Systems thinking & complexity

Dave Snowden

The idea of systems and thinking systematically, about the properties of the whole being different from the parts and the dependency on interaction between system elements has been around for a long time. But general systems theory traces back to the start of the twentieth century.

The Chinese Test Example

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

That''s a really interesting use of the Chinese Room example (it is well known as such to philosophers). link] The example was originally intended as a response to the ''Turing Test'' model for evaluating artificial intelligence. One response to the example suggests that a machine could not actually succeed in responding without actually understanding. Another, related, response is that the example appears to an intuition that has not itself been validated.

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Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But part of my fascination with the subject is that I often ask myself similar questions when thinking about the equally mysterious world of highly complex emergent systems, that is, systems where the whole can at times be quite different from the sum of their parts.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

He believes that the current US economy favors big companies over small ones because in today’s environment, three key forces are driving innovation: large-scale ecosystems; globalization; and the vast, systemic challenges posed by business and societal problems that technology now enables us to address. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, they do not work so well when dealing with highly complex systems with fast changing, interacting components, where it is much less clear what is going on in the present, let alone how things will evolve into the future. What do we mean by applying design principles to complex, unpredictable, people oriented systems and problems? But the mechanisms to increase robustness will in turn make the system considerably more complex.

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Networks and Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

It''s worth parsing this into individual points, because this is (I guess) connectivism from Dron''s perspective: all of which adopt a systems view all of which recognize the distributed nature of knowledge all of which embrace the role of mediating artefacts all of which recognize that more is different all of which adopt a systems perspective all of which describe or proscribe ways to engage in this new ecology. It''s interesting that he makes the point about ''systems'' twice.

Cognitive Systems and Big-Data-driven Applications

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the first week of October I participated in a Cognitive Systems Colloquium hosted by IBM at its Thomas J. These systems will learn and interact to provide expert assistance to scientists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals in a fraction of the time it now takes.” .

The Science of Complex Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

When I look back over my long, relatively eclectic career, complex systems have been a common theme in all the activities I’ve been involved in. It started in the 1960s, when I was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in physics, - the study of complex natural systems. My main research interests were centered on large computer systems, including mainframes, supercomputers and distributed systems.

How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Software-intensive systems are generally quite flexible, - able to evolve and adapt to changing product and market requirements. However, their very flexibility makes it difficult to adequately anticipate and test all the interactions between the various components of the system.

Systems Thinking, Safety and Risk Management

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several participants cited the sharp rise in volume and speed of high-frequency trading over the past decade as an example of a current practice that is potentially increasing volatility and systemic risk in financial markets. Toward the end of the roundtable, the moderator asked us to reflect on the kinds of controls needed to make financial systems more stable and less prone to another major crisis. Financial systems are an example of such complex engineering systems.

Montessori Is An Example Of The New Culture of Learning

Steve Denning

I reported a few days ago on a conversation with the authors , Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, of the wonderful new book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.

A Neural, Digital System for the Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Dr. Arthur is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC’s Intelligent Systems Lab. This second, digital economy is essentially acting as the neural system for the overall economy. A major portion of every complex biological organism, including us humans, is the autonomic nervous system. The need for sophisticated control functions to help manage complex systems applies not just to complex biological systems, but to man-made ones as well.

Complex Sociotechnical Systems: the Case for a New Field of Study

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Digital technologies are enabling us to develop systems with huge numbers of interconnected components and sophisticated software that infuses them with seemingly unlimited capabilities. We are increasingly able to pull all these capabilities together and develop sociotechnical systems, which combine the powerful, inexpensive and ubiquitous digital technologies with the people and organizations they are transforming.

Deal with the system as a whole please

Dave Snowden

11: You can't reduce or aggregate a complex system and trying is wrong a priori. One example of this is SAFe which claims to scale Agile by simply fitting together anything with a popular name regardless in the main of its nature or utility.

I’m Not Scared of Email; I Developed a System called DADDIO

Dan Pontefract

There are the classic examples such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! You may use Outlook or Lotus or whatever messaging system or application is provided to you to send and answer these types of emails. Now, about my system of managing all types of electronic messages; I call it DADDIO.

An example of informal learning from Europe

Jay Cross's Informal Learning

At the beginning of this century, learning management systems were quite dominant, and therefore dominant on the radar screen of Sara Lee. Three years ago I talked with a former KPPG consultant, Harm Wegstra, at Online Educa Berlin.

ICTs in Higher Education Systems of Arab States: Promises and Effective Practices - A Summary Report

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

offered as an example the Global Campus student information and campus management application. For example, Prof. Sidir described the quality assurance mechanisms centering on the Bologna process in Europe and illustrated how a transnational program can be adapted to a national system.

Dr. Watson, Please Report to the Health Care System

Andy McAfee

For example, Watson might recognize that the kidney failure in our patient is linked to kidney failure in a patient in Buffalo and another in San Antonio; all three patients, he might inform me, were taking a “natural” weight loss supplement that contained a Chinese herb, aristolochia, that has been associated with more than 100 cases of kidney failure.

Futurist conversations: Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard on Open vs Closed Systems

Ross Dawson

Continuing our series of conversations between friend and fellow futurist Gerd Leonhard and myself, here are some discursive thoughts on open versus closed systems. Open systems are faster, more viral, have more innovation, and are more fun to work in.

