User:Vtaylor/Computers and Society/CIS2 Winter 2019/Grand Challenges

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. . WINTER 2019

To identify the work of each contributor, put your name at the top of your work and make it a Heading 2 (== name == at the beginning of a new line in the "edit source").

As I find work, I make your name a heading. Now it shows up as a link in the Table of Contents as well.

Since 1994, XPRIZE has designed and launched seventeen prizes in the domain areas of Space, Oceans, Learning, Health, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Safety and Robotics.

AI to Solve the World's Challenges

Het Patel

Many Issues One Solution!

Comma AI

The world of autonomous driving is expanding and for good reason. Over 90% of the crashes are caused by some type of human error. Tesla is a big player in the world of autonomous driving and recently Google has been trying to get involved with Waymo. George has created a device that learns from driving patterns of people and is able to convert cars into fully autonomous vehicles using the inbuilt cruise control system. His goal is to achieve level 4 autonomous driving which is cars driving without any need for human help. After his deal with Tesla did not go through he decided to make the project open source and after getting through some legal issues he is able to sell his device on his website.

CIMON a companion for an astronaut.

CIMON is still in development but is still the very first AI robot to ever go to the space station.

Astronauts have to complete many difficult jobs and Crew Interactive Mobile Companion or CIMON for short will be there to help them. The robot is equipped with facial recognition so is able to know who he?/she?/it? Is talking to. Its able to fly around in the spaceship and astronauts are simply able to ask him for his help on certain experiments. This is just the beginning of companion robots. Things always start out for a big purpose before they make it to the general public. The Internet was developed for the Military and the GPS was also made for the military but now we all have access to it. It won’t be far until every person has their own companion robots that are able to help them out on their day to day tasks making our lives easier.

AI in Agriculture!

The recent interest in AI has created an endless possibility for every field and agriculture is not getting left behind. There are a ton of different technologies being developed to help with humans with their agricultural tasks such as harvesting crops. Ones fully developed the robots are going to be able to monitor the crops and the soil, analyze and predict environmental impacts on the crop yield. They will also be able to recognize unwanted plants and remove them so the crop gets all the nutrients it needs. This is just the beginning of the development of new AI technology as it progresses forward you can even expect fully autonomous farms that produce way more food then we have every done without us having to do a single thing.

Vinh Vu

AI, the key to a greater future!

There are many movies and TV shows out there that portray Artificially intelligent robots taking over the world and wiping out the human race. But AI is here to help us, not harm us. Technology, machines, AI, they are all here to help us humans at tasks that they can effectively and efficiently complete. As technology advances, AI has as well. From smart phones to different apps, all this technology is here to assist us humans. In this project, I am researching how AI helps us today, and can help us overcome challenges in the future.

AI and robotics are transforming healthcare


AI are getting better and more efficient at what humans do. For example, in the healthcare industry, AI can save your money and time. These days when people have a slight headache or cough, they search up on the internet and self diagnose themselves thinking they have a life threatening disease. That fear causes them to take a trip to the doctor wasting their money, but usually 90% of the time, it's just a minor cold and they just need some rest. This is where AI comes to play. Instead of going to the doctor every time you cough and wasting your time and money, you can call a chatbot and the AI program will diagnose you so you don't have to take that unnecessary trips to the doctor. It has also been proven that AI has already been used to detect early stages of cancer. The use of AI enables and reviews translation of mammograms 30 times faster with 99% accuracy, reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies. In the future, you can expect AI to take over healthcare and there wouldn't be any need for monthly check ups with your doctor. AI is not here to replace doctors, they are here to save the doctors times for other patients with more life threatening conditions to get a check up.

AI for Safe Driving


Safety always comes first no matter what the situation. Car accidents is one of the leading causes of young mortality. There are many ways driving could go wrong, you can be intoxicated or someone else could be intoxicated. You could be driving the speed limit, but someone else could be going to fast. It doesn't only depend on your safe driving but the people around you must drive safely as well. These days, the newer cars have many features. For example, in the 2018 Toyota Camry, the car notifies the driver when they are getting to close to another vehicle or to the curb. The car even notifies you when you are swerving and when you are to close to the dotted lines. With the use of 3D displaying systems, cars can be much more safe. They can detect near by vehicles or objects. Though the works of a self driving car is still in progress, you can expect to see one in the near future. Tesla has already manufactured a self driving feature in their latest vehicles, but they are not as reliable yet. As of right now, if the ca has the ability to detect near by vehicles and objects, cars will be able to self drive one day.

How is AI used in education


Some say that teachers are irreplaceable and I agree with that, but I believe the roles of teachers will change in the future. In the recent years, education has taken a very strong liking to computers and programs. Instead of writing essays with a pen and paper, most assignments are preferred to be typed with programs that correct your spelling and grammar. These days, there are many educational games and online tutors that are AI. AI is not trying to replace anybody don't get me wrong. They are just trying to fulfill the gaps and needs in learning that teachers can not fulfill. Just like in healthcare, AI aren't trying to replace doctors, they are just fulfilling the needs the patients have that to save the doctors time. With AI, you can expect to see automated grading systems. Teachers spend countless hours grading assignments, in the future, automated grading AI shall assist teachers with grading assignments so teachers can have more time focusing on their teaching. Artificial Intelligence tools can also make learning more accessible. As classrooms are online, more students from anywhere can get the education they require. I also hope to see AI learn the students behavior and have understanding to differentiate and individualize learning for each student. Each student is different and AI can teach with which ever method required for the students to be at their fullest potential.

