AI@School: the Why and How ?

Teaching Artificial Intelligence at School: The why and how? 

The discourse on AI and allied technologies has moved away from whether it is friend or foe to vying for a leadership position. 

Vladimir Putin on September 1st 2017, in an open lesson of 45 minutes spoke to an audience exceeding a million children, and told them that “the future belongs to artificial intelligence,” and whoever masters it first will rule the world.

While there is competition between nations on the number of patents they have in the field, and the number of AI professionals they have, China has made a strategic move of a massive teaching of AI to its School students. 

Canada has also created an AI curriculum for its School students delivered online. The US also has a program aimed at School children and Finland has created an AI awareness program open to anyone anywhere. 

Sir John Ziman began the Preface of his well known book “ Principles of the Theory of Solids” (1964 edition),with the following opening lines:

“ The frontiers of knowledge ( to coin a phrase) are always on the move. Today’s discovery will tomorrow be part of the mental furniture of every research worker. By the end of next week it will be in every course of graduate lectures . Within a month there will be a clamour to have it in the undergraduate curriculum. Next year, I do believe, it will seem so commonplace that it may be assumed to be known to every schoolboy.”

Those words are squarely applicable today to the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,and it is now reasonably clear that our school children must be acquainted with the key concepts and aware of  the latest tools in the field of AI. 

The mobile revolution has convincingly demonstrated that this nation can use self and peer learning to adopt mobile and web technologies. Awareness, adoption and internalisation of AI should also be a people’s movement. Already there are a number of Smartphones which have AI chips in them, and in the foreseeable future we may expect AI empowered mobile phones to be ubiquitous. And with devices such as Amazon Deeplens and Alexa, the use and applications of AI will become commonplace. 

We, a group of School teachers teaching Physics, Mathematics and Computing in association with some University academics and industry practitioners have created a complete ecosystem for a massive AI awareness that could with the support of informed parents, passionate teachers and motivated learners prepare our young to play an important role in the 4th Industrial Age driven by Artificial Intelligence and allied technologies of AR, VR, Blockchain, IoT, 3D printing…….

We have developed a 6 month program that is designed for all students of Class 11 and 12 to start exploring the field of  AI.

In keeping with the spirit of the 4th Industrial Age, it is delivered on mobile Smartphones, encouraging self-directed learning spirit of a lifelong learner, consensual learning, non-linear learning and badges for credentialing. 

The program is named : “Learning to Learn AI/ML”. 

The purpose of this program is twofold: one to introduce the young to the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and the other to guide them to become more aware self-learners who can continue to learn more about the field. The teaching-learning model is a combination of Flipped Learning and heutagogy with the goal of ‘playful exploration’ of the field. 

Please watch this video on YouTube on the same topic :

We have developed a list of 24 topics, structured as 6 groups/clusters) with 4 topics each; and one week devoted to each topic. 

The first cohort is planned to run from July 2019 to December 2019. After that a new cohort will be created on the first Monday of every month. 

This is an intensive academic program that a student covers in 24 weeks and is meant for high ability and highly motivated learners. Not meant for the faint hearted struggling with the regular mandated course load. 

Teaching coding ( in Python) is not included here as there is already a course dedicated to this in the curriculum. 

Cluster 1: Foundations: 

Module 1.1: Why Learn AI ?

Module 1.2: Smart Learning 

Module 1.3: Computational Thinking 

Module 1.4: AI and the future of work in the Gig economy 

Cluster 2:  The Landscape of AI 

Module 2.1: The Turing test: Meaning of narrow AI and AGI 

Module 2.2: Swarm Intelligence 

Module 2.3: Rule based expert systems 

Module 2.4: Other emerging technologies: 3D Printing, Sensor Technologies, IoT, Blockchains, AR/VR 

Cluster 3: Mathematics for AI/ML: 

Module 3.1: Mathematical Modelling 

Module 3.2: Linear Algebra 

Module 3.3: Calculus for Machine Learning 

Module 3.4: Bayesian Machine Learning 

Cluster 4: Machine Learning Basics: 

