Partnerships Between Humans and Machines Will Define the New Era of Computing « A Smarter Planet Blog

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Dr. James Hendler, Professor and Computer Science Department Head, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

By Dr. James Hendler

Every single student in the Department of Computer Science here at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the potential to revolutionize computing. But with the arrival of Watson at Rensselaer, they’re even better positioned to do so.

Watson has caused the researchers in my field of artificial intelligence (AI) to rethink some of our basic assumptions. Watson’s cognitive computing is a breakthrough technology, and it’s really amazing to be here at Rensselaer, where we will be the first university to get our hands on this amazing system.

With 90 percent of the world’s data generated in the past two years, the ability for people and even traditional computing systems to make sense of this data has grown complex. The addition of Watson to our campus is very timely considering the growth of what some have termed “Big Data.” 

In 1976, Joseph Weizenbaum, a leading computer scientist, wrote a book called Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation, in which he criticized the field of AI for trying to replace human creativity and thought with the power of computers.  He suggested that humans and computers were inherently different, and that trying to get computers to think like humans was an insurmountable task, if it was possible at all.

$25 Model A Raspberry Pi Microcomputer Goes On Sale In Europe — Available To Rest Of World “Very Soon” | TechCrunch

The affordable Raspberry Pi microcomputer just got even more affordable: the slated $25 Model A Raspberry Pi board has now gone on sale in Europe. The Raspberry Pi Foundation, which created the Pi on a mission to get more kids learning to code, announced the Model A’s arrival and said sales are being restricted to Europe initially but will be opened up to the rest of the world “very soon”.

Free, Open-Source Digital Textbook Provider, Boundless, Releases Its Content Under Creative Commons | TechCrunch
Since first emerging early last year, Boston-based startup Boundless has been on a mission to give students a free alternative to the financial and physical costs of bulky backpacks brimming with pricey hard-copy textbooks. Co-founders Ariel Diaz, Brian Balfour and Aaron White believe that the incumbents, the old-school textbook publishers (the top four of which still control the market) have been driving up the cost of educational content for years, so Boundless has been fighting the Powers That Be by offering a free, digital alternative culled from existing, open educational resources.

Free, Open-Source Digital Textbook Provider, Boundless, Releases Its Content Under Creative Commons | TechCrunch

Since first emerging early last year, Boston-based startup Boundless has been on a mission to give students a free alternative to the financial and physical costs of bulky backpacks brimming with pricey hard-copy textbooks. Co-founders Ariel Diaz, Brian Balfour and Aaron White believe that the incumbents, the old-school textbook publishers (the top four of which still control the market) have been driving up the cost of educational content for years, so Boundless has been fighting the Powers That Be by offering a free, digital alternative culled from existing, open educational resources.

A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid’s Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
Forget phablets. Touchscreen Android devices designed expressly for kids with bright colors, durable cases and rubberized surfaces are making a big splash in the tablet space.
Tablets certainly are a hot-ticket item. Apple was projected to sell 62 million iPads in 2012, and Android tablet sales were up 177 percent this holiday season. But while some parents are only too happy to share their $500-plus tablets with the kids (or even buy the kiddos iPads of their own), some are opting instead to get a tablet designed specifically for their wee ones’ tiny fingers and eager minds.

A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid’s Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Forget phablets. Touchscreen Android devices designed expressly for kids with bright colors, durable cases and rubberized surfaces are making a big splash in the tablet space.

Tablets certainly are a hot-ticket item. Apple was projected to sell 62 million iPads in 2012, and Android tablet sales were up 177 percent this holiday season. But while some parents are only too happy to share their $500-plus tablets with the kids (or even buy the kiddos iPads of their own), some are opting instead to get a tablet designed specifically for their wee ones’ tiny fingers and eager minds.

Replay of today’s live, interactive vPanel: How Can Marketers Have More Influence?” on the GBS Livestream Channel.

