The future of education

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 24, 2020 5:13:38 AM

Dr Shawn


This new age of smart machines will still need humans - but arguably, they will need to be ones who can think, create and make decisions in very different ways than the workforce of today. As with the first Industrial Revolution, reinventing education will be a priority going forward, especially if we are to survive the automation-led shakeup to jobs. To find out what it might take to transform schools and learning, I spoke with Dr. Shawn K. Smith , an education futurist and chief executive officer of Modern Teacher. Shawn also sits on the board of The Futures Institute, an organization dedicated to providing global insights on complex local problems.



In this episode, you will learn:

  1. The genius of John Dewey [00.22]
  2. The four phases of society and how they impact learning [04.03]
  3. The emerging digital education ecosystem [07.34]
  4. What it takes to be a 21st century educator [14.07]
  5. How AI is changing learning and instructional models [18.36]
  6. Ethics, transparency and algorithmic risk [24.39]
  7. What skills will tomorrow’s kids need to survive the 21st century? [28.31]


CATEGORY: Education

Using AI in the war against fake news

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 27, 2020 8:41:39 AM



Professor Tim Tangherlini calls himself a computational folklorist. Like many fields of research lately, folklore is a field where both the tools and objects of study are being profoundly reimagined by AI. I came across Professor Tangherlini's work after reading a research paper that he and his team published on using AI to study the structure and dissemination of conspiracy theories. Their research points the way to strategies that might defeat fake news by explaining how the elements of a conspiracy narrative come together and how they can also quickly fragment if some key parts are removed or challenged. 


Professor Tangherlini is currently in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley, where he also serves as graduate advisor in the Folklore program. He has worked on computational approaches to stories and storytelling over the past three decades. Under the auspices of the NSF's Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, he co-directed a program on Culture Analytics, as well as an NEH Institute on Network Analysis for the Humanities. He is the author of several books, and dozens of articles. He has done extensive fieldwork on storytelling among paramedics, and shamanism in South Korea, as well as archival work on rural 19th century Denmark. His current work focuses on generative models of common story genres such as legend, rumor, personal experience narratives, and conspiracy theories.



In this episode, you will learn


  1. How has technology is changing the way we think about stories, mythology, and culture (00.06)
  2. What Tim and his team learned from using AI to study the Pizzagate and Bridgegate conspiracies (09:40)
  3. Why crowdsourcing and conspiracy may be two sides of the same coin (21:11)
  4. The dangers of using AI to weaponize misinformation (23:41)
  5. The future of culture analytics, computational folkloristics, and how algorithmic feeds shape our consensual reality (25:31)

CATEGORY: Technology

What leaders get most wrong about disruption

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 20, 2020 6:41:17 AM



We talk about disruption all the time, but are we ready to embrace what that really means? Many companies set disruption as their goal, and even believe that by shaking up their market, they will achieve high levels of growth. For Charlene Li, leaders have all it all backwards. Disruption doesn't create growth; instead, growth creates disruption.


Charlene Li is the author of six books on innovation, digital transformation and leadership, including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership and co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Groundswell. Her latest book is the bestseller The Disruption Mindset. She is the Founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a disruptive analyst firm acquired in 2015 by Prophet. Named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company, Charlene is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.



In this episode, you will learn

  1. Newspapers, the first Internet Boom and why traditional media struggled to embrace the future (00:21)
  2. Why creating an innovation division may by counterproductive (05:09)
  3. How Adobe pulled off a disruptive transformation without losing their business (06:00)
  4. The art of surviving a big bet, and how T-Mobile made theirs (07:48)
  5. Why leaders should focus on their future customers, and where Facebook got it right and Myspace got it wrong (09:41)
  6. How the pandemic changed the way we think about disruption (15:01)
  7. The impact of disruption on jobs (19:50)
  8. What it takes to create a movement for change in your organization (21:50)

CATEGORY: Leadership

The future of open source in an AI-powered world

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 13, 2020 4:04:10 AM

Rodrigo Mendoza


Open source technology is at the heart of everything we do. When we browse the Web, use our smartphones, or share content on social media - open software and systems are silently working behind the scenes. How did open source go from being a community of hobbyists and something that Steve Ballmer famously branded ‘a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches’, to a sophisticated economy of value and the basis of our Algorithmic Age?

To explore this question and others, I spoke with Rodrigo Mendoza. Rodrigo is co-founder and CEO of Quine, a company building hyper-fluid interfaces between software developers and the labour markets. Previous to Quine, Rodrigo was an academic, a venture capital professional, and a freelance data-scientist. Rodrigo holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Oxford, where he was also a postdoctoral researcher in Machine Learning.

I came across Rodrigo from a fascinating article he wrote on the open source community, which I highly recommend that you read. As he writes, ‘Developers have eaten the world. Their work has not only become a main driver for economic expansion, but a key supporting vector for civilization.’



In this episode, you will learn

  1. The origins of the open source movement and why software has eaten the world(2:07)
  2. The software economy and how open source produces economic value at scale (07:24)
  3. The rise of GitHub and marketplaces for coding talent (09:55)
  4. Why open source has become the new battle-ground where companies signal influence, creativity, and innovation (13:16)
  5. How ideas from open source like version control will influence other areas of work and collaboration, other than coding (21:48)

CATEGORY: Technology

AI and the future of gaming

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 6, 2020 6:42:49 AM

Nick Walton


My earliest memory of using a computer was in the early eighties, playing text adventures like Zork or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on an Apple II computer. Those early games had no graphics, limited commands and often infuriating bugs - and yet they provided a tantalizing glimpse of the power of computers to create an immersive world (even with just text!) Thirty years later, it seems appropriate that one of the first examples of an AI-powered game is once again a text adventure. In this week’s podcast, I talk with Nick Walton, who created AI Dungeon, an AI-generated game that utilizes GPT-3, a text transformer engine built by OpenAI.

Nick is CTO and Co-Founder at Latitude. He has been working on deep learning technology for the last several years, working at autonomous vehicle companies and in a deep learning research lab at Brigham Young University. As I’ve written about previously, we are just at the beginning of a new era of more natural, intuitive computer interfaces powered by AI. With 175 billion parameters, and trained at a cost of over $12 million, OpenAI’s GPT-3 is the most powerful language model ever. What makes AI Dungeon so interesting and relevant to the near future, is that it demonstrates the radical creativity that is possible when you combine a good idea with the heavy lifting of a Cloud AI system that can be generally applied to multiple use cases.



In this episode, you will learn

  1. An introduction to AI Dungeon, how it works and how it began (3.40)
  2. Text transformers explained, and why GPT-3 is a game-changer (7:00)
  3. Symbolic AI, knowledge and mental models (12:00)
  4. How AI will shape the future of games (14:08)
  5. The infrastructure and engineering challenges of running massive AI models in the Cloud (22:17)