Module 4.1: Learning algorithms 

Module 4.2: Decision Tree Learning 

Module 4.3: Classification 

 Module 4.4: Regression 

Cluster 5: Deep Learning: 

Module 5.1: Neural Networks

Module 5.2: Basics of Neuroscience 

Module 5.3: Artificial Neural Networks 

Module 5.4: A survey of current applications of Deep Learning and future trends 

Cluster 6: AI applications: 

Module 6.1: Image and  Object recognition and manipulation 

Module 6.2: Speech generation and recognition : chatbots 

Module 6.3: Recommendation Engines  and Predictive Models : fake news 

Module 6.4: AI and ethics 

AI will be an integral part of our children’s future. The term AI may sound scary, with its possibilities of massive job losses and due to association with killer robots in science fiction. Another misconception is that AI is too complex for schoolchildren. But for digital natives born in the 21st Century it may not be so. 

There are several benefits of teaching AI to school children. It fosters computational Thinking as a Complex Problem Solving skill, promotes data proficiency and incites and instigates questions about our humanity. 

About a hundred years ago, while creating the BHU, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya expressed his views on technical education in the following words: “Even if we begin to-morrow the Technical Education of all the youth of twelve years of age who have received sound elementary education, it will take seven years before these young men can commence the practical business of life, and then they will form but an insignificant minority in an uneducated mass. It will take fifteen years before those children who have not yet begun to receive an elementary education shall have passed from the age of 7 to 21 and represent a completely trained generation; and even then they will find less than half of their comrades educated.”

I am sure he would be delighted to see today’s School Children learning about Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D printing, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Deep Learning, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

It is sometimes said that the best time to learn AI was 5 years ago. The second best time is now. So let’s not wait further; let’s get started.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Year Action Plans:

New Year Action Plans:

1: The Backdrop:

It is just about 16 days for the New Year to begin. In about 300 hours, ‘ at the stroke of the midnight hour’ a New Year (2019) will begin. It is the precursor to year 2020 which has been talked about by so many people for so long and it is eventually here. The World Economic Forum had several years back created a list of skills required in the year 2020 and compared it with the skills that were important in the year 2015. The list of top 10 skills for 2020 and beyond is : Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity, People management, co-ordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making, Service Orientation, Negotiation skills and cognitive Flexibility.

There was a shift in the relative importance of some, and inclusion of something completely new such as “ Cognitive Flexibility”. 

The fourth industrial revolution, brought on by the advent of the Artificial Intelligence Age, demands that learners  embrace an education revolution too. Even if their Institutions lag behind. 

Sir Anthony Seldon in his recent book “ The fourth education revolution” refers to education as the Cinderella in the story of AI. 

Andrew Ng has famously said that “ AI is the new electricity”. 

And it is important that we are not electrocuted; also not receive a serious shock. The severity of the shock will depend on whether we are barefoot with wet feet or at least are protecting ourselves with rubber, wooden or other protective gear. 

Another metaphor divides us into digital natives and digital migrants. But there is a third category, that of ‘digital refugees’, who are being displaced in large numbers by the accelerating digital transformations. And they are not confined to a specific geography or region ( rural/urban). The phrase ‘urban naxalite’ may or may not be a myth, but the ‘urban digital refugee’ is very much a reality. 

It is now 3 years since Klaus Schwab drew attention to the arrival of the 4th Industrial Age, and the World Economic Forum had listed the most important skills needed in the year 2020 and beyond.

In the meantime, China ( )  has created a compulsory program on teaching AI to all its School Children. In Russia, Putin ( ) has exhorted it’s children that leadership in AI is critical to the future. 

Canada also has an online course ( which it’s School Children can pursue. 

Finland (  has created an AI awareness course, accessible to anyone in the world. The USA has a “ AI in a box” solution ( for its School children. 

These and many other countries are on an aggressive overdrive to have a new generation of their youth well prepared for the future.

After exploring the field for more than 2 years and having experimented with several models of teaching with Whatsapp on mobile phones, a variety of topics to different target groups, we are offering from January 2019, we are now ready to offer a set of 42 courses, across 4 tracks, that will be available every month. 

