Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work
NOVEMBER 3, 2015
Few topics are as important, - and as challenging to anticipate, - than the future of work given our justifiable fears of rising technological unemployment. This question has been widely discussed for years, but, - at the end of the day, - we don’t really have good answers.
The Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2016
AUGUST 16, 2016
For the past several years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published an annual list of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies that would likely have the greatest impact on the world in the years to come. The technologies on the list are not new.
MARCH 29, 2017
The short story is that the initial approach being taken weren’t leveraging technology effectively. The eye-opener for me was the fact that the approach initially taken wasn’t leveraging technology. Of course, that’s the point of the revolution , getting smarter about aligning technology with how our brains think, work, and learn. So here’s my question to you. Is your organization leveraging technology appropriately?
Can AI Help Translate Technological Advances into Strategic Advantage?
MAY 17, 2016
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” is one of the most memorable quotes of science fiction writer Arthur C. But, as we better understand its promise and limitations, technology becomes just another tool we rely on in our work and daily life.
Blockchain - Once Again, the Technological Genie Has Been Unleashed from its Bottle
AUGUST 22, 2016
MIT research scientist and Internet pioneer David Clark addressed this question in a recent article about the early design choices that have led to today’s Internet.
Education Technology Strategies - Day One
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
FEBRUARY 3, 2015
lessons scripted around 1:1 laptop); IT issues - we were a Windows network, with everything on our own domain - we needed to open eg printing etc O - consumer technology far more accessible in 2012 esp. dates to classical Greece How does technology change this? - Most classrooms still dominated by teachers teaching answers and students remembering them We can change the technology but if we haven''t changed the goal we really haven''t accomplished anything.
Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy
NOVEMBER 17, 2011
The focus for this year’s conference was Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy. I was invited to attend the conference, and participate in the opening plenary panel on D igital Technologies and the Future of Governance. The panel was moderated by Beth Noveck , Professor of Law at the New York Law School , who until recently served in the White House as Deputy Chief Technology Officer and leader of the White House Open Government Initiative.
Five Key Questions
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
MARCH 17, 2011
I was asked to provide some initial recommendations for that initiative, in the form of responses to five questions. A secondary but nonetheless no less pressing issue is the cost of providing access to education generally. Though some feel distance and online learning will not reduce costs, many are looking to new technologies not only to increase access but also to reduce the load borne by government.
AI, Automation and the US Economy
JANUARY 10, 2017
But it’s recent advances based on machine learning and related data-driven technologies are still relatively new, making it hard to predict where AI will be heading over time. Like no other technology, AI forces us to explore the very boundaries between machines and humans.
Technology and the Future of Media
AUGUST 18, 2015
Most everyone will agree that advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are radically transforming the business landscape. Digital technologies are not only giving rise to more distributed and inclusive models, but are also enabling alternative unilateral-like models.
Should Employees Be Incented to Use Social Technologies?
MAY 9, 2011
Social collaboration technologies such as internal instances of blogging, micro-blogging, video sharing, discussion forums, idea sharing, wikis, and so on are all key aspects of being collaborative. Which brings me to the question, “ Should employees be incented to use social technologies ?”.
Better Education Through Technology
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
JANUARY 10, 2011
me) on seeing a sight like this is to suggest that everybody would be better off with a little more investment in technology. But they could instead higher fewer people, pay them more, and use technology to make up the difference. But third, and perhaps most critically, you don't actually get any improvements in output using the technological solution. It is in this context we need to read an article like Kentaro Toyama's Can Technology End Poverty?
Technology, Capitalism and “The American Way of Life”
APRIL 10, 2017
Much has been written about our digital technology revolution and its impact on economies, societies and individuals. Our present age of information and communication technologies (ICT), whose starting point she pegs at 1971, is the fifth such major revolution.
The Long Term Impact of AI on Jobs - Some Lessons from History
JULY 26, 2016
The June 25 issue of The Economist includes a special report on artificial intelligence. Automation anxieties continued to resurface in the 20th century, right along with accelerating technology advances. But regardless, we cannot ignore the machinery question.
Questions from students at Vancouver Island University
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
I received a flurry of questions on some articles on my website yesterday, questions from students at Vancouver Island University. So the question is, in all four scenarios, not how we can