Quantum Readiness:


Towards a Quantum Ready workforce: 

Young people, still in School have a common interest in pursuing careers and studies that will help them have a good future. The answer today is the old Boy Scouts motto “ Be prepared” followed by the words “for a Quantum World”.

Ever since Richard Feynman first theorized a practical Quantum Computer in 1982, the field has been marked by a wide diversity of opinions – on hardware approaches, scientific theory, the best path to commercialization and more. But one issue has everyone united: There’s a huge shortage of quantum computing talent.

A trained, well-rounded quantum workforce is key to realizing the full practical value of quantum computing.There isn’t a direct pipeline from universities, and there’s fierce competition for the limited talent that is available. Currently, most quantum scientists are from other related fields, despite the highly specialized tasks they perform on the job, such as designing quantum computer shielding systems or building quantum processors.

To continue expanding the quantum ecosystem, we need to grow the number of quantum-literate experts — now. Stakeholders in governments, universities and private companies – have to step up by investing in the budding quantum workforce and encouraging their peers to do the same. We’re entering an increasingly specialized economy, particularly in the quantum industry, and that makes identifying and developing talent tough. The good news is that there are a few fixes we can make to grow the quantum talent pool.

Quantum education has to be approach-agnostic if we want to realize the full potential of the technology. There are many viable theoretical approaches to quantum computing, but going all-in on one method inhibits innovation. Look at the landscape today. IBM is pursuing gate model. Microsoft is going after topological qubits ( which received a slight setback recently). D-wave has built an annealing quantum computer. Each holds its promises and challenges, and each approach requires talent.

Quantum computing holds tremendous business opportunities and will benefit virtually every part of the economy. Many of these areas are critical to act on now, like energy distribution, climate change and drug discovery. Quantum computing’s power to impact nearly every facet of society means that broad investment in our workforce is crucial.

We are in the midst of 2 great revolutions: the 4th Industrial Revolution and the 4th Education Revolution: they have to be responded to coherently and concurrently. 

Alvin Toffler had exhorted us to pursue learning, unlearning and re-learning. Understanding the Quantum World is a good project to pursue with this in mind.

21st Century educators, especially in the 21st year of the 21st Century must be enthusiastic lifelong learners who share and spread their enthusiasm for lifelong learning. 

The NEP 2020 emphasises learning how to learn and lifelong learning…. learning about the Quantum World is a good way of doing this. 

Phrases like Quantum Jump are part of everyday vocabulary now. On 12th May 2020, the PM said “ the country needs an economy that brings quantum jump, not incremental change.”

Earlier in the budget in February 2020, the FM made an allocation of  Rs 8000 crores for a National Mission on Quantum Technologies.

So if you want to benefit from the opportunities in this field for your students, children or grandchildren, you must start to appreciate the magic of the Quantum World. Watch this video : The trillion dollar Quantum gold rush : https://youtu.be/wKN8wBl4X1M

Quantum technologies will impact, not just a few, but like the Internet have a universal effect. China has already made progress with the Quantum Internet. 

To have a glimpse of what the future has in store, please watch this webinar (1 hour 40 minutes). There are some glitches during the first 3 minutes of the video. But the webinar on Quantum Readiness (1 hour 40 minutes)  : https://youtu.be/U5XZL5F0vwE  is very informative and timely. 

To know more and to pursue a one month awareness course on Quantum Technologies visit : https://mmpant.com/qt4fr/

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FPYC: For parents of Young Children:

FPYC: For young parents

I have often been asked to describe what I do. Although broadly speaking my interest is educating for future success, to make it a little intriguing, I would say that I work in the area of FMGC products. Since most people are familiar with the jargon of the business world, many would promptly respond “ Sir, do you mean FMCG products?”

I would explain that I use FMGC as an acronym for “ For My Grand Children”. Because I am concerned with being ready for the world of 2030s and beyond. As I thought over it, I realised that my thoughts would be helpful to several other parents of young children, who realise that this is a time of very rapid changes, and the formal system is ill-equipped to deal with future educational readiness of the youth. So it seems that an effective approach may be to help parents of young children to oversee the cognitive development trajectories of their children, each with its unique talent and potential.

As I have been using WhatsApp for several years for lifelong learning, I have formed a WhatsApp group for this purpose, labelled FPYC: For parents of young children. Or FPYC: For Young Parents, to fit into the WhatsApp restrictions for naming groups. 