The design is such that there is very little waiting before one can start pursuing a course of interest. There are 8 courses of 1 day each duration that can be done the very next day, 16 courses that can be done during the coming weekend, and 18 that can be done during the coming week. And there is no minimum group size for a course to be delivered. We have done so in the past, and will continue to do so in the future : to deliver a course, even if only one student is enrolled for a particular course. 

These courses are structured as 4 strands/ tracks, as follows:

A: The Technology Track

The focus here is on creating an awareness of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, but instead of focussing only on the prevalent methods of today, an attempt is made to create a strong foundation, appreciating the concepts and an appreciation of the allied and future developments. 

B: The lifelong learning Track:

The future is not so much about what you know as about what you can know, mostly as a self-directed learner seeking knowledge from resources, mentors and communities of practice. In this Strand we have a course on educational matters for parents and two courses for educators, one on using Whatsapp and the other about impact about impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in education.

C: The Entrepreneurial Track:

It is now well accepted that an Entrepreneurial disposition and spirit is desirable not only in the young but also the established who are likely to pursue multiple careers and different roles during their long lives. Lifelong learning will of course be essential.

D: The Humanics Track:

As Machines become more intelligent, our human abilities will become more important for us to live responsibly to protect the Planet earth as well as its inhabitants. Humans will have to play very important roles, and just because a certain technology has been developed or is feasible, would not automatically imply its unbridled use. 

A learner may choose a personalised track with a suitable mix of becoming a better learner, an entrepreneur and technology awareness courses that best suit the needs of the learner. 

2: The Technology Track:

To be  ready and prepared for the new opportunities ahead, there is  need for an early orientation and awareness, at all stages of life beginning from School and continuing to the post-retirement years. 

Whether one pursues BA, B.Sc, B.Com, Medicine, Law or Business Management an awareness and basic understanding of the field will be a competitive advantage.

We have developed a learning ecosystem for getting equipped for the AI age starting at the School level itself.

The first course in this trajectory is a one day course  on “ Why Learn AI?”. This is a course for everyone to get initiated to the field and have a better appreciation on the specific path that a learner would want to follow. This is the spirit of ‘ consensual learning’ where the learner has some idea of what is to be learnt?

This will get the learner interested in both the tracks of lifelong learning as well as knowledge and practice of Artificial Intelligence.

This can be followed up by a number of modules, from the following lists. 

Technology Strand:

1 day courses: any day

TS01: Why Learn AI?

TS02: How to learn AI/ML ( on your own)?

Weekend Courses:

TS03: Artificial Intelligence: it’s nature and future ( 1st weekend of every month)

TS04: Knowledge Representation ( 2nd weekend every month)

TS05: The Genes, DNA and why it matters ? (3rd weekend of every month)

TS06: Complexity: the challenge of the 21st Century (4th weekend of every month)

Weeklong Courses:

TS07: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence (1st week of every month)

TS08:Computational Thinking (2nd week of every month)

TS09:Basics of Neuroscience ( 3rd week of every month)

TS10:Machine Learning ,Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks (4th week of every moth) 

TS11: Quantum Computing (also in the 4th week of the month)

3: The lifelong learning track:

To be successful in the future, one has to evolve to a lifelong self-directed learner. It has even been remarked “ that the future of work is learning”.  

1 day Courses : any day

LLL01: How to become a better learner?

LLL02: What is worth Learning?

