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Things we love 7

At FutureLearn, we’re always on the look out for new sources of inspiration and share what we learn with the world every month in our “Things we love” series. Here, our team talk about some of their favourite things from around the web and a few events they spoke at recently.

Will human robot hybrids be our future?
Will human robot hybrids be our future?

Our inspiration

Hybrid humans are the future

Google’s director of engineering predicts that humans will become hybrids in the 2030s, where our brains will perform a combination of biological and non-biological thinking and connect directly to the cloud via nanobots.

– Alla Kholmatova, Designer

Why there are so many video lectures in online learning, and why there probably shouldn’t be

MIT Media Lab have written a report about video and online learning and distilled some of their findings into this Medium post. It’s interesting to read about the history of video-based learning and hear about their ideas of how it can be improved.

– Laura Kirsop, Product Manager

What is code?

A few months after I started working at FutureLearn, I overheard someone ask: ‘yes, but what is code?’. My background is in strategy, not technology, so I would have struggled to answer them coherently at that point! Luckily for me, Paul Ford has written a whistle-stop tour of the history of code and coding, with many amusing scenarios, interactives and footnotes along the way. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even get a Certificate of Completion when you make it to the end!

– Kathryn Skelton, Head of Strategy & Insight

Printing images in the terminal with 9 lines of Ruby

A wild Pikachu appears!
A wild Pikachu appears!

– Joel Chippindale, CTO

Building Analytics at 500px

A detailed look at how Samson Hu lead the development of analytics and the culture and expertise needed to use them effectively at the photography community site 500px. I enjoyed reading about the successes as well as the challenges he faced, and learnt a lot from the nitty-gritty detail.

– Chris Lowis, Data Lead

Britain on Film

The British Film Institute launched Britain on Film this week, a project that allows you to watch 120 years of hidden histories on BFI Player, including over 1,000 unseen ‘home video’ films. You can search the archive footage by location all around the UK.

– Megan James, Marketing Executive

Us elsewhere

A brief history of synthesis with the Web Audio API

A video of a talk Chris Lowis gave at ScotlandJS on how to synthesise sound in a variety of different ways using the new audio capabilities of modern browsers.

Un-artificial Intelligence

A video of a talk Melinda Seckington gave at GORUCO about how the basics of artificial intelligence can be used to explain the theory behind how humans learn.

Seen something lately that you think we’ll love? Share it in the comments below. Want to know more about the way we work? Take a look at all of our “Making FutureLearn” posts.

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