This is a group for informed and enlightened parenting of young children focussed on the cognitive development of young children, typically below 10 years, to be ready for the age of Artificial Intelligence and to thrive prosper and flourish in it. Their future is a world very different from that in which their parents or grandparents might have grown up. There is a critical need for curated resources such as books, videos, audios & articles for and from these young parents to take decisions affecting their children’s future, so that they don’t become one of the ‘useless class’ predicted by Yuval Noah Harari. The antidote to becoming a part of the useless class is to become invaluable, the Ubermensch as espoused by Frederich Nietzsche . And it is indeed possible to Become invaluable , not useless : https://mmpant.com/binu/

At a recent event, I dared to predict that in the foreseeable future, India will be the education hub for the world, and the best education and learning destination.

Some distinguished educators expressed their apprehension that I had perhaps gone ‘too far’ in my imagination, given the present ‘reality’ of Indian education, especially when compared to US, UK, Finland, Estonia and other digitally advanced countries of the world.

We had Chautala undergo a 10 year prison sentence for teacher recruitment scam, the Vyapam scam, and lots of more evidence of the pitiable state of Indian education.

In spite of being fully aware of this, I continue to hold my view like Galilieo said ‘ e pur si mouve’ even though he was sentenced to death. And Socrates was asked to drink hemlock as he was accused of ‘corrupting the youth’.

Coming back to the point, my first thought is that education is not the ‘right’ of the Government and it has adversely taken over education, and in due course educators will reclaim learning from the bureaucrats and politicians, who are symbols of the state power. The state does not create ‘knowledge’ nor does it own the intellectual property rights on ‘knowledge’ but claims the sovereign right to education delivery.

Philosophers, thinkers, Scientists and men of letters all created the common body of knowledge for which the ‘State’ usurps the right to disseminate and certify competence, without any evidence of competence, solely by the coercive force of ‘law’.

We will very soon realise that learning is for the learner, and is mutually created by the teacher and learner and the State has no role in it.

As an example, when Bill Gates and Paul Simon founded Microsoft in 1975, could they have imagined that in less than 40 years, it’s CEO would be a person educated in India ( and not in the famed IITs, but an enterprise promoted by a private organisation). Incidentally Madan Mohan Malaviya who was conferred the Bharata Ratna recently, was primarily for the first private initiative in creating an Indian University.

So in the refrain of Karl Marx who exhorted the workers of the world to unite, I have the dream ( Martin Luther King) of educators of the world ( or at least this country to unite).

In fact, Science the most glorious of human achievement flourishes because it is a community of Scientists that drives it, and not bureaucrats and politicians ( except for a brief episode of Lysenko in the Soviet Union).

So once this happens, what are the drivers of success? The future of education is technology delivered, AI empowered in the English language and developing higher order cognitive skills. And Indians have leadership in all the above elements.

And I always like to be inspired by two very eminent women in confirming my beliefs.

One is Elinor Ostrom who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for demonstrating that unlike Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, the resources held in commons are better managed by the community itself than either by the Government or the private corporate. We are the learning community.

The other is Margaret Mead, the well known anthropologist who said ” never doubt that a few committed and passionate people can change the world. Indeed this is the way it has always been.”

If you would like to be a part of this community, please use the following  link to join the WhatsApp group: 

https://chat.whatsapp.com/CgQgkAcKoxjG20dOZHD7tT

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RPYM: Re-programming your mind :Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future.

RPYM: Re-programming your mind : Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future: 

I have been offering course programs and seminars through WhatsApp for sometime and a few thousand persons have experienced this method of learning and appreciated its benefits. 

But a large number of people have had their first experience of remote learning through Zoom or it’s alternatives simulating a lecture. Those familiar with the concept of learning pyramid (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_pyramid ) are aware of the low effectiveness of the lecture mode. Synchronous online lecture without supporting tools is even less effective. It is only an AI powered learning app, like Duolingo for example that is a really effective. 

But WhatsApp with its a-synchronous possibilities permitting both social ( group) learning as well as individualised personalised learning features provides a very effective learning experience. 

This session priced nominally to encourage ‘impulse’ learning is of use to almost everyone, because it helps address the larger more universal  issue of readiness for the future. Participants will also receive an electronic document with links to more resources. 

It is undisputed that we are living in very rapidly changing times. One visible thing is the rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence from the Dartmouth Conference in 1956 where the technology first got its name to the incredible advances in the last 2 decades and amazing predictions for the coming decade. 

And the other wave is of Quantum technologies which began with Richard Feynman’s remark in 1981  suggesting that because the world is really ‘quantum’ in nature, a Quantum Computer will be needed to solve the really challenging problems, to the achievement of Quantum Supremacy in October 2019 and the rapid developments of various aspects of Quantum Technologies. 

Alvin Toffler  had anticipated  the trends of exponential growth and 

wrote ( in Future Shock page 415) that “ by instructing students how to learn,unlearn and re-learn, a powerful new dimension can be added to education”.  