PANELISTS

Peter J. Korsten, IBM Institute for Business Value

Peter J. Korsten
IBM Institute for Business Value

Bobby J. Calder, Kellogg School of Management

Bobby J. Calder
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Martha Mangelsdorf, MIT Sloan Management Review

Martha Mangelsdorf
MIT Sloan Management Review

Edward C. Malthouse, Medill School of Journalism

Edward C. Malthouse
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern

A city is really just made up of a myriad of micro-cities. To make an entire city smarter, you have to start on these smaller systems first.
The 2012 National Football League season is in full swing. And, each week flocks of fans head to stadiums around the country to cheer (or boo) for the home team—about 80,000 people per stadium.
The unique challenge of stadiums, which are practically cities unto themselves, is the management of intensely complex infrastructures that provide food, water, medical facilities, climate, and even traffic control. All this may require pinpointing exact locations or managing operations across tens, hundreds, or even thousands of miles.
By using information in new and creative ways, organizations can better manage these sprawling environments.
What’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the creation of these “mini-cities” is requiring innovative technology to make them a microcosm of a smarter city where information is used to deliver services effectively and efficiently. By using information in new and creative ways, organizations can better manage these sprawling environments, and teach us lessons about how to make our cities smarter.
People are Sensors
Let’s put these organizations with massively complex facilities in context. Look at the top 25 most populated cities in the United States, and you’ll see Boston, Seattle and Nashville on the list. Yet, all of these cities are less populated and occupy fewer square miles of land than the Los Angeles Unified School District.
With 14,000 buildings that cover more than 710 square miles for its 700,000 students, the district is so vast, it mimics an actual city’s infrastructure considering their use of natural resources and the complexity of operations. To help manage this vast school system, the L.A. schools are empowering its “citizens”—the thousands of students, teachers and staff—to act as living sensors to identify faulty or dangerous infrastructure, such as broken windows, doors or railings, and then sending these images or text messages from their smartphones.

A city is really just made up of a myriad of micro-cities. To make an entire city smarter, you have to start on these smaller systems first.

The 2012 National Football League season is in full swing. And, each week flocks of fans head to stadiums around the country to cheer (or boo) for the home team—about 80,000 people per stadium.

The unique challenge of stadiums, which are practically cities unto themselves, is the management of intensely complex infrastructures that provide food, water, medical facilities, climate, and even traffic control. All this may require pinpointing exact locations or managing operations across tens, hundreds, or even thousands of miles.

By using information in new and creative ways, organizations can better manage these sprawling environments.

What’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the creation of these “mini-cities” is requiring innovative technology to make them a microcosm of a smarter city where information is used to deliver services effectively and efficiently. By using information in new and creative ways, organizations can better manage these sprawling environments, and teach us lessons about how to make our cities smarter.

People are Sensors

Let’s put these organizations with massively complex facilities in context. Look at the top 25 most populated cities in the United States, and you’ll see Boston, Seattle and Nashville on the list. Yet, all of these cities are less populated and occupy fewer square miles of land than the Los Angeles Unified School District.

With 14,000 buildings that cover more than 710 square miles for its 700,000 students, the district is so vast, it mimics an actual city’s infrastructure considering their use of natural resources and the complexity of operations. To help manage this vast school system, the L.A. schools are empowering its “citizens”—the thousands of students, teachers and staff—to act as living sensors to identify faulty or dangerous infrastructure, such as broken windows, doors or railings, and then sending these images or text messages from their smartphones.

(via smartercities)

Analytics platform lets instructors monitor students’ use of course materials
There’s no doubt technology can be a useful tool in education, whether to help analyze classroom data or simply to make sure students attend. Whereas most such efforts focus on the classroom, however, California-based CourseSmart now offers new insight into the homework process by giving instructors a way to monitor pupils’ use of electronic course materials. READ MORE…

Analytics platform lets instructors monitor students’ use of course materials

There’s no doubt technology can be a useful tool in education, whether to help analyze classroom data or simply to make sure students attend. Whereas most such efforts focus on the classroom, however, California-based CourseSmart now offers new insight into the homework process by giving instructors a way to monitor pupils’ use of electronic course materials. READ MORE…