Xia Zhang

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing technologies and hyped media coverage on AI has increased significantly as well in the recent years. As we know that AI is associated with human intelligence with similar characteristics such as reasoning, understanding, problem solving, language, and learning. This project research based on AI to Solve the World’s Challenges, which the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is focused on fundamental artificial intelligence AI research with the goal of propelling scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential of AI, and proceeded to look deeper into the more detail about this topic.

Currently, it is difficult for standalone AI applications to mimic human thought and communication. So the idea of AI completely replacing software engineers or salespeople is unlikely. However, in rote jobs like data entry and information mining, AI will likely become more prominent. Meanwhile, As AI becomes more integrated into our daily lives, how to address issues like safety and fairness will become central to how we think about developing and deploying AI systems.

Application of AI to Industries -- Education

How Deep Learning Will Impact Education Technology

Today, Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that is beginning to alter education tools and institutions and changing what the future might look like in education. AI has already been applied to education primarily in some tools that help develop skills and testing systems. As mentioned in this article, using deep learning methods to look up the understanding of how students can be trained is a new way of application of AI to education. As AI educational solutions continue to mature, the hope is that AI can help fill needs gaps in learning and teaching and allow schools and teachers to do more than ever before.

AI Algorithms -- Advertising

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and Advertising

One of the biggest and most important trends in business today is the steady growth of AI. AI is doing more than just providing companies with virtual personal assistants. It is changing marketing as we know it. AI powered programmatic advertising is a dominant form of digital advertising today. This article covers the application of artificial intelligence in advertising. For instance, Google has done good work of “Inside Search” writings. Advanced artificial intelligence will help to narrow that gap, offering the ability to seek out and identify patterns that will be beneficial for marketers in their campaigns.

Advancing shared prosperity through AI

How artificial intelligence is transforming the world

This article talks about the economic implications of AI and investigate how AI can improve prosperity and help individuals achieve more in their lives. AI is changing the way we live, learn and work. It is important to learn how AI can deliver economic and societal benefits to a broader range of people, nations, and enterprises. Besides, AI probably is an existential threat to humanity. That doesn't mean it's definitely a Bad Thing. But like any threat it needs to be assessed and we need to think seriously about ways to avert it.

Jorge Sandoval

Artificial Intelligence has to be one of the hottest technologies out with a big push to change the world using AI to help the manufacturing, medical, financial, food, and other industries by teaching computers to think like a human but at much superior heights.

In this article, it refers to AI as being the "Technology penicillin of the 21st century" because of the use cases that AI can be applied to and make our life easier. One of the big topics of AI use is data. Massive amounts of data is huge in being able to oversee situations from a much larger standpoint that will enable companies to better know their customers, track inventory, see flaws before they cause issues and plenty more. Other areas this new age "penicillin" can help us out in is the medical field. Imagine doctors having access to millions of patients data which can compare one patients symptoms to another in seconds and help give a better picture of what the issue may be. It would also be able to predict things happening long before they actually happen, which is huge for patients living longer lives.

This article tells us about how one team of app developers have built an AI app for patients with Cancer that helps guide and support them throughout their cancer journey. Dealing with cancer must be one of the most stressful times for a patient so the app MyPath is there to help guide patients and make them a bit more comfortable with the process. Ai is able to adapt to the stage of cancer the patient is in and can give recommendations and help with symptoms. The app will give surveys to the patient on a regular basis to feed the AI and give updates to caregivers.

AI is also looking to help us with the ongoing issue of climate change. Through AI, they're hopeful that green gas emissions can be drastically cut to help eliminate global warming. For example, material science and AI would help with bettering our solar panel and battery materials which is one part of getting rid of green gasses. One way AI is currently used in climate is with automatic classification on cloud formations that help predict percentage of precipitation.

Connie Zhang

About two years ago when I visited a modern art museum, a posed question "will AI take our jobs in 10 to 20 years?" came to my attention. Seemingly silly at first glance, but the more thought I gave to that question, the more serious it became. It wasn't until last year when I first worked in the tech industry did I realize that regardless if it is true or not, AI truly is seeping into our daily lives, and perhaps one day, it won't take over our jobs, but help us with our jobs.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Use Today

"There's no stopping [AI]'s evolution and its rise". Whether it is utilizing Siri or Alexa for directions to dinner or setting a calendar reminder, the advanced machine learning software helps us with our daily tasks and needs. They act as our digital assistant and use machine-learning technology to predict, improve, understand our questions and requests. While on-the-go, we can carry our iPhone and ask Siri anytime for help with a question, whereas when we are home, we ask Alexa to improve our home environment and settings. While both Siri and Alexa are fairly developed and useful, they are software built machines that do not get smarter, but instead they improve their helpfulness or skills by collecting data and adjusting to ours needs in life. Therefore, as time progresses, the more data becomes collected, the more improved search results and answers will be obtained from AI applications.

How Robots and AI are creating the 21st Century Surgeon

In 2018, over 5000 surgical robots were used in medical procedures. This technical advancement is widely used in procedures, surgeries, and dentistry. Differing from the roots of the first robot in 1985, robotic surgery with the power of AI is an active and effective technology today. With partnerships between tech companies and hospitals, before a surgery, a robot could present prior case information, during surgery, it can utilize AI to provide real-time warnings and guidance, post surgery, it could give advice to patients for further treatment. Despite robotic surgery being successful in multiple cases, there are still uncertainty with this surgical android. It is no doubt that when a patient's life depends on the robotic hand, skepticism should be involved, however, many surgeons are not being completely replaced, but rather they are perfecting the robotic system and honing its skills to deliver services and treatment.

