GVA © 2017

22 January, Mon
New report by GVA’s partner Pavel Luksha “Skills of the Future: How to Thrive in the Complex New World”

GVA’s partner Pavel Luksha, founder Global Education Futures and professor at Moscow School of Management, has a new report out on what graduates should know and be able to do. “Skills of the Future: How to Thrive in the Complex New World” was developed with WorldSkills Russia during sessions of the Atlas of Emerging Jobs project. The report is a thoughtful review of global trends, changes in work and concludes with implications for education. Not a continuation of the present, the authors “believe that mankind should take a serious approach towards the formation of a desired image of the future.”

The report summarizes key trends:

  • Technology: digitization of all areas of life, automation and robotization
  • Social: demographic changes; formation of a network society
  • Technosocial: globalization; environmentalization
  • Meta-trend: acceleration

The report includes a competent 30 page summary of what’s happening in tech and society with a good discussion of environmental risks.  It urges Bio-awareness and “the ability to think eco-systemically” across all sectors of the economy.”

The report predicts that in the complex new world there will be:

  • No professions for which skills are acquired at a young age and in the future are not retrained;
  • No simple jobs, meaning the execution of routine operations on a conveyor;
  • No linear hierarchy where the subordinate has no possibility of making a decision and all responsibility falls to management;
  • No routine work behind the computer when it is clear what, from where and to where to copy;
  • No clear boundaries between personal and working time;
  • Many new occupations for which there is still no name and which will be constantly changing;
  • Work requiring tuning and training in complex systems;
  • Horizontal teams working on a common goal;
  • Jobs in virtual reality and augmented reality will become a common phenomenon;
  • An opportunity and even a need to combine creative and professional endeavors.

Skills for the Future includes a sector by sector review noting the manufacturing trend of uniting production and the services sector (what the OECD called manu-services) and creating a common product experience. In services, in the face of increasing digitalization and automation, the demand for services from which clients have real contact with a person will grow. In the knowledge economy, the key trend changing the workplace landscape will not be the replacement of humans by computers, but the growth of the complexity of tasks.

Luksha and his co-authors see new sectors emerging:

  • Creative economy: new technologies, in particular, technologies for digital processing of sound and images, technologies of augmented and virtual realities;
  • Cybereconomy: e-sports, video blogging, the provision of services in online mass games;
  • Human services: teaching, mentoring, elder care;
  • New tech: medicine, robotics, biotech, Neurotech, and AI systems; 
  • Environment: problems solving and applying new technology.

To organize education, recognizing changes that took place in the 21st century, the authors suggest using a four-layer skill model:

  • Context-specific skills are developed and applied in a specific context. These can be professional skills (programming in a specific language), physical skills (driving a car) or social skills (video blogging);
  • Cross-contextual skills are those that can be applied in a larger domain of social or personal activities: the ability to read and write, time-management skills and teamwork skills;
  • Meta-skills are primarily different modes of operating objects in our mind or in the physical world, very close to what Dr. Howard Gardner called “multiple intelligences” or “intelligence modalities,” ranging from logical-mathematical to bodily-kinesthetic and interpersonal;
  • Existential skills that can be universally applied throughout the lifetime and in different living contexts of an individual. They include the ability to set goals and achieve them (willpower), self-awareness/self-reflection (meta-knowledge), the ability to learn and relearn (self-development).

The report stresses the importance of emotional intelligence–the ability to cooperate with others in a person-centered economy.

Self-management was also stressed– the ability to manage attention, to study and choose personal learning strategies and to pick reliable information sources.

Creativity–the ability to find unconventional solutions–grows in importance particularly as related to the need for an eco-oriented civilization.

Luksha and colleagues see schools, technical colleges and universities becoming lifelong learning hubs hosting experiences of different durations (very brief to very long) and different intensity in different styles blending local and global, online and face to face.

Three spheres which will become an integral part of the educational ecosystem:

  • Global learning platforms: Mobile, multimedia, immersive experiences;
  • City formats: Lifelong learning takes place in a city environment and not only in schools and universities: in city centers, fitness clubs, parks, during city excursions, etc.
  • Communities of practice: share common interests and support each other in improving and transferring skills in their area of interests.

The “future economic structure will differ significantly from the current one.” The report predicts disappearing jobs and a medium-term global labor market failure and large-scale structural unemployment.

Developed countries will adapt to this fourth industrial revolution (4IR, see World Bank discussion) by incorporating additive manufacturing, robotics and renewable energy. Luksha and colleagues worry that underdeveloped economies don’t have a chance–the “complexity barrier” will create a more significant divide between countries, regions and social strata than all the ones we have experienced so far, such as a digital divide, global income inequality, or the North-South divide). They acknowledge that “politicians and scientists do not dare start a serious discussion” on the issue of growing inequality but that we will be forced to in the coming decades.

In response, the authors think some regions will try to pump the breaks (e.g., slow expansion of autonomous vehicles), some will try to stimulate new kinds of jobs, others will institute a universal basic income.

