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Diary of a small town sensation: how the Wimpy Kid author built his dream bookshop | Books - The Guardian

Growing up, Jeff Kinney discovered Tolkien, comics and computers at his local bookshop. When it closed he was bereft – would opening his own as an adult help to right that wrong?
 
 ‘Long before we opened our doors to customers, we needed to actually build the doors’ … Kinneys store.
Photo: Chris Churchill/The Guardian Author Jacqueline Woodson recently spoke about books being either mirrors or windows. Mirrors for seeing ourselves, and windows for seeing into other worlds. Growing up, I enjoyed both types of books, from the realistic contemporary fiction of Judy Blume to the epic fantasy of JRR Tolkien. I had access to books by these and every author in between courtesy of a bookstore a short drive from my house. I didn’t understand my privilege then, but I’ve come to understand it better over time.

In the short time that it was open, I developed interests that would shape my career. I grew up at the advent of personal computing, and the books I read helped me along a path to becoming a programmer. I also developed a deep appreciation for comics, thanks to an expansive humour section at the bookstore. Those comic collections helped to prepare me for my dream career as a cartoonist. Had we not had a bookstore nearby during my formative years, I would have grown up to be a completely different person.

Our local bookstore went out of business a few years after it opened, and I’ll never forget the confusion and hurt I felt when I saw the darkened windows for the first time. It was my first experience of losing something that seemed so obviously good.

And so when I found myself in a position, many years later, to open a bookstore in my adopted hometown of Plainville, Massachusetts, I was eager to make it happen...

Privilege as a child meant having a bookstore in my town. Now, my privilege has taken a different form. I was very lucky to find an audience for my own books, and without the success I have had, I could never have opened a bookstore of my own, let alone build one. I get to visit independent bookstores around the world every year while I am on tour, and I am in awe of the courageous, dedicated people who pour their lives into creating these magical spaces – often without much of a financial reward.

These days, I am more interested in books that serve as windows rather than mirrors. My favourite thing to do is to sit in the audience on our second floor and listen to the story of an author who doesn’t look like me and who has had a very different life experience from my own.
Read more... 

Source: The Guardian

New book celebrates SU's 150 years | LOCAL - CNYcentral.com

As Syracuse University gets ready to celebrate its 150th birthday, there's a new book out that looks at the institution's history, inform Laura Hand.

Syracuse University PressThrough narrative and hundreds of photos, Forever Orange presents SU’s glorious 150-year history in a lively, distinctive, informative manner, appealing to alumni and university friends, young and old.

Burton tells us 'it's not a history, it's the story of SU.' Pitoniak says it's about the many extraordinary and world-changing people who were also shaped by SU 'culture': it's more than a timeline of events.

The authors will be having a book signing at the Onondaga Historical Association on Wednesday, November 13, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The book is 'Forever Orange' is available press.syr.edu

Source: CNYcentral.com

How To Read More Books By Dividing Them By Color First | Books - Bustle

This Simple Challenge Will Help You Read WAY More Books Before 2019 Ends, notes Kerri Jarema, Books writer for Bustle.

Reading by color is an unconventional way to get through more of your TBR pile, writes Kerri Jarema.
Photo: courtesy of Kelly Knox/Stocksy
If there is one thing that most readers have in common, it's that we're always looking for new and innovative ways to read more and to tackle our towering to-be-read piles. Whether you're a book collector, an e-book reader, library patron, or a combination of all three, chances are pretty high that you've got a stack of books you're desperate to read and not nearly enough time in the day to do it. If you're anything like me, when fall rolls around, you start to look at your incomplete yearly reading challenge with more trepidation than excitement.

Luckily, there are actually lots of easy and fun ways to get through your end-of-year reading list: doing the five-star TBR challenge, making a list of your favorite books every summer, crafting a seasonal TBR, and now, trying the Reading My Rainbow challenge.