Building AI-Powered Self-Driving Cars

Scientists and engineers behind AI-powered cars are developing cars that give the ability to see, think, and navigate a variety of driving scenarios. Nvidia has incorporated AI into self-driving cars in hopes of security and safety purposes. The model is developed as numerous data points are collected, hardware model trained, and software tested in simulations. Data is constantly being collected and generates as a training library for these AI cars. When testing the model, data center systems implements artificial intelligence so that when simulating real-life or critical scenarios, AI-powered cars can respond, send feedback loops to process, and perfect the experience. Auto mobiles will slowly transition our driving experiences, and as it becomes more efficient, hopefully the "journey to zero accidents" can really be achieved.

Jedan Dauz

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most interesting and challenging type of technology that we have started to face. It can be helpful in many ways like assisting doctors with diagnoses, give students a better way of education and predicting certain crisis from happening before they do.

A.I. Shows Promise Assisting Physicians

When people go to the doctors, there are times that the doctor ends up a misdiagnosis. Having AI help assist doctors with diagnosing patients illnesses and give a more accurate report on what the actual illness might be. Developing the AI so it can check the medical records, patient’s symptoms, lab results and other clinical data to figure out and give a more accurate answer.

How is AI Used in Education

The article talks about how AI can help students learn to the fullest. Having AI help fill gaps in learning and teaching will allow schools and teachers to more and help students achieve more. There have already been ways AI has been used in the educational system using certain tools that help develop skills and testing systems. Some of the AI that’s being developed that can provide learning, testing and feedback to students and give them the challenges they are ready for and identifies gaps in knowledge.

Artificial intelligence helps predict volcanic eruptions

Being able to predict volcanic eruptions sooner before it happens can prevent casualties from happening. This article talks about how AI can predict volcanic eruptions before they happen. Having AI that’s able to tell the difference between atmospheric shifts and ground motion can give us a better chance at understanding when eruptions can occur.

Anywhere is Possible

Jesus Sanchez

~~ LabArt - Humanoid Robot Teleoperation System ~~


Mazvydas Mark Narvidas demonstrates how currently available technologies from different fields can be combined to create a new way to communicate and solve problems. In his project, he uses an Oculus Rift, a Nao Humanoid Robot, Microsoft Kinect sensors, LabView Software, NI myRIO, and the Python programming language with these tools he is able to observe the world through the Nao robot's eyes (cameras) and then move and have the robot recreate his movement.


What this project demonstrates is that there is another opportunity to advance multiple fields by creating a market for these non-autonomous robots. While innovators in other fields such as AI (Artifical Intelligence), VR (Virtual/Augmented Reality), and Robotics are working independently to create and advance their technologies for widespread commercial use, in my opinion, they are still a long way away from that becoming a reality. But, if we create robots that can be remotely operated (TeleOperated) we can solve problems we have today in fields such as, emergency responders (firefighters, police, search & rescue), academics (remote distance teaching), hazardous industrial and commercial operations (oil rigs, construction, logging, mining), the list goes on. Like I said before the development of this technology would directly benefit the other fields by providing data for AI and increased demand for improvements in VR and Robotic technologies.

~~ VR-controlled Robots could Save America ~~


Philip Rosedale founder of virtual world Second Life discusses how virtual reality and TeleOperation could save America by fostering innovation and manufacturing robots for use with VR. Philip's key point is that the expansion of teleoperation would mean that workers are freed from having to physically commute to work and could instead telecommute by teleoperating a robot and how the teleoperation of a robot could have a profound effect on how we structure and view our work day. The only limitations to the distance that someone could teleoperate a robot would have to do with signal latency (lag) between the robot and the user.


What all this means is, that people who are not physically near a high volume work center (cities) could still participate in the cities economy to earn wages that they could use to boost their local economies. Teleoperating could also have a direct impact on cities by reducing the volume of traffic on its roads since workers would no longer have to commute to work. It would also replace the suburbs that exist outside of these cities with more free-floating suburbs since people would be able to live where they pleased because they are not limited by the availability of work.

~~ Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: Making it easier for factory workers to telecommute ~~


This article, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL, presents us with basic information on how VR technology was developed in the past and how they have improved the technology for use in robotic teleoperation, they also discuss how they solved the Latency (lag) problem, that I mentioned in my other source. In order to solve the latency issues, the researchers at CSAIL created a virtual room where the user can view what is happening at the robot's location and then interact with a virtual recreation of that information.


The research being done at CSAIL is already demonstrating improved performance in VR teleoperated robots over previous methods that were used in the past and continued research will only yield better results. It makes a statement that VR games are quicker to adapt and become accustomed to the new technology which would mean they could be among the first teleoperator workers. What this conjures up in my mind is a new work environment where work tasks would become more game like with features such as high scores and mission style tasks similar to EVE Online.

Transforming CO2 into Valuable Products

Vanessa Chow

After taking AP Environmental Science in high school, I've always been interested in sustainability and the environment. With the rapid industrialization going on around the world, it seems like new technologies and the culture of consumerism only does harm to the environment; which it why it was so interesting to me to hear and learn more about innovative new ways to better the environment. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, released at the burning of any fossil fuels, so hearing that it can be captured and repurposed to prevent it from being released in the atmosphere was fascinating to me. I started out on GreenBiz's "5 Surprising Products Companies are Making from Carbon Dioxide" for an overall idea, and proceeded to look deeper into the three most intriguing ones.