An Operating System for the Mind

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

A commenter, for example, says, "we want them to think critically, to criticize, analyze, and apply. Quite the opposite is the case - we understand, and can prove (and have proved, over and over) that we can teach facts very simply and easily, through repetition, rote, memorization, practice examples, worked examples, and more. Put the facts into the system, and come up with some mechanism to get them out. Let's return to the computer system analogy.

The Future of High-Performance Work Systems – Towards Meaningful Work

Luis Suarez

A Great Example of "Being" Social vs "Doing" Social

Mark Oehlert

This is what separates social systems from other enterprise-wide systems. No one ever had to ask about "becoming" a payroll system. The point to this rambling post though is that I have one really good example of how far down this has to go.

Let The Next Adventure Begin – The What Next (The System of Me)

Luis Suarez

A system of me , Luis Suarez, a.k.a. Before I go on and explain what I mean with that system of me, please do allow me to share a story over here that would help explain why I am choosing those words carefully in terms of what I will be doing next. And the examples he mentions are true golden gems most folks out there would be able to relate to. . Well, that’s where the system of me idea kicks in. Unleashing the system of w e!

AI, Automation and the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Self-driving vehicles, for example, will lead to new careers in transportation engineering and urban planning. Similarly, t he increased use of robotics will be accompanied by major changes in manufacturing systems.

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Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Therefore, the principles that confer robustness in these systems, whether natural or manmade, are directly applicable to business.”. Let’s take a closer look at the nature of complex adaptive systems. Why are these systems so complex?

The MIT Systems Thinking Conference

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently participated in MIT’s 2010 Systems Thinking Conference for Contemporary Challenges. This annual conference is sponsored by Systems Design and Management (SDM) - an interdisciplinary program between MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. The SDM program aims to provide mid-career professionals with a systems perspective that will help them address and solve large-scale, global, complex challenges. Riding a bicycle is an obvious example.

Digital Twin: Bringing the Physical and Digital Worlds Closer Together

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A Digital Twin is essentially a computerized companion to a real-world entity, be it an industrial physical asset like a jet engine, an individual’s health profile, or a highly complex system like a city. A fleet of aircraft, for example, generates gigantic amounts of data over a year.

Becoming a 21st Century Digital Tinkerer

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Our educational system has long been based on the assumption that learning is mostly about acquiring knowledge as well as critical skills to enable us to apply whatever we learned in school throughout our careers, say 30 - 40 years. Amateur astronomers are an example of such a community.

The Simple, Economic Value of Artificial Intelligence

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Only then can we really figure out how things might change.” For example, the semiconductor revolution can be viewed as being all about the dramatic reductions in the cost of arithmetic calculations.

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What’s the Value of Blockchain?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Blockchain has the potential to transform our economic and social systems, but such a transformation is still many years away. Suppliers, for example, assume that when products are shipped their task is over and they will soon be paid. What’s more, the system is rife with fraud.

On Saving the American Health System: Dr. Donald Berwick's.

Bob Sutton

The Observer | Business | You could be a genius - if only you had a good system. 11 Books Every Leader Should Read » On Saving the American Health System: Dr. Donald Berwicks Farewell Speech.   Perhaps he wasn't mean and tough and selfish enough for our broken system; it is a shame that a guy who does everything possible to put patients first would be fired by people who do everything they can to put themselves first. Bob Sutton.

The Continuing, Transformative Impact of IT

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For example, according to a March, 2013 McKinsey study on The Evolution of the Networked Enterprise , more than 80 percent of the companies surveyed use social technologies, but only 10 percent are deriving the expected business value from being truly networked.

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The (Uneven) Digitization of the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For example, since the mid 1990s there has been a dramatic widening in the disparity in profits between the leading and lagging firms in industries that use technology intensively (as opposed to producing technology).

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Digital Identity - the Key to Privacy and Security in the Digital World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From time immemorial, our identity systems have been based on face-to-face interactions and on physical documents and processes. But, the transition to a digital economy requires radically different identity systems.

The Emergence of Cognitive Computing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The colloquium, - which was part of IBM’s Centennial celebration, - brought together experts across industry and academia to discuss and debate the direction of four key Grand Challenges at the very leading edge of IT: nano systems, exascale, big data, and cognitive computing. We will be able to design sophisticated, powerful nano systems-on-a-chip that will be totally contained within such a trillion transistor nano device.

The Rise of the Platform Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

IBM’s System 360 family of mainframes, announced in 1964, featured a common hardware architecture and operating system, enabling customers to upgrade their systems with no need to rewrite their applications. What do we mean by a platform ?

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Global Trends and Business Strategy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Resource-related business opportunities will turn up in unexpected places, and there’s room for a multitude of new products and services,” writes McKinsey. “An example is new carbon-based materials that are lighter, cheaper, and conduct electricity with limited heat loss.

Man, Machine, and Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Another example that, as a recent article observed , “Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere…”. Others are dismissive of such dire concerns while agreeing that we must work hard to ensure that our complex AI systems do what we want them to do. .

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Could Blockchain Prove to Be “The Next Big Thing”?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

While these legacy systems operate with a high degree of robustness, they’re rather inflexible and inefficient. In a recent NY Times article , tech reporter Quentin Hardy , nicely explained the inefficiencies inherent in our current payment systems.

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Reflections on Storytelling

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As a concrete example, let me share my experiences with the development of IBM’s Internet and e-business strategy in the mid-late 1990s. Complex Systems Education and Talent Innovation Management and Leadership Smart Systems Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

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