Article | March 10, 2022
Blooming from theory into a burgeoning real-world of practical applications, many technological advances have been made in Quantum Computing. With a vast domain to cover, an educational challenge has arisen: How to get people of different backgrounds become “quantum literate”? In other words, how people can learn Quantum Computing without any previous theoretical or experience requirements? And, in the end, become “a quantum thinker”.
Learning through games to develop “quantum reasoning” is the first step to train our first generation of “quantum native sapiens” or “quantum literates”.
The idea of becoming “quantum literate” has its root in the need to upskill non-specialist workforce in the field of Quantum Computing and train developers and decision makers in the counter-intuitive ways of quantum reasoning. Involvement of the learners from early stages to understand the underlying building blocks and principles of Quantum Computing is the stepping-stone. Starting from scratch, without requiring the learner to possess a background in computer coding or even linear algebra, gamification or gaming enables non-specialists to grasp difficult concepts in an intuitive way to solve complex problems.
Academically speaking, this brings us to STEM education. Exposing students to game-based learning with an educational purpose becomes more engaging and challenging. Gamification, therefore, as an instructional method is very well suited to creating an environment to encourage exploration and making connections. Then, the traditional role of a teacher is shifted to that of a “guide” since the learner is in control of its own pace in the learning process. Quantum Computing related games has an ultimate goal: “to enable users to develop an intuitive but still rigorous understanding of the fundamentals of quantum computation, as well as the potential to discover increasingly complex and new quantum algorithms” (Nita et al, 2020).
Therefore, pedagogical games can be introduced as a substantial methodology to aid non-specialists in becoming knowledgeable when approaching to quantum terminology, a practical toolbox for use case implementation.
Games and visualization
Originally introduced in education to include students in cutting-edge quantum mechanics research as well as to support and motivation for learning, as mentioned before, today gamification has become a trend covering a broad spectrum of multidisciplinary fields such as healthcare, defence, finance, corporate training, and advertising. As Huang and Soman (2013) states: “Gamification can indirectly prompt the student to acquire more knowledge and skills due to the effect on engagement and motivation”.
According to different authors, games fulfil a particular role in the understanding and learning of abstract concepts (Bright 1983, Gee 2007, Salen 2008, Whitton 2010, 2012). More precisely, board games have been tested as effective learning devices (Gobet 2004, Shanklin 2007, Treher 2011, Berland 2011, Yoon 2014) since: (1) due to their immersive nature they facilitate attention, concentration and motivation, (2) they provide learners with meaningful everyday experiences, allow “learning by doing”, hands-on skill and knowledge development, (3) raise competitiveness, promote discussion and deep thinking among players and (4) foster inclusion for clarification and explanation following the natural course of the game (Montola 2005, Walther 2005, Juul 2008, Zimmerman 2012, Castells 2000, Prensky 2007).
Active scientific realism”: visualization and simulation
“Visual literacy” is one of the most critical competencies when talking about the integration of technology, more specifically when we describe learning from a “multimodal” perspective where visualization plays a key role. In the context of specific situations in an institutional setting, meaning-making communication through visualization and gamification can mitigate the abstract nature of Quantum Computing concepts, making a problematic phenomenon easier to solve.
There seems to be a consensus that concepts of Quantum Computing via traditional didactic teaching methods are not easy to comprehend due both to epistemological challenges and the lack of availability of specialized Quantum Computing systems and related equipment, which represents a slight hurdle in experimentation. Therefore, interactive simulations for quantum visualization seems to be a powerful tool which facilitates the learners’ engagement through scaffolding of the learning experience.
Interacting with the dynamic visualizations associated with complex scientific phenomena aided by clear guidance enables learners to generate valuable explanations and improve understanding.
Let´s play quantum
Designed for STEM, higher-education, and university levels, most of the games have the aim to engage learners interactively to acquire quantum conceptualizations, principles and develop critical thinking to problem solving. Most of them are board games, some visualizations and finally simulations.
The following are examples that illustrate games, models and education paradigms from research and academic resources.
“Odyssey” is an effective model in a visual mode, which allows learners to solve quantum computation problems even if they had never been exposed to quantum computation before. It is designed to both visually represent and allow interaction with everything that can be done on small quantum computing systems. (Nita et al., 2020).
“Entanglion” is a board game model for quantum computing which helps players build an understanding of quantum states and transitions between those states, rather than logic, data structures, or algorithms through its unique representation of quantum states its and collaborative learning process (Weiz et al., 2018).