"Carbon Dioxide Turned Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers"

C2CNT, a startup by researchers at George Washington University learned how to convert carbon dioxide into carbon fibers. These carbon nanotubes and nanofibers can be used as a lighter-weight alternative to metal, and are used in blades, race cars, airplanes, bicycles, and car engines. What's even better is that producing these materials out of carbon dioxide rather than traditional carbon nanofiber manufacturing methods, is actually cheaper in costs. The technology used in this process is molten electroysis, which dissolves carbon dioxide into carbonates, where it's proceeded to be electrochemically split to yield oxygen and carbon nanotubes. This is a great way of repurposing carbon dioxide, as pure carbon nanotubes are the most compact form of CO2, and which helps mitigate climate change.

"Carbon Dioxide Conversion to Methanol: Opportunities and Fundamental Challenges"

A more popular way of repurposing carbon dioxide is converting it into usable chemicals, like methanol. Methanol is a type of alcohol, widely used in synthetic fabrics, fibers, plywood in construction, and is a huge chemical agent in pharaceuticals and agrochemicals. Methanol is safe, clean and versatile; it can be used in liquid form or as a material in rechargeable batteries, solar cells, or direct methanol cells. This is typically done through chemical conversion or catalytic conversion, but there is research on developing an artificail photosynthesis process to convert carbon dioxide into methanol. This process is great because it takes a greenhouse gas, that would usually be released into the atmosphere, and converts it to another form of usable energy; In a way, recycling the carbon dioxide and mitigating the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.

Newlight Technologies: AirCarbon

This was by far one of the most interesting and innovative ways to repurpose carbon dioxide to me. A company called Newlight Technologies specializes in transforming greenhouse gasses into bioplastic. Their plastic, called AirCarbon, is approximately 40% oxygen and 60% carbon and hydrogen from carbon dioxide emissions. The company has a special polymerization system for material synthesis where carbon emissions are combined with Newlight's biocatalyst to isolate atoms just to polymerize them again to form their plastic. The resulting product is a sustainable, high-performance plastic that is carbon-negative from cradle to grave, including manufacturing, transportation, and packaging costs!

Nicolas Conners

While I have always had an interest in environmental topics and what not, it wasn't until I took a handful of classes at De Anza that I was able to form more solid personal beliefs about environmentalism. The Carbon Xprize I chose deals with the capture and utilization of CO2 which has unfortunately taken the back seat to more flashy "Green" technology like grid-scale batteries and electric cars. Carbon Capture is a broad term because the technology can be scaled from individual industrial plants to region-wide efforts to clean the very air we breath; the captured carbon can be utilized in a variety of ways, most common is to inject the carbon underground for permanent storage or to turn the stored carbon into synthetic fuels for traditional usage.

The Office of Naval Research and the Palo Alto Research Center co-developed a system to extract carbon from seawater to create synthetic fuel aboard Navy ships using electrolysis; using seawater instead of direct air capture is crafty because carbon dioxide is at most 140 times more concentrated in water. The best part about this is that a small scale plant is operational in Key West Florida and recently received a patent in 2016, US #9303323. The Navy is primarily interested in this technology because it allows ships underway to create their own fuel using nuclear reactors instead of heading to a foreign port to refuel. The use of shipboard nuclear power allows a singular large vessel to produce fuel for the battlegroup instead of all vessels being nuclear powered, this can be a significant cost saving for the lifespan of a warship, which is now hovering around 35-50 years. The Navy estimates that their synfuel will cost $5.78 per gallon which sounds like a lot but in reality, traditional petroleum delivered by a tanker at sea costs roughly $7-10 dollars per gallon. As of now, the two things holding back this technology from commercialization is more funding for the expansion of the program and newer generations of nuclear power like Molten Salt or High Temp. gas turbine reactors; the new reactor technology is a necessity in order to meet the Navy's goal of 100,000 gallons of JP7 jet fuel per day.

Concrete is a material that is extremely taken for granted for in our modern world, it is so heavily used that concrete production account for 7% of global CO2 emissions; Carbon Cure is one solution to cutting back this massive amount of released carbon dioxide by capturing and injection the CO2 back into the concrete during the curing process, creating not only a net neutral carbon product but also a much stronger concrete than traditional Portland Cement. The company was founded in 2007 the goal to reduce carbon emissions by 15% in 2030, the company is also an Xprize finalist and received twenty million dollars in prize money; They believe that there is a $400 billion dollar market in the carbon enhanced concrete market, being able to sequester 1.4 gigatonnes of CO2 annually is just another benefit to this new process.

C2CNT, another Xprize winner, is demonstrating the viability of sequestering CO2 into far more useful Carbon Nanotubes; carbon nanotubes, once considered science fiction and theoretical, are a stronger variation of carbon fibers that can be used in larger infrastructure projects. In much the same way that Biochar is a carbon-negative soil amendment replacer for fertilizer, these carbon nanotubes are a carbon negative structural material that can replace steel and other artificial building materials. The team at George Washington University has already demonstrated small scale success and is well on there to comercializing their research.

