Is Social Media Ruining Us?

Could digital technology and its facile propagation through social media be numbing our senses about reality, especially when it targets emotionally vulnerable teenagers?

Carolyn Stritch, a 32-year-old blogger, pulled off a hoax. Photoshopping herself in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, she tricked more than 190,000 of her Instagram followers to believe that she went to Disneyland when, in fact, she had been at home the whole time.

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Image: Carolyn Stritch

This seemingly harmless experiment reflects a larger picture of the realities in the digital age: an ability to distort reality for the eyes of the mass public. It is a known fact that the digital world inherently differs from our physical realmits ability to represent the complexities of our lives is limited at best. Could digital technology and its facile propagation through social media be numbing our senses about reality, especially when it targets emotionally vulnerable teenagers?

A phenomenon called Facebook depression is one such piece of evidence; more time spent on social media outlets statistically correlates to low self-esteem and unhappiness. That is, the more we expose ourselves and limit our vision to the positive milestones of others, the more we normalize an “all-high” life. And it is understandable, becauselet’s face itmost, if not, all of our Instagram feeds are a culmination of carefully selected photos of the most aesthetically flawless pictures accompanied by the wittiest captions. Who can deny that these fail to represent even 1% of the mundane chores and ugly breakdowns of our true daily life? When we compare the entirety of our lives to the pinnacle of others’, we become complicit in our own misery.

Social media’s standardization of unrealistic beauty among us paints another unsettling picture of social media. For many, it is second nature to tap on our phones with a few effortless clicks that magically slim our waists, enlarge our eyes, and clear our blemishes. In particular, given the impossibly narrow standard of beauty espoused by the Korean society—pale, white skin topped by a sharp-cut V line and an unusual obsession with double eyelids—tools that expunge every flaw become devastatingly toxic. It leaves no room for diversity and pressures all into a cookie-cutter model of beauty.

The ability to fantasize has always been a part of who we are. As we dream of becoming something we are not, we challenge ourselves to shed off our old skin and become the best version of ourselves. However, new avenues of digital technology have infiltrated reality in ways we had never expected. Perhaps now, we are losing our footing amid the overwhelmingly fictitious world of our own creation. It’s time to own our social media instead of remaining mere slaves to its unrealistic whims and demands. Social media can be more than a competition ground spurring gossip about who lives the most lavish lifeit can be a remarkable avenue through which we share our meaningful projects, candid smiles, and beauty in being our genuine, flawed selves. After all, our lives are authentic, complex, and free of the swing of a cure-all wand.

Featured Image: Hannah Kim (’19)

– Janie Do (‘20)

Artificial Intelligence…doctors?

By 2025, A.I will replace “80 percent of what doctors do” (Fortune)

 

Technology boom. Big data. Digital Age. Inevitably, our world stands on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution soon to be overrun with computers…and Artificial Intelligence.

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A.I (The Medical Futurist)

As a unique computer system that utilizes natural language to emulate human learning, logical problem solving, and decision making, A.I is expected to outperform various human tasks from manufacturing to even driving taxis on the busy highway. But what if I tell you, A.I may soon become integrated in the medical field, challenging the traditional roles of our present doctors and nurses?

Already, the global AI market is experiencing a 56% annual growth, where by 2025, AI systems will be implemented in “90% of the U.S. and 60% of the global hospitals and insurance companies” (Forbes). Though alarming as it may sound, A.I withholds the remarkable potential to improve diagnostics, patient care, and drug discovery due to its algorithmic ability to utilize patient’s mass electronic health records in clinical databases (2016 A.I Now Report).  

Regardless, let us explore some prime applications of A.I that may either alter our hospital experience for the better or worse.  

1) Diagnosis

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IBM Watson (Collective Evolution)

Last August, for the first time in Japan, the A.I computer system IBM Watson revealed its astounding successes with cancer diagnostics. By cross-referencing previous patients’ genetic database, IBM Watson was able to detect a rare form of leukemia and identify a lifesaving therapy. According to Professor Arinobu Tojo from the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science,  “Watson’s speed was crucial in the treatment of leukemia, which progresses rapidly” (Japan Times).  Where it would have taken at least two weeks for human doctors, it only took 10 minutes to identify “which of the 1,000 genetic mutations were diagnostically important” (Japan Times). And today, where  cancer misdiagnosis accounts for at least 40,000 annual deaths (John Hopkins report), the IBM Watson may indeed provide immediate and accurate diagnostics for oncology patients, possibly saving more lives.