Created by the BookTuber Chelsea at chelseadolling reads, the challenge is relatively simple: You go through the books on your TBR (this challenge will be particularly helpful for readers who own a lot of physical books, but would definitely work for e-readers and library stacks, too!) and pick out a few that have the same color cover. Simple, sure, but infinitely more enjoyable than staring at a sea of books in utter despair as you try to figure out what to read, right?...

It's no secret that even the most voracious of readers can find themselves easily distracted by social media, the news, and just the general hustle and bustle of being alive. Challenges like Reading My Rainbow are a great way to recover the fun and excitement of sitting down with a good book. Smashing your end-of-year TBR and making space for new books is just the icing on the cake.
Read more...

Source: Bustle

What we're reading: The best books for fall 2019 | One Small Thing - NBC News

Curl up with one of these hotly anticipated books this fall.

"The Witches Are Coming" by Lindy West, "The Institute" by Stephen King and "Olive, Again" by Elizabeth Strout are among the most anticipated books for fall.
The leaves are beginning to brown and scatter from their branches, the air is getting cooler, crisper, and the days are shortening. Yes, fall is finally here. We’ll begin to break out our cold weather apparel, change up our menus to embrace autumn’s all-star cast fruits and veggies — like pumpkin and apple — and prepare for the holidays that will be here before you know it.
Fall, the season that is perhaps most symbolic of transition, also serves as an opportune time to set new goals and self-reflect, which is partly why it’s my favorite time of year. Frankly, I also find that I spend less money going out as the sun sets earlier and earlier, and more time cozied up on the couch with my two dogs and a great book...

Here’s a look at some of the most hotly anticipated fiction and non-fiction books dropping this season.
Read more...

Source: NBC News

What books would you want to read again (and again) stuck on a desert island? | Abilene Reporter-News

Every parent and teacher who’s heard a child say,  “I hate books,” got the perfect comeback handed to them Saturday, thanks to an Abilene High School librarian by Loretta Fulton, Special to the Reporter-News

James Ward Lee (left), this year's A.C. Greene Award winner, listens to a speaker during Saturday morning's panel discussion with 2018 winner and West Texas Book Festival founder Glenn Dromgoole. Oct 5 2019
Photo: Greg Jaklewicz/Reporter-News“No, you hate the books you’ve read so far,” Chrissy Adkins said, offering a  phrase that she no doubt has uttered many times in her career, first as a teacher and then as a librarian.

Adkins was one of five panelists Saturday as part of the 19th annual West Texas Book Festival, sponsored by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library.

Title of the panel was “Ten Books for a Desert Island,” with each author offering ideas that covered a wide variety of genres, from children’s books to poetry to novels. The festival concludes from 2-4 p.m. Sunday with a local authors showcase and reception at the Abilene Public Library south branch in the Mall of Abilene. Admission is free.

Panelists Saturday were Adkins, James Ward Lee, Mary Helen Specht, Damon Parker and Glenn Dromgoole, moderator. During the Boots & Books luncheon Saturday, Lee received the A.C. Greene Award, presented annually to a distinguished Texas author for lifetime achievement...

Specht, an Abilene native, is an associate professor of creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Her novel, “Migratory Animals,” was winner of the Texas Institute of Letters Best First Fiction Award and was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. 
Read more... 

Source: Abilene Reporter-News 

What does it mean to be a composer today? | Features - Gramophone

Listenpony is a London-based concert series, commissioning body and record label run by William Marsey, Freya Waley-Cohen and Josephine Stephenson. The three composers together introduce the organisation, before reflecting individually on what it means to be a composer in the modern musical world.
Three musicians behind concert-series and label Listenpony offer their reflections and advice by Gramophon.