VUCA is an acronym – first used in 1987, to describe the more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous multilateral world. More frequent use of the term “VUCA” began from 2002, with recognition of the importance of digitalisation and the Internet. There has been a consequential rush for learning programming and coding, even for the very young. But more important is the need to re-program the mind. 

This WhatsApp session begins with emphasising optimism. 

The most essential element for progress is optimism. The view that everything around us can be improved. Even a 1% improvement every day : https://youtu.be/mNeXuCYiE0U will lead with mathematical certainty to a huge improvement given enough time. 

It then touches upon The habits of effective people. Dispositions of unsuccessful people; Building Learning Power: L2SL; Self-improvement through self-learning; Preparing for a hundred year life. No longer learn, earn and return;Managing information overload : The Baloney detection kit : Karl Sagan; First Principles used by Elon Musk and finally Being responsible for yourself 

Enrolment and fee payment: 

  • Participants can join this session on any day that suits them, on or after October 11th 2021. I will be making my posts every evening between 9pm and 10pm. But you can access them anytime that suits you. 
  • As the course is being delivered through WhatsApp the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message with “ RPYM”  to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724
  • The fee for participating in this WhatsApp session is Rs 100/- ,and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).
  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account, the relevant information is : 
  • Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon 

        A/c 26451000000301

        HDFC0002645

  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

To know more, contact Prof. MM Pant by sending him a WhatsApp message at : +919810073724

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My WhatsApp Courses:

My pool of Whatsapp delivered courses : 

The NEP 2020 at para 4.4 has emphasised the criticality of “ learning to learn”, in the following words: 4.4. The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and towards learning how to learn – and away from the culture of rote learning as is largely present today. 

It has also mentioned “ scientific temper” in perhaps 5 places. 

Once learners have become aware of the techniques of self-learning, and have acquired the habits and dispositions of successful learners, they need not pursue any further courses, but can construct their own personalised learning strategies, curricula and learning pathways  from the vast amount of free and paid knowledge resources available from a variety of sources. 

Thomas Frey of the Da Vinci Institute emphasises the criticality of self-learning in the following words “Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.”

Towards this goal, of ‘future readiness’ I have developed and offer five monthlong courses, and four weeklong courses that are in a “ Guided Self-Learning” mode. 

The Covid 19 pandemic had established remote learning as a means of learning. While some may quibble about its effectiveness in imparting traditional ( read obsolete and irrelevant) knowledge, there is no doubt that it is the only method to be future ready and abreast of emerging technologies and skills. A very valuable feature of these courses is the provision of a curated list of a number of very useful resources on the subject. 

Monthlong Courses:

1:“L2SL: Learning to Self-Learn”  is a monthlong course for all learners and it’s purpose is to help everyone become a better self-learner. 

This course begins with drawing attention to the significance of self-learning, describes the attributes of successful self-learners, and explains the techniques  for becoming a successful self-learner. It concludes with sharing how technology in general, and AI in particular can help in making anyone a better self-learner. 

For more: https://mmpant.com/l2sl/

2:“ AIFSE: AI fluent SmartEducator: “ is for all educators from School to higher education, to help them transform themselves from the present role of a teacher who transacts a prescribed syllabus to prepare its learners for specific examinations ( a role that will disappear soon) to become a cognitive scientist, over a reasonable period by self-learning AI, Data Science and Cognitive Science. For more: https://mmpant.com/aifse/

3: QT4FR: Quantum Technologies for future readiness

Quantum computing has evolved from science fiction to foreseeable reality within our lifetime. From Google to IBM, China to the U.S. — everyone everywhere seems fixated on realizing the power of quantum computing which is  the number one technology today:see the video : https://youtu.be/wKN8wBl4X1M

As preparation for the future, an awareness of the importance and significance of Quantum Technologies will be essential. I have created what I call a “ Learning Ramp” for Quantum Technologies.

Quantum physics is also a gateway to a lifelong love of science!

For more : https://mmpant.com/qt4fr/

4: BINU: Becoming Invaluable , not Useless

There are several reports that suggest widespread job losses for educated workers and professionals. CGP Grey had created a 15 minute video, about 6 years ago ( over 14 million views) with the title “ Humans  need not apply”, https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU In the year 2017 Yuval Noah Harari in a 4 minute video announced the arrival of the “useless class”. https://youtu.be/OMDlfNWM1fA by the year 2050. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable. 

The WEF in its January 2020 meeting estimated that about a billion people have to be reskilled by the year 2030. The Davos agenda 2021  is explained in a 30 minute video https://youtu.be/MK3TsnVaSEk.

The key to prospering, flourishing and thriving in the future will be to continuously enhance your value and become the most ‘invaluable’ person in your niche. A perfect mix of charm and grace is not what makes people invaluable. Empathy, proactivity, self-learning and an attitude of gratitude is what will make you the person no one can let go.

