that offer a mirror to the future…even some may redefine how learning is delivered.1.      

1. HTC Tracker Vive Turns on VR for Everything

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HTC Vive has been called the most immersive VR experience to date. At CES, HTC showcased the VIVE Tracker, a new tracking peripheral that can be inserted into any product to make it work in the virtual world. Image adding the Tracker to your baseball bat to practice your swing in a VR game. Peacekeepers could use the tracker on equipment during fire simulations, police officers for standoffs, and the like. There are hundreds of potential learning applications.

The Tracker transforms any device into the virtual environment. This means any manufacturer can be a VR device manufacturer by embedding the tracker.

 

 

2. First Google Tango-enabled Augmented-reality Smartphone

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At CES 2017, we see a trend of software being embedded in devices. We no longer must learn to code. ASUS ZenFone AR  Smartphone is the world’s first 5.7-inch smartphone with Tango and Daydream by Google. Tango's AR lets you see virtual objects and information on top of your surroundings. And, Daydream is Google’s virtual reality technology.

For enterprise learning applications, AR if great for on-boarding, technical and safety training. The faster these capabilities are pushed to the smartphone and adopted, the sooner users can generate training content to share their native expertise. Learn more at: https://www.asus.com/Phone/ZenFone-AR-ZS571KL/

At CES 2016, we learned the cost of sensing technology has dropped to pennies an axial, and text to voice is now 95% accurate.  No surprise, we see these technologies integrated into some smart devices for home and work.

 

3. Voice is Everywhere: LG, Alexa and Google Home

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Like VR, manufacturers are integrating voice assistants within devices at home. NVidia plays with Google Home to create smart home devices. LG is using Alexa in refrigerators to track use by dates, groceries to buy and can place the online order via Amazon Pantry.

These solutions are launching at rates faster than enterprises can adopt them. Enterprises are using machine learning and AI to drive business decisions today. We could drive this intelligence to voice commands at the enterprise creating the perfect assistant.

 

4. Concept: Razer’s Project Ariana

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We have heard of Microsoft’s HoloLens and Star Trek’s Holodeck. Now we have seen Razer’s new concept projector, called Project Ariana. Ariana can bring projection mapping to the masses. The system is a giant screen that blends seamlessly when projected across your wall, furniture and tables. Under development, expect to see this projection system engulf an entire room with visuals that simulate being there. Imagine a Super Bowl broadcast that fills the room with you immersed in the sound and visuals. For enterprises, use of live immersive projections like Project Ariana would be great for CEO meet and greets and group wide or global team meetings. See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3sz0S5PA0

 

5. Cool Tools for the Office

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CES is not CES unless you come back with cool tools you want to take home. Here are two our editors loved.

First, Tickle Sensor is a tool to convert your PC to touch screen. Neonode Airbar is sold for $189 and clips to the screen easily. Learn more at: http://www.neonode.com/

Second, the travel keyboard that folds up to fit in a pocket is a must have. The Kanex Keyboard has a 2-day battery life.  It is Bluetooth enabled and the magnetic case keeps it closed. Cost is less than $100.

Next up from Elearning! Magazine: Key trends and consumer technology market growth reports from CES. Follow us at @2elearning or visit: 2elearning.com.

 

 

 

Published in Latest News

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first self-lacing - or adaptive lacing in Nike’s terms - brings those Back to The Future shoes worn by Michael J. Fox to life.

“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” explains Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator, NIKE, Inc., and the project’s technical lead. “Then there are two buttons on the side of the shoe to tighten and loosen the lacing. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”

Nike says that the shoe translates deep research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. They went on to say that it challenges traditional understanding of fit, proposing an ultimate solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference.

According to Tinker Hatfield, “Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it.” “We’re able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.”

Published in New Products

 

Just three months ago Facebook set out to do something nobody else had done before: ship AI-based style transfer running live, in real time, on mobile devices. “This was a major engineering challenge,” reports Mike Schroepfer, CTO, Facebook.

