AI-Driven Content Curation, A Netflix of Knowledge

The internet has created an explosion of data and information. Although it seems that all of the information is new, what the internet has actually produced is a conduit for all kinds of information to be available to anyone who knows how to find it. The problem now is how to sift through all of that information to find data that is relevant to you.

AI is very effective in sorting through assorted data to discover the data required. In this sense, an AI-driven platform could aggregate, curate, personalize and create the relevant content.

The internet age has brought about access to data, which in turn has created even more data and information to be published online. The growth in the volume of information being uploaded is accelerating and it will continue to grow faster. As the data pool grows, the need to easily access the data becomes ever more important.

There is no use having all this information at your fingertips if it is going to be accessed or searched by individual people or organizations every time there is a need for it. In order to get the most out of this vast quantity of data, there has to be a way for important or relevant information to get to a person before he or she is aware of the need for it. Curating data may not be enough in order to make the best use of that information.

AI-Driven Content Curation Improves Learning

The model used by Netflix, Reddit, Spotify and iTunes among many others, places content in a repository where it can then be sorted, categorized, and otherwise curated for easier access by followers and users. The model used by Reddit is hierarchical and can be used in other applications. Users only need to follow the topic in order to keep abreast of the thread and discussion.

For companies, there are ways to trickle down information through the organization until it reaches those who need it. A topic authority can accelerate knowledge access by being available when specific information is needed. There are other ways to make the authority or a subject matter expert (SME) and his or her knowledge more accessible to information users.

Knowledge is power and getting the correct information to the right people is important in any organization. This is a competitive advantage as every successful company knows. It is not enough for people to get rudimentary training, it is also important that they continue to learn outside of training. Those who have undergone training should be able to pass along their new knowledge and skills to the rest of the group. A culture of learning as well as teaching and mentoring is necessary in the workplace in order to make the best use of data and information.

The Modern Library Needs AI

A central repository of knowledge could be accessible in the same way that Netflix has made video content accessible to its subscribers. On-demand information retrieval can make use of an AI-driven platform. AI is very effective in sorting through assorted data to discover the data required. In this sense, an AI-driven platform could aggregate, curate, personalize and create the relevant content.

Aggregation- The platform collates and sorts through data from internal sources, and the Internet, as well as external sources, including subscriptions and authority sites.

Curation- With AI and machine learning tools, the platform combs through the sorted data and delivers the pertinent information in a relevant manner.

Personalization- As with a lot of customers facing AI, personalization ensures that the information received fits requirements. This can be done by surveys or through a continuously updated scan of what a particular person reads and prefers to look at.

Creation- Whether using AI tools or done manually, the information should be shared within the organization. Building content libraries are important for any organization in order for other team members to easily read through them and develop new skills.

Sifting through information and mining meaning out of that information is not easy. It needs a bold and innovative method to bring the information to individuals or groups over the long term. AI and machine learning tools can be utilized to boldly accomplish this Herculean task.

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Education Tech: Close the Digital Divide

Technology is dynamic and evolving, and this is especially true for education. There are three major shifts going on right now in the use of technology in education, and in particular the place of technology in the learning process. These changes are fundamental and completely changing the world of education.

The mayor of Chattanooga, TN, saw the potential and need of having a fast internet connection, coupled with high definition camera to connect students to a university with access to a scanning microscope worth $1 million.

These bold education changes can be summarized as; shifts from delivery to exploration, from general solutions to personalized, and from access for the few to access for the many.

Delivery to Exploration Education Tech

In the past, education has been delivered to the student, wrapped up in a one size fits all neat little bow. Students read and they learn by describing in reports and projects what they read.

Technology offers the opportunity for students to explore on their own and learn in the process. The Sunnyside, AZ school district has high school students in a biotech class taking genome samples and documenting the process via a webcam. The students plan to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal. With technology, students move from being consumers to creators who; design, build explore, and ultimately, publish content.

Customized and Personalized

Students learn at different speeds, and technology allows them to do that. Students can start off with the same parameters, but succeeding lessons based on the outcomes can lead to a deeper exploration of the students’ interests. Technology allows students to discover an entire world of ideas, technologies, disciplines, and skills, with their curiosity leading the way.

Customized learning fills students need to learn the necessary prerequisites to engage in society and work, while also developing their passion.

