An executive guide to the technology and market drivers behind the $135 billion robotics market. Artist Stephanie Dinkins tells a fascinating story about her work with an AI robot made to look like an African-American woman and at times sensing some type of consciousness in the machine. She was speaking at the de Young Museum's Thinking Machines conversation series, along with anthropologist Tobias Rees, Director of Transformation with the Humans Program at the American Institute, Dinkins is Associate Professor of Art at Stony Brook University and her work includes teaching communities about AI and algorithms, and trying to answer questions such as: Can a community trust AI systems they did not create? She has worked with pre-college students in poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and taught them how to create AI chat bots. They made a chat bot that told "Yo Mamma" jokes - which she said was a success because it showed how AI can be made to reflect local traditions.
Education has mostly followed the same structure for centuries -- e.g., the "sage on a stage" and "assembly line" models. As AI continues to disrupt industries like consumer electronics, ecommerce, media, transportation, and healthcare, is education the next big opportunity? Given that education is the foundation that prepares people to pursue advancements in all the other fields, it has the potential to be the most impactful application of AI. The three segments of the education market -- K-12, higher education, and corporate training -- are going through transitions. In the K-12 market, we are seeing the effect of the newer, more rigorous academic standards (Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards) shifting the focus toward measuring students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills and preparing them for college and career success in the 21st century.
With technology's role in the workplace evolving at pace, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) have each launched their own respective initiatives to educate about the future of work. UNSW announced on Thursday in collaboration with AMP the launch of Designing the Future of Work, a massive open online course (MOOC) that explores how employers and employees can adapt to a rapidly evolving environment in which artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data are changing the way we live and work. The course will answer questions such as: What new, disruptive technologies are on the horizon; how will jobs change; what challenges will employers and employees face; and how the design process can help create innovative solutions for employers and employees. Associate dean of education at UNSW Sydney Art & Design professor Simon McIntyre said the MOOC will investigate design strategies that businesses can adopt to make the transition towards new technologies a more efficient process. "By working with leading futurists and business innovators from AMP Amplify, we [are] able to bring both academic and practical perspectives to give learners real-world examples and strategies to help them become predictive, adaptive, and secure in their own work futures," McIntyre said.
Six titans of industry stood onstage at MIT's Kresge Auditorium yesterday, assembled to speak on a panel about artificial intelligence (AI), including David H. Koch Institute professor Robert Langer; Helen Greiner, cofounder of iRobot, the Bedford-based company perhaps best known for its line of autonomous vacuum cleaners; Xiao'ou Tang, founder of computer vision startup SenseTime, which last year raised $1.2 billion in venture capital at a valuation of more than $4.5 billion; and Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google. The discussion capped off a three-day celebration of MIT's new Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, which will offer its first classes in physics, economics, biology, economics, machine learning, and related disciplines this fall. The panelists shared thoughts on a range of topics, but one they repeatedly touched on was entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs, Schmidt argued in his opening remarks, drive the economy -- they're spigots for ideas that form the basis of industries. "[Founders are] people who are filled with a vision -- something they care about -- and they personalize it, they believe in it, and they convince others to follow them," he said.
For centuries, humans have been fretting over "technological unemployment" or the loss of jobs caused by technological change. Never has this sentiment been accentuated more than it is today, at the cusp of the next industrial revolution. With developments in artificial intelligence continuing at a chaotic pace, fears of robots ultimately replacing humans are increasing. TNW Conference won best European Event 2016 for our festival vibe. See what's in store for 2017.