For more: https://mmpant.com/binu/

5: TFOB: The Foundations of Biology

Biology is the science of life. Its name is derived from the Greek words “bios” (life) and “logos” (study). Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. The customary introduction of fundamental biological entities such as individual organisms, cells, genes, catalysts and motors remains largely descriptive; constructive approaches involving deductive reasoning appear, in comparison , almost absent. As a consequence, both the logical content and principles of biology need to be reconsidered. This new monthlong introductory course attempts to  describe the foundations of biology. The foundations of biology are built in terms of elements, logic and principles, using both the language and the general methods employed in other disciplines. This approach assumes the existence of a certain unity of human knowledge that transcends discipline boundaries. 

All the branches of biology can be unified within a framework of five basic understandings about living things. Studying the details of these five ideas provides the endless fascination of biological research:

For more : https://mmpant.com/tfob/

Weeklong Courses: 

6: AI4English : Using AI to learn/improve your English 

For many people, not only in India, but in other parts of the world, English is a second language. But it is a very important and useful language. 

While computer languages have changed in their popularity over the last 55 years : https://youtu.be/YqxeLodyyqA, in human languages the usage of English continues to increase. 

Until the advent and proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and mobile Apps powered with Artificial Intelligence, the learning of English as a second language was not only quite expensive, but not readily accessible, and took a lot of time.

But in the last few years, this has changed rapidly and it is much more feasible not only to acquire a working knowledge of English, but continually improve it. Regular use of a language is important in acquiring fluency in it. Athletes do regular training. Musicians train. Performers train. To be proficient in a language ( human or computer) one must practice the skills regularly. ‘Use it or lose it’ is the law of nature. 

To spread awareness of these new tools and techniques, I have created a special Weeklong WhatsApp delivered course that covers : Why English? Challenges in learning English; AI powered tools to learn English; Strategies and techniques for better English and Benchmarking your English. For more : https://mmpant.com/ai4english/

7: THYL: The Hundred Year Life

The life-spans and life expectancy at birth have been continuously increasing over the last decades, creating new unforeseen and important changes in the social and economic fabric of society as well as personal challenges for those with the blessings of a ‘long life’. 

But during the last 3 years, in the US there has been a slight drop in this trend. It can be dismissed as insignificant or interpreted to suggest that leading a long life is not enough. Humans want to lead a meaningful life as well. 

Japan on the other hand has a large number of happy persons who have found their Ikigai and are living to be 100 and beyond ( many in Okinawa). 

The psychologist Karl Jung was perhaps the first one to suggest that one cannot lead the second half of life on the principles applicable to its first half and lamented the lack of a ‘ School for the second half of life’.

This program attempts to fill that need in part, and shares the tasks that Jung recommended for the 2nd half of life. 

For more : https://mmpant.com/thyl/

8: EHC: Exploring human consciousness 

Consciousness is often described as the mind’s subjective experience. Even in the 1970s and 1980s, as cognitive science became established, consciousness remained a controversial topic among scientists, who openly questioned whether it was a valid area of scientific investigation. Early in his career, molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Francis Crick wanted to study consciousness, but instead chose to work on the more tangible mysteries of DNA. 

Scientists have also started to test ways of detecting consciousness without the need to give people verbal instructions. As scientists have become more adept at detecting consciousness, they have begun to determine which brain regions and circuits are most important. But there is still much debate about what constitutes consciousness in neural terms, with particular disagreement over which brain processes and regions matter most.

Since at least the nineteenth century, scientists have known that the cerebral cortex is important for consciousness. Fresh evidence has highlighted a posterior-cortical ‘hot zone’ that is responsible for sensory experiences. It has become increasingly clear, however, that consciousness is not confined to only one region of the brain. Plenty of unknowns remain. For more : https://mmpant.com/ehc/

9: TMIA: The meaning of it all

The name of this weeklong course has been taken from the title of a book by Richard Feynman “ The meaning of it all” which comprises the texts of three lectures by him. 

Socrates had said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Steven Weinberg’s statement on the second-to-last page of his first popular book, “The First Three Minutes”, he concludes after sharing the story of how our universe came into being with the big bang some 13.8 billion years ago, and how it may end untold billions of years in the future, he concludes that whatever the universe is about, it sure as heck isn’t about us. “The more the universe seems comprehensible,” he wrote, “the more it also seems pointless.”