Weekend Courses:

LLL03: Creative Thinking (1st weekend of every month)

LLL04: Cognitive Flexibility (2nd weekend of every month)

LLL05: Rational Thinking : Avoiding stupidity ( 3rd weekend of every month)

LLL06: Preparing for a 100 year life (4th weekend of every month)

Weeklong Courses :

LLL07: Becoming a Lifelong Learner ( 1st week of every month)

LLL08: Educating Parents about Education ( 2nd week of every mo th)

LLL09: Whatsapp for Educators ( 3rd week of every month)

LLL10: Critical Thinking (4th week of every month)

LLL11: AI & ML in education ( also in the 4th  week of the month)

4: The entrepreneurial track: 

1 day courses:

ES01: Why this is the best time to be an entrepreneur ? (Any day)

ES02: Awaken the Entrepreneur Within ( Any day)

Weekend Courses:

ES03: The Gig economy (1sr weekend of every month)

ES04: Elevator Pitches (2nd weekend of every month)

ES05: The Significance of Ethics ( 3rd weekend of every month )

ES06: Grit : Passion with Perseverance ( 4th weekend of every month)

Weeklong Courses:

ES07: Knowledge Entrepreneurship ( 1st week of every month)

ES08: Innovation (2nd week of every month) 

ES09: Financial Acumen ( 3rd week of every month)

ES10: Understanding Data Protection (4th week of every month)

5: The Humanics track:

In his book “Robot-proof : Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”, Joseph Elie Aoun, the seventh president of Northeastern University lays out the framework for a new discipline, humanics, which builds on our innate strengths and prepares students to compete in a labor market in which smart machines work alongside human professionals. 

Humanics is the curriculum for a robot-proof education. It is based on the purposeful integration of technical literacies, such as coding and data analytics, with uniquely human literacies, such as creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, cultural agility and the ability to work with others.

The key is integration. We need to break down the academic silos that separate historians from engineers.

One day courses: any day

HS01: Why Philosophy?

HS02: Understanding human emotions?

Weekend courses:

HS03: Design Thinking ( 1st weekend of every month)

HS04: Mathematical Thinking ( 2nd weekend of every month)

HS05: Why  poetry ? (3rd weekend of every month )

HS06: Evolution ( 4th weekend of every month)

Weeklong courses 

HS07: Health Literacy ( 1st week of every month)

HS08: The idea of Justice (2nd week of every month)

HS09: The pursuit of happiness ( 3rd week of every month)

HS10: The Big questions?(4th week of every month)

6: Fees:

Fee structure :

Fee for a weeklong program : Rs 2500+ GST Rs 450= Rs 2950

Fee for a weekend program   : Rs 1000+ GST Rs 180= Rs 1180

Fee for a 1 day ( any day ) program : Rs 500+ GST Rs 90= Rs 590

Fees can be easily paid by PayTM to mobile number :+919810073724

For those who would rather pay by Bank Transfer, here are the details:



Branch Unit No.05 A & B, Ground Floor Tower A, Unitech Cyber Park, Sec 39,Gurgaon – 122002 Haryana
Account Number 2645100000301
IFSC code HDFC0002645 ( first four digits are alphabets and remaining 7 are numbers )



For International remittances


Branch Unit No.05 A & B, Ground Floor Tower A, Unitech Cyber Park, Sec 39,Gurgaon – 122002 Haryana
Account Number 2645100000301


Fees can be easily paid through PayTM : pay to +919810073724.

For any further queries send an e-mail to

Or a Whatsapp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724

7: About Prof. MM Pant

Academic and Professional Profile :

Prof. M.M. Pant ( ) is a Ph.D. in Computational Physics ( IIT, Roorkee), with a Professional Law degree ( Kanpur University) and pursues pedagogy, technology, curricula and entrepreneurial models for disruptively transforming education to align it to the 4th Industrial Age.

He has been a Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), faculty at IIT Kanpur, MNNIT Allahabad and Visiting Faculty, University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Visiting Scientist at research centres in Italy, England, Germany and Sweden.

He has been a member of the Board of Governors of IIT Delhi and on various committees of academic bodies such as CBSE, NIOS,NCERT, UGC, CEC, NUEPA, NCTE. He had been Chairman of AIMA Board of Studies.

Building on more than 5 decades of academic experience, he is now evangelising new learning approaches appropriate for lifelong learning for School, College and University students. He is hoping to inform parents about the new trends in education

and exhorting Teachers to transform to TeacherPreneurs.

He believes that the purpose of using technology in education is to go beyond the initial phase of being a ‘broadcast’ tool to a ‘ data driven learning model’ that helps every learner become a better self-directed autonomous learner, every teacher a transformational inspirational educator and every parent an informed enlightened parent who can mould the cognitive and emotional development of their children.