“Quantum tic-tac-toe” was developed as a metaphor for the counterintuitive nature of superposition exhibited by quantum systems. It offers a way of introducing quantum physics without advanced mathematics, provides a conceptual foundation for understanding the meaning of quantum mechanics. It also illustrates a few quantum principles including states, superposition, collapse, nonlocality, entanglement, the correspondence principle, interference, and decoherence (Goff, 2006).
“Schrödinger cat and hounds” main objective is to teach concepts of quantum mechanics. It demonstrates the effects of superposition, destructive and constructive interference, measurements, and entanglement. More advanced concepts, like particle–wave duality and decoherence, can also be taught using the game as a model (Gordon and Gordon, 2012).
“Quantum Moves” (Ornes, 2018) was designed to pit human players against computer algorithms, combining their solutions into hybrid optimization to control a scalable quantum computer (Lieberoth et al., 2014).
“Quantum Race” was designed for the introduction of quantum mechanics principles. The main idea is to choose a core of few basic concepts to be explained, and to design the game mechanisms and rules completely around them. (Chiarello, 2016).
“QuaSim” is a virtual gamified education paradigm that teaches basic concepts of Quantum Computing and Cryptography. It allows the internalization of counterintuitive quantum concepts that sit at the intersection of physics, mathematics, computer science and cybersecurity. Second, it provides an immersive environment for hands-on learning in the absence of expensive quantum equipment and field-training opportunities. And third, QuaSim enhances student learning and proficiency in relevant concepts while maintaining engagement through a gamified interface (Parakh et al., 2020).
Great Quantum Expectations
Assimilation and internalization turn out to be critical for learners (developers, non-specialists, and students) to achieve proficiency in such a complex field, namely Quantum Computing. Integrating games in a collaborative (even competitive) environment is a promising way for “easy adoption” of proper concepts and the possibility of re-interpreting the world.
Becoming a “quantum sapiens” or “quantum literate” or “quantum citizens” means “thinking quantum critically” being “naturally” capable of not only comprehend but also devise quantum algorithms to solve real life problems in many different scenarios. It is time for Great Quantum Expectations. We are on the verge of laying the cornerstone in the Quantum Gamified Era.
Article | March 8, 2022
Women in the infotech industry are making huge strides and contributing significantly to its growth. With female decision-makers all across the industry, the future ought to see more contribution from women and a significant impact in the IT sector.
Especially in an industry that men have vastly dominated, the growing influence of women shows how things have been changing with time.
Fuel Your Success: Learn with the Leaders
On the occasion of Women’s Day, we share with you excerpts from our conversation with some of the leading women in the industry.
While understanding your bandwidth is highly essential, learning when to say ‘NO’ becomes important.
“Say “no” when we know we can’t. And then our teams will trust us even when we need to integrate our personal lives into our work lives.”
– Ginger Shimp, Senior Marketing Director at SAP.
Making errors is a part of the process; understanding what went wrong and learning from it makes you grow.
“If you make a mistake, that’s okay, move on and do better next time. Fail fast and fail often.”
– Bethany Fagan, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at PandaDoc.
Focusing on building resilience by taking up the digital-first approach is how you withstand disruptions in the most effective manner.
“Organizations across the region are increasingly embracing a digital-first approach to building resilience into their operations as the pandemic has changed markets dramatically.”
– Ronita Bhattacharjee, Vice President, META Region, Conferences at IDC.
The industry is growing and expanding at an exponential rate, and this ought to increase the competition and innovation that the market sees on a daily basis.
“The future of the robotics industry is expected to grow expeditiously, which will result in more competition and innovation.”
– Kristin Fornal, Head of Marketing at IAM Robotics.
Understanding what is instrumental for the success of your business, in your opinion, also plays a massive role in the way you grow and help your organization grow.
“In my opinion, low-code and no-code are instrumental for business success.”
– Sunniya Saleem Hamid, Senior Director, Marketing - Demand Center and Digital Experience at QuickBase.
Every quote mentioned here portrays the depth of knowledge the respective individual possesses from the industry and the understanding they have garnered over the years. Therefore, these inputs stand to hold great value for newcomers in the industry and a clear understanding of where they can reach.
Article | March 7, 2022
Understanding AI Marketing: Fundamentals
“What are the things in the Internet of Things? We are the things. The data becomes the message and the humans become the medium.”
