About digital and other traces, Islands 10-22.
Andrey Siling, Executive Director, NTI Platform ANO, told in his interview to Indicator.Ru why do educational intensive courses create laboratories, what results are planned to be achieved in Island 10-22 and how the experts’ and innovators’ networks are created and mapped around the National Technology Initiative.
— Andrey, could you please tell how Island 10-22 will be organized? In particular, several laboratories will operate there. It is a rather unusual format. Can you please clarify why it was chosen and what is its particular feature?
— Island 10-22 is a second educational intensive course conducted by University 20.35. We will work in the formats that have already been tested in the last-year’s Island but a series of novelties is expected, too. This year’s Island has a precise focus on the target audience: if the past-year’s intensive course was established for a broad range of technology leaders, but this year the teams focus on development of Russian lead universities.
We believe that the laboratory format is the most suitable for this purpose. Participants will be able to develop a number of technology skills: to study approaches to handling big data, to try teaching in neuronetworks, to puzzle out quantum calculations, to start using the respective software packages, to write a code etc. All these are the things that most executives and professionals responsible for arrangement for the educational process in universities do not come across daily.
However, such skills shift the professional point of view and enable to try the efficiency of intensive formats of plunging into technology competencies. We engaged many lead technology centers, first of all, NTI’s Centers of Competences in End-to-End Technologies (SKVOT), agree with the lead Russian technology companies, banks, founder companies of Digital Economy ANO. Educational and practical laboratories will form the basis for the Island educational unit.
Special attention will be paid to creation of the educational environment. The special laboratory devoted to efficient space arrangement is planned to develop some particular skills.
We see that change in technological and communications areas leads to change in relations between people, change in their liaising with the increasing information flow. That’s why one of the operating areas will be devoted to shaping the thinking. It concerns both the participants from the established professionals and students who are expected to create new technological projects and companies. There are not many education formats that deal with thinking establishment now.
— Do the teams that will come to the Island have any reporting format? What will they have to do after training? How will you monitor that your efforts were not in vain, that they will be able to implement some projects on site?
— There is a group of results that the Island should yield. The first group is personal results. An individual competencies profile is created in the University 20.35 platform: it is created when a person undergoes the entrance testing. Then, as the Island’s activities are passed and as the skill increment confirmation is received, the profile expands. Let’s assume a person wrote a good quality code in Python — it is recorded in the University’s 20.35 platform. This profile is what a person, the Island participant, retains after the course if over. Actually, he receives this service in long-term use.
The second result unit is associated with the development projects that the team will develop in the Island. Basically, each university team develops and defends a development project for its own university during the Island. But I’m sure there will be many other projects, besides these. Sometimes people come with some idea and generate entirely new ideas when participating in laboratories, when liaising with other teams and getting an understanding of new technology areas. It will be valuable for us to see this increment in the level of ambitions and in the scope of projects.
The third result group is related to arranging for network liaising among universities, NTI competence centers, technology companies and other participants. Our objective is to create the as many stable links between all ecosystem participants as possible. These links will be contracts, agreements about joint projects, new education formats, about network inter-university master courses and joint systemic initiatives.
— Let’s get back to the personal results: the digital trace creation. Does it mean that a person becomes a participant in a certain community to which he has not only the entrance ticket but a certain profile that shows what a person is capable of, what success he made?
— This profile is a technological service that does not differ from any other service, e.g. the situation when we use a mobile fitness application. But in our case, we are not speaking about entering a community but rather about joining a large movement and a large experiment, virtually within the scope of NTI ecosystem, which already comprises hundreds of thousands of people.
— But you can say that it is that very community related to science, technologies and innovations, can’t you?
— I would not say it is a community because a community is a local identity, communities are never large. It is rather a network consolidated by a group of services that we call Leader-ID.
Our objective is to introduce the entire population of Leader-ID users with each other as much as possible and connect them with each other. We should do everything to make resources, expertise, activities available to everybody who are interested in them. So that people will start “seeing” each other, even if they are located in different cities. We have algorithms that enable University 20.35 and Leader-ID to recommend contacts and acquaintances with those who is present on the Boiling Point site now or on the particular event site and who may be useful for a person to the person. The Island will be attended by 1,500+ participants and 500 tutors, and we will give these opportunities to them.
One of NTI Platform’s objectives is to shorten the distance between the team and the technology expertise it needs. For this purpose, we work on the NTI Platforms services that enable to see and collect information on needs. The Boiling Points is an excellent tool for this purpose. People can come to the Boiling Point and almost always find those to whom they pose a question: “We need to make data-based management training for a team, where can we find an expert?” or “I need a strong data analyst to the team, how can I find him?” or “Our project lacks the market understanding, where can we improve it?”. Via the Points network, you can find experts on any end-to-end technology rather quickly. In the same way, you can get the feedback on the startup idea and to see who deals with these questions in this country now via the Points, too.
— Who can take advantage of these opportunities?
— Everybody who comes to the Boiling Points and uses the chat bot, other Leader-ID services. All Boiling Points have the teams of their own that arrange for different events on a regular basis and take part in their life. These people usually make part of different parts of communities: entrepreneurial, scientific, teaching, creative.
— That is to say, anybody who has an idea for a startup, some prototype, a scientific discovery and he does not know whom to discuss further development of his project with can get a certain set of services via Leader-ID for free, can’t he?
— Well, it is a rather simple algorithm. We have a pool of resources, NTI infrastructure centers, that support development of the respective markets; NTI Competencies Center for end-to-end technologies, the lead universities. One of the objectives for NTI Platform is to map these development resources and then to carry out contextual search on these maps. If you make a contextual search in the search engine today you will get a very diverse outcome. The objective is to adapt such service to the technology development, so that the resources you are looking for will not get lost in hundred thousands of pages of the search yield, just to have several dozens of them. I ask: “Where can I get expertise on some technology field?” and the system yields several dozens of answers sorted out by criteria. To create such system, we have technology partners with the necessary resources, and our objective is to build up a joint business with them.
— Let’s get back to the digital profile you were talking about. Assuming, a person wrote a software application — the information about it appears in his/her profile. How is the data reliability guaranteed? Because you can write something that will look like a program but will not work.
— Verification is carried out in the educational module in which the work was performed. It should not be understood as “I wrote a certain number of lines in Word”. Of course, it is not so. The digital trace is recorded under a certain rule, after approval of the educational module leader. The trace can be different: we are still experimenting with its collection methods. We experiment both in technical and economical terms and in technology terms: how reliable, relevant the information is, how well it reflects a person’s respective skill. Last year, the Island made use of a whole range of the devices using which we recorded different digital trace components; e.g. using smart bracelets and breast probes that recorded the heart rate. Of course, these solutions are incomplete yet. Our objective is to try different tools to collect the digital trace, so that we will output the solutions allowing the maximum reliability and the minimum cost of data array collection based on which quality recommendations will be given to a person as to shaping of his/her educational route.