His current mission is to evangelise lifelong learning using Whatsapp on mobile, through which he runs weeklong, Weekend and one day programs on a variety of topics. His goal is promoting public understanding of emerging technologies and change.

Apart from being a sought after speaker in the national circuit, he has been invited to deliver keynotes at International events at Melbourne, Paris, Durban, Gaborene, Singapore, Tokyo, Penang amongst others.

Contact Information :

e-mail :

Whatsapp : +919810073724

Twitter : @mmpant

youtube :

More past Information :

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Education in the 4th Industrial Age and beyond:

Education in the 4th Industrial Age and beyond:

Background : 

We are being hurled into the 4th Industrial Age, and to quote from the very first of the following resource list we are ‘sleepwalking’.

” We are sleepwalking- Government, Schools and Universities-into the biggest potential disaster of modern times ” : Sir Anthony  Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham

Professor David Deming at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has argued that the very skills prioritised by linear thinking Schools and Universities are precisely the ones that algorithms are able to perform much quicker, more profoundly and reliably than humans.

The items listed at number 2,3 and 4 are spoofs and satires of our education model at the School and University Level. The Parrot’s tale by Rabindranath Tagore is amazing, and because his literary achievements were so high, his contributions as an educator have been ignored. Even his exhortation On “ where the mind is without fear….. “ as a possible goal of education has been ignored. 

The 5th entry in this list of resources is an amazing book, published in 2018 by Anthony Seldon alludes to education as the Cinderella of the AI story, but holds out the promise of AI allowing everyone to have an Etinder or Wellington education. In our context, successful implementation of the personalisation possible with AI would permit a high quality IIT- like education for everybody to make them creative and innovative Complex Problem solvers ( which are the top success skills in the WEF report listed at no.17. As a consequence of the implementation of AI in education, there would be no need of reservation for a class of people in institutions created for limited capacities. There is a view that the Bengal famine of 1943 was a man made one, with available food not being allowed to the people of Bengal. 

The present crisis in education has also been created by denying access to vast amounts of knowledge and resources that are abundantly available, thereby creating an industry of coaching and test preparation, a completely perverted approach.

In this context the story of Ecole 42 at item 19 is a glimpse of the future, which of course the AICTE and other similar regulators will not permit in India. But as Sugata Mitra in his research on self-directed learning has demonstrated, more and more learners will follow a SOLE model for their continuous improvement and lifelong learning. 

The 42 in Ecole 42 has been inspired by Douglas Adams who wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

There should be a sense of urgency in preparing our youth for the future, which has been described in the 9th report listed here as an ‘avalanche’. We may call it a cyclone, a tsunami, an earthquake whatever metaphor we prefer, but we have to respond. Burying our head like an Ostrich is not an adequate response. Rather like the Giraffe we have to stretch our necks to see more of the emerging scene and then take a call.

In our cussedness to preserve the status quo of giving jobs to retired bureaucrats and fossilised educators, our actions are reminiscent of an anecdote attributed to the famous economist Milton Friedman, quoted below where he sarcastically and brutally draws attention to the real goal of a program ” building a canal or providing subsidised employment”.

This quotation is usually coupled with a colorful anecdote,and the details of the stories vary greatly. Here is an account from the economics writer Stephen Moore that was printed in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Moore stated that he used to visit Milton Friedman and his wife, and together they would dine at a favorite Chinese restaurant:

At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

Do we want to educate our youth or preserve the existing mostly irrelevant establishment ? The responsibility for the right path is upon the shoulders of the Independent Educator : the Teacherpreneur. This is the species that will most likely flourish in the future when the dinosaurs of the existing education system will become extinct.

The video listed at no.16 is a 15 minute video released in 2013, and most of its projections and predictions about the future are right. A very key statement there is “ Economics always wins.” The resources at no.17 and 18 list the skills for success in future. 

