Snow Days

Sometimes the best way to innovate inside the classroom is to focus on what happens outside of it. It seems that this year we have had an abundance of snow days. A usually celebrated day might be on its way out. As school moves more to the online sector it becomes easier to teach classes while not at school. This also avoids the make up days at the end of the school year that take away from summer vacations.

There are many positives to eliminating snow days. It allows college level classes to stay on pace. Advanced Placement classes have a set testing day that isn’t adjusted due to snow days. Having an online element where kids can check in and get instruction on days where they would have been at school is very helpful. If you lose a day due to snow it causes major problems in lesson plans. Teachers from Neenah High School, in Wisconsin have experienced 5 snow days this year. They have described the ability to go online and teach as a “life save” because of how it allows them to stay on pace.

At the end of the day some students may be upset that they no longer get a free day off in the middle of the week but with this loss they have the potential to gain in other areas. Test scores and overall understanding of the topic will go up due to being able to learn without condensing lessons.

Retail meets AI

As AI continues to flourish and grow in today’s expanding society, we see multiple industries trying to incorporate it into their business model. Today we are focusing on the retail industry. Retailers today are struggling to adapt to expanding fulfillment and unlimited selection. In the 2019 Retail C-Suite Viewpoint Survey conducted in collaboration with Microsoft it was found that big businesses view AI as a possible solution to these issues. Artificial Intelligence can create the ability to visualize all current inventory of these retail stores creating a better customer experience and increasing the efficiency of the supply chain. 

Imagine being able to walk into a store and see exactly how much of each item there is in stock and where to find it. This is what AI is promising to give us. A fast easy way to do any sort of shopping that we would desire. Cutting down the amount of time we would have to spend searching the store for one single item.  Expect to be seeing innovations such as these in years to come.

AI Integration Overseas

Artificial Intelligence can have a significant impact in the future of education. I’m not suggesting that we cut traditional teaches out of classrooms or even that a robot acts as the primary teacher. I am simply suggesting to integrate different sorts of programs that would improve the classroom efficiency.

The best example of this is in India. A study done by Tracxn, a data firm, suggests that 300 Indian Startups currently provide AI as their main product. Around 11% are based in the education sector. Complete curriculum customization is what India is striding for. Vikas Singh MD shows that this is true when he says, “Though it is still too soon to start seeing robotics in classrooms, AI is already becoming an effective teaching tool because of its ability to adapt and offer customized curricula. AI-enabled tools help assess an individual’s current level of understanding, identify gaps and offer tailored suggestions, just like a teacher would.”

Another way that India is integrating AI into the classrooms is through the app Toppr. Toppr is an app that focuses on keeping student engagement in lessons is higher. They accomplish this through the heavy use of AI focused on providing fully customizable lessons from grades five through twelve. Toppr has shown nearly instant results as well. The average qualification rate of the JEE, an entrance examination conducted for various engineering schools in India, shot up from 22% to 36% and continues to rise. It is an obvious decision to continue to work and improve on AI for the betterment of society. 


AI’s Massive Impacts on Health Care

There is always room to improve in the medical field. Artificial intelligence is the next big thing in health care in America. At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2019 it seemed that AI was going to be the focus in the future of healthcare.

One area they focused on was Wearable items and at home surveillance systems. Everybody carries around a cell phone with them and the growth in smart watches has been exponential in the last few years. The healthcare industry sees a way to capitalize on this aspect. This would provide everybody with more convenient and cheaper health care. This provides people with medical advice from wherever they are. Another place that can be approved is the data collection and care patients receive when they leave the hospital. This is another place that experts expect advancements to happen in healthcare. New surveillance systems can help develop greater connections with patients and develop safer habits.

It is no question that in the next few years we will be advancing in the medical field. The question is how fast and what exactly it will cost. Will general healthcare costs rise to help provide funding for these? Will we have to sacrifice some of our privacy to make sure that we are safe and get better health care? Only time can answer these questions.

AI Surveillance in Schools

Artificial Intelligence is posing a new positive to school systems around the country. The increased scrutiny of safety of schools in America is causing a void that needs to be filled. Artificial Intelligence may be the answer to this problem.

Schools are now using facial recognition, LPRs, microphones, and have even thrown around the idea of robots that patrol the hallways. These systems are far more accurate than the usual use of one or two security guards that patrol and watch live camera feeds all day. These new AI uses do things such as detecting weather a student should or should not be in the hallway at any given moment and send a signal to administration if it rules that the student is breaking any rules.

Another way that AI is being used for surveillance is in the students computers. Most schools in America have or will be providing students with individual computers. This poses problems such as cyber bullying and other inappropriate behaviors online. This brings the ability to monitor what each individual student is doing at any time of the day. Being able to flag keywords or phrases that would allude to things such as elf-harm, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior and be able to send an alert to people to address this issue. This provides quick and easy solutions to behaviors that would usually have to be reported by another student. AI is truly the next great way to make schools a safer place to learn. 

New AI Legislation

Monday brought a surprise to everyone in the tech industry. Through a telephone briefing Donald Trump proposed the idea of signing an executive order that would direct resources and funnel investment into the artificial intelligence sector of the economy. The new title of this order will be Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence. The order will direct agencies to focus resources towards AI, as well as, increasing access to federal information.

This brings up the big question that everyone has been asking, “How are we going to pay for these investments?” As of right now no announcement has been made on how this will be funded. Besides the fact that we do not know where the funding is coming from, we still have a lot of unanswered questions. How will the government re-assign resources to prioritize AI? What is the time frame of the order where we can expect to see results? Who will be responsible for enforcing this order?

Only time will tell what this plan will do for the future of AI. This is a good launching platform for America to take a leadership position in the global Artificial Intelligence Arena.

Facebook/Intel AI Team Up

facebook-intel-AI-chipA new partnership has been created in the world of artificial intelligence. As of January 15th, 2019 Intel and Facebook have entered into a partnership to develop the next big thing in the artificial intelligence world. Facebook has already achieved uses for AI such as tagging people in photos, translation of posts, and filtering content on their site. However, even with these developments that Facebook has already made the partnership chip is far behind one of their biggest competitors in Nvidia.

The new Intel/Facebook chip has set out to develop a cheaper more efficient form of AI capable of revolutionizing machinery in the future. However, these claims are shrouded in mystery. Neither Intel nor Facebook have answered questions about said partnership. There have been no reports of early performance numbers or information about the new AI. Facebook has not addressed any questions about the partnership with Intel. We will see the answer to most of our questions soon however with the Intel/Facebook AI set to be released late in 2019.