Education Technology is a Global Opportunity | Getting Smart

$8.15 billion. That’s the amount global investors staked in EdTech companies in the first 10 months of 2017. Education used to be simple: there was a blackboard, a teacher and desks in a classroom. Today, a student can practice English online, upload homework through a portal and learn chemistry through 3D immersion — such is the rise of educational technologies. And nowhere is the advent of EdTech climbing more quickly than in Asia.

In 2016, global investments in Chinese EdTech companies rose to $1.2 billion, according to Goldman Sachs — to put that into perspective, that’s more than triple the amount raised in 2014 and comparable to Lyft’s most recent funding round. Going forward, the EdTech industry in China is expected to grow 20 percent annually, while a joint report released by Google and KPMG estimates that India’s online education market will rise more than 6x to $1.96 billion over the next four years.

The entire Asia-Pacific region is projected to represent 54 percent of the global EdTech market by 2020.

Source: Education Technology is a Global Opportunity | Getting Smart

Self-Driving Cars Will Kill Things You Love (And a Few You Hate) – Bloomberg

Rapid adoption of electric vehicles could mean oil demand peaks in just 12 years, according to Bank of America Corp. That would send shockwaves through an industry that’s counting on consumption growth for decades to come. Some major producers, such as BP Plc, are already acknowledging the possibility that some oil resources will never be needed.

This scenario raises difficult questions for Saudi Arabia, which has more than 70 years of crude reserves and hopes to achieve a IPO valuation of more than $1 trillion for its national oil company later this year.

Source: Self-Driving Cars Will Kill Things You Love (And a Few You Hate) – Bloomberg

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Trouble with ICOs | WIRED

And so since last year, I’ve found myself issuing warnings instead of accolades about the latest trend in the frothy world of cryptocurrencies: ICOs, or initial coin offerings. The initial idea was a pretty good one—blockchain technology could be used to issue new cryptographically secure “tokens” or “coins” that are easy to transmit peer-to-peer. The coins could be sold to fund open-source software projects and other services that people find useful but are hard to finance with traditional structures. They could even function as shares and thus allow startups to finance themselves far more efficiently, from a broader range of people, and without the intermediaries that take fees and require a drawn-out process. Or the “coins” could represent some unit of utility, such as a gigabyte of storage or access to a network.

Source: Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Trouble with ICOs | WIRED

In Their Own Words: Real Companies Talk Ripple XRP Pilots – CoinDesk

Indeed, the blockchain startup has no lack of partners, from American Express to SEB, that use its xCurrent product, which allows financial institutions to send transactions in real-time without the innovative new crypto-asset. But it was only a little-known company (Mexico-based Cuallix) that had signed on to use Ripple’s xRapid to leverage XRP for liquidity.

Flash forward to today, however, and the narrative has seen a shift. In rapid-fire succession, three money transfer firms revealed they are piloting the use of XRP. First was remittance giant MoneyGram, then came Mercury FX (which conducts about $500 million in transaction volume per year) and finally telecom provider IDT.

Source: In Their Own Words: Real Companies Talk Ripple XRP Pilots – CoinDesk

Every study we could find on what automation will do to jobs, in one chart – MIT Technology Review

In short, although these predictions are made by dozens of global experts in economics and technology, no one seems to be on the same page. There is really only one meaningful conclusion: we have no idea how many jobs will actually be lost to the march of technological progress.

Source: Every study we could find on what automation will do to jobs, in one chart – MIT Technology Review

Mark Zuckerberg is ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’ author Andrew Keen says – Recode

Interesting view on Facebook and the implications of only being served content we want to see (or what FB thinks we want to see).

“If all we do is see what our friends say and think and the links they give, then what becomes of the middleman?” he added. “What becomes of the objective version of the world? We just hear what we want to hear, and that’s the really troubling thing.”

 

Source: Mark Zuckerberg is ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’ author Andrew Keen says – Recode

The U.S. Drops Out of the Top 10 in Innovation Ranking – Bloomberg

Watch South Korea remained the global-Innovation gold medalist for the fifth consecutive year. Samsung Electronics Co., the nation’s most-valuable company by market capitalization, has received more U.S. patents in the 2000s than any firm except International Business Machines Corp.

Its semiconductors, smartphones and digital-media equipment spawned an ecosystem of Korean suppliers and partners similar to what Japan developed around Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Source: The U.S. Drops Out of the Top 10 in Innovation Ranking – Bloomberg