We started Listenpony as a way to put on performances of our own music, as well as to showcase the talents of our performer friends. We have always aimed to put together the wide variety of music we enjoy alongside that which we make - choosing music simply because we like it and think it’s good rather than according to style. For the most part, this is classical music that goes from the Renaissance to today, with a particular focus on the new music that we now also commission from contemporary composers, but we also invite artists from other musical traditions to perform acoustic sets, and this has ranged from pop to folk via jazz and rap. We like to hold our events in unusual venues such as crypts and galleries, and structure the music in twenty-minute sets, creating an atmosphere that allows the audience to experience a close connection with the music and the musicians themselves.

A few years ago we set up a record label to release live recordings from our concerts, a way to offer an alternative experience of them, focusing on a single performer or ensemble, to be enjoyed post hoc on the move or from the comfort of one’s own home. This was also a way for us to reach a wider audience, outside the limits of England and beyond the evening of the concert.

Through Listenpony we hope to have not only created a space to experiment as artists, but also a wide and ever growing community of musicians and listeners who come together at our concerts.
Read more... 

Source: Gramophone

‘Leonard Bernstein at 100’ exhibit celebrates ‘complexity of the man’ | OregonLive

The traveling exhibit makes its final stop at the Oregon Jewish Museum in Portland through Jan. 26., says Amy Wang, The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The exhibit "Leonard Bernstein at 100" includes a video of the conductor at work alongside a display about his best-known work, "West Side Story."
Photo: Amy Wang/StaffThe man contained multitudes, says
Leonard Bernstein was a path-breaking composer who helped elevate American classical music on the international stage. He was a rock star of a conductor, a magnetic, ecstatic presence on the podium, with the looks to match. He was a gifted concert pianist, trained at a top music conservatory. He was a beloved teacher, sharing his passion for classical music through his "Young People's Concerts" television series, which ran for 14 years.
And he had a personal life straight out of a novel: pursuing a career in music despite his father's disapproval; marrying a stage and screen actress; embarking on affairs with men in an era when gay and bisexual people were still mostly closeted. His far-left politics – he and his wife made headlines after hosting a 1970 fundraiser for the Black Panthers – made him a target of the FBI and Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
No wonder Bob Santelli, curator of the exhibit "Leonard Bernstein at 100," said of his subject, "One of the things we were intrigued by, and I was almost overwhelmed by, was the complexity of the man."...
Santelli credited Judith Margles, executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum, with scoring the exhibit for Portland, saying she and her staff impressed him with their professionalism, personalities and perseverance.
Margles said the exhibit was timely not only because of the centennial but also because “it really is an immigrant’s story” – Bernstein was the son of immigrants from Ukraine – and thus fits the current sociopolitical discourse. It’s also an ideal fit for the Portland museum because Bernstein grew up in a Jewish household and maintained his Jewish identity his entire life.Read more...
Source: OregonLive

ASU Music announces service-learning projects for SLV students | Community - Del Norte Prospector

The Department of Music at Adams State University is pleased to announce a series of Service-Learning Projects providing after school music instruction for San Luis Valley students in grades 7-12 by Valley Publishing Press Release.

Adams State University campusMusic education majors enrolled in Professor Tracy Doyle’s Secondary Music Methods course have developed three unique opportunities, including a steel pan ensemble, a choir, and a middle school honor band audition preparation clinic. All clinics and classes are free of charge.

The steel pan band is open to students in grades 7-12. Students should have some music reading experience to be successful in this ensemble, but it is open to all instrumentalists and singers. Rehearsals will be Tuesdays from 7:15-8:30 pm in the band room in the music building on the ASU campus and will run from October 8th through November 19th, with a culminating performance on the ASU Jazz Concert on Thursday, November 21st at 7:00 pm. 
To register, please contact Kevin Johnson at johnsonkd3@grizzlies.adams.edu...

There will be a one time Middle School Honor Band Audition preparation clinic on October 26th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  
Read more...

Source: Del Norte Prospector

The Bookend Blended Learning Model: What’s it All About? | Blogs - CommLab India

Most of us are aware that blended learning is a mix of face-to-face and online training programs by CommLab India Bloggers.

