The folks at Sony Education are worried that some schlubby kid that's gonna fail gym could hack their school and change their grade to a pass. It's why the company is teaming up with IBM to use blockchain to create a secure academic platform for storing records. The idea is that every scrap of data about your kids' schooling goes into a record that can then be stored securely. No kid, you gotta learn to climb that rope or else you can kiss that scholarship to Harvard goodbye.
Sony wants to use its platform as a way for schools to create a huge central database of pupils in a given region. Should someone want, or need, to change schools, they can do so easily because the untarnished records can simply be pushed to the new institution. Plus, educators can look at things like registration documents, attendance, grades and even the lesson plans that previous teachers have used.
Blockchain is king of all buzzwords, and so there's no surprise that Sony is also throwing in some talk about AI for good measure. Sony believes that the system could, in the future, enable folks to use AI to look for trends in the data and suggest improvements to both curriculums and school management. And that makes some sense, since there's no guarantee that schools are making the best use of the data it has available to it.
Sony is hoping to have its school system working well enough to sell it to schools by 2018, giving schlubby kids just over a year to work out how to hack it. Because, hell, what's more valuable, climbing that rope or undermining the technology that's likely to underpin the world financial system in a decade or two's time.