 

2) Patient Monitoring and Care

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Sense.ly’s Molly (Sense.ly)

Sense.ly’s A.I mobile virtual nurse “Molly,”  naturally converses with patients about “pain, sleep, stress, and diet,” assessing them for risk and providing administrative advice regarding medication and symptoms. Moreover, Molly will provide personalized, long term assistance for patients with chronic diseases; this would not only save time for physicians and nurses, but also address the inability of the healthcare industry to monitor patients 24 hours a day due to its lack of resources.

But at the same time, there are concerns that virtual nurses like Molly may never fully attain the human intimacy with patients, along with its unpredictable behavior when faced with scenarios they are untrained in. For example, Dr. Sarah Jarvis notes A.I cannot read “subtle facial expressions” and “pick up on nonverbal cues” (Raconteur). Likewise, within the social setting, A.I may be limited in filtering patient’s personalities or emotions apart from pure empirical data that could perhaps result in miscommunication or flawed analysis.

3) Surgery

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STAR autonomous robot (That Health site)

Finally, the development of the Smart-Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) led by Peter Kim, a Pediatric Surgeon from the Children’s National Medical Center, has marked a major breakthrough in A.I robotic surgery. STAR successfully performed intestinal anastomosis in both ex vivo and in vivo in pigs; after analyzing the “metrics of anastomosis,” from “the number of mistakes that required removing the needle from the tissue” to “completion time,” Kim concluded that the “autonomous surgery offered by the STAR system was superior” to “manual surgery, laparoscopy, and robot-assisted surgery.” Though STAR is yet to be performed on human patients, its achievement in complex soft tissue surgery of pigs that already surpasses human skills is significant. As long as further trials are carried out to ensure safety and trust, employing STAR may prove to be practical for surgical purposes that require extreme precision.

 

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A.I transforming our social lives (Tech Republic)

Indeed, the growing prevalence of A.I will drastically transform the healthcare industry. However, we must still acknowledge the wide range of ethical concerns regarding accuracy, reliability, security, and privacy. Perhaps, rather than viewing A.I as innovative replacements, it is time we must find a way to work collaboratively with the emerging technology, monitoring its performance while utilizing it to its full potential.

-Sammie Kim 18′

(Featured image by Celine Yoon)

Expressive Algorithms: Can Computers be Artists?

Can computers create art? Can this art ever be valued for creativity? And, unavoidably, what is art?

Technology that brings computers increasingly closer to humanity: artificial intelligence. With the steady development of various programs that mimic human thought, the rise of artificial intelligence has lent much fear-driven inspiration to apocalyptic stories, in which humans are overpowered by robots in a crushing defeat— a crumbling Tower of Babel. The pop-culture archetypes are only reflections of an anxiety that is becoming very much real in society. But the fear that computers may someday steal one’s job seems to be limited to stereotypically formulaic careers, completely evading the realm of artists. After all, it is difficult to imagine how codes can replace the composer, painter, or poet. But scientists are already making progress in creating artistic robots, posing multiple questions that push the boundaries of contemporary thought: can computers create art? Can this art ever be valued for creativity? And, unavoidably, what is art?

For instance, take AARON, a computer program that produces paintings. With a human partner, it can experiment with colors and shapes, resulting in dynamic, large-scale works that would not seem out of place at a modern art gallery.

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A Painting by AARON

Or consider Google’s Deep Dream Generator, which allows the visualization of a computer’s “dream”- or, more accurately and less romantically, a visual depiction of patterns that the program pulls from a blank canvas of white noise, resulting in a fascinating, hallucinatory work of “art”.

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A Computer’s “Dream”

The diversity of creative programs stretches far beyond paintings, across the wider spectrum of the Arts- Magenta is a program by Google that can compose original art and music. Although the songs produced autonomously by the program do not hold much entertainment value without human intervention, the program is continuously being developed, lending unlimited potential to how original or enjoyable these songs could eventually become.

Language, considered to be a singular and exclusive gift of humanity, is no exception. The fickle rules and patterns of sentences are being coded into computers with increasing caliber, and machines have already gained the ability to replace generic sports article writers. This is why literature is far from evading the pursuit of technology. For example, a novel written autonomously by artificial intelligence after only being given selected sentences and parameters by the human developers made it past the first round of a Japanese literary prize. The lead developer, Hitoshi Matsubara, said: “so far, AI programs have often been used to solve problems that have answers, such as Go and Shogi. In the future, I’d like to expand AI’s potential [so it resembles] human creativity.”