Douglas Rushkoff, Author, and Host of Team Human
Artificial intelligence is taking over almost all sectors. The marketing sector has been greatly impacted by automation ideas. With limited options, programs were restricted to making practical recommendations based on a set of fixed assumptions. Several companies are continuously adopting marketing automation solutions to encourage operational efficiency. The latest stats indicate that companies can boost their productivity by at least 40% with the current AI and machine learning technologies (source: SEMrush).
Using AI in marketing helps marketers gain a more nuanced, comprehensive, and effective understanding of their target audience while also bringing innovation to marketing. With the help of machine learning, marketers can now easily extrapolate macro customer insights and efficiently understand their audiences’ micro-level mannerisms. AI marketing technology can also get a lot of customer data and build strong relationships on a large scale.
With assistance from AI in marketing, this gives marketers a completely new realm to function in. By using AI marketing in cost-effective ways, organizations yield better results in a much shorter span of time, using which marketers can focus on achieving all their organizational goals.
Critical Challenges of AI Marketing
Currently, modern marketing depends on insights into customer needs and preferences and their ability to act on them quickly and effectively. The process of making real-time, data-driven decisions has brought AI to the forefront for marketing stakeholders. Incorporating the ideal AI tools into your marketing function is the initial task. Once you have completely analysed this aspect; the marketer can then emphasize how they wish to integrate AI marketing tools into their marketing campaigns. In addition, people who want to use AI marketing should be aware of some problems they might face.
Some of the most common challenges are:
Training Time and Data Quality
Your AI tools don’t come pre-equipped with actions to help you achieve your marketing goals. Hence, sufficient training time is required for the tool to understand your organizational goals effectively. Along with time, the tools require data quality assurance.
Being compliant with industry standards is a big concern, and if AI tools aren’t programmed to observe specific legal guidelines, it can be a big challenge for the organization. Hence, organizations have to keep close track of how their AI marketing tools are programmed to perform.
Adapting to a Dynamic Marketing Landscape
Bringing AI marketing tools to day-to-day operations can cause significant disruption. Marketers will have to constantly evaluate which jobs can be replaced using AI and which jobs can be created. A study suggests that six out of ten marketing jobs can be replaced with marketing technologies.
Core Components of AI Marketing
Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in helping marketers connect with their customers. To effectively deploy marketing automation, there are some components that a marketer should take into consideration. These core components are as follows:
Big Data and Analytics
Platform Solutions for AI
How to Leverage AI for Marketing?
While looking to leverage AI innovation in marketing, it is crucial to have a thorough action plan for your marketing campaigns and operations. This would help organizations minimize costly challenges and achieve value from their AI investment in the least possible time.
Before using AI marketing automation tools for marketing campaigns, it would be ideal to factor in some of the points mentioned below:
Data Privacy Standards
Data Quantity and Sources
Acquire Data Science Talent
Maintain Data Quality
What Is the Future of AI Marketing and Its Impact on Business Leaders?
AI is still relatively new in marketing but has the potential to grow in popularity. With marketing automation, marketers can now spot and predict future trends. AI and machine learning would help marketers make decisions based on facts and also help suggest how to allocate budgets and improve their targeting.
Business leaders can attain greater results using the focus that this innovation in marketing has brought to the table. First, they would have data that was based on facts that would help them improve their targeting and budget allocations, all of which would be based on their target audience and organizational goals.
According to Gartner, people in charge of marketing insights in this evolving marketing landscape will no longer be as competitive. A majority of the respondents surveyed by Gartner are using or planning to use AI in their marketing strategy. Only 13% do not believe it will be useful for the next three years.
AI Marketing Trends
Predictive Analytics and Forecasting
Persona Research and Psychographics Building
Dynamic Personalized Ad Serving
Micro-moments and Targeted Timing
Lead Qualification and Scoring
Email Marketing Dynamic Optimization
Making smart marketing decisions would depend on how well the organization understands its target audience. With the marketing automation available at present, it allows us to analyse the mass amounts of data and information gathered through campaigns, social interactions, and engagements. Ever since AI in marketing’s inception, innovation in marketing is no longer a farfetched thought. With the options for using AI in marketing that are now available, marketers can work toward building a strong arsenal of tools that will guide them in developing more intent-focused marketing campaigns. The future of artificial intelligence in marketing is building a strong base for itself in helping small businesses.
Q1: How Is Artificial Intelligence Used in Marketing?
