Charles McIntyre, CEO and Founder, IBIS Capital

The future of education and learning

I think it's really interesting at the moment. We're at a point in time where we are a few years into education technology and the transformation that's been happening.

The first stage really has been about trying to provide, as we would look at it, a quick fix solution.

It's been looking at how to address some of the pain points and address them quickly with simple things like bite size learning, informal learning.

What interests us is: "How do we make that big change that will really help us, and prepare us, for the world that's in front of us, in the 21st century?"

Artificial intelligence

What we see within that is the use of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence, to us, is something that the media has used to scare us quite a lot in terms of talking about how we'll lose all these jobs, and how we'll be displaced by robots, but for us actually it's a very different view.

We think the way the world is going is about collaborating between artificial intelligence and what humans are good at. In the world of artificial intelligence that really now is what's called deep learning.

Deep learning is about how we've created artificial neural networks that are able to replicate the process that the brain goes through in terms of learning.

So, we don't have machines that are simplistic and iterative in terms of their algorithms. They're machines that are able to put layers of learning and start to become more educated themselves.

Cobots: Collaborative robots

Through that you create this symbiosis between mankind, womankind and robots, and what do we call that? Well, we we're calling that cobots, collaborative robots.

What I think you'll start to see is that, within a few years to come, rather than having separate robots and humans, in terms of differing and doing different types of work, you'll see them working together.

The statistics are interesting.

Currently about 2 percent of industrial robots are collaborative robots, but by 2025 they reckoned that 90 percent of robots in the industrial space will be collaborative, working alongside humans.

For us that is where education and technology is going. It is about harnessing the capabilities of machine learning with the skills that mankind has in this form of:

  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Social learning

All these things are very strong human capabilities.

Where the world is going is about being able to layer and enhance both of those for the future. That's what I think is really exciting.

Charles McIntyre, CEO and Founder, IBIS Capital

About IBIS Capital: Focused on the education and training space, particularly as it relates to technology and the disruption that's having right across the sector today. It's a business that provides investment and advice to companies both small and big in that space.


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