Caffe2Go was born; a new deep learning platform that can capture, analyze and process pixels in real time on a mobile device. “We found that by condensing the size of the AI model used to process images and videos by 100x, we’re able to run deep neural networks with high efficiency on both iOS and Android,” add Schroepfer. It all happens in the palm of your hand, so you can apply styles to videos as you’re taking them.

AI is already making an impact on Facebook users. “AI assists in automatically translating posts for friends who speak different languages, and in ranking News Feed to show people more relevant stories, says Schroepher.  Over the next three to five years, we’ll see even more new features as AI expands across Facebook.”

Learn more: http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/11/accelerating-innovation-and-powering-new-experiences-with-ai/

 

Published in Latest News

 

The Virtual Reality War has begun. Alphabet’s launch of Pixel Smartphone and new VR headset has joined the battle with Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung. With the heavy adoption of the technology comes the realization that VR IS in the future for enterprise learning.

VR is currently estimated to be a $1 billion industry according to Deloitte Global, but will explode to $35 Billion by 2025 according to BI Intelligence.  Video games and entertainment are the largest VR market segments accounting for$18.9 billion of the $35 billion market in 2025. Enterprise VR applications will generate 54% of VR market with Healthcare and Engineering leading the enterprise market.

 

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Published in Latest News

--Recognizes Contributions to Federal Distance Learning

Elearning! Media Group, publishers of Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, announced today the Federal Government Distance Learning Association selected Elearning! Media Group for the Pillar Award for contributions to the Federal Government Distance Learning Industry.  The 2016 FGDLA Awards honor excellence in federal government distance learning to 16 organizations and professionals.

We are honored to earn the Pillar Award from FGDLA and congratulation the Association for delivering important industry practices and information to more than 350 federal agencies,” says Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group.The organizations selected for the FGDLA Awards are an inspiring group and it is with deep respect that we accept this award.”

FGDLA is has named the following Federal Government employees and organizations as 2016 FGDLA Award recipients for demonstrating excellence in distance learning:

Individual Awards:

Hall of Fame: In recognition of an individual who has made significant contributions in promoting and developing distance learning in the Federal Government. 

Honoree: Dr. Kenneth P. Pisel, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University


Pioneer: In recognition of an individual demonstrating initiative and leadership in the development and implementation of distance learning in the Federal Government.

Five Honorees: Dale Carpenter, Distance Learning Group, National Park Service

Andrea Simonelli, Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division

Naval Air Systems Command

Dr. Damon Regan, Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

JoAnne Green, iCollege, National Defense University

Paul Thurkettle, NATO E-Learning, Allied Command Transformation

Organizational Awards:

Five-Star: In recognition of an organization demonstrating excellence in providing enterprise-wide distance learning solutions for the Federal Government.

Three Honorees: Acquisition Career Management Group Acquisition Policy and Oversight Federal Aviation Administration Digital Learning Network, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Naval Air Systems Command


Innovation: In recognition of an organization demonstrating leadership in the development of emerging distance learning technologies providing enterprise-wide solutions for the Federal Government.

Three Honorees: Distance Learning Group National Park Service (NPS), Advanced Distribute Learning Initiative Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness), NATO E-Learning Allied Command Transformation

 

Eagle: In recognition of an individual that has served the Federal Government distance learning community by providing exceptional leadership, vision, and advocacy.

Honoree: College of Distance Education and Training Marine Corps University

 

Pillar: In recognition for outstanding service or significant contribution to the Association by an organization not affiliated with the Federal Government

Honoree: Elearning! Media Group, Publishers of Elearning! and Government Elearning! Magazines

 

This is FGDLA 20th year for proudly recognizing individuals and organizations who have made major contributions to enhancing distance learning within the Federal Government,” says Alex Autry, President, Federal Government Distance Learning Association. Not only have these recipients’ improved the knowledge and skill levels of our number one resources- people-  but have ensured our Nation is second to none.”