On a more basic level, the report suggests that meaning will be the antidote to complexity. “Humanity has to learn how to harmonize its desires in order to maintain technological, social and ecological balance in the world. Even if we manage to avoid global military conflicts, accidental or provoked technogenic disasters, we still face the most difficult task of harmonizing our standard of living with the capabilities of the planet.”

The authors urge community conversations that outline sustainable scenarios (preferably non-catastrophic) and discussion of education for a complex society.

Source: www.gettingsmart.com

July 2017
17 July, Monday
Elon Musk Lays Out Worst-Case Scenario for AI Threat

Powerful technology will threaten all human jobs, could even spark a war, Tesla CEO says

14 July, Friday
High-speed Hyperloop project ready for key test in Nevada

Engineers will soon conduct a crucial test of a futuristic technology championed by entrepreneur Elon Musk that seeks to revolutionize transportation by sending passengers and cargo packed into pods through an intercity system of vacuum tubes.

13 July, Thursday
Uber, Yandex combine ridesharing and UberEATS in Russian markets in a $3.72B JV

Uber announced that it will be combining its rides-on-demand business and UberEATS, its food ordering and delivery business, in Russia and neighboring markets, with Yandex.Taxi, the ridesharing business.

12 July, Wednesday
Microsoft's new iPhone app narrates the world for blind people

The app uses AI to recognize people, objects, and scenes

07 July, Friday
Tesla will build world’s largest battery storage facility for Australian wind farm

Tesla will up its game in the renewable energy storage market with the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world, to be built for Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, with a completion date of December 1, 2017. 

05 July, Wednesday
Amazon’s Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills — the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September.

June 2017
29 June, Thursday
Instagram now uses AI to block offensive comments

Instagram is introducing an enhanced comment filter today meant to wipe out nasty remarks using AI. 

28 June, Wednesday
Russia and Brazil aim to develop high tech partnerships

During official talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Michel Temer, in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the cooperation between the two countries in the field of technologies.

Putin noted that Russia and Brazil already cooperate closely in space exploration and that there are plans to develop cooperation in Earth monitoring from space.

27 June, Tuesday
Apple acquires SMI eye-tracking company

In a move that is sure to stoke rumors about Apple’s future work in augmented and virtual reality technologies, Apple has acquired SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), an eye-tracking firm, MacRumors reports.

22 June, Thursday
X-Ray Eyes in the Sky

UCSB researchers have proposed a new method for 3D through-wall imaging that utilizes drones and WiFi

21 June, Wednesday
Why Atlanta is a great place for startups

Atlanta has long been a hub for big companies—think Home Depot, UPS, Cisco, and Coca-Cola—and now it’s quickly becoming the tech startup center of the South

20 June, Tuesday
Global risk analysis gets an artificial intelligence upgrade with GeoQuant

The global risk analysis used by big banks, hedge funds, and governments to inform their decision-making around everything from foreign currency investment to foreign aid is getting the machine learning treatment with the launch of the new startup GeoQuant.

May 2017
31 May, Wednesday
Elon Musk's Solar Roofs Have Some Serious (and Seriously Cheap) Competition

A team of researchers in Australia has created a solution that could make solar energy far more accessible.

25 May, Thursday
Airbnb is running its own internal university to teach data science

Tech companies, and increasingly even non-tech companies, are struggling with the fact that there are not enough trained data scientists to fill market demand. 

23 May, Tuesday
IKEA launches online sales and builds giant distribution center in Russia

Illustrating the appeal of the Russian e-commerce market, IKEA Russia has made a substantial part of its assortment available online to the inhabitants of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and their surrounding areas, as well as of several cities of Siberia, the Far East, the Central and Northwestern federal districts.

22 May, Monday
2017 VC Market: U.S. Startup Investment Picks Up In Q1

U.S. startup investment activity somewhat rebounded after a downturn late last year, with larger rounds and an improving environment for tech IPOs. However, funding totals are still below the highs set several quarters ago...

18 May, Thursday
Russian programing language - Kotlin - on Android. Now official

Today, at the Google I/O keynote, the Android team announced first-class support for Kotlin. We believe this is a great step for Kotlin, and fantastic news for Android developers as well as the rest of our community. We’re thrilled with the opportunities this opens up.

17 May, Wednesday
The thaw of the Russian venture market

From the seed stage to maturity deals, venture investment amounted to $894 million last year, up from just $383 million in 2015. “Market growth was essentially driven by a dramatic increase in expansion deals, whereas the volume of seed- and startup-stage deals fell to new lows,” notes Arseniy Dabbakh of RG Partners

16 May, Tuesday
Mid-sized Japanese firms invest in robots and automation due to labor shortage

Desperate to overcome Japan’s growing shortage of labor, mid-sized companies are planning to buy robots and other equipment to automate a wide range of tasks, including manufacturing, earthmoving and hotel room service.

According to a Bank of Japan survey, companies with share capital of 100 million yen to 1 billion yen plan to boost investment in the fiscal year that started in April by 17.5 percent, the highest level on record.

15 May, Monday
Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars

SAN FRANCISCO — As the race to bring self-driving vehicles to the public intensifies, two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent players are teaming up.