However, we must question what gives art its value in order to evaluate whether these works, or even more advanced and autonomous works created by robots in the future, could qualify as art. Say technology advances to the point that a robot can make autonomous plot choices and create a novel that is indistinguishable from one written by a human, or can create a song or a painting in a similar manner. To the audience, the work may inspire the same feelings and even cause an original realization about the human condition- despite the irony of that situation. If that were to be, put very crudely, the purpose of art, it may even seem reasonable to state that machines can create art.

But there is a distinction between art and entertainment. It may be a fine line, but things that entertain cannot be considered art before it begins with the desire to express something. And this very idea of expression- of creativity- is something human by definition. As a rough analogy, we would not consider a chimpanzee’s painting worth artistic value unless it was the product of a conscious decision made by the chimpanzee to express an idea or emotion. It merely holds entertainment value in that the concept of a chimpanzee artist is interesting. Another way to think about it is a computer that can generate conversational responses based on mass data of human texts- it cannot be a conversation if the computer is not conversing with its own intent. A painting expressing sadness cannot be art until the computer can experience sadness. Art may very well be the only realm that computers cannot enter, not because they are not smart enough, but because they inherently fail to be human.

Computers can generate entertainment- they may one day produce ideal music, literature, and visual art that is even more pleasing to the senses than work created by humanity. But this, created purely in the aesthetic sense, would still not be art.

Let us return to the initial question- will the rise of artificial intelligence endanger the jobs of artists? It cannot ever undermine the value of true art, but it may invade part of the art industry that is fueled by the search for entertainment. In other words, a large portion of consumers of music, literature, and visual arts can be satisfied with entertainment. If it gives them the same experience, the intent of creation would not matter to them. This means the livelihood of many human creators are indeed at a great risk, jeopardized as the world of binary and digital encroaches upon the world of sentiment and analogue.

But the optimist would like to think that enough artists will remain in the world to value each other’s humanity and the endless will to create. That in a world where the definition of humanity is perpetually shifting from what humans can do to what computers cannot, art will remain standing to shine a light on the spontaneous, eccentric, and insane.

-Jisoo Hope Yoon (’19)

Sources:

Cover Image: image created by Magenta, Google’s artificial intelligence project

http://www.iflscience.com/technology/artificial-intelligence-dreams/

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33677271&sa=D&ust=1485009093776000&usg=AFQjCNFaGDhFrQlHJfh2nIDpY919dQ4Sgw

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/japanese-ai-writes-novel-passes-first-round-nationanl-literary-prize/

 

The Future of the U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy prepares to launch one of the most efficient and powerful aircraft carriers yet.

With the results of the recent U.S. presidential election shaking up the world, tensions are as high as ever. Numerous mechanical breakdowns in several of the U.S. Navy’s newest ships over the past few months haven’t helped either, resulting in ballooning maintenance and construction costs, not to mention postponed launch and christening dates. In order to reassure the rest of the world of the United States’ stability despite the chaos of the 2016 presidential election, the U.S. military must continue to stay strong, and no other force has a more global presence than the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. Navy is ever expanding and improving in terms of numbers, technology, and firepower. Perhaps the most significant factor of the U.S. Navy’s dominance throughout the world’s oceans is the presence of extremely sophisticated and innovative aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, ever since the Cold War, the dominating aircraft carriers are nuclear-powered Nimitz-class supercarriers, albeit the largest capital ships in the world. With the White House seeking to continuously assert the presence of its fleets throughout the world, the U.S. Navy had to have come up with a new class of aircraft carrier sooner or later, and now we have it: the Gerald R. Ford class supercarrier.

Named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, the Ford-class supercarriers follow the current trend of the U.S. Navy’s emphasis on smaller yet more efficient technology in an effort to reduce operation costs but increase performance yield tenfold.

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PC: Official Website of the United States Navy

The new Bechtel A1B nuclear reactor was developed to replace the Nimitz-class A4W nuclear reactor. The design of the previous A4W reactor is limited in terms of maximum efficiency due to the extremely smaller amount of energy required by technology aboard the Nimitz-class carriers at the time, and the Bechtel A1B reactor is far more powerful than the A4W reactor, despite its smaller size, simpler design, and fewer crew requirements.

