Enablers for Lifelong Learning
The specific systems heavily depend on the domain under consideration and the skills that are learnt, and usually a single system is not effective on multiple domains. Crucially, both hardware and software systems can be used, often with very different scopes: with hardware systems aimed to provide access to information in every situation and environment, while software systems aimed to provide the best suitable form of information, as continuously needed by the user.
Such systems generally need large amounts of data to be effective, and we need tools of various kinds to organize and manage this data: from dedicated devices to new algorithms, able to provide the right form of the information in the right moment. In this sense, the very process of creating, curating and managing personal knowledge bases can be extremely helpful for lifelong learning, regardless of how such data will be used downstream.
As for software systems, there are many different forms of interaction between users and enablers. From virtual assistants able to provide previously unknown data to gamification-based platforms aimed to produce user engagement during some learning process.
In support of these projects, hardware systems play a fundamental role. Today, edge devices are able to collect and process large amounts of data both on site and online (in connection with the cloud or with local gateways). The development of ad hoc hardware systems (FPGA) and the use of communication architectures (IoT, M2M) can allow the development of specialized supports for lifelong learning activities.