Marketing automation is ideally used where speed is an essential component. Data and customer profiles help AI understand how to best communicate with the customers and serve them with tailor-made content and messages.
Q2: How Is AI Changing the Marketing Industry?
The future of artificial intelligence in marketing is promising. AI helps marketers deliver an ad experience that is more personalized for each user and effectively helps shape the customer journey.
Q3: What Is the Foreseeable Future of AI in Marketing?
AI marketing tools have a significant impact on the audience, and it is virtually impacting every industry and its associated customers. AI is also the main driver of new technologies like big data, robotics, and IoT and will keep on being the technological innovator for the foreseeable future.
Article | March 2, 2022
In Part I of this article, we explored some of the changes that we can expect with the rise of the metaverse, and one of the main takeaways from this was the fact that learning cultures within business organizations need to change to capitalize on what the metaverse will entail and deliver to a business organization. Businesses need to understand that the intellectual capital of their employees is a valuable business asset in an age where people are always learning new things and getting better at their jobs.
The Wave of Change
One of the most common problems that businesses have is how they deal with changes in their organization.
When you combine the need to change the learning culture of business with what Peter Senge states in a classic book on learning organizations titled
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization(1990)
a common thread emerges.
Business leaders need to be proactive, not reactive, to the changes occurring outside the walls of their organization. They need to be aware of the transformations occurring in the global economy and, based upon that, come up with a shared vision that recognizes that we are living in an age of information and learning.
Consider the cases of three companies that are no longer with us. Some companies that suffered extinction level events are:
Kodak: The Kodak Company is an example that I have used before, but it is such a clear example of a failure to follow through in adapting and innovating. In 1975, Kodak engineer Steve Sasson created the very first digital camera. The following quote sums it up:
"...Historically, Kodak was built on a culture of innovation and change. It’s the type of culture that’s full of passionate innovators, already naturally in tune to the urgency surrounding changes in the market and technology. It’s these people – those excited about new ideas within your own organization – who keep your company moving ahead instead of falling behind. One key to avoiding complacency is to ensure these innovators have a voice with enough volume to be heard (and listened to) at the top..." (Forbes, 5/02/2012)
Blockbuster: Blockbuster had several opportunities to buy a little DVD rental company called "Netflix" back in the early 2000's. The CEO demonstrated a great deal of short-sightedness by refusing Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings when he proposed that Blockbuster buy Netflix for $50 million. By the time Blockbuster shuttered its doors for good, it had lost $1.1 billion and was valued at $24 million. Meanwhile, Netflix was valued at $13 billion.
Borders Book Sellers: In the 1990's Borders and its competitor, Barnes & Noble combined for a 40% control of the book selling market. However, Borders committed three main mistakes that spoke to an inability to adapt. First, they outsourced their online sales to a little-known retailer known as "Amazon" between 2001 and 2008. Secondly, it neglected e-books while its competitors came out with e-readers such as the Kindle (Nov. 2007), the Nook (2011), and the Apple iPad (April 2010). Borders didn't release Kobo until 2011. Thirdly, it robbed its company of vitality by being tied down with long-term leases on its physical properties.
The question is, why didn’t these companies change? What reasons did they have?
So much has been written about the need to adapt to a culture of rapid change, and yet some organizations persist in following the credo: “Doing business as we have always done it.”
The Perfect Storm—Converging Technologies
For the metaverse to find practical application, it will be dependent on some technologies that are converging on each other very quickly:
1. Evolution of the Web: In making practical use of the metaverse, a question that needs to be asked is: “What type of web configuration will fully support the use of the new metaverse technologies?”
As the Web has evolved, it has been able to support new technological platforms, thus allowing us to utilize emerging technology applications more fully. One easy way to understand the evolution of the web is to look back before we look forward.
The following YouTube video details this evolution of the web and why it is important if we hope to use the metaverse to its greatest potential:
2. AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the Spotlight: As was indicated in Part I, the growing use of AI, or Artificial Intelligence, within many facets of our lives, from use in our Smart Homes to its use in a new generation of Smart Cars,” promises many more new conveniences where we really don’t have to think about things that may normally take time in our very busy schedules. Despite the promised convenience, the very key idea here is that “You Don’t Need to Even Think…” This means that something else will think for us. We have already seen this already happening when we use search engines such as Google, where it seems like Google is thinking for us by predicting and sometimes dictating what we should pay attention to. With advanced smartphones, you may have experienced a situation where it seems that even though you weren’t using the phone at the time, it has still been listening to your conversations or perhaps Alexa has been videoing your movements.
