For Peter Cao, who has dedicated 16 years of his career to teaching chemistry in a high school in central China's Anhui province, in every teacher there lives a "doctor". He spends two to three hours a day grading assignments, a process the 38-year-old describes as "diagnosing". "By reviewing the homework of my pupils, I can have an overall picture about their understanding of the lessons I give," Cao said, adding that this "diagnosis" helps him draw up a teaching plan for the following day. But if the Chinese online education start-up Master Learner has its way, Cao and his 14 million fellow teachers in China will be able to hand this time-consuming review process to a "super teacher", a powerful "brain" capable of answering nearly 500 million of the most tested questions in China's middle schools as well as scoring high points in each Gaokao test, China's life-changing college entrance exam, for the past 30 years. If the super teacher sounds too smart to be human, that is because it is not.
Motivated by a desire to rebuild Syria's devastated economy, enterprising young women in the war-torn country are turning to tech to help others of their generation find employment – and better futures. For the past five years, 22-year-old Syrian student Leen Darwish has seen her country ruined by bombings, battles and one of the biggest population displacements in modern history. But determined to help rebuild the nation's economy for her fellow young people, Darwish – a computer science undergraduate at the University of Damascus – has launched an award-winning, Arabic-language app to help young people in Syria, and beyond, learn to code. Just six months since its launch, Darwish's Remmaz app already has over 500 active users learning to code, design websites and develop apps (application programs) on the platform she and her business partner started developing while they were second-year university students. Their aim is to create an accessible, Arabic online learning MOOC (massive open online course) to address the lack of non-English programming resources available to Arab communities, particularly young people looking for employment in conflict-scarred Syria.
Chintu, the robot, slowly sat down on the floor, with both hands resting on its knees. Then, on command, it stood up, using one hand for support. The 58-centimetre-tall robot, manufactured by Softbank Robotics of France and owned by Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Pune, was one of the attractions of IBM Cloud Forum, a jamboree of companies using IBM's cloud and machine learning (ML) solutions in the last week of May in Mumbai. Alongside Chintu were its guardians -- Astitva Shah and Krishnamohan M, final-year engineering students from MIT, Pune. The duo have been working on a project to develop Chintu as an assistant for elderly people who are living alone.
GUIZHOU, Southwest China--Dressed in a casual black bomber jacket with her smartphone in hand, 22-year-old college student Li Manhong seems like a textbook example of a tech-savvy millennial. She uses all the most popular online platforms like WeChat and Weibo, and even those blocked in China such as YouTube and Instagram. Li, a marketing major at Guizhou Normal University, in the provincial capital of Guiyang, is eyeing a master's degree in psychology. To prepare, she's taking a MOOC--massive online open course--in the subject, offered by Chinese internet giant NetEase. She's also taking online classes to get ready for the College English Test (CET), which is a prerequisite for a bachelor's degree in China. And, as an avid K-pop fan, Li is teaching herself Korean with the help of online language training platforms. In many ways, Li is typical of China's post-'90s generation: proud of their country's breakneck economic and technological development as well as confident about their and their nation's future. Yet while China is raising a generation of digital natives, beneath the surface many are woefully underprepared to staff the technological revolution that the government has promised.
Andrew Ng, one of the world's leading artificial intelligence researchers, said in a Medium post that he is resigning as the head of AI initiatives at Baidu Corp., one of China's largest Internet companies. Ng said he said he will "continue to shepherd" the growth of AI in society, but provided few clues about what might come next. He portrayed his departure from Baidu as amicable, saying: "the team is stacked up and down with talent; I am confident AI at Baidu will continue to flourish." Ng has held a multitude of high-profile positions in Silicon Valley in the past decade, serving as a computer science professor at Stanford University, as head of the Google Brain project, and as chairman of Coursera, an online-education company that he co-founded with Stanford faculty colleague Daphne Koller. I've completed a new book called "You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a Useless Liberal Arts Education."