From Tech Elites to Access for All

There is the myth that technology is expensive. This leads to access to technology being only available to those who can afford it. With the Internet, students can access tools remotely with the cooperation of other schools and universities that have the equipment. The mayor of Chattanooga, TN, saw the potential and need of having a fast Internet connection, coupled with high definition camera to connect students to a university with access to a scanning microscope worth $1 million. The community does not need to own expensive equipment, they only need to be able to use it. This approach levels the playing field for students from less affluent communities to be able to have the same access as those studying in expensive private schools.

Through technology, there is actually no need for the resource to be physically in the room. People who can teach programming can be accessed and are able to extend their skills to the students. This allows for more students and schools to compete with private schools.

This is what happened in Rhode Island, where the district was able to raise the level of learning achievement significantly. With their education tech program, public school students passed the AP Computer Science test at the same rate as those from private schools.

The use of education tech allows bold shifts in the way teaching is done. It also provides better opportunities for the less affluent. Schools can make a difference in education by using technology in extending the reach of the school. Remote access and cooperation with colleges and universities allow for more advanced technology to be available to elementary and high school students.

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Elon Musk Builds a Really Big Battery

Tesla is going to make the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery and install it in South Australia. This bold development came about serendipitously via an exchange of tweets between Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian co-CEO of Atlassian.

…the Neoen/Tesla bid won due to the strong track record of the proponents, lowest cost, and the value-added elements.

South Australia has been experiencing problems with their power grid ever since a power outage took down the grid for the whole state. In a tweet, Tesla said that it could solve South Australia’s shortage within 100 days. This would be done with the use of a lithium-ion battery supplying 100-300 MWh of stored energy.

Cannon-Brookes got into the twitter conversation by asking how serious Tesla was about the 100 dayinstallation? Elon Musk, proud as ever, personally vouched for the tweet by saying that Tesla will have the system installed and working within 100 days from contract signing – otherwise it would be free! At which point, Cannon-Brookes started to help with the funding and the politics involved in getting the batteries to Australia.

Cannon-Brookes admitted that he did not know anything about batteries and energy before he interjected in the twitter feed. However, he also worked and researched to catch up with the technology, enough to be able to talk to politicians, technical advisers, scientists and engineers to make this happen. The power will be generated by Neoen, a French renewable energy company which operates a wind-farm in South Australia.

Neoen and Tesla Team Up

In the process, Neoen and Tesla won the tender to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery (100MW/129MWh) which will be connected to major wind farm projects capable of 309 MW and operational by the end of 2017. In the tender announcement, Musk mentioned that the battery was “three times more powerful than any other system on earth.” Prior to this, Tesla had already installed a similar battery system in California with a 20MW/80MWh capacity.

The Tesla battery will serve as a frequency regulation and back-up power to the Neoen Hornsdale Wind farm. With this installation, Neoen will have almost one billion Australian dollars in direct investment in South Australia. The project will also help stabilize and lower the cost of energy for the region. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill mentioned that the Neoen/Tesla bid won due to the strong track record of the proponents, lowest cost, and the value-added elements. It is not every day that a 100-day installation “or it’s free” clause is included in the contract, even if the end of 2017 is more than 100 days.

Elon Musk has been at the forefront of new technology ever since he launched Tesla Motors. The latest Tesla Model 3 was recently shown to the public and will be available to the first 30 customers in late July. Musk also has the Boring Company which is already creating a development tunnel for the hyperloop transport.

In addition to this, he is also seriously working on space tourism with his Space X project. The bold end game is to make repeated trips to Mars for both tourism and colonization purposes.

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New Zealand Introduces Digital Tech Education

New Zealand is planning to use bold, offline methods to teach digital technology to children.

It is understanding computer science principles that form the foundation of digital technologies, as well as learning how to develop code and algorithms to control them.

According to Education Minister Nikki Kaye, a proposal for a new digital technology curriculum is aimed at building children’s computer fluency and skills. This would prepare them for jobs in a digital world. The new curriculum will include designing and developing digital outcomes and computational thinking.

Designing and developing digital outcomes relates to the human side of information technology, in that these processes are created by humans for human use. It aims to develop knowledge and associated skills needed to use digital technologies in creating content over different digital media. It includes learning about electronics, electronic components, and techniques to design computers and other IT equipment.