Religion has been very successful in creating a meaning for this pointless universe. But Nietzsche proclaimed in 1882 that ‘ God is Dead’. Richard Dawkins referred to religion as delusion. Dawkins argued that religious faith is “persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence”, and thus delusional. Steven Pinker commented on the dangers of evangelical religious belief in the coronavirus era. Writing on Facebook, he said:  “Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion, since it devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make them longer, safer, and happier.” We begin with Socrates exhortation that an unexamined life is not worth living. Then deliberate upon Steven Weinberg’s view of a comprehensible but pointless universe. We explore how religions have offered guidance on how to live. We also consider Julian Huxley’s Religion without Revelation, Nietzsche’s ‘God is dead’ and Richard Dawkins ‘God delusion’. We end with exploring the way ahead with a rationalist approach. 

For more : https://mmpant.com/tmia/

To know more about any of these courses, feel free to send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724 after going through the information provided at the link given here. 

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My Social Media presence:


My social media presence:

I had been trying out various social media platforms from time to time. From the now forgotten Friendster, Orkut and MySpace…… to the present day Instagram and Clubhouse. In July 2012, when I turned 65, I opted out of all except Twitter and WhatsApp, in a sort of “ digital vanaprastha”. 

I created and ran several Whstsapp courses on a variety of topics. But in the last two years, I was pushed again into the cyber-world as moving around in the corona affected world was not advised for persons of advanced age and co-morbidities. As I now turn 75, I am once again re-visiting my personal social media policy. In the past I used to post occasionally on a few social media platforms. 

From January 2022, I will keep a schedule of regular posting on social media: 

1: Tweeting every day: from Monday to Friday, at around 8am. My Twitter handle is @mmpant

2: Blog on every Sunday at around 8am at mmpant.com

3: Post the text of the same blog on Facebook and LinkedIn 

4: No Instagram, or any other social media platform. 

During the transition months from October to December …in preparation for this, I will Tweet every week on Friday, at around 8am. And blog every month : On the second Sunday of every month, around the same time. 

My blogs and tweets will be on matters educational, in the broad sense of enhanced cognitive development with the purpose of re-programming your mind. The problem with traditional education is a focus on lower level cognitive activities, with the result that we are creating millions of people, who have a biological brain, but don’t have the ability to use it; somewhat like birds who have wings, but can’t fly….like the ostrich. 

A list of topics that I plan to be blogging on is :

  • What is worth learning? In an age of Artificial Intelligence
  • The usefulness of useless knowledge
  • The unreasonable effectiveness of Mathematics
  • Field theory of learning
  • Cassandra’s curse
  • Kafkaesque
  • Reductio ad absurdum
  • Faustian Bargain
  • The Fermi method of estimating answers
  • Drake’s equation
  • The use of metaphors 
  • Carl Sagan’s Baloney detection kit 
  • The 100 year Life
  • Laplace’s demon
  • Chaos
  • Fractals
  • Complexity 
  • Emergence 
  • Conformal Cyclic Cosmology : CCC ( Roger Penrose) 
  • Time Crystals ( Frank Wilczek) 

This is a tentative illustrative list of topics to give an idea of what to expect. The length of a typical blog will be 750 to 1000 words. With links to further resources.  Assuming a reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, the time to read these blogs should be about 3 to 5 minutes. 

To see my tweets, Twitter.com/MMPant. My Twitter handle is  @mmpant. And my blog at MMPant.com or on Facebook and LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/madan-pant-794b5a186

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Negotiating an unknown uncertain future:

To avoid joining the herds of the unemployable, the young have to train themselves to be useful in the age of accelerating AI with projections that in about a decade AGI would have progressed to doing almost anything that humans do today. 

The young must get ready to thrive in an AI driven world, where they create their own future by serious self-learning. Begin with an introductory WhatsApp session on “ Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future”. Participants will also be given a set of links to further resources for preparation for the future.  To know more send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724. 

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Self-Learning:

Self-improvement through self-learning:

At present, and in the coming future being a self-learner will be the most competitive advantage that an individual ( man or woman) can acquire to progress.

I will suggest that  you view this video which will urge you to shun the approach and attitude of the majority of merely entertaining themselves, and strive to be among the upper levels of achievers and successful people and focus on  learning and being creative : https://youtu.be/wlCz8nkDNqo

Once you develop this attitude of being creative and a having a desire to learn, you will find this ~ 5 minute video of the former US President, who wants to learn particle Physics at the age of 70 very inspirational: Bill Clinton on lifelong learning: https://youtu.be/L_nUOfaWEC4

You might now be excited to start your self-improvement through self-learning journey, but feel that you need some hand holding. Well, here is a ~10 minute video by the motivational speaker Jim Rohn listing three steps for a brand new life: https://youtu.be/ORIjy0WLPPs

By this time, you would be beginning to appreciate the importance of good habits.  So here is a ~ 7 minute video about the power of discipline as an essential ingredient of success by another great motivational guru, Brian Stracy : https://youtu.be/pyNfB24Eo4A

Failing to plan is planning to fail, is a nice way of remembering the key takeaway from this. 