The bottom line is that if AI is instrumental to what you want to create using metaverse technology, it is critical to pay attention to security for what you are using. In a YouTube presentation titled "My Last Warning About AI & Google" (2021), Elon Musk stated, "If AI is instrumental to what you want to create using metaverse technology, it is important to pay attention to security for what you are using." Musk, a well-known innovator and entrepreneur, speaks very frankly about AI and security in the way we use it.
When you consider the use of interactive learning experiences for employees using the Metaverse, then you realize that AI will be used in many types of professional work eenvironments. This is one of the reasons why having a game designer at the planning table for creating engaging learning experiences is critical, because when designing an engaging game, AI and the use of predictive analytics come into play.
It is extremely important that we define the relationship between AI and learning designers as well as clearly define what the role of AI will be when we come to the planning table to design new learning experiences. The relationship to stress is that the human designers are the masters, and the AI exists to serve them. The radical importance of making this relationship foundational is described in the following YouTube presentation titled: “The Dangers of Artificial Intelligence - Stuart Russell on AI Risk”(2021).
The redundant, time-consuming tasks that used to be on the designer’s desk can’t be relegated to your personal AI Assistant. The other benefit of this is that the learning design team can then focus on innovating and using the creative gifts that humans must muster to bring forth new products and services as well as upskill employees.
For example, consider the typical training event for groups of employees. In the past, training events were scheduled in a classroom or training room, and then “the sage on the stage” approach took over. Learners were treated as objects into which information was to be poured, with the requirement that they would then leave the training environment and apply what they learned. Experience tells us that the employee's transfer of skills learned to applying them at the point of work was a hit-or-miss experience. What the employee needs, in fact, is an AI-based intelligent personal assistant that he/she can call up at any time to help the human learn at the point of work but also to help solve problems.
If we want to make practical use of the metaverse in business and especially for upskilling employees, AI will play an integral part of this by using an always on intelligent digital assistant, which would be at the beck and call of the employee. How much AI will impact business is touched on in this YouTube video titled: “The 8 Biggest Artificial Intelligence (AI) Trends in 2022” by Bernard Marr (2021).
Scenario: Upskilling Aircraft Designers Using an IntelligentAssistant
In the following diagram, you have a scenario with three design engineers using an interactive display to solve a design problem. What would happen if there was only one new design engineer tasked with solving a problem in aircraft design and his and her companion was an Intelligent Design Assistant? What would the interaction look like?
The following is a fictitious problem-solving session and the type of interchange you might expect to happen. The personalized intelligent digital assistant is called “Fred”.
Here's an example of a possible interaction between an intelligent personal assistant and an aircraft design engineer who is given a problem to solve. The designer’s name is Matthew:
Matthew: Fred, are you online to help me with the task that I have been assigned?
Fred: Good morning, Matthew? How can I be of service to you today?
Matthew: Fred, do you have expertise in airframe cabin design efficiencies?
Fred: Matthew, I am surprised at you! You should know that, through my connection to the global quantum computer farms in the cloud, I can access all current information in global databases containing information pertinent to your task problem. I can also project reactive holographic images onto suggested changes so that you can see the result and, through a simulation run, you can see how your change will affect the airframe cabin design. I can also display the big data associated with such changes that other competitive companies have experienced. What would you like me to do?
Matthew: Okay, Fred. I must admit that I am new at this; could you mentor me by providing a short training module that I can follow along with before I start making changes?
Fred: Not only can I do that, but I can also provide you with immediate feedback and suggestions dealing with the responses you make in the training module. I can display how your responses affect the ongoing design dealing with your task problem and can make helpful suggestions that you might want to consider. Would you like me to set up this module so that you can use it at any time, anywhere?
Matthew: Yes, Fred, please install it on my tablet for future use.
Fred: Okay, Matthew. I can also include an automatic updating widget that will automatically update as I notice future needs that you should have help with. Would that be okay with you?
Matthew: Wow, what would I do without you? Thanks to blockchain for making this type of global interaction possible. You hardly leave me with anything to do.
Fred: Matthew, your job is to create and innovate solutions to new problems. So let’s get to it.
So, as you read this, you are probably wondering when we are going to see actual metaverse technology in action. It was necessary to lay the foundation first, and the rationale was that new technologies on a collision course with each other would help define and energize the metaverse.
That will be the focus of the next segment.