Here is a set of 21 resources that will help you formulate your own personalised strategy for preparing for the coming 4th Industrial Age and beyond. Please read on to appreciate what’s coming soon, and very near you:

1: The Digital Revolution : The impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Employment and Education :

2. The Sabre Tooth Curriculum:

3: Every curriculum tells a story: The Dragon Slayer curriculum :

4: The Parrot’s tale by Ravindranath Tagore :

5: Anthony Seldon “ The 4th education revolution”: The Fourth Education Revolution: Will Artificial Intelligence liberate – Amazon UK › Fourth-Edu…

6: What’s worth learning in School?

7: Sir John Gurdon Nobel Prize winner was too stupid for Science at School :

8: Intelligence Unleashed: an argument for A.I. in education:

9: An avalanche is coming :

10: Keynote by Stephen Downes on the six major features of emerging online learning : available at

11: Teaching in the 4th Industrial Revolution: Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Armand Doucet, Jelmer … › Teaching-Fo…

12: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 1:

13: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 2:

14: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 3:

15: Graham Brown Martin :

16: Humans need not apply :

17: The top 10 skills that will land you high paying jobs by 2020:

18: The future of jobs report 2018:

19: A free teacherless University in France is schooling thousands of future-proof programmers:

20: Say Goodbye to Knowledge workers and welcome to learning workers :

21: The 5th Industrial Revolution: When It Will Happen and How:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mission 2020: Building a nation of lifelong learners:

Mission 2020: Building a nation of lifelong learners

In June 2000, the Planning Commission set up a committee to draw up a vision 2020, which report ( ) was published in December 2002. We have less time than what the committee had to face the real 2020. Just about one year. And we want to focus on one thing ‘The exponential rise of Machine Intelligence’. Our recommended response is lifelong learners. Our mission is to evangelise lifelong learning, create a community of fellow lifelong learners, and hope that this would sow the seeds for a nation of lifelong learners. If the one billion Indians decide to pursue lifelong learning and rational thinking, learning for even 15-30 minutes/day with their mobiles, we would leapfrog to a much better life.

Eric Hanushek in his book ‘The Knowledge Capital of Nations’ has done a rigorous, pathbreaking analysis demonstrating that a country’s prosperity is directly related in the long run to the skills of its population

We use a variety of devices to track our fitness and measure whether we achieved the target of 10,000 steps each day. Why not reflect over how many words did we read read or hear that added to our knowledge and understanding of the world?

For lifelong learning you need a similar commitment; a smartphone (perhaps AI enabled) and continued pursuit. Exercise releases endorphins and learning releases dopamine and together they can make you really happy. And you do know that if you act in ways that generate serotonin and oxytocin, you would become truly happy.

Isn’t that what we always wanted?

The year 2020 is just about a year away. This period is a period of very rapid (exponential change) and as Professor Klaus Schwab pointed out in January 2016 is the onset of the 4th Industrial Revolution and era of the fusion of the Physical world (of atoms and energy), the information world ( of bits and qbits) and the biological world ( of genes and neurons).

As preparation for this, everyone will have to create their own plan for change and alignment to the future. Whether you are a young person just about 18 years of age, who is ‘coming of Age in the 4th Industrial Age’ or a young professional facing the ‘ Gig economy’ and want to get comfortable with ‘ Business 4.0’ or a young senior citizen planning a useful ‘next decade’ of your life, you have to create and follow your own path to your destiny.

This mission of lifelong learning delivered through Whatsapp on mobile phones helps you find your way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mission 2020: Phase 1

During the year 2019, on one Sunday every month we have a session n the emerging technologies of the 4th Industrial Age. The venue is the WOODs at Greenwood City, Sector 46 Gurgaon. This is located opposite Unitech Cyber Park and between Vista Villas and Residency Greens. We begin at about 9:30 am and disperse around lunch.


Day – Date









1: Sunday

January 20th 2019

The Gig economy and its implications for education

Shashidhar Bhat




2: Sunday

February 24th 2019

The Brain-Computer Interface?

What it is and what it means for education

Ramesh C Sharma




3: Sunday

March 17th 2019

Blockchain: what it is and its implications for education?