As you watch these videos, the AI recommendation engines will be doing their work and you will be flooded with information on more videos about self-improvement, not only of Jim Rohn, but of others such as Brian Tracy, Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Shiv Khera, Zig Ziegler……and soon you will have the problem of not having enough time to learn all that you want. 

At this point of time, a video about managing your time efficiently is a useful one. So here is a ~ 20 minute video on how to multiply your time : https://youtu.be/y2X7c9TUQJ8

Any conversation on inspiration and motivation would be incomplete without sharing the now famous commencement speech by Steve Jobs for Stanford University 2005: [HD] Steve Jobs – 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech.mp4

If you followed this prescription and spent time in reading this text and watching these videos, it would already  have had some effect on making you a more successful person. To know of a whole suite of courses for self-improvement through self-learning : MMPant.com

To join any of those courses or to know ore about them, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof. MM Pant at +919810073724

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Informed Education

Informed Education: 

Most people have a degree of disappointment with the state of education of their children, and grand-children and nephews and nieces. But too often they adopt an approach of helplessness. People do go to a relevant professional to seek advice and guidance. They routinely consult doctors, in person or online for biological health related matters. When needed they do approach lawyers, tax experts or financial planners, even astrologers to be able to adequately prepare for their future and that of their loved ones. 

But when it comes to learning or in a broader sense the cognitive fitness of the very same people, they take no action other than praying or joining a tuition centre. Here is a short video that points to “ taughtitis” an infection which young children catch at school: https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg

Unfortunately the image of an educator is someone standing in a class and transacting the prescribed curriculum, which is part of a national mission of “ education for all” but useful to none. But an educator is an agent of transformation ( an alchemist) who transforms an ignorant learner to a knowledgable person and onwards to an expert through 4 stages : https://www.mccc.edu/~lyncha/documents/stagesofcompetence.pdf

Just like lawyers, doctors and other experts provide written opinions to help their clients choose proper paths for future actions, I ( mmpant.net and mmpant.com)have decided to provide to those who seek, written “ educational opinions” to enhance their cognitive fitness. To know more send me a WhatsApp message at :+919810073724

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When Teachers were human?

When Teachers were human? 

The March of Artificial Intelligence: 

By defeating Gary Kasparov on May 11 1997, Deep Blue made history as the first computer to beat a world chess champion. Kasparov refused to believe that a machine could play better than him and argued that the computer must actually have been controlled by a real grand master. Somewhat like most School teachers are under the delusion that they cannot be replaced, although they are seeing “tuition teachers” and Byju teachers edging them away. 

In the year 2011, IBM Watson defeated Rutter and Jennings who  were till then Jeopardy-winning machines.

A long-standing goal of artificial intelligence is an algorithm that learns, tabula rasa ( clean slate) superhuman proficiency in challenging domains. Recently, AlphaGo became the first program to defeat a world champion in the game of Go, using a novel form of reinforcement learning  in which AlphaGo Zero becomes its own teacher. 

This is therefore a further stimulus to self-learning and avoidance of “taughtitis” a collateral damage that occurs with traditional education. See Guy Claxton: https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg

Beyond Games: 

Going beyond games, AI is now able to perform many tasks which were done only by specifically trained humans. Work done by radiologists and ophthalmologists is now comparable to that done by AI. In fact “Deep Medicine” is a book published in July 2019 by Eric Topol that describes the impact of AI on medicine. Robot-lawyers are a reality: https://donotpay.com . Self-driving cars are also now a reality, and so will be self-directed learners : https://mmpant.com/l2sl/

AI systems will be further strengthened with the availability of Quantum Computing to accomplish Quantum Machine Learning. The real big challenges of the world for a sustainable future  are attempted to being solved through Quantum Technologies. https://youtu.be/iB2_ibvEcsE

Quantum Technologies for future readiness: https://mmpant.com/qt4fr/

AInEd Supremacy

The phrase ‘ Quantum Supremacy’  was coined  in 2012 by the Caltech Professor John Preskill to describe the  situation when a Quantum Computer could solve a problem that no classical computer of the day could solve in a reasonable time. In a similar spirit I have coined  the phrase “ AInEd Supremacy” to describe the situation when the AI technology of the day in conjunction with a human educator, an AI fluent SmartEducator: https://mmpant.com/aifse/ ) will achieve learning outcomes that no traditional teacher with traditional technology could achieve.

The AInEd supremacy could be achieved during this decade, with the use of Chatbots, face and emotion recognition, recommender systems, text to speech, speech to text and machine translation. And of course technologies like GPT3. 

Terrence Sejnowski, Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Director of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, says that “ Education is going to be the killer app for deep learning”. 

Sir Anthony Seldon illustrates how the traditional roles of  a teacher will be transformed by AI over the coming decades: https://mmpant.com/2021/03/03/ained-supremacy/

The technology to deploy ‘holograms’ for professor’s presence anywhere ( watch this 4 minute video right now) already exists. With time it will become more readily available: https://youtu.be/auJJrHgG9Mc

Technology powered by AI could even help on resurrecting dead professors : https://theconversation.com/chatbots-that-resurrect-the-dead-legal-experts-weigh-in-on-disturbing-technology-155436

In addition to the help that AI will provide to facilitate the traditional tasks of a teacher, there are a few more results that learning analytics will provide that enhance the teaching quality and the learning effectiveness. For example when the learner is transacting the content, data will automatically be recorded for the time spent at various sections. With permission granted to record facial expressions, there will be very useful data that indicates the level and nature of engagement with the content. The qualities of grit, perseverance etc. referred to by Paul Tough in his seminal work “ How children succeed” can now be observed and analysed quantitatively. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.

To help with his class the spring of 2016, a Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel, hired Jill Watson, https://youtu.be/Y3t-3YeY0sc a teaching assistant unlike any other in the world. Throughout the semester, she answered questions online for students, relieving the professor’s overworked teaching staff. But, in fact, Jill Watson was an artificial intelligence bot, based on the same IBM Watson technology that defeated the human champions in 2011 in the game of Jeopardy. 

Ashok Goel, a computer science professor, did not reveal Watson’s true identity to students until after they’d turned in their final exams.

With more human-like interaction, we may expect online learning could become more appealing to students and lead to better educational outcomes.

Just as professors may use AI as teaching assistants, students could use a chatbot to facilitate individual mastery learning. 

AI and related technologies can help bring the Oxford/ Cambridge tutorial system to any University that chooses to adopt it. While a good deal of the teaching in Oxford is provided in just the same way as elsewhere – through lectures, seminars, fieldwork and practicals – the tutorial system is what sets Oxford (and Cambridge!) apart.

Universities in future could have a physical campus as well as a campus “in the cloud”. Former faculty and graduated students can continue to take part in the “cloud events” when they have left the Campus. 

Universities will continue to support their students with lifelong learning even after they have received their degrees so that they continue to, in the words of Alvin Toffler, learn, unlearn and re-learn. In addition to the traditional degrees, such micro-credentials may be given as ‘digital badges’, which in due course may be managed as ‘ Blockchains’. 

In about a decade from now, the impact of the science of learning empowered with Artificial Intelligence will be seen on many features of the present educational landscape that we take for granted. Every student would have access to the best education in the field of choice, in a time schedule that is optimised for the learner. It is extremely tough to determine as to which teaching method resonates with most of the students. A well designed tutoring programme, with the help of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, can overcome this roadblock in the swiftest possible manner. As a matter of fact, a few tutoring programmes based on AI are already in place and they cater to students across different levels and subjects, such as science, mathematics, writing etc. Though such systems and programmes are not that effective when it comes to high-order creativity, they are extremely efficient for clarity on fundamentals and concepts.

The current state of assessment of learning:

Of the various formats of questions that are used for assessments, multiple choice questions, fill in the blank or match entries from 2 columns are easily capable of being automated and evaluated with traditional ( non AI) computers. Not only can a large number of students be graded automatically, the items can be evaluated on features such as facility, reliability and discrimination index. With good quality items for the bank of questions, it is relatively straightforward to implement an adaptive testing system.

The essay type questions are a formidable challenge to automated machine testing. But recent developments in machine learning, have made grading and assessments of essay type questions possible. 

This is also a time that shows up the irrelevance of the monolithic terminal examinations. Sir Anthony Seldon in his 2018 book “ The fourth education revolution” has analysed why such examinations will no longer be relevant. Sir Anthony, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, added that continuous assessment would sound the death-knell for exams: “The all-conquering cumulative exam is going to die and we should celebrate its death…The monolithic exam is drawing to a spluttering end.”

Micro-credentials are one of the hot rising ideas in the education space. The root of the idea is simple–you demonstrate a very specific skill, and a badge certifying that micro-credential becomes part of your personal digital file. Some of the earliest micro-credentialing involved computer programming skills, but it has grown far beyond that. To see just how many types of micro-credentials are out there, take a look at Digital Promise :  https://digitalpromise.org.  It offers micro-credentials of its own, but it also provides a platform for other entities to offer their own sets of micro-credentials.

To answer the question of what is worth learning, we need to balance between ‘pure’ learning and ‘applied learning’. The Usefulness of useless knowledge by Abraham Flexner, founding Director of Institute of Advanced Study Princeton: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/07/27/the-usefulness-of-useless-knowledge/. There are many reports that refer to the decreasing half-lives of useful knowledge. 