Photo: CommLab IndiaHowever, did you know that there are different models of delivery in blended learning? The bookend blended learning model is one among them, and here we’ll explore what this model of blended learning delivery is all about.

What is the Bookend Blended Learning Model?
 
The E-Learning Fieldbook:
Implementation Lessons and Case Studies from Companies that are Making E-Learning Work
The bookend blended learning model is a 3-phase approach where face-to-face training is wrapped around online training methodologies. According to The E-Learning FIELDBOOK by Nick van Dam, learning in the bookend model begins and ends with online training, with a brief interaction in the classroom or virtual classroom in-between.

One key advantage of following the bookend blended learning model is cutting down on classroom or face-to-face training, thereby reducing the time participants spend away from work...

Example of Bookend Blended Learning
Here’s an example. Consider a training program for new managers. The aim of the training program is to help new managers develop leadership skills. Team building exercises and role plays are part of the training program.

The bookend blended learning model divides this training program into 3 phases, where the classroom training program is preceded and followed by self-paced, online learning programs. 
Read more... 

Source: CommLab India

Spotlight on STEM and Robotics | STEM and Robotics - Education Week

The Education Week Spotlight on STEM and Robotics is a collection of articles hand-picked by our editors for their insights on:

Download Now 

Students and Researchers Team Up to Create 'Citizen Science'
Whether it involves enlisting students to collect bugs in Michigan or star-gaze in Massachusetts, citizen science projects could be the next big thing for hands-on science education.

Students Build Tiny Houses to Bring Geometry Lessons to Life
At Battle High School in Columbia, Mo., students in geometry class have swapped their compasses and protractors for hammers and hard hats. And they're doing it for a good cause.

What Every Educator Needs to Know About Artificial Intelligence
Experts think artificial intelligence could help people do all sorts of things over the next couple of decades: power self-driving cars, cure cancer, and yes, transform K-12 education.

No, Engineering Isn't Just About Job Creation
Why do we keep selling early STEM education short? The Museum of Science Boston's Christine M. Cunningham explores.

Editor’s Note
Amid its rapid growth, educators are finding creative ways to bring STEM and robotics to life in the classroom. In this Spotlight, discover how educators are bringing hands-on lessons to science class, unlocking the full potential of engineering, and engaging students through exposure to robotics.
Download Now 

Source: Education Week  

How STEAM education develops 21st century skills | K12 Schools - Study International News

At this Hong Kong international school, students are prepared for the future through STEAM education and interdisciplinary approaches by Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong.
 Photo: Nord Anglia International School, Hong KongSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is no longer the major driving force behind K12 education.
 
A growing number of schools are now incorporating teaching methods that are more in line with STEAM education (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as it has become clear that arts education makes learning more fun and keeps children more engaged.
 
According to AllEducationSchools, “STEAM aims to strengthen the foundation of STEM by helping students enhance their critical thinking skills and recognize the intersection of art, science, technology, engineering, and math...

Students meet leading MIT scientists who serve as inspirational figures, as well as build and experiment in workshops, learning about the latest technologies and discoveries to pique their interests and imagination.

From bioengineering to coding and building robots, students thoroughly enjoy and learn from these activities tied to STEAM education. And to keep students actively involved in STEAM, teachers participate in workshops where they learn the latest STEAM research and teaching approaches.
 
Every summer, teachers visit MIT where they receive hands-on training from MIT researchers and renowned academics, participating in discussions and workshops with leading engineers and scientists about cutting-edge topics like gaming, food production technologies and climate change.
Read more...

Source: Study International News 

Hitting the Books: Teaching AI to sing slime mold serenades | Tomorrow - Engadget

Welcome to Hitting the Books. With less than one in five Americans reading just for fun these days, we've done the hard work for you by scouring the internet for the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find and delivering an easily digestible nugget of their stories.