Sanjay Sinha




4: Sunday

April 28th 2019

Internet of Things

Manish Kumar




5: Sunday

May 19th 2019

3D Printing

Avikshit Saras




6: Sunday

June 16th 2019

Applied AI and its use cases

Vishal Singhal




7: Sunday

July 21st 2019

Computational Thinking

Anupam Kaushik




8: Sunday

August 18th 2019

Teaching in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Dr Rajeev Tyagi




9: Sunday

September 15th 2019

Complex Problem Solving

J M Pant




10: Sunday

October 20th 2019

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing

Madhulika Kaushik




11: Sunday November 17th 2019

Implications for Artificial Intelligence for humans

Bhupesh Khatri




12: Sunday December 22nd 2019

Quantum Computing: its nature and future

MM Pant




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Braided Learning: a new metaphor for the AI age:

Braided learning: a new metaphor for education in the age of Artificial Intelligence: 

The mismatch between the outcomes of traditional education and the needs of the future is growing rapidly, and many acknowledge that new perspectives are needed. 

Learner centred education, Personalisation of learning, blended learning, learning styles and Heutagogy are all ideas that are being explored. 

In January 2016 Klaus Schwab of the world economic forum suggested that we are entering the 4th Industrial Age which is a fusion of the physical world, the information world and the biological world. The biggest strides that humanity will see will come from the alignment of the biology and information technologies.

I propose here a new metaphor for learning that is suitable for the future, driven by Artificial Intelligence and similar disruptive technologies. 

It is now broadly agreed that narrow specialists of the past ( who knew more and more about less and less) must give way to broad knowledge of a polymath. 

Instead of condemning the “ Jack of all trades but master of none” we are now seeking “ Jill’s of all trades and masters of some”. 

In the age of AI for any specialist knowledge we have solutions that surpass human abilities. But putting together several ideas and techniques into a common structure is the work of humans. 

This is what I am referring to as “ braided learning”. So instead of restricting a learner to 5 subjects at School level, 3 at Unuversity level and 1 at Masters level, a learner can continue to learn the whole spectrum of subjects available at School at all levels as a lifelong learner. 

So if each of the subjects Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, History, Geography, Languages, Civics, Economics, Psychology… a strand of knowledge then the value of this knowledge is not enhanced by tying these strands end to end ( concatenation) but by interweaving them ( braiding) to form a variety of possibilities that are much more valuable  in the coming VUCA ( volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. 

The depth of knowledge and understanding of a given subject may be represented as the thickness of the strand. 

Braids have been made for thousands of years in many different cultures around the world, and for a variety of uses. Traditionally, the materials used in braids have depended on the indigenous plants and animals available in the local area.

When the Industrial Revolution arrived, mechanized braiding equipment was invented to increase production. The braiding technique was used to make ropes with both natural and synthetic fibers, and coaxial cables for radios using copper wire. In more recent times it has been used to create a covering for fuel pipes in jet aircraft and ships, first using glass fibre, then stainless steel and Kevlar. Hoses for domestic plumbing are often covered with stainless steel braid.

Braids are often used figuratively to represent interweaving or combination, such as in, “He braided many different ideas into a new whole.”

Every learner, during the journey of lifelong learning would acquire a number of these strands through formal, informal and experiential learning. Instead of arguing which among these is most valuable and important, let each learner demonstrate his or her uniqueness by suitably braiding them to create a unique persona. 

The main strands:

  • Traditional academic disciplines ( Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Zoology, Botany, Economics, Politics, History, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Languages) 
  • Technology MegaTrends of the 4th Industrial Age ( Big Data, Blockchain, 3D printing, Internet of Things, Machine Learning) 
  • Learning ( learning how to learn, becoming a better learner, competence, comprehension, cognitive flexibility)
  • Thinking ( creative, critical and Computational)
  • Entrepreneurship ( Innovation, business and finance) 
  • Humanics ( values, ethics, grit, resilience,empathy, )
  • Making ( bricolage)
  • Questioneering ( curiosity)
  • Communication 
  • Philosophy 
  • Performing Arts ( Painting, Sculpture, Music, Dance) 

Lifelong Learners can create their own “ braids”

The most simple and common braid is a flat, solid, three-stranded structure. More complex braids can be constructed from an arbitrary number of strands to create a wider range of structures.