From the apparent uselessness of certain types of knowledge, Yuval Noah Harari went on to propose the emergence of a useless class, as a result of workplace automation : https://youtu.be/OMDlfNWM1fA

The antidote to becoming a part of the useless class is to become invaluable, the Ubermensch as espoused by Frederich Nietzsche . And it is indeed possible to Become invaluable , not useless : https://mmpant.com/binu/

Teacherless Learning : 

Thomas Frey, a futurist foresees an AI-enabled ‘ teacherless’ learning system in about a decade or even less: https://youtu.be/McV9AMV2LiI

But as William Gibson wrote  in the Economist in 2003: “The future is already here- it’s just not evenly distributed.” 

 École 42, is a teacher-less coding school first opened in 2013 in Paris, and now in Silicon Valley as well. The model has been adopted across the world. 

To have an experience of what AI can already do for language learning, please explore Duolingo.com. See : https://venturebeat.com/2020/08/18/how-duolingo-uses-ai-in-every-part-of-its-app/

Robots that can help you learn English : https://herobot.app/messenger-chatbot/learn-english-without-any-judgment-with-a-robot-to-talk-to/

AI for improving English : https://mmpant.com/ai4english/

When Computers were human: 

The term “computer“, in use from the early 17th century (the first known written reference dates from 1613),meant “one who computes”: a person performing mathematical calculations before electronic computers became commonly available. 

Teams of people, often women from the late nineteenth century onwards, were used to undertake long and often tedious calculations; the work was divided so that this could be done in parallel. The same calculations were frequently performed independently by separate teams to check the correctness of the results.

Computers weren’t always made of motherboards and CPUs. At one time, they were human! And at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, human computers were a talented team of women who went on to become some of the earliest computer programmers. 

These workers were neither calculating geniuses nor idiot savants but knowledgeable people who, in other circumstances, might have become scientists in their own right. 

“When Computers Were Human”, a book published in 2007 by David Alan Grier ( whose grandmother was trained as a human computer) gives an in-depth account of this little-known, 200-year epoch in the history of science and technology.

These are already several educational applications that harness the power of AI to improve learning in students of all ages – from primary school through to college – and empower both learner and teacher with more avenues for reaching their educational goals.

These should be seen not as the best that AI can do, but as illustrations of the enormous activity in the field, and to form the view that this is not far away. A co-operative symbiotic pursuit by educators and technology developers may achieve AInEdSupremacy in a short time, possibly by July 2022, when we will be celebrating India@75. Around the same time, someone who grew up in the recent past, and whose mother and grandmother were teachers, may write a book “ When teachers were human”……or who knows it may be a successor of GPT3 that would do it, if humans begin to find such book writing not worthy of their evolved human intelligence.  

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AI for learning/improving your English

Using AI to learn/improve your English:

Backdrop:

For many people, not only in India, but in other parts of the world, English is a second language. But it is a very important and useful language. 

While computer languages have changed in their popularity over the last 55 years : https://youtu.be/YqxeLodyyqA, in human languages the usage of English continues to increase. 

Until the advent and proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and mobile Apps powered with Artificial Intelligence, the learning of English as a second language was not only quite expensive, but not readily accessible, and took a lot of time.

But in the last few years, this has changed rapidly and it is much more feasible not only to acquire a working knowledge of English, but continually improve it. Regular use of a language is important in acquiring fluency in it. Athletes do regular training. Musicians train. Performers train. To be proficient in a language ( human or computer) one must practice the skills regularly. ‘Use it or lose it’ is the law of nature. 

To spread awareness of these new tools and techniques, I have created a special Weeklong WhatsApp delivered course. The focus on each of the 5 days ( Monday to Friday) is :

  • Day 1: Why English?
  • Day 2: Challenges in learning English
  • Day 3: AI powered tools to learn English
  • Day 4: Strategies and techniques for better English
  • Day 5: Benchmarking your English

Enrolment procedure:

Fresh batches of this week-long program begin on the first Monday of every month. The next cohort will start from Monday 6th September 2021. In order to enroll for the Programme, please send a WhatsApp message, with the following text:  AI4English to +91 98100 73724.

Please do mention your name and WhatsApp mobile number on which you would like to pursue the programme through WhatsApp

You will be included in the cohort beginning from the nearest cohort to your request date. 

The Programme Fee of Rs. 2500/– (Rupees Two thousand  only) may be remitted by PayTM to mobile number 9810073724 or deposited into the following Bank account:

Name: Madan Mohan Pant

HDFC Bank Account No. : 26451000000301*

*(The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

IFSC: HDFC0002645

Address: HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

Should you desire to know more, please WhatsApp, your query to :

 Prof. M. M. Pant  at +91 98100 73724

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