Digital Tech Education for Every Age

These skills would not necessarily require the use of computers for teaching purposes. It can also mean different things to different age groups. The concept of computational thinking starts with learning step-by-step logical instructions. This is an important part of learning algorithms and can be taught like the rest of the curriculum even without using any devices.

Computational thinking is about dissecting a process to small logical steps. These steps are aimed at getting something done or to make something work in a prescribed manner. Older students would move on to creating apps, or instructing robots. It is understanding computer science principles that form the foundation of digital technologies, as well as learning how to develop code and algorithms to control them.

The new curriculum would include the following changes:

  • Digital tech will be taught in all year levels. For those students who choose to take the NCEA digital technologies pathway, they would have specialized training required for them to pass the new achievement standards for NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3.
  • There would be two new key areas: “computational thinking” and “designing and developing digital outcomes.” The new content will be flexible so that the curriculum can respond rapidly to any new technology developments and advances.

As part of the curriculum, children would also be taught the intelligent use of technology and the ethics associated with its use.

All of this is designed to increase the human capital and productivity of New Zealand citizens, allowing them to boldly compete in the knowledge economy of the future.

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Energy Breakthrough 2017: Artificial Leaves

After years of research and testing, scientists successfully created an artificial leaf. This bold innovation won’t be used for indoor landscapes though; it’s meant to harness energy from the sun and may soon become a viable source of clean fuel.

Through photosynthesis, plants are able to convert 1% of sunlight into food, but the artificial leaf has achieved 10% efficiency when using pure carbon dioxide.

Photosynthesis, the process used by plants to convert sunlight into chemical energy and ultimately food, happens primarily in the plant’s leaves. Only green leaves are capable of completing this process, as the green pigment, called chlorophyll, absorbs sunlight. Combined with carbon dioxide and water, chlorophyll produces carbohydrates for the plant’s consumption.

The artificial leaf works on the same premise, but on turbo speed. The Harvard Gazette reports that the system has surpassed the efficiency of photosynthesis. The bold technology is so promising that it has been named as one of the breakthrough technologies of 2017.

Artificial Leaves Create, Harvest, & Store Energy

Think of photosynthesis as a plant’s way of generating and storing energy for itself. Scientists have been envious of this capability, because hey, the world needs free energy. For decades, researchers have tried to generate fuel that could be stored for later use. Solar energy and wind energy are dependent on weather conditions to function properly, thereby making energy creation intermittent. The artificial leaf runs like clockwork and stores excess energy.

More importantly, because the process of photosynthesis in the artificial leaves requires carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas, it also cleans and rejuvenates the atmosphere while creating energy. This makes the artificial leaf the cleanest energy technology there could possibly be – effectively transforming carbon dioxide emitted by combustion into fuel to be used again and again.

The artificial leaf was created by two Harvard University geniuses: Professor of Energy, Daniel Nocera, and Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Pamela Silver. It is a contained system that makes use of “solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels.”

The leaf houses hydrogen-eating bacteria which consume carbon dioxide to generate clean fuel at faster-than-real-plant speeds.

Through photosynthesis, plants are able to convert 1% of sunlight into food, but the artificial leaf has achieved 10% efficiency when using pure carbon dioxide. Its efficiency dips to 4% when it uses carbon dioxide from the air – cleaning it in the process.

Largest Energy Breakthrough of this Century

The artificial leaf is seen as groundbreaking technology because it solves the problem of creating portable energy. It can be created at a different location, stored, and then transported to wherever it is needed.

Self-sufficient citizens, or those who have chosen to live off the grid, will benefit from using artificial photosynthesis to power their basic needs.

Using artificial leaves is as close to nature as it can get. This discovery could hasten the process of replacing coal power stations with solar cell facilities or wind turbine farms.

The artificial leaf does not require expensive and complicated infrastructure, making it ideal for developing countries as well. It can be set up on the fly and restore energy to areas devastated by natural calamities.

This may be the bold energy breakthrough society has been searching for.

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Richest Doctor in America; Expands Genomic Testing

NantWorks recently acquired a controlling stake in Integrity Healthcare, effectively taking over the management of six hospitals which will now go by the name of Verity Health.

Soon-Shiong is a noted philanthropist dedicated to improving the delivery of health care in the Los Angeles area.

The acquisition is a bold but calculated move which opens up more possibilities for NantWorks research, including genomic testing and cancer research. At the same time, there is an opportunity for the hospitals to expand their services and upgrade their equipment. The hospitals include St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles and St. Francis Medical Center located in Lynwood, among others.

It is expected that these hospitals will receive new equipment and upgrades worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, dubbed America’s richest doctor, has a controlling stake in NantWorks. He has been actively attempting to acquire Integrity Healthcare, as well as the 5 hospitals which were formerly owned by the Daughters of Charity Health System.

Soon-Shiong Expands Genomic Testing

Dr. Soon-Shiong is no stranger to St. Vincent Medical Center, having performed the first ever implant of an artificial pancreas in a human. A brilliant student, this South African born tycoon became a medical doctor at the age of 23.

Soon-Shiong is a self-made billionaire who founded APP Pharmaceuticals, a diabetes and cancer biotechnology research firm, in 1997. In 2007, with an 80% stake, he sold the company to Frasenius SE for $4.6 billion, becoming a multibillionaire in one fell swoop.

He then founded Abraxis BioScience, a pharmaceutical research company where he co-discovered Abraxene – a blockbuster drug that treats pancreatic cancer. He later sold that company for over $3 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.

Soon-Shiong is a noted philanthropist dedicated to improving the delivery of health care in the Los Angeles area. He was the principal in providing a $100 million guarantee for the reopening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. Located in South Los Angeles, the hospital replaced the King/Drew Medical Center.

As an investor, he also has a sizable stake in Tronc, Inc., the parent company of the Los Angeles Times. He also has a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.

With the hospital acquisitions, NantWorks and its subsidiaries including NantHealth will be able to expand their work on genomic testing. One of Soon-Shiong’s bold initiatives is to create a genome database of more than 100,000 cancer patients, which may hopefully lead to a cure for the dreaded disease .

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Network Technology Gets Boost from Carbon Black Tech

Monitoring micro fractures on airplane parts and checking the physical integrity of infrastructure has now become much easier and more accurate thanks to carbon black tech.

Cheaper to build, and lighter; dense sensor net using the new material offers a cost-effective solution…

Researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a bold and innovative type of sensor based on nanocomposites. These can be used on flat or curved structural surfaces and networked to deliver data in real-time. It is a lightweight material with a low-cost fabrication and implementation method, allowing for large quantities to be used in a sensor network. The data gathered can be easily analyzed for structural flaws in trains, airplanes, ships, bridges and train tracks.

The material, discovered by Department of Mechanical Engineering, led by Professor Su Zhongqing and Professor Zhou Limi, makes use of a hybrid of conductive nanoparticles, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), 2D graphene, and carbon black. The resulting nanocomposite sensor can be applied to different sizes of structures and engineering applications, even on a moving vehicle.

Alternatively, it can be applied from a moving vehicle onto a track or any large structure, like bridges for example. The sprayable nature of the material allows it to be spread over a large area for real-time monitoring of the stresses on various materials.

Carbon Black Tech

The sensing technology is composed of the nanocomposite sensor coupled with an ultrasound actuator. The actuator uses guided ultrasonic waves (GUWs) which are picked up by the sensors. The GUWs generated as they travel through the monitored material show discrepancies when they encounter a break (a microfracture or a fissure). This leads to a wave scattering of the GUWs. And that in turn provides readings from the sensors that enable engineers, researchers, or maintenance personnel to the discover the location of the break.

Conventional sensors using ultrasound cost more than $10 each and weigh a few grams. These are made of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) and are limited in use by their cost and weight. These are usually stiff and cannot be used on curved structural surfaces. The host material is also penalized with the additional weight of numerous sensors required to do the job.

In comparison, the nanocomposite sensor is expected to cost less than $0.50 each and weigh 0.04 grams. These can also be manufactured in large volume to create a much denser sensor network than conventional ultrasound sensors. Cheaper to build, and a light sensor net using the new material offers a cost-effective solution where more data can be gathered over a wider range of structures.

The added bonus to using the nanocomposites is that the structure can be moving or in use while being monitored, eliminating downtime or the requirement to shut down operations just to do the check.

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