 

FGDLA Award Luncheon

The 20th Annual FGDLA Awards Luncheon will be hosted on December 8th at 11:50 AM in Room 151A at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. The Award Luncheon is a ticketed invitation only event conducted during FGDLA’s Government Learning Technology Symposium (GLTS).  GLTS is a free two-day conference for government personnel. Uniquely focused on the needs of Federal Government distance learning professionals, GLTS provides a venue for professionals to make connections, discuss the latest developments, and identify new regulations and trends that affect our industry. If you are involved in learning, talent development, mission execution, HR services, project management, team training and leadership, you should attend GLTS.

The GLTS is held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center, Dec. 7-8, 2016. For the complete GLTS program, visit  http://glts.fgdlaevents.us/ 
Published in Latest News

 

Einstein was introduced at Dreamforce this week. Einstein reveals the customer’s DNA within the salesforce platform. By knitting together the digital fingerprints of each consumer, Einstein provides actionable analytics in a smart app. This AI solution offers predictive analytics, machine and deep learning and understands natural language all born from $1 billion of recent acquisitions.  Marc Benioff’s goal is to take a complex solution like AI and make it easy to use within Salesforce.

Einstein is AI built into the core of the Salesforce Platform where it powers the CRM. IT delivers advanced AI capabilities to sales, service and marketing- and enables anyone to use clicks or code to build AI powered apps that get smarter with every interaction. Now, everyone in every role and industry can use AI to be their best. Einstein literally captures data, feeds it to the engine to learn, guide and recommend based upon trackable customer needs and wants.

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Salesforce users can leverage Einstein to serve customers better by Anticipating sales opportunities with Sales Cloud Einstein; Proactively resolve cases with Service Cloud Einstein; Creating predictive journeys with Marketing Cloud Einstein; and, Embed intelligence in every app with APP Cloud Einstein.

“Hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of people will benefit from the best machine learning to make smarter decisions and function more effectively,” shares Shubha Nabar, Lead Data Scientist, Salesforce.

Schneider Electric, a company that supports a majority of commercial buildings across the globe, uses Einstein for Field Service. Einstein receives information on the status of electrical panels within buildings, identifies power interruptions and sends info to the field for immediate response with the status available immediately to the technician. In this example, the technician was equipped with Virtual Reality headset to view the dashboards and repair methodology while evaluating the power panel.

Why do we need Einstein?

“B2B and B2C customers are automatically generating information just by having a smartphone and interacting with the sensors it carries,” replies Shawn Belling, Vice President, CloudCraze. “This creates huge amounts of data that any commerce or AI engine can write integrations and algorithms to connect o and consume. The challenge is making sense of all of this data, and using it to generate value. Einstein could make this easier for everyone.”

 “AI [Einstein] can analyze CRM data to equip businesses with the tools to personalize messages to multiple decisions markers in real time. This add overall value to customers by enhancing efficiency, and driving revenue through better business processes and available insights,” continues Belling.

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What does the future hold for AI?

Scott Horn, CMO at (24)7, an AI-powered customer engagement solution provider suggests, “Einstein is a sign of the true potential of AI- as a supplement to the human intuition. By turning cold calling into warm-calling, this is an opportunity for AU to prove itself as a truly productive counterpart to the human mind. And, the applications for this technology go well beyond sales. AI is bringing automation to customer service, which will bring major benefits to consumers. For the first time, businesses can now understand and act on consumer intent, meaning that consumers will no longer have to repeat information or be bombarded with irrelevant information. This technology will be commonplace in the next five years.”

How do you get Einstein?

First, you need to use Salesforce, and activate Lightning, Thunderbolt and then Einstein. You literally build upon this AI cloud leveraging the Salesforce Cloud. To discover your path to AI, visit trailblazers.salesforce.com.

 

Published in Latest News

HTC is opening a dedicated virtual reality app store called Viveport which will host non-gaming content separately from Valve and its Steam store. The Viveport store will be available in Vive headsets, web browsers, the PC app and a mobile app.

The Viveport store will focus on nongaming verticals including education, design, art, social, video, music, sports, health, fashion, travel, news, shopping, creativity tools, and more. The store will also support in-app purchases and subscriptions in addition to a pay-to-download model.

—Learn more: http://blog.htcvive.com/ us/2016/08/introducing-viveport/

Published in New Products
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