The phrase ‘braided learning’ has been proposed around the year 2007 in the context of emerging processes observed in an e-learning community, where people working in online social groups combine to answer a question or research issue posed. Rather than a homogenized report written in the official-sounding language, the resulting “braided” text comprises individual contributions reflecting each contributor’s unique perspective. 

No effort is made by the learners to develop the kind of overall style that formal reports or academic research documents would traditionally demand. 

Learning is immediate – online responses can be instant – but the knowledge can also be built up over time.

In this piece, I have used braided Learning as a metaphor and as a broad analogy for the learning models of the future.

But the Mathematical rigour of Braided topology is applied to the development of topological quantum computers where braids form the logic gates that make up the computer. Alexei Kitaev proposed topological quantum computation in 1997.

Here is a link to an article by the brilliant Physicist Max Tegmark famous for his books “ Life3.0” and “ Our Mathematical Universe” : 

Life is a braid in space time:

The opening lines of an article by JD Watson and FHC Crick in the issue of Nature dated 25th April 1953 begins with “ We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest. “ That idea marked the beginning of the “Biological Revolution.”    

Medicine changed fundamentally and led to  the development of therapies tailored to a patient’s genetic blueprint or by combining biology and technology with brain-controlled prosthetics. 

Perhaps in a few decades, the teaching-learning ecosystems would change to benefit from these ideas of Braided Learning and enable every individual to achieve his/her full potential and add value as a significant member of Society. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Promoting Public Understanding of Emerging Technologies:

Promoting Public Understanding of Emerging Technologies:

The 4th Industrial Age is upon us, and a clutch of different but inter-related technologies are developing at an exponential face. It is mind boggling to just notice what AI could do in 2017, that it couldn’t do in 2016. 

Although it is believed that it is the 3 wings of Governance, the executive, legislature and the judiciary that drive change with the press and media acting as the fourth pillar, the Reality is that continuous lifelong education of all four is the foundation. 

In the absence of a proper understanding, the path  ahead driven by the alignment among these 4 may not be the most suitable.  

A balance has to be maintained between the hype of the media and the financial investors with hyperbolic promises with any new ‘breakthrough’ that could be hyped and the understated modesty of the real researcher. 

See for example the opening sentence of the famous paper in Nature on April 25th 1953 in which the double helix structure of the DNA is announced.

“ We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleus acid ( DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest.”

Towards the end of the paper they say:

“It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.”

JD Watson FHC Crick Cavendish Laboratory Cambridge  April 2

I have therefore decided to become an ‘ explainer’ for some of these emerging technologies from the beginning of the New Year and in readiness for the Year 2020. By the beginning of the year 2020, we should have been able to demystify around 10 technologies and by the end of the year 2020 another 10 should have been done.

The general plan ( may be tweaked as we go along) is to have an event with an average monthly frequency of a one hour public lecture with a title like “ Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence” …..or a suitable variant. The bye-products from this public lecture will be a booklet on the theme, a suite of short video clips of a few minutes each, and a Whatsapp delivered course that runs over a weekend.

We will continue to solicit ideas for both topics and formats of dissemination of the knowledge.

An illustrative list of emerging Technologies :

1: A survey of emerging Technologies and their tipping points 

2: Artificial Intelligence

3: Machine Learning

4: Deep Learning

5: Machine Learning Algorithms 

6: Artificial Neural Networks

7: AI and Robots

8: Drones

9: Swarm Robotics

10: Augmented Reality

11: Virtual Reality

12: Big Data

13: Blockchain

14: Digital Manufacturing / 3 D Printing

15: Internet of Things

16: Nano-technology 

17: Genetic Engineering: Genes, DNA and Gene editing with CRISPR

18: Immunotherapy

19: Crypto-currency

20: Quantum Computing

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment