Jerome C. Glenn:

AI Self-Paced Online Learning Systems to Be Increasingly More Popular

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 15:03

The co-founder (1996) and director of The Millennium Project (on global futures research) has stated that artificial intelligence self-paced online learning systems will become increasingly more popular in universities educational system.

In his interview with ISCA New Agency, Jerome C. Glenn stated that “Universities should be independent research institutions with emphasis on basic research, teaching the status of that research and related state of the art research and knowledge from around the world, and create a culture that reinforces the pursuit free inquiry into the natural of reality and how to improve the human condition.”

The co-founder (1996) and director of The Millennium Project (on global futures research) and a futurist explained about the subject of “University-Industry Relations” and said that “Industry has to focus on applied research for products and universities can do some of this, but should never lose a focus on basic research to increase knowledge.”

“Universities should provide knowledge from which industries can apply and universities should be responsive to future skills needs of industries. Industries should keep track of change in universities that can lead to new needs, requirements, and opportunities to solve problems. A purpose of business is to solve problems; universities can help by identifying problems to solve,” he continued.

Glenn defined future studies in simple words and said that “The systematic exploration of future possibilities, how those possibilities can emerge from the present and evolve into the future, and what strategies can the possibilities.”

“I do not predict in the sense that by 2025 X will occur. I can say it is very possible the X could occur in 2025, but I do not know the future, I know possibly, trends, what current research could produce. On scientific basis, depends on whether you agree with Aristotle that science is an organized body of knowledge or with Galileo that you have to experiment and control for a variable. If you agree with Aristotle, that yes my work exploring the future is on a scientific basis,”

“But you agree with Galileo, then no it is not. I draw on scientific insights, but am not limited to them I use methods like the Futures Wheel to explore primary, secondary, and tertiary consequences or impacts of trends and possible future event. And they in cross-impact them to see what might result, and conduct Delphi’s to include others judgments, and write scenarios to see what questions come up in the writing that I would not have known to as, hand I not started writing the scenarios. All of this is a craft: applying knowledge with skill, rather than a Galilean experiment, but it is organized and systematic like Aristotle,” he clarified.

“The purpose of futures research is to be useful, to improve the context for thinking about the future, to help make better decisions. The purpose of writing scenarios about nuclear war is to find out how to prevent them. You want to be wrong about scenarios that show how nuclear war could occur; you want to be wrong that they will occur,”

“Some futures work is saying X will occur unless we intervene with these policies. Look at the work on climate change, we say that sea levels could rise by X, but we also say that if we make meat without animals and have plant-based meat substitutes, then global warming could be reduced some percent,”

“BUT we don’t know if people will change their diets. We can study possible ways people might change their diets, but we don’t know if they will. In the book Future Mind I wrote over thirty years ago about what we know today as the smart phone, but I called it the tree of knowledge (TOK) then, but the purpose was not to predict when, how many will use it by when, and what it will cost, but to say that the TOK’s capabilities are likely in the future, what might be the consequences,” Glenn declared.

Jerome C. Glenn also introduced Millennium Project and stated that “It began (feasibility study 1992-95) in the United Nations University headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. I just happened to live in Washington, DC in the United States so when we went independent in 2009, I registered it as non-profit in Washington, DC. But the vast majority of participants are not Americans. There are 65 Nodes around the world, only one is in the USA, and that is in Silicon Valley. See one of the first Nodes was Iran chaired by Professor Bahrami. You can see the explanation, goals, background at: and sponsors:”

Answering to the question about the effectiveness professor-centered educational system, he explained that “Artificial Intelligence is being developed to figure out the best ways for you to learn and what you should, need, and/or want to learn. Just as glasses augment our eyes to see better, we will augment our brains to become augmented geniuses; NeuraLink is hiring now to create that, and several companies are testing smart contact lenses and augmented-reality glasses to connect to the IoT,”