Zachrie Duldulao

With each exhale of our lungs co2 is brought out into the atmosphere, millions of people add to this co2 bubble and company productions speed up the process my excreting more co2 than our planet can handle. we must find a way to convert co2 into a viable energy source whether it is with food production or fuel substitution (i.e gasoline, electricity, coal). This is a mission that is held by a Xprize, a company willing to fund projects to increase awareness and help design the new wave of the future.

A few links that describe the current state of co2 conversion into valuable products:

This is brief description of this link:

"The promise of high-performance materials like carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles has been the stuff of science fiction..." (Author XPRIZE) a statement that is describing a new way to convert co2 into products that can change life, a team named "TerraCOH" has imagined a way of supercharging our electrical grids by using co2 emissions to ramp up the production of energy and lower the cost of current ways to produce eneergy. follow the link for more descriptions: ( )

This is brief description of this link:

This is a front page to report of a 100 climate surveys to understand where our co2 conversion processes is currently at. by holding a report many professionals can post their finding a discovery's working hand and hand with each other and the community. follow the link for more descriptions: ( )

This is brief description of this link:

"By 2050, our world’s population is expected to grow to 10 billion people." how do we tend to feed all these people if we have trouble feeding our current world population? the answer is in co2, team "Protein Power" uses the run off co2 emissions from factories to try and grow rich algae foods in order to subsidize the continued co2 pollution. follow this link for more descriptions: ( )

A idea I have thought of in order to create a way of utilize co2 for energy is with ocean life. Given to me by looking at my current fish tank, plants can use co2 in order to grow healthier and to produce oxygen rich waters for fish and other vertebrates. By applying co2 canisters and leaking co2 at a healthy level for fish life we can produce the growth of coral reefs and bring life back to the ocean floors. A example of where this could be utilized is in Australia with the Great Barrier Reef, that has slowly started dying over the years due to ocean pollution and a abundance of tourists that destroy and trash areas by heavy foot traffic. If we produce new healthy growth of coral we can bring thriving life back to this wondrous place. We can also use this in Aquaponic systems (follow this link for understanding of Aquaponics: growing under water plants to help fish promote healthy living and create waste for vegetables and other food. By utilizing co2 in these ways we can reduce the amount that is wasted in our atmosphere and help create new life while maintaining the current ones we have as well.

Global Learning

Empowering children to take control of their own learning

Stacey Lee

Technology Helps Assam’s Rural Children Learn Better

Description: Integrative approach to technology in education (ITE) is a project that aim to improve curriculums at India schools using technologies. Through this project and the help of technology, students learn the course materials in a more engaging way. It also helped teacher create more project-based learning using technologies. This project improved the quality of education in rural areas; however, the challenge is the poor internet connections in those areas.

My idea to solve this problem using technology is just to improve the quality of WIFI-connection using some kind of technology.

ICT and Rural Education In China

Description: The article talks about mainly two projects, REAP and INRULED. INRULED is the project that wants to improve student's educations in rural China. Some examples include bring internet connection to schools, distance educations etc. REAP is doing research to find ways to improve their education system. 

Reaching Rural Schools: Technology Makes Learning Possible No Matter the Zip Code

Description: The article talks about the lack of technology in schools in rural areas in the U.S. The American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) is working some distance education projects that brings internet connections to rural part of America. The article also talks about some rural education situation examples in many states, including Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska etc. The examples include the number of distance courses available, the number of family that does not have the access to internet connections etc. 

In my opinion, the main issue here is that many families still don't have internets and digital devices at home. The way to solve this might be to provide computers at school for student use, or build some computer labs in those areas.

Vath Soeun

Classroom Technologies Narrow Education Gap in Developing Countries

Description: In this article, it highlights multiple programs that operate in different rural countries in an effort to bring computers and the internet to children. Programs like the One Laptop per Child, Varkey Foundation, and Dubai Cares offer kids in rural areas an opportunity to develop technological skills. I think that this is a nice effort in trying to bring technology to various villages, but the hardware and software they utilize is probably very limited. Kids would have to develop a passion for technology and their family would have to figure out a way to put them in a position to succeed, as what they are shown is quite basic. However, these basic skills are better than no skills at all, and definitely puts them at an advantage over kids in a similar location. The article did end with a key counter argument of how laptops are able to be dispersed, but yet there is a shortage of teachers.

EdTech for the Third World: Tech Tools

Description: What I thought was cool about this article was that it highlighted the power or tablets and e-readers. Many articles that I have found so far highlighted the distribution of laptops, but I felt like this article made a great point about the power of having multiple books in a child's hands. The readers can easily be updated with new material, and new books, versus hard copy books that have to be constantly bought for new material. This has translated to higher English scores for kids in Ghana. In addition to e-readers/tablets, this article again highlights One Laptop per Child, similar to the article above, which is probably the biggest third world computer program for children. I am also a fan of the idea of tech centers of which people can go to, to introduce themselves to technology. This is a great idea as people can seek assistance from teachers.

Technology, Education, and the Developing World: As more students in emerging economies use their cell phones as learning devices, mobile technology is poised to revolutionize education

As opposed to the other articles that highlighted laptops, readers, and tech centers, this article highlights the use of a cell phone as an educational device. To me, I think this is probably the most common sense way of expanding education via technology, but it is probably not effective in rural areas. It makes sense to me because cell phones can be used for multiple functions, which would justify their cost. However, the technological skills that is learned from a cell phone is lacking. However, as the article highlights, educational material can be easily be distributed and accessed via a cell phone. I like the fact that the Nokia Education Delivery program offers free, open-source software that allows for educational material to be shared by mobile phones via mobile networks. Material can also be shared via a projector so that new teaching material can be used. In addition to the Nokia Education Delivery program, there are the Bridge it Programs and the cloud-based Learning with Vodafone Solution, which allows for more access to content for teaching.

