Tech Literacy Today

Future of work startups, fintech and blockchain are taking up a lot of my conversations these days.  That’s on top of regular consulting and working on projects in augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. I don’t code. I don’t invent. I don’t project manage the making of software or technology products.  But I am tech literate.

Interestingly definitions of what that means vary.  There are many like this, IGI Global says it’s “the ability to effectively use technology to access, evaluate, integrate, create and communicate information to enhance the learning process through problem-solving and critical thinking”.  I would suggest there are broader, applicable definitions today since nearly all of us are surrounded by technology in everything we do from driving a car to researching a term paper.

After a discussion recently,  a friend  sent this take by Joyce Shen in an article she wrote, “Let’s talk about tech literacy.” Fantastic.  In sharing videos from  a Lehigh University challenge held at Carnegie Mellon University, she noted this about the students:

“The students did not just talk about the technology or coding, they talked about problems and impact — -specifically, the value to have real time streaming data capturing energy consumption from buildings and the value of having blockchain to secure and process certain information. The students explained concepts clearly for techies and non-techies alike, in an applied way.  That is tech literacy”.

It’s a new day.  We all need to understand basics about operating systems, coding languages, how it’s made, who makes it, how it’s used and so on. It’s critical as we become more dependent on technology that larger percentages of the population understand what’s happening to us and for us.

 

 

Augmented World Expo 2018: Future of Work!

AWE 2018, Santa Clara, CA

 

It was an extraordinary three days at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Thousands descended to talk about our increasingly augmented world.  Founders, creators, entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, corporates, students, and startups lead and participated in robust conversations focused on AR Cloud, blockchain, and storytelling in AR.

 

 

Epson

I was impressed by the new Epson mixed reality glasses.  The field of view was 23-degrees, but what I loved was the comfort level. And there were some really interesting companies, the vast majority building products and services  in the Future of Work categories of healthcare, retail, security and marketing.

Some of the companies I found most impressive:  @obsessVR  @PerioSim @Xeste.io @CameraIQ #NeuroRehabVR #WallAR.

AWE announced they’ve added a conference in Israel this Fall.

AWE: Augmented World Expo 2018

I’m about 32-thousand feet in the air flying over middle America heading to San Francisco to the Augmented World Expo (AWE) conference. It’s an enormous gathering, thousands of people will be descending from around the world to talk about, learn, network with people focused in some way on augmented reality and virtual reality among so many other emerging technology.  This is heaven for those of use pushing these new technologies into products and lobbying for roads to commercialization. I will be leading a fireside chat with engineer and venture capitalist Nathanial Krasnoff of Wildcat Ventures where we talk about who’s making AR, who should be and what it’s going to take to win.  Stay tuned for a recap.

Vermont Mandates Your Data Privacy

Vermont Attorney General’s Website

Vermont has quietly done something no other state or federal entity has managed in the middle of global headlines about data privacy.  The legislature passed a data broker law,  requiring sellers of consumer personal data to register, maintain certain standards and if they don’t potentially face serious consequences.

These are brokers most consumers have never heard of because the companies serve businesses not individuals. I’ve heard these brokers referred to as modern day “garbage sifters.” Before the internet,  they were going through your garbage for signs of what you buy, when, what medications, banks and that the household used so they could generate a profile and sell it to companies.

There was a line in one of the articles about the landmark law byTechCrunch  that really stuck me:

“Data brokers have been quietly supplying everyone with your personal information for a long time. And advertising is the least of its applications: this data is used for informing shadow credit scores, restricting services and offers to certain classes of people, setting terms of loans, and more”.

For all the decades of laws outlawing redlining (where banks cannot discriminate based on where you live, often racially motivated), protecting our medical privacy rights (e.x. HIPAA Privacy Rules ) and consumer credit protection laws, are we now back to square one?  How can there be zero accountability to the ever growing sources of data that may or may not be accurate, especially as new predictive algorithmic tools claim to make “scientific” conclusions based on the piles of information they collect?

We should all pay attention to how this law unfolds in Vermont.

Living The Future

“When can I make some artificial intelligence?” she asked.

My daughter recently opened a conversation asking when she could start making artificial intelligence (AI). It was a Sunday evening and she was finishing some homework around 7:30p.m.;  work that could  have easily been done on Saturday, but I digress.  I had an idea of where this was heading, but wanting to make sure, I asked why she wanted to know.  Head down, pencil moving, without missing a beat, she says,  “I want to know when I can make some AI to do my math homework, all of it at once.”

Aright then.  Siobhan is nine.   Was I surprised by this question, no. She sees AI in shows online and reads about it fictional worlds and in her non-fiction books on her ipad.   She understands the basics,  this thing called AI can, does and will make her life easier.

DASH ROBOT

And she’s thinking about ways to speed up that process, for applications that will help her out right now.  She may be young, but she’s hardly alone. From students to CEOs, millions of people right now, today are thinking about what AI is or can be, how to use it, when and increasingly, more importantly who can make.

SKYKING Mini Drones

This conversation with my daughter is taking place in a home shared with two robots-Dash and MiPtwo SKYKING Mini Drones, iPhones, iPads, a Samsung Gear VR headset, Samsung Galaxy phones and an assortment of other pieces of technology; some of which did not exist on the consumer market even 5 years ago.  We are living in the future right now.   These emerging technologies have working applications. They work and thousands and thousands all over the world are working to make them work better.    And while it’s real hard to imagine what will be hanging out in our homes ten years from now, we do know the tech is developing rapidly.  To put it all in context lets not forget the iPhone was born to consumers in 2007, barely eleven years ago.

MiP WowWee Mini Robot

 

While we wrestle with the continuum of mixed emotions that change often triggers, let’s not forget that right now, today, we are living parts of what the future will bring.