Excerpted from The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity by Arthur I. Miller (The MIT Press, 2019).  
Get ready for Mozart on a microchip, continues Engadget.

What will be the central processing unit of the future? —Eduardo Miranda
Eduardo Miranda wants to shake up musical composition. At the moment, he is interested in central processing units (CPUs). In today's computers, CPUs are silicon chips with circuitry that enables them to perform arithmetical, logical, and control operations. But supposing we go beyond silicon, beyond digital, beyond even a quantum computer? What about, for example, a bioprocessor that powers a biocomputer? Or a hybrid computer, powered by silicon plus a bioprocessor?

A bioprocessor processes biological material. Miranda's chosen bioprocessor is a slime mold called Physarum polycephalum, the "many-headed slime," a huge, yellow, single-cell organism packed with millions of nuclei. It is a mass of creeping, jelly-like protoplasm that is sensitive to light and spreads out over forest floors, eating fungal spores, bacteria, and microbes...

Miranda grew up in Brazil and discovered computers as a teenager when his father brought home a Sinclair. He also studied the piano from the age of seven. He found it hard to juggle these two interests, AI and music. One hot and humid summer day, he visited the cool confines of the campus library and came across an article by Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, in which music was embedded in Venn diagrams, set theory, and logic, familiar to him from his studies in computer science. This, he realized, was the way to combine his interests in music and computers.

For his early research, he studied the way cellular automata behave in the Game of Life, a cellular automata system invented by the English mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. In this game, a mathematical grid of cells follows simple rules about when a cell is "alive" or "dead." The result is a riot of patterns. Besides its mesmerizing powers, the Game of Life turned out to have multiple unexpected uses—as a tool for exploring the evolution of spiral galaxies; calculating pi; investigating how ordered systems emerge from complex systems; and looking into why, in a multiverse scenario, only certain universes are capable of supporting life. Conway had hit on something universal.
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

The Artist in the Machine:
The World of AI-Powered CreativitySource: Engadget

5 Online Courses that will Help You Master the Heart of Data Science | Data Science - Analytics Insight

Data science has become a buzzing topic for new generation learners nowadays by Analytics Insight.

Photo: Analytics InsightNot only does it enhance your skill set, but also makes you ready for the upcoming professional life. And the biggest advantage of data science is that with the growing predominance of the digital market, the analysis of the customer data has become a widely popular aspect amongst the companies which sell their products or services on the digital platform. So, what are the basic advantages of data science? 
Here are a few glimpses:...

Now once you know what it takes to apply for a data science course, the next big step is where to apply for such a course? In case, you do not want to enrol in an everyday educational institution once more, the best solution to this problem is to enrol in an online course. upGrad is such an institution which offers various data science courses. With the collaboration with MICA and IIIT Bengaluru, it is the right platform for aspiring students to apply for data science courses. There are a number of courses available for data science from upGrad. They are as follows:...

Choose one of the courses according to your capacity and kick start your career as a data scientist.
Read more...

Source: Analytics Insight

Learning from what Apollo astronauts left on the moon | Space - Science News for Students

Science News for Students is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, which passed in July, with a three-part series about Earth’s moon. In part one, Science News reporter Lisa Grossman visited rocks brought back from the moon. Part two explores what astronauts left on the moon. Look for part three in November, and check out our archives for this story about Neil Armstrong and his pioneering 1969 moonwalk.
Maria Temming, Science News Writer explains, Fifty years ago, astronauts left more than footprints on Earth’s lunar neighbor

This photo, taken in 1969 by Astronaut Neil Armstrong, shows Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Apollo astronauts left a lot on the moon’s surface, from scientific instruments to trash.
Photo: NASAFifty years ago, astronauts first walked on the moon. Part of NASA’s Apollo program, they kicked off six missions to visit Earth’s lunar neighbor. Once on the moon, Apollo astronauts had two main goals: Get themselves and the moon rocks they gathered home safely.

That meant making space on cramped lunar modules for around 360 kilograms (about 800 pounds) of moon samples. Anything they didn’t need for the ride home got tossed — cameras, hammocks, boots and trash. They even ditched big stuff like moon buggies and launchpads.

But the astronauts left more than trashed castoffs. The crews marked their visits with six American flags and plenty of keepsakes. They also left behind about a dozen experiments to keep tabs on the moon. One still runs today.

These experiments were important parts of Apollo, says Noah Petro. He is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. There he works as a project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Its aim has been to map the moon... 

Astronauts left more elaborate setups during other Apollo missions. Some of the nuclear-powered devices collected data through 1977. As NASA decided to focus on other projects, it pulled the plug on the whole operation.

The data sat unstudied for years, Petro says. But within the last decade, a new generation of scientists has taken up the torch. They are analyzing Apollo observations to answer some lingering questions.
Read more...

Source: Science News for Students

Video: A game programmer's guide to the math of deep learning | Programming - Gamasutra

Photo: Alex ChampandardCheck out this video by Alex Champandard, AI expert and Co-founder of creative.ai

In this 2017 GDC talk, creative.ai's Alex Champandard looks at the mathematics behind deep neural networks and how to apply it to game development for fun and (hopefully!) profit...


It's a few years old now, but Champandard's talk is still rich in useful learnings and practical math you can apply to your own projects, so take advantage of the fact that it's now available to watch for free on the official GDC YouTube channel!
Read more...

About the GDC Vault 


In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers...

Source: Gamasutra

Researchers from TU Delft discover real Van Gogh using artificial intelligence | Delft University of Technology - Newswise

What did Vincent van Gogh actually paint and draw? by Delft University of Technology.

Researchers from TU Delft discover real Van Gogh using artificial intelligencePaintings and drawings fade, so researchers from TU Delft are using deep learning to digitally reconstruct works of art and discover what they really looked like. ‘What we see today is not the painting or drawing as it originally was,’ says researcher Jan van der Lubbe.

Snow-Covered Field with a HarrowOne of the paintings the TU Delft researcher Jan van der Lubbe regularly refers to when this subject is discussed, is Snow-Covered Field with a Harrow (after Millet) which can be seen in the Van Gogh Museum. ‘That work’s colours have faded. The edges of the painting, which were protected by the frame, show that the dominant green was originally more purple,’ explains Van der Lubbe. ‘In collaboration with various partners, the museum is trying to digitally reconstruct changes like these. This applies to drawings too. And we're helping them.’...
Voyage of DiscoveryThe research focuses, amongst other things, on the reconstruction of a Van Gogh drawing. Van der Lubbe explains: ‘You could start off with an explicit model, but this would be like working with a mathematical formula: you feed it something, and it spits out something. Neural networks, however, are implicit. You make observations and then allow a learning method to work out the relationships between various parameters. All this data allows a method like CNN to predict what an old drawing would have looked like years ago. It's a way of going back from the present to the original year of manufacture of the drawing, using knowledge from the past. What we do is actually a voyage of discovery. We want to understand to what extent a reconstruction like this can be arrived at using a learning method.’Read more...
Additional resources Zeng, Y., van der Lubbe, J.C.A. & Loog, M. Machine Vision and Applications (2019) 30: 1229.  DOI: 10.1007/s00138-019-01047-3
Source: Newswise  

Beyond AI hype: AI once stood for algorithmic intelligence | AI & Machine Learning - Information Age

To look beyond the AI hype, it is worth remembering that AI once stood for algorithmic intelligence, John Gentry, Chief Technology Officer - Virtual Instruments tells Information Age. 

AI could just as easily mean algorithmic intelligence
Photo: AdobeStock AI this, AI that, ayeeee, I am not sure the term is always used correctly. You could say there is too much AI hype, you might as well say the tide always comes in. It is not a contentious thing to say, it just is. Maybe it would help if we re-defined it. Instead is saying AI means artificial intelligence, maybe we should return to an earlier definition, one untainted by Hollywood. Let’s call it algorithmic intelligence, instead.