With two of these reactors installed on each Ford-class carrier, each capable of producing 300 MW (triple the 100 MW of the Nimitz-class A4W reactor), the Ford-class carrier will have no problem powering its onboard technology and then some. The modernization of the Bechtel A1B reactor led to lower maintenance, construction, manpower, and spatial requirements, and the resulting limits of the A4W reactor from revolutionized technological advances, requiring more energy, led to the A1B reactor’s excess energy production to ensure the application of unexpected technology to the Ford-class carriers.

Many majour structural changes and improvements were implemented to the Ford-class carriers as well. First and foremost, in order to improve the efficiency of aircraft launch times – critical to the performance of an aircraft carrier – the deck space for rearm and refuel stations was expanded, reducing the frequency that an aircraft will be relocated after landing and before relaunch. This lessens the number of crew required to accomplish these tasks, further reducing the overall size of the ship’s crew.

With the size of the Ford-class carrier’s crew diminished significantly due to these structural changes and automation of technology, the new aircraft carriers require less crew accommodations, and even wifi-enabled lounges are located here and there! Wifi for the win!

living-quarters
PC: The Walking Tourists

Furthermore, the path of weapons from storage to the aircraft has been simplified; munitions will no longer cross into paths of aircraft movement, reducing traffic throughout the ship and decreasing the time to rearm aircraft to mere minutes.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers utilize Cold War-era steam-powered catapults for launching aircraft, and while they are extremely reliable, steam-powered catapults are also extremely inefficient and hard to control, limiting Nimitz-class steam-powered catapults to launching heavy aircraft; 21st-century UAVs are far too light and delicate to launch from these antique catapults, and so the Ford-class carriers utilize Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which is far easier to control and more efficient. With EMALS, the Ford-class carriers can launch both heavy and light aircraft, which ensures an increased versatility in the performance of these 21st-century supercarriers.

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PC: Next Big Future

With a far smaller crew than the Nimitz-class supercarrier, EMALS, new A1B reactors, and the ability to easily carry and launch 90 heavy and light aircraft, the revolutionary Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers will further ensure the U.S. Navy’s survival and dominance in the world’s oceans for decades to come.

– Daniel Park (’17)

Featured Image: The Ford Class

Apple’s iOS 10: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

“More personal. More powerful. More playful.” Let’s see. Here’s an in-depth breakdown of Apple’s new iOS 10!

Three months after its announcement at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June, on September 13, Apple released one of its biggest and long-awaited upgrades: iOS 10. Tim Cook’s auguring three adjective description of iOS 10 being “More personal. More powerful. More playful,” had caused a stir amidst many iOS users. Designed for iPhone 5 or later, the iOS update is compatible to not just the recent iPhone 7 buyers but for many of us—one reason why we love Apple. After Apple’s dramatic design makeover in iOS 7, this new iOS 10 was claimed to be the “biggest release yet,” an operating system embodying a multitude of next-generation and innovative features that will certainly break new ground. Here’s the dissection.

Actionable Siri: In iOS 10, Siri has returned smarter. Apple has opened Siri to third-party developers, allowing users to basically control non-built-in apps to perform particular actions in those apps. Tell Siri, “Let (your friend) know that I’ll be there in a few minutes in Skype” and it’ll do it for you. Siri is now more hands-off, available from keyboard as well. It can peruse your conversations in Messages, instantaneously suggesting scheduling for a calendar entry.

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PC: macworld.com

New Notifications: Mirroring Android’s quality feature of Notifications, iOS 10 has brought us a step closer to richer and more interactive notifications. This means, no need to unlock your iPhone for every notification you receive, but simple actions are available to be performed on the lock screen itself. Along with that, the 3D Touch compatible devices have been equipped with additional notification enhancements.

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PC: idownloadblog.com

Lock Screen Overhaul: The most evident change coming in from the new update is on your lock screen. There are several new supplements on your lock screen. Apple has added a Raise to Awake feature—one previously from Apple Watch and Android—which automatically displays the screen when you pick it up, eliminating the process of pressing your home button just to check the time. Slide your lock screen to the left and you’ll see one of the biggest changes. Today widgets have been added straight onto your screen. Before this update, the Today menu was only available in the pulldown notification center. With the widgets accessible on the lock screen, you can customize your own menu with apps you want shortcut views to.