“This should speed learning, reduce miscommunications, and make education far more interesting. Much of the world’s knowledge is available—either directly or through intermediaries—to the majority of humanity today via many forms of online education. Google and Wikipedia are helping to make the phrase “I don’t know” obsolete, and free online self-paced courses proliferate on everything from synthetic biology to elementary arithmetic,”

“Teams led by Facebook and Google are competing to get everyone on the planet connected to the Internet. The price of laptops and smart phones continues to fall, and IoT with data analytics gives real-time precision intelligence. However, successfully applying all these resources to develop wisdom, rather than information pollution, is a huge challenge,”

“Cognitive/neuroscience and related research has shown that brain performance can be improved by responding to feedback, providing consistency of love and social-emotional support within a diversity of environments, nutrition, reasoning exercises, the belief it is possible (placebo effect), personal contact with intelligent people or via VR simulations, - responsible use of software systems and gaming, neuro pharmacology (enhanced brain chemistry), and memes on classroom walls and elsewhere,”

“Sufficient sleep, and low-stress, stimulating environments, with certain music, colors, and fragrances, improves concentration and performance. Longer-term future approaches to improving brain performance include reverse engineering the brain such as national brain projects in the U.S., EU, China, and others; applied epigenetics and genetic engineering; and microbes via synthetic biology to eat the plaque on neurons of the elderly,”

“Meanwhile, innovations are occurring inside and outside of classrooms across the world. Finland plans to use an interdisciplinary approach to teach events and phenomena instead of subjects. China plans to make 3D printers available in its 400,000 elementary schools in two years. South Korea uses telepresence robots with remote native speakers to teach English. Dubai uses 3D glasses, holograms, and VR for immersive learning,”

“As neuroscience and psychology improve, their research results can inform teaching strategies. Curriculum design can take into account that students remember most clearly items taught first and last; give frequent, formative (ungraded/low stakes) assessments; allow student opportunities for meta-cognitive reflection on learning/performance; teach students to self-test when studying (simply re-reading notes hurts student long-term learning); emphasize the importance of sleep in learning/memory consolidation; make sure students understand their ability to improve their own brains (neuroplasticity and placebo effect); give students opportunities for choice in learning (enhances engagement/intrinsic motivation); make sure students and teachers understand the effects of stress, fear, and fatigue on higher-order reasoning and memory; allow opportunities to transfer learning through visual/performing arts; help students understand the role of brain anatomy in learning; use immersive virtual and augmented reality devices; and allow frequent opportunities to play,”

“Because technological capacities available to the individual will be far more powerful than in the past, increased attention has to be given to ethics, values, citizen responsibilities, and noble behavior. And because humanity is becoming far more connected and globalized, special attention should be given to world and macro history, while learning one’s own culture and civilization,”

Actions to Address Global Challenge:

Make increasing individual and collective intelligence national objectives of education.

Promote online life-long learning in anticipation of aging societies and technological change.

Increase R&D funding of AI-human symbiotic evolution.

In parallel to STEM education, create self-paced inquiry-based learning for self-actualization that increased focus on developing creativity, critical thinking, human relations, social-emotional abilities, philosophy, entrepreneurship, art, self-employment, ethics, and values (STEAM education, adding A for the Arts).

Begin shift from mastering a profession to mastering combinations of skills.

Teacher training schools should show how different teaching strategies affect neural activity of students’ brains via fMRI and/or other means as they teach.

Explore alternative models of education and learning (both Finland and South Korea score top in the world but have quite different systems).

Implement insights from the Global Learning XPrize for children to teach themselves basic reading, writing, and arithmetic within 18 months.

Spoke of the significant performance of higher education system based on the world global rankings in producing science and scientific publications, he declared that “In my country the early universities (Ivy League) attracted the elites of the country who were already well educated. As the university systems expanded over the years, the per capita intelligence and knowledge of both the students and professors went down. But now with a much larger systems the overall quality of output is among the best in the world. As a generalization is would say that the expansion of the original quality goes down, but them enough interconnections (like brain wiring) increase the quality.”

Mr. Glenn has 37 years of experience in futures research, also travels internationally to keynote conferences about global challenges, prospects, and strategies for the future.


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