Diane Wong

How digital technology can help reinvent basic education in Africa

Description: this article describes how digital technologies have transformed education in Africa. One of the most successful projects is the One Laptop per Child project. This project was launched in 2005, aiming to provide schools with laptop with low cost. The laptop not only serves as an education tool for traditional school subjects, it also allows students to be familiar with computer and internet. In the following years, other low-cost electronics such as smartphones, tablets and kindle-style electronic readers were distributed to the students in Africa to address the lack of books and school textbooks problem.

The project is successful as it provided a localized/tailored solution that address the particular problem that students face in Africa. These programs also included user feedback for further improvement. Last but not least, constant public awareness and support help to sustain the project funding which is crucial in ensuring the long-term success of the program.

Interactive Educational Television in the Amazon

Description: this article describes the use of digital technologies as a viable approach to support education and improve literacy for the Amazonas regions in Brazil. The Amazonas regions is geographically isolated, which had limited access to common education resources. Interactive Educational Television is set up with either live or pre-recorded TV programs. The program covers all the subjects that are taught in school and made is more accessible to the local students. With the help of the program, it helps the local schools to provide more support, especially these schools are usually short-staffed and under-resourced.

The long-term effectiveness of the project is yet to be determined, but given the lack of educational resources that the Amazonas tribes are currently facing, The interactive television program was a very good starting point. The program can be viewed as a pilot program to improve literacy for local tribes, as well as raising public awareness on the issue.

Mobile phones help promote literacy in Papua New Guinea | ICT4Education

Description: this article describes the use of mobile phone to promote literacy in Papua New Guinea. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), there are lots of isolated remote communities. In addition, there are more than 800 spoken languages, which is one of the main struggles faced by their education system.

With the help of the Australian government, a technology project was setup to use Mobile phone as educational tool to deliver story in SMS (Text Message) format. This help to provide alternative reading materials to the children as often time they have limited/no access to reading materials.

Though the assessment report concluded that a mixed result on the effectiveness of the program. In my opinion, the project is still in its infancy stage. The project is an important step in raising literacy awareness in PNG.

Angel Garcia

World Leaders Unite for Global Learning World leaders are uniting to raise and fund Africa's education needs. It is nice to read an article about the importance of education. This article covers the need of quality education. It also covers the monetary needs to achieve a higher quality education system for Africa. Many countries are helping to ensure that over the next three years the Africa education system will be up to par. Education has fallen to the back burner, yet we are now realizing how important it is to be successful in our future.

Importance of Child Development This article covers the need for other improvements in their lives outside of food and water. This article covers the importance for early childhood development to ensure the children are laid out a foundation for lifelong development and learning. Children need to learn and play to develop skills such as communication, creativity and sympathy. These skills are needed to thrive into adulthood and rebuild their communities. Investing in early childhood interventions is crucial for the children to learn the importance in educational attainment, economic prosperity, and health.

Lesson App - Teach Teachers Children Learn Students were not reporting at the curriculum levels needed. After much research the school found that the teachers did not have the resources to develop and learn the skills needed to educated the students properly. An app called LessonApp was created to provide the teachers with the understanding and tools to develop more efficient and inspiring lessons. This app helped promote productivity for the students and teachers.

Ocean Discovery

Sidney Atchazo

Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Finalists Conduct Final Field Tests in Puerto Rico for $1M NOAA Bonus Prize

Currently, as of February 12, 2019, XPRIZE have chosen finalists for their one million dollar bonus prize sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This has been an on going competition running for about three years now, challenging different teams from across the globe to rapidly advance ocean technologies. For this challenge the three teams have to identify and track, with the piece of technology they made to find a specific object by tracking the biological or chemical signal to the source. The three teams that are competing are the BangaloreRobotics, from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, Tampa Deep Sea X-plorers, from Tampa, FL, United States, as well as Ocean Quest, from San Jose, CA, United States. These teams will show how their piece of technology works in Puerto Rico and the winners will be announced by June 2019.


This team constructed in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, have been doing robotics and mechatronics for 18 years now. The goals they have set for their company have been to create autonomous robots to replace humans in the presence of danger, like the ocean for example. Exploring the ocean is very dangerous for humans when, on average a healthy person can only hold their breath for about two minutes. This team looks to fix this issue and have been for many years now. They have currently conceptualized a low cost underwater autonomous vehicle that can reach up to 4000 meters of depth into the ocean capable of mapping, oil spill detection, Hi-Resolution Cameras, and many other features advancing the technology that goes into our oceans.

Tampa Deep Sea X-plorers

This team that is from Tampa, FL, United States was created for this competition and to create autonomous underwater vehicles as well. This team is actually open for new people to join their group with expertise of mechanical engineering, computer programming, robotics, marketing, and business. They currently have 10 team members that are working on building the prize winning machine for this contest but most importantly trying to advance ocean technology so that in the future, exploring the oceans will become a thing of the past. Some of the products that they have already made are underwater autonomous vehicles capable of mapping the ocean bottom, and identification of friendly or hostile divers in a certain range.

All of these new technologies that are being created by many teams other than the few teams I have listed here have all contributed into the overall discovery of the ocean. This competition brings out the best in peoples ability to create and having a vast majority of team helping in the creation of new underwater technologies, can save humans from going into the unknown depths of the UNKNOWN.