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PC: idownloadblog.com

Photos: Embedded in the photos app are Apple’s advanced deep learning techniques that support recognition of not only people but also objects. Approximately 11 billion computations are calculated for each photo for the recognition techniques. An assistant technique has been patched as well, with the Photos app automatically rediscovering cherished memories to generate photo and video collages in the “memories” tab. You can now search your photos with specific keywords like “beach” or “armchair.”

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PC: iphonehacks.com

Decluttered Control Center: The swipe-up Control Center has simplified, yet at the same time, has been added a new layer of complexity to. First, the layout menu has been redesigned for the ease of our eyes. The shortcuts have not changed much. However, a brand new panel solely dedicated for music controls has been added to the Control Center.

ios10-control-center

PC: phonearena.com

Apple Music: Apple Music has been refurbished with “greater clarity and simplicity to every aspect of the experience.” With navigable, accessible, and customized content, Apple Music has added several new tabs including “For You,” “Browse,” and “Library.” The new design also puts great emphasis on the aesthetics, highlighting the cover arts and leaving a whole lot of blank space baby.

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PC: Macrumors.com

Overall, these were the major renovations made on the iOS 10. However, just as eagerly anticipated as it was before the official release, the new upgrade after its debut has sparked controversy, proving its several pitfalls to rather unnecessary features.

Here’s what I think about the new overhaul.

I personally updated my iPhone the day of the release. Having always enjoyed new minor changes of every update, I was rather confronted by frustration when my iPhone reloaded after its completely new updated features.

Some more minor features and my opinions on it:

  1. Press Home to Unlock 

I would call this a change for the worse. No exaggeration, but one reason I had persistently clung to the iOS devices was because of their somehow satisfying “swipe to unlock” features. Unfortunately, Apple has completely reformed this motion to “press home to unlock.”

I don’t know, I think I am yet unsure. My fingers still remember the smooth, elegant glide as I swiped across the screen. But seeing camera activated after accidentally swiping the locked screen now bring tears to my eyes.

RIP, Slide to Unlock.

  1. New Emojis

Hundreds of emojis have had a makeover in this new update. Some noted changes are gender diversity to professions and sports (which I really like) and 72 new emojis including Sherlock Holmes.

However, the real evident change in my eyes is the new design. Claimed to have a design that is sharper, more detailed, and less glossy, the complete list of emojis has been restyled to give them a more human-like look. But having lost the original glossy shade and the drop shadow, iOS 10’s emojis have become more difficult to be differentiated from those of Android’s.

Smaller pupils for human emojis have lessened the sarcasm and sassiness that was conveyed in just one emoji.

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See the Difference?

PC: blog.emojipedia.org

By the way, the real pistol has gone through an impeccable makeover to a green playful watergun. Yay, so exciting!pistol-emoji-ios10-emojipedia

PC: blog.emojipedia.org

  1. Apple Messages

At first glance, the new text messaging effects enticed me. Extra icons (Camera, Digital Touch, and App Store) have been added to messages allowing you to receive and send more than just text.

Digital Touch lets you generate animated drawings, including directly drawing in photos and sending “digitally touched” images. For instance, if you tap with two fingers, you can send a kiss. If you press with one finger, you can send a fireball.

In addition, you can send bubble and full-screen preset effects on individual text messages to really get that feeling across the screen. These animations include sending a message “slammed,” with “invisible ink,” “with fireworks,” “with balloons,” and the list goes on.

I guess this is what Apple meant by “More Playful.” These new message features are very creative and next-generation… to the point that they aren’t really necessary to me daily. It’s a bit like the 6S’s supposedly innovational 3D touch which I can never take advantage of ever. But I appreciate Apple’s attempt to make it playful.

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PC: cultofmac.com

  1. Redesigned Font

“Big. Bold. Beautiful” was Apple’s design mission. Apple has generally bulked up the size of its font and weighted bold to it. The enlarged font has not yet convinced me. Actually, it’s not just me, 67 percent of the tweets on the new font are negative. As someone who dug Apple’s former minimalistic aesthetic, I think the bolded text, especially that on the lock screen, is not satisfying to the eye at all.