“Artificial intelligence is the application of algorithmic computation to large data sets,” says John Gentry, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development for Virtual Instruments, a solutions provider delivering AIOps driven performance management for modern hybrid infrastructure.

But it’s not just about fancy maths, he said. “It’s not just about saying ‘I’m using some fancy maths against a big data set and therefore I have artificial intelligence.’ It really needs to be much a more purposeful and practical application of a specific mathematics approach, depending upon the known interest and desired outcomes for a given factor.” That’s where the word intelligence comes in. Algorithms are as old as maths. Algorithmic intelligence is where you can take this to the next step — providing desired outcomes...

Gentry argues that economists, supply chain management and logistics professionals and the military have been using what was then called algorithmic intelligence for many years. Advances in computer power gave the technology a broader appeal, substitute the word artificial for algorithmic and you have got AI today.
Read more...

Source: Information Age

How Drones Are Accelerating Digital Transformation in the Insurance Industry | Claims Journal

Somewhere in central Michigan, a pickup truck drives into a sleepy suburban neighborhood by Michael Park, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at EagleView.

Photo: Flo Dnd from Pexels An autonomous drone takes flight off the truck’s flatbed and, nearly silently, heads a half-mile east, slowing above a mid-20th century craftsman home that has clearly suffered damage to its roof after a particularly brutal hailstorm.

The drone then makes a careful and artful loop of a house’s shingled rooftop, snapping hundreds of photos as it circles the perimeter of the home, barely three feet from the roof itself. Its job done, the drone returns to the truck and snaps back into its docking station. The photos are securely transferred to the cloud.

Some 1,000 miles away, a claims adjuster in Shreveport, Louisiana, with 30 years of experience under her belt, views the photos, rendered onto her iPhone in the form of a three-dimensional model of the home. She determines the roof must be replaced and escalates the claim into the payout stage. The claim is processed in record time, without a site visit and at a fraction of the cost.

This was the vision of the future many had hoped for when drone technology was first introduced to the insurance space about six years ago...

A little further out on the horizon, momentum is building for the FAA to loosen its restriction that all drone pilots must be able to visibly see their craft’s flight pattern (the “Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)” requirement). That will open the door to a world of fully autonomous drones that can fly further and for longer periods, covering large ranges of geography and capturing aerial imagery at an even more economical rate. This could happen as soon as three years from now, according to a study by Deloitte.
Read more... 

Source: Claims Journal  

Is your digital transformation strategy a digital check or digital wallet? | Artificial Intelligence - TechHQ

Companies must “build for the future rather than modifying from the past,” said marketing expert Tom Goodwin at eCommerce Expo.

Digital wallets have the potential to transform payments.
Source: Shutterstock Look at how the world at large has transitioned into a digital age, and it becomes apparent that much of what we might consider digital transformation is just taking something we’ve done before and making it a bit more modern. 

The ‘digital check’, for example, is in its principal concept, not much different from traditional paper checks. Apart from the fact that it can be filled out on a keyboard and exchanged online, it is a digital interpretation of a centuries-old way of doing things — while we can hardly call that ‘transformative’. 

This was just one analogy presented by Tom Goodwin, EVP Head of Innovation at Zenith and a global marketing industry influencer at eCommerce Expo in the UK capital last week...

The point is— whether it’s online coupons which customers print themselves; iPads added to classrooms which haven’t changed fundamentally since the 19th century; e-commerce websites which present products in a catalog; items that have never been on shop shelves shipped in branded packaging; TV ads being used on YouTube— few companies have fundamentally changed their approach, despite consumers’ buying habits changing dramatically. 

“My definition of digital transformation is very much rooted in this idea of rethinking technology— it is rooted in understanding what it will mean, and how it comes together,” said Goodwin.  
Read more...

Source: TechHQ

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