Steven Juranovich

The following is my Entry for GRAND CHALLENGES- OCEAN DISCOVERY AND HOW COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY ARE HELPING IN THE PROGRESS.. The use of Computers and technology has greatly enhanced Deep Sea Explorations the past 10 years. Without the use of these new technologies much of the worlds Deep Sea would not be able to be properly explored, here are a few links to companies and the technologies being used... Deep Ocean Search is an innovative and inventive company providing worldwide solutions in ultra-deep water activities. DOS operates at extreme depths on a daily basis and has been doing so for the past 8 years. The company was created in 2010 to fulfill a wide range of survey and subsea operations in water depths of up to 6000 meters. Specially adapted survey vessels and robotic systems were brought together with a highly experienced team. DOS’s unique capabilities are made available to other organizations that want to operate in ultra-deep water. Here are a few of the explorations which are being achieved... Salvage world record at 5150 msw Recovery of City Of Cairo cargoes Location & salvage of flight MS804 Advisor on flight MH370 search Advisor on ARA San Juan search This is an interesting link describing Deep Sea technology and the tools for research... For over two decades now, NOAA’s NURP (NOAA’s Undersea Research Program) has revolutionized underwater research world. It has specialized not only in developing but also modifying and operating advanced underwater technologies. It has enabled Nation’s scientists to accomplish broad spectrum of research work. Some of the tools that has enabled such progress are SCUBA diving, Submersibles, remotely operated vehicles etc. The NURP- funded research supports NOAA’s responsibilities towards oceans, coasts and great lakes with the help of advanced research technologies. The OER Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) creates the capabilities within the scientific departments which involves dedicated staff to establish prior formalities based upon priorities for investment by working with future users of the technologies. SCUBA diving is an exciting and first-hand way for scientists to study the underwater environment. It is one among the most effective ways for executing underwater experiments that require high quality precise measurements which can only be achieved through the use of these computer technologies. The deep sea is a mysterious place. A place that science knows very little about. Modern engineering is here to change that, with a new wave of sophisticated technology that is allowing us to learn more about the deep sea than ever before. Maps of many parts of the ocean floor are not yet as detailed as some of the maps we have of other planets. Here to help fix that is another class of submersible. AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) are capable of navigating the deep sea and collecting scientific data without any human control. Vessels such as Sentry are creating detailed maps of the seafloor using sonar and taking photographs of fascinating geological features such as deep-sea vents and cold seeps. Sentry‘s navigation system uses a doppler velocity log and inertial navigation system, aided by acoustic navigation and communication systems (USBL or LBL). The USBL system also provides acoustic communications, which can be used to obtain the vehicle state and sensor status as well as to re-task the vehicle while on the bottom.

David Nguyen

The ocean takes up two-thirds of the Earth’s mass, and yet only 5% of the ocean has been explored throughout human existence. Some conditions that prevents humans from further exploring the ocean are crushing pressures, extreme temperatures, and total darkness. Here are some sites I've researched about to learn about the history of the beginning of ocean exploration, where we currently stand and the obstacles we are facing, and into the future on methods we could approach to further innovate technology that is suitable for ocean exploration. Exploring the ocean would supply us with more knowledge about our environment and resources, while fulfilling the minds of the public with imagination.

Deepest ocean travelling robot, Nereus in June 3, 2009 exploring the Challenger Deep:

The man-made robotic submarine, named Nereus, has made one of the deepest dives (6.8 miles into the ocean) recorded in history exploring the Challenger Deep. The challenger deep is located in the Mariana Trench, which lies in the western Pacific Ocean. This new innovative technology allows scientists to freely roam and research about the ocean, as the robot could switch to a "free swimming" mode. This technology could be developed in its battery lifespan, better lighting systems to explore in the darkness of the ocean, and a stronger frame that is durable through rocky ocean terrains.

What is holding us back from further exploring the ocean?:

Currently, scientists are trying to create an accurate mapping system that replicates the ocean's seafloor. If they could map out the ocean accurately, navigating through each part of the ocean would be possible, studies and data could be easily tracked on a day to day basis; just by checking the computers. There will be no need for humans to delve into the ocean for answers, as robots and technology could take the place of humans, as it is safer, easier to collect data and information, and convenient for humans to access between land and sea. In the article above, it states that most of the ocean has been mapped out, however, only at a mere resolution of 5 kilometers, which only shows a rough approximation of what the ocean seafloor looks like. This process of "floormapping" is still being developed, as scientists are coming up with innovative ideas hoping to create a similar mapping technologies like google maps for example. If they could navigate through the oceans digitally the way they do with google maps on land, humans will become one step closer to exploring more of the ocean due to the convenience of technology. The obstacle that holds humans from creating a google-map-like system for the ocean is their inability to use radar scanners through the ocean, since the water obstructs the radar waves. I think a solution to more accurate sea-floor mapping is to improve the sonar technology to perform accurate scans.

Pushing Ocean Discovery Into the Future featuring xPrize:

This website speaks about xPrize holding global competition and a reward of 7 million dollars to the winner, competing in coming up with the best, new innovative technology that is suited for ocean exploration. With better technologies, they seek to explore and map out the ocean, use information and data as research for resource development and protection, and put a spark to the public’s imagination. XPrize is looking for a ocean exploration solution that could track (ex: chemicals, biological structures), identify (ex: archaeological, biological, or geological features), photograph (ex: could take photographs of specific objects), and produce (ex: producing accurate high-resolution bathymetric maps).