Let’s take a look at a few KISian’s reactions:

“I like the new iOS 10 update! I appreciate how Apple is trying to make its utilities more versatile for usage, an aspect it was renown for lacking in. Because I like to customize my schedule and my priorities, the easily accessible tab for daily updates helped me organize and push me to be more productive concisely. Basically the new update is really practical in ameliorating the use my phone as opposed to constant resorts to apps that waste my time. There isn’t anything major that I dislike.”Elizabeth Lee (‘18)

“As a very organized “OCD” person, I have to say that I am a bit annoyed about how Apple has changed the Notifications Center. I insist on always having my notifications cleared up, and Apple has made it a bit harder for the users to erase all the notifications (for phones without 3D Touch). Up until iOS 9, the notifications could be organized in a user-defined fashion. However, iOS 10 is system-defined into a day-by-day organization that requires multiple touches to clear notifications from separate days, instead of organizing by app. Developers have been talking about this on the developer forums, but we don’t even know if this madness will change soon.”Nick Oh (‘18)

The Verdict: Overall, reactions to iOS 10 have been divided, with positive notes on its new built-in app advancements but negativity on the subtraction of Apple’s traditions and unnecessary additions. However, a majority has followed the process of anticipation, frustration, and regret. Perhaps we’re simply not ready for the yet unorthodox change. The paint hasn’t dried yet. Soon after, we may be perfectly adapted to this new world of iOS 10.

Yet, you read through the article and still fell in love with the new changes, here’s how you can update your device:

Settings > General > Software Update

–Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)

Featured Image: apple.com

 

MIT’s Shapeshifting Table

Introducing a furniture with superpowers.

What do you think of when you think of a table?

 

Most likely, an image of a rigid and static four-legged structure that stands proudly in the middle of your living room will pop up in your mind.

The MIT Media Lab, however, has created something that will completely revolutionize the orthodox ideas you have in mind.

(Dezeen)
(Dezeen)

Transform, created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group, is a table that senses the kinetic energy of a person who is viewing the table and uses that energy to make rippling movements through the pins on the table. It is designed to tell the story of the conflict between nature and machine through the constantly changing pins in the table, as the movement of the pins are representative of the different motions of wind, water, and sand interactions.

(Homecrux)
(Homecrux)

This table aims to combine the static and dynamic aspects of nature into one piece of furniture.The shapeshifting feature of the table supports a variety of uses, such as holding objects, moving objects, generating interactive sculptures, and creating dividers. For example, if you place an apple on this table, the pins would adjust to make a bowl for the apple so that it is dissociated from the other objects on the table.

(Business Insider)
(Business Insider)

With this step in innovation and advancement in technology, it is exciting to think about the possibilities that technology has as it advances. Perhaps superpowers we all dream of such as flying, invisibility, and mind reading will one day be incorporated into technology.

 

Take a look at these links to further check out how Transform works.

https://vimeo.com/79179138

https://vimeo.com/122370241

https://vimeo.com/91254495

 

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

Schools Wasting Money on Technology in Classrooms Says OECD

A recent report by the OECD states technology’s inability to improve classrooms and can actually hinder student’s learning

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Look familiar? (Albany Law School)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation, recently released a report on the effects of technology in classrooms. This report stated the inability of technology in classrooms to help students and overuse of technology in class actually hindered student’s learning.

“Despite considerable investments in computers, Internet connections and software for educational use, there is little solid evidence that greater computer use among students leads to better scores in mathematics and reading,” the report said.

In 2014, roughly $1.9 billion was spent on technology in education worldwide and it is expected to exceed $2 billion at the end of this year. This shows significant change from just five years ago, where only about $385 million was spent according to CB Insights, a venture capital firm.

This extreme amount of money spent on laptops, iPads, SmartBoards and much more, naturally leads many to be curious on how effective technology in classrooms really is. OECD tried to answer that question with a two year long study.

It was stated in the OECD’s report “Students, Computers and Learning” that those with excessive computer use during the day had the lowest results regardless of their socio-economic class. Furthermore, since the beginning of the technology buzz, it has been reported that the skill level of rising ninth graders in fundamental subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics has dropped drastically.

“One of the most disappointing findings of the report is that the socio-economic divide between students is not narrowed by technology, perhaps even amplified,” says Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s head of education. Many attribute this to the amount of technology available at home. Those with more exposure to technology were able to perform better in the technology centric classrooms.

