Recent research in natural language processing using the program word2vec gives manipulations of word representations that look a lot like semantics produced by vector math. For vector calculations to produce semantics would be remarkable, indeed. The word vectors are drawn from context, big, huge context. And, at least roughly, the meaning of a word is its use (in context). Is it possible some question is begged here?
This week at school we've been brainstorming and discussing qualities we want to see in our graduates as they leave our school and enter the wider world of college and work. Today among many other questions, I was thinking about automation and the ways we need students to develop computational thinking skills so they can effectively utilize mind-blowingly powerful AI's (artificial intelligence bots) to collaborate with others and solve problems. As I gaze into the palantir afforded me as a co-host of "The EdTech Situation Room" each week with Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach), this is part of the future I see for our students, our society, and ourselves in the coming decades. This 98 second video, which I titled "EdTech Situation Room Promo Trailer," is the result of my thinking about this question tonight. Spoiler: The video offers more questions than answers, and as an answer suggests you need to follow @edtechSR on Twitter and subscribe to our weekly webshow and podcast on YouTube and on edtechSR.com!
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are ushering in the rise of smart machines that will be able to carry out many of the complex cognitive tasks that once seemed exclusive to middle class work in the knowledge economy. Already, doctors are using deeper learning to help diagnose illnesses, entry-level lawyers are finding themselves out-analyzed by machines that can harvest case history faster than any human, artificial intelligence is writing news stories and robots are staffing restaurants. This is just the beginning: one Oxford University study suggests that as many as 47% of current middle-class American jobs could get displaced or change significantly over the next two decades due to automation.