Jun Jie Lai

Technology that helps in ocean expeditions

There are 5 ways to discover the ocean, diving is being the most basic way. When the depths aren't low or conditions are safe, divers are able to descend into the water to explore the marine. Other tools such as submersibles and system & sensors, allow us to explore and collect samples from unexplored ecosystem. Vessels and communication technologies are able to share and receive information about the unexplored depth at a fast speed to divers and scientists. These are the current technologies that will aid mankind to explore the mysterious ocean.

Teams that advanced to Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE

These 9 teams, each with different nationalities and races has been advanced to finals to solve humanities grand challenges and improve technologies for a faster and higher-resolution expedition. Each team has developed different types of innovative technologies from autonomous robot drones to low-cost underwater vehicles, to improve the abilities to gather,visualize and interpret deep ocean data.

How much is the ocean undiscovered

Exploring ocean is a very dangerous task, that is why ocean is only 5% discovered. There are many factors that why exploring the ocean has great challenge, it requires sophisticated equipment, large budgets, brave and experienced personnel, and permissions from governments at national and international levels. Deep sea divers also face strange sea creatures, high water pressure, equipment failure and etc. Modern sonar detection systems which is better than satellite can mapped the ocean floor up to 15%. However, underwater vehicles are needed to detect objects and features of the sea floor for better resolution.

Long Le

Ocean Exploration Technology

Today, the Oceanography uses buoys and water column samplers to monitor sea surface conditions and water quality factors, coring devices collect sediment samples, sonar helps create maps of the seafloor, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) allow us to safely and efficiently explore all parts of the ocean. For those who don't know what is Sonar, Sonar is known as SOund NAvigation and Ranging—SONAR—is used to find and identify objects in water. It is also used to determine water depth (bathymetry). Sonar is applied to water-based activities because sound waves attenuate (taper off) less in water as they travel than do radar and light waves.

How deep can we discover using the technology that we have right now?

According to this source, it stated that "the deepest point ever reached by man is 35,858 feet below the surface of the ocean, which happens to be as deep as water gets on earth. To go deeper, you'll have to travel to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, a section of the Mariana Trench under the Pacific Ocean 200 miles southwest of Guam. And you're going to need a shovel."

How much it will cost to discover the whole ocean?

As you already know the ocean takes up 72% of the ocean, therefore, the cost for it to explore will be immensely expensive. According to this source, "Each year NASA spends $18.7 billion and $209 billion was spent in total on the shuttle program. According to Bob Ballard, Ph.D, an oceanography expert, NASA’s one-year budget could fund NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ocean exploration for 1,600 years." On that note, we only discover 5% of the ocean which is very little.

Adult Literacy

Jasmine Alvarez

32 Million American adults don't know how to read!Literacy is the key point behind issue of today's society. Gender inequality, unemployment, and any social movement, are all issues that need people's awareness, but if they don't know how to read they can't be fully informed. Adults who lack with ability to read and write, ties in with social situations Literacy impacts the way one goes within the economy and personal well-being is affected. In the article one young world, it said “ Approximately 32 million adults in the United States can’t read, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National institute of literacy. The organization for economic cooperation and development found that 50 percent of U.S. adults can't read a book written at an eighth-grade level.”, the article goes on to talk about why the U.S. needs to focus on this situation. I believe that we need t make sure students are not affected by this at a young age. They should have the opportunity to learn towards a better future as adults.

32 million American adults can’t read: why literacy is the key to growth, Rui Diemart

In Hiding in plain sight, the article talks about the problems society faces with adults who don't know how to read. The inability to read makes everyone life harder especially for those individuals. These are the following reasons why individuals and society are affected by this problem.

For individuals

  • Limited ability to obtain and understand essential information;
  • Unemployment: The unemployment rate is 2–4 times higher among those with little schooling than among those with Bachelor’s degrees;
  • Lower income;
  • Lower-quality jobs;
  • Reduced access to lifelong learning and professional development;
  • Precarious financial position;
  • Little value is given to education and reading within the family, and this often leads to intergenerational transmission of illiteracy;
  • Low self-esteem, which can lead to isolation;
  • Impact on health: Illiterate individuals have more workplace accidents, take longer to recover and more often misuse medication through ignorance of health care resources and because they have trouble reading and understanding the relevant information (warnings, dosage, contraindications, etc.).

For society

  • Since literacy is an essential tool for individuals and states to be competitive in the new global knowledge economy, many positions remain vacant for lack of personnel adequately trained to hold them;
  • The higher the proportion of adults with low literacy proficiency is, the slower the overall long-term GDP growth rate is;
  • The difficulty understanding societal issues lowers the level of community involvement and civic participation.

I believe that this situation needs to be solved starting with the way our educational system works, students should not be affected at a young age. If they have families that cant or dont want to send them to school, they should be enforced to get educated. Many adults are also impacting the way our economy works, if we have a lot of people using unemployment, later generations will be affected by this.

Hiding in plain sight: The adult literacy crisis, Valerie Strauss

“We know we’ll be celebrating accordingly, but many Americans won’t be able to do so.”, many Americans rather watch things on social media or t.v., which has an effect on the inability to read. Some of these adults have their children read after school, and they should help them as well. These parents should read with their own children and get educated as well.

The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn’t Changed In 10 Years