It was also repeatedly pointed out that countries with the lowest amount of technology use in classrooms, South Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong, are also today’s leaders of education. It was reported that in South Korea, on average, less than ten minutes were spent on computers or other such Internet connected devices, while Shanghai was just under 10 minutes and Hong Kong close to 12 minutes.

samsung_classroom
(Education News)

So the question is: Is KIS’s computer policy advantageous for students? Many will quickly answer “Yes!” With responses which highlight the limitless knowledge the internet provides, as well as its versatility (textbook, calculator, notebook, etc.), students will go on and on in the ‘advantages’ of personal laptops. However, many students admit it can often be distracting with unchecked access to videos, social media and games.

“It is true that classrooms with high technology have more distractions. The question is does one value higher information flow over being off task for a higher amount of time. I believe the trade off is worth it,” says, Mr. Hopkins, a science teacher.

Julie Suh, a KIS sophomore, has a different stance. She says she “find[s] it easier to study and retain information when [she] writes with a pen and pencil” rather than on a computer.

Technology in classrooms, however, is not all bad. As the world becomes increasingly technological, it is a vital skill to be able to proficiently use certain technology. Exposure to it at an early age will prove to be advantageous in the workforce. Furthermore, it creates a more engaging environments for students. The incorporation of educational games and videos can make dull lessons more exciting.

OECD states that technology in the classrooms is not the problem, but the use of it should be more regulated. It also reports that blindly spending money on technology in education is useless. Regardless, technology is starting to become an important aspect of education.

 

– Juyon Lee (’18)

2015: The Era of Emerging Tech

Our world is about to get even more high-tech.

Twenty Fifteen New Year’s Day has set a new break sale record for Apple industry. The Apple Store posted their first quarter results: 74.5 million iPhones, 21.4 million iPads, and 5.52 million Macs; a total earnings of $18 billion. Billings rose by 50 percent and apps generated over $10 billion for developers. Even now the imminent Apple Watch which is to be released in April is one of the most highly anticipated products.

And along with Apple’s success, the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has introduced more fresh, emerging technologies to watch out for in 2015.

(Gogoro)
(Gogoro)

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro is the world’s first powerful, emission-free, two-wheeled smart scooter. The scooter uses the Tesla S battery that is easily swappable in any nearby battery station. Besides the 30 onboard sensors, the Bluetooth connectivity is always on, that pairs with a smartphone that allows us to customize the vehicle. Users can also download cool effects like vehicle sounds and actions like booting up.

With a range of nearly 100 miles, the Gogoro Smartscooter’s top speed is 60mph. Even better, the scooter is carbon emission free.

(Voxel)
(Voxel8)

Voxel8 3D printer

A voxel is a 3D pixel, the dot in which the printer builds the object with. Using additive processes, the object is created three dimensional by laying down consecutive layers digitally. As a result, we are able to rapidly manufacture various prototypes in industries, or even as personal use for hobbyists.

According to the Voxel8 store, “Pneumatic room-temperature dispensing, autobed leveling, a highly repeatable kinematic coupled bed and an interchangeable ink cartridge system” is what sets the Voxel8 3D printer apart from others.

(HP)
(HP)

HP Zvr 3D display

Would you like to explore virtual reality? This HP Zvr 3D display is a 24-inch monitor that looks like a 3D television. Users will wear lightweight 3D glasses which allow us to see images floating above the screen that track our heads. Meant for educational purposes, we can observe 3D holographic projections of any objects, animals, and people. We can even zoom or rotate these objects to look at them from different angles without touching the screen.This will be greatly useful not only for engineers or architects, but also for students to visualize the human anatomy, and so on.

(Sony)
(Sony)

Sony SmartEyeglass Attach

The Sony SmartEyeglass Attatch clips on to any pair of glasses, designed primarily to help runners with navigation. The small 0.5 cm high OLED screen and camera is unobtrusive.

The benefit of this is that GPS is not needed and we can have easy access to information at all times. It is also waterproof, small and convenient to wear.

(Siemens)
(Siemens)

Siemens Smart Hearing Aids

The Siemens Smart Hearing Aids detect the users’ listening environment and adjusts the senses accordingly. As a result, the users can enhance certain things they want to hear, and suppress unwanted sounds or background noises. These aids work both for iPhone and Android devices by adjusting the microphone direction to the front, left, right, or behind. For example, at a party, the smart hearing aids can sharpen the speech coming from the front, while alleviating the loud background noise coming from any directions.

These miraculous products are looked forward to boosting our transportation, manufacturing, and even daily life a step further.

– Sammie Kim (’18)
Header: Goodmood