These days, being on holidays, I have started to study the book of Edgar Morin “Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future”. I consider Edgar Morin one of the biggest thinkers of our time and one of those few people who have understood the essence of the modern world and help with their theories to set new foundations for the future. Reading Morin during holidays is essential as one needs this calm hours that only on holidays we have, to reflect on his great thoughts on the new.
We live in an era of high speed and if there is one problem with this situation it is the fact that we no longer reflect on how we live and work or we just do it very quickly. Thinkers like Morin can, in my opinion, help any teacher understand his role in the modern world. Edgar Morin proposes this model of complexity where you have to examine everything under the light of context, globality and complexity. Very interesting indeed and in every page I find new ways to understand especially my job.
But in any case I am on holidays, so more details in the near future. Have a nice summer rest everyone…
“The next Rembrandt” is a very interesting case of Artificial Intelligence (AI) experimental use. Scientists had an AI program analyze the style and the totality of the work of the great master and then had the program decide on what could be a “new” painting that Rembrandt would have made. The result is really impressive if we consider all the technologies used until the end of the project: After deciding and creating, the computer could print its new painting on a 3D printer actually recreating even the style of Rembrandt’s brush. You can find all the relevant details in the video below.
Now the questions remain open and the answers controversial of course: what is it that we have exactly created as humans? A new way to analyze the work of an artist? A new way to see and understand art? A new way of creating? Is it creation? Are we at a stage where creation of the new will be done by the cooperation of humans and machines? And moreover, do all these applications of AI have a place at school? You, as a teacher, decide!
OK, Van Gogh never visited Paphos. It took us 127 years after his death to become the European Cultural Capital of Europe. If we only had achieved this, then! Maybe there was a possibility that he would have visited us, spent some time wandering about and, who knows, inspired by the Mediterranean air, painted a few landscapes.
As of course all the above are fiction I turned to technology to fill the gap. And here are some examples of what could have been some painting of the great Van Gogh if he had the chance to visit us!
The above images were made with the help of Deep Dream Generator at https://deepdreamgenerator.com. According to the site itself this “is a platform where you can transform photos using powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.”
Well, once again AI is here and pushes things! Maybe the result is not perfect but it is an important moment in the history of humankind when we can analyze the style of a painter and then have the machines paint like him. This is not the first time anyway, years ago the same happened with classical music and maybe a future article would be well worth to write. And let us not forget the really scientific work done on Rembrandt in “the next Rembrandt project”. All these cases oblige us to make some thoughts and put some questions. Here are some: Is this creativity? Or a new way of creativity? Or a new opportunity for creativity? Can a teacher use it in classroom as part of the art lesson and not only? Will thinking machines be our next tools to create art or our co-creators in art? Will AI be the teachers’ co-worker in the classroom? Food for thought in this brave new era.
PS The photos show Paphos castle, and a vineyard in October, Kili village, Paphos. Copyright Georgios Charalambous, all rights reserved.
As 2016 is coming to its end I cannot but reflect on the advancements that this year brought us in a technological field that is around for decades without making a significant impact: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Since the very beginning of the electronic era in the 40’s, the foundations of AI were set by great scientists as Turing (and others of course). We can say that the expectations for the advancement in the field of AI were then far more optimistic compared to what reality proved to be. During the last 2-3 years, though, we are watching a coming back of the legend, this time with real and tangible results: IBM’s Watson AI program is cooperating with researchers for cancer, Google translates with AI use, Facebook is making extensive use of AI for its users, Amazon for its clients, many games are already benefiting by AI use and even there are many startups in the field of education and especially adaptive learning. Let us not forget the creation of www.openai.com and www.partnershiponai.org , two organizations for studying the impact of AI on the human society- all the above during 2016.
Things are interesting to say the least; they are serious too. AI is what you can call a disruptive technology. It has the potential to bring everything upside down. How we work, how we learn, how we entertain, how we understand our world. It seems to me that technology is ready to change the world once more. Still struggling to adapt to computers, to the networks and to smartphones, all of a sudden we are called to go for a new round of new things. Can humanity really adapt to such an accelerated rhythm of change? It remains to be seen…
An interesting article in Economist here https://goo.gl/L16Tgd and a magnificent lecture by Michel Serres here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCBB0QEmT5g
Machine translation is improving, no doubt. But with the rise of AI, neural networks, machine learning, corpus linguistics and a number of other supporting fields we can see a real difference. I just wanted to note the improvement regarding the translation to and from English/German; a real advancement! For years I have been experimenting with the pair English/Spanish where the results were more than satisfactory. At the same time English/German did not seem to get much attention from Google translate. But now, after the announcement of Google in September that they were changing their algorithm I have noticed the difference. Their “Neural Machine Translation” system works now in eight pairs of languages that represent the languages of 35% of the global population; impressive isn’t it? The system is also reported to have achieved translation between languages not previously known to the system something which means a much more profound understanding of the human language! Impressive isn’t it!
Taking the above as fact, I believe that education has to lean over these changes and start a real discussion on language teaching especially foreign language teaching and learning. Is the methodology changing or is foreign language learning just not needed? Are the teachers of languages losing their jobs or do they have a new role in the learning process? Many such questions emerge and given the speed of change in the technological sector we have to consider these questions the sooner.
Read more about Google Translate at https://blog.google/products/translate/
A few words on the name of this blog. Exerevnisi is the Greek word for exploration. Exploration in older times was synonymous to sailing to unknown places; today it remains so, only it is done through navigation from our office; hence the title and the image. In all cases, exploration is the main process for encountering the knowledge. Enjoy!
Welcome to my blog!
This blog is created as a personal space to express my thoughts on all things technology but especially on the subject of ICT in education. The blog will, in a second role, be a kind of support for the courses that I provide to teachers under the ERASMUS+ program.
Being an ICT educator for 25 years, the everyday contact with the problems of technology regarding its use by adults has given me many opportunities to reflect; reflect on what is our purpose after all when we say that we use ICT. Too much food for thought actually as technology is a very vivid phenomenon; it is changing all the time; it is running fast; it is in fact accelerating! OK, so let’s try to follow the hard rhythms but differently: not by running but rather by thinking. This is actually my suggestion to you as a modern teacher: Stop running; Start thinking!
Welcome on board!