Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 6 7 with lots of computation – almost all from remote servers or server farms. Once developed, many AI-enabled apps can operate with the computing power and storage capacity of a personal computer, tablet or smartphone. e data to develop those apps, however, most likely needs to come from widely scattered data collection points (individual students, teachers, classrooms, buildings). at data collection is easiest and least expensive when data points connect to a central server via robust broadband. Also, though individual AI apps may have the capacity to upgrade themselves, they could benefit from the increased data collection, storage and computing power of a robust computer network. NEW EDUCATION MATERIALS AND PROCESSES SXSW EDU attendees were excited about advances in neuroscience that are driving innovation in the design and use of education materials. Publishers such as McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson are hiring brain experts to create new materials – beyond textbooks – and new processes for using them. Robust computer networks are not primary to this work, but they help gather and analyze the pre-design and during-use data that enables neuroscience-based products, whether including AI or not, to be developed and refined. Many of the new materials will not be delivered in stand-alone form, whether traditional paper or electronically. Instead they will be served remotely. is minimizes the need for new devices and new expertise at the user end and facilitates the data-collection process that leads to refinement of existing materials and development of new ones. Also, as learning can be tracked at very micro levels – by student, subject, topic and individual learning step – a variety of education stakeholders, including publishers, administrators, teachers and students, are considering the value of such tracking and its privacy challenges. Again, although stand-alone devices could be submitted for analysis occasionally, having people, places and devices connected via a robust computer network makes collecting and analyzing the data easier and cheaper. So, though AI apps and neuroscience-based materials and processes will not have the same direct demand for robust networks as VR or AR apps (the big topics at SXSW EDU 2017), they will have an even more universal, indirect demand for the data to develop and refine them. v Rollie Cole is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. You can reach him at rolliecole@gmail.com.

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