What the World’s Smartest Artificial Intelligence Says about the U.S. Presidential Debate? Watson…

In August, I wrote Watson Weighs in on the U.S. Presidential Race. The article used IBM’s Watson Alchemy Language Engine to analyze Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump‘s acceptance speeches at their national conventions. While these speeches provided good insights into what the candidates had to say to the global public, they were in front of their political base supporters and may not have accurately captured what the candidates really were like to the American public or what their ideas were for the country.

IBM Watson has the ability to analyze massive data clouds. It’s possible to take the every Twitter feed, Facebook post, news article and use that to analyze everything from what people believe about the candidates, to how the media portrays them. Of course, this can be used for authentic analysis, or to further polarize the American electorate.

With the first Presidential debate behind us, I thought it would be useful to apply the same methodology to see if Watson has any new insights into the candidates from the debate. I parsed Hillary, Donald, and Lester Holt‘s (moderator) word taken from the debate transcript on Politico.com.

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Hurricane Papi Making Landfall Tonight

The National Weather Service has just issued a severe warning that Hurricane Papi is going to make landfall in Cleveland tonight.

That was the quote that went along with my Facebook and Twitter posts. I thought it would be fun to incorporate the incredible power of the 2016 Boston Red Sox alongside the power of Hurricane Matthew.

Some of the subtle elements incorporated were the use of Cleveland as the center of the storm and the direction of the storm (hurricanes don’t typically hit Cleveland). I used images of Ortiz, Betts, and Pedroia as storms that would follow after Hurricane Papi.

The date and time for the storm hitting were tied to the start of tonight’s Red Sox game.

Finally, I added the breaking news at the bottom to incorporate the entire piece.

Yes, there are photoshop errors and horrible smudges that should make any designer cringe, but overall, for a raced piece, I think it stands up.

I also added the http://www.centersocialimpact.org as a way to promote the launch of the National Center for Social Impact. Although having no direct relation to the Red Sox or humor necessarily – they are tied through me, and I suppose that’s as good a reason as ever to promote a cause dedicated to making a difference along with good humor.

Go Sox!


Elon University’s Innovative Way to Help Employers Measure the True Value of their Emerging Workforce: The Visual EXP Transcript

Elon University this week revealed their next-generation visual transcript. Applying infographic design with experiential education, they’ve delivered a solution that fits well with workforce development for the 21st century. Until now, college transcripts were a combination of semesters, course numbers, names, dates, and grades. But in a post-information society that conveys little about what the student actually knows or can do.

As a result, Elon students are able to create a holistic, experiential transcript that includes opportunities both on- and off-campus, co-curricular activities, study abroad, and traditional education. Each of the five Elon Experiences (Service, Undergraduate Research, Leadership, Internship, and Global Engagement) is presented in the infographic, and together they are presented chronologically along a four-year timeline. As students engage in experiential opportunities on and off campus, information about those experiences are collected for the student and verified by university faculty and staff. Student results are verified by university faculty and staff and then become part of their digital-only Visual EXP Transcript.

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STEMspirations: Do You Really Want to Inspire STEM Interest?

Much attention, resources, education curriculum, and energy has been focused on helping develop interest and career pathways for students and adults directed to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Some of the hottest areas are 3D Printing, video game and app development, code-a-thons, and student camps. Much of these efforts are driven by top-down workforce and educational approaches. Teachers, administrators, and workforce development leaders are constantly asked to create interest and experience in what business needs.


The problem with these approaches are that they are extrinsic. Many leaders are “selling” interest to youth, and today’s youth are rejecting traditional selling methods from adults. The rules of the game are changing. Intrinsic motivation is significantly stronger, but the challenge is how to create intrinsic interest in something that many s
taff do not understand, can’t see the ultimate vision, and are building skills for jobs that don’t exist currently. This is a high risk for the lives of students, and I’m seeing them turn more towards humanistic interests (read social media) than externally-driven approaches. Just as the baby boomers taught the Gen-Xers the downside of materialism and capitalism, Gen-Xers have taught Gen-Yers to strive to move away from complete control of completely planned social activities (any event/activity that requires a parent to drive a young person to). Have we created a generation yearning to reject what we’ve done Bowling Alone? Continue reading