In the last episode of VR Museum Talks, Ondrej and Taylor will face off with the last set of questions for each other. Watch them discuss what plans does Upload have in terms of education, how can VR and AI disrupt learning and make sure you wait for Talor’s spin move in the end! If you missed the first or second episode, watch them under the links.
Ondrej: I know that education is becoming big part of what UploadVR is doing. Can you share little bit more where it does fit into what do you guys do?
Absolutely. You know right now we see that the industry is at a very very early stage, very nascent stage. As Upload, our mission has always been to be a support system for the industry, to be the unifier for the fragmentation, to really listen to the community and do whatever we can to support. That’s how the Collective started: everyone needed office space, demo rooms and MR studios, so we started that. Then we learned that everyone needs developers and talents, so we started training program. So with that said right now the focus is around using traditional and progressive learning techniques to train students on how to actually create amazing VR experiences.
Of course we’re experimenting what that looks like to train them using VR. That will be a really fun component of the curriculum to experiment with and we really want to be pioneering on that side of the business. But when I think long-term, once the ecosystem is there, once there are millions of people using VR daily, there’s hundreds of thousands of developers, I still fully plan on maintaining that training component continuing to teach people how to build VR experiences. At that point I think there’s opportunity to expand into looking at education as a whole: How do we use this tool to help an eight-year-old kid understand the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics. So that by the time they’re 10 years old they’re smarter than most PhD’s are today because they’ve had this part of their brain unlocked. The spatial learning, experiential learning opportunity to really fundamentally understand concepts. So for us it’s sort of first step to help the industry grow. Be there as a support system, be there to support the community but then when the industry is revving and cranking, then experimenting with how we can inspire people using this medium and actually start giving people around the world equal learning opportunity and not even equal but accelerated learning opportunity.
And when the majority of the curriculum will be delivered in VR and AR in your learning and education courses?
Taylor: Soon. I will say soon. A long time scale but we’re working quickly. Tools like Card Blanche from Unity, in world VR editing tools – stuff like that is nice and it’s a first step. Some of the stuff that like Primitive is doing with visualizing programming languages so sort of picking and choosing all the cool stuff that’s going on. To think about how we can blend all this new age technology into curriculum that has never been seen before that. You know our hypothesis is it will be more effective because it’s experiential and three-dimensional.
How do you see the VR disrupting traditional education?
I think in end of the day it’s all about the students themselves and the one part of how the students are learning it’s just through the schools itself and I believe that once there will be the quality curriculum or content out there what can happen is that the parents can just offer to the kids possibility to learn from from the VR. I believe it’s now really in the hands of developers so I believe that if developers will do a really good job for publishers then clearly the kids will be so engaged into the content in a way that they will be like “I’ll just skip the GTA or any kind of gaming IP. I will be just doing my learning.” And if there will be just a little bit of support from the parents and there will be a good curriculum and quality content which will be also engaging, then you can just go a little bit around of the whole slow process of the adoption of technologies in the classroom. So it’s what we believe might happen and what we are going after next three years which is making sure that we can just bypass the the whole machine and just help kids understand the difficult topics and just spark their lightbulb moments.
Yeah, so it’s almost like homeschooling, right? I mean and I have some good friends that were homeschooled and most of them are exceptional at a lot of very important and impressive skills. One thing that I think that you miss in that type of environment is the social skills. Social VR is proving to be incredibly actually social. It falls under a lot of the same paradigms as social structures in real life so I think that maybe there could be [a point where] you can get enough out of learning socially in VR. Maybe not all of that, I think time will tell, but it’s just interesting to think about parents saying alright we’ll have ourbkids stay at home. They will put him through/her through this intensive immersive experience and will work alongside the AI which I believe is going to be incredibly important for the future of education. I think that teachers have an incredibly important role to bring the emotional intelligence and really form that community of students but that AI will be able to offer individualized learning the same way that if a school with a hundred students in the class had a hundred teachers. It doesn’t make any sense financially but you know it’d be incredible for learning.
That’s a great point. The social VR learning where you would have hundred homeschooling kids with like one or two teachers there. It’s still very much better than having no teacher there and and it may be AI that will make it to the point where I would really feel comfy to just offer that for the kids and that then maybe even part of the computer place. But I still believe there is a part of the social skills that will never replace the teachers so well.
I agree to some extent but at the end of the day if we all believe that technology is exponential and you know it is, we’ve got a narrow general and narrow intelligence AI right now. NAI – narrow artificial intelligence when you’ve got GAI – general artificial intelligence which is like the equivalent of a human and narrow intelligence would be like a self-driving car for example. It’s great at driving but it sucks everything else, can’t do anything else really. And then when you get to super AI – SAI. When you’ve got this intelligence that’s far smarter than a human could. You know the question is maybe emotional intelligence is something that is just so magical and special to humans and to animals on this planet that it’s something that a computer could never emulate. But I would have cause to believe that it is something that could be emulated to the point of being a support system for another person in the same way and probably even better than a lot of people. It’s like finding that one person who’s amazingly supportive, understands you, who can help you through things. It’s like if you had a super intelligent machine that’s analyzed millions of conversations, millions of psychology tricks, methodologies that can actually interact with you in that way? I feel it could be incredibly powerful to these students. So I’m with you. The human element is very important but thinking into the distant future who knows how long but in the distant future there will be a point where artificial intelligence is able to deliver a superior experience to most of the actual teachers. Which is hard to say because teachers today are some of the most important people in the world, they’re creating the future of everything, they’re creating the minds that will create the future.
So it’s definitely a controversial topic of whether teachers get replaced and it’s not comfortable to like even really say or think about it but at the end of the day technology is exponential, individualized learning is more effective and the trends are sort of pointing for that. I think when you look at human value you look at people, you know jobs that will start being more efficiently done using AI, anything that has a standard operating procedure pretty much the thing that will make humans most valuable form of contribution to project or to some industry is going to be creativity so thinking about how do we cultivate and inspire creativity. So that the machines the same way that this little machine [takes out smartphone] does all my memorization for me. I don’t have to remember phone numbers, I don’t have to remember facts, dates, anything. I just need to understand concepts and I need to have some data points that I can make good mental models then I have this amazing little device to help me and I think this is only the very beginning. This is like not even 10 years old, so I think looking into the future, creativity is the most human element that we have and it’s something that we really need to start thinking about today how we foster creativity. And I think you look at something like Tiltbrush and you know VR as a tool which provides the next creative medium. So I think that it’s kind of this idea of the jobs crisis and what’s going to happen but that there’s this huge amazing opportunity with immersive technologies that will provide jobs and opportunities that we couldn’t even imagine today. So that was long-winded but you know I’m super passionate about it.
Hope you enjoyed our mini-series and you’ll be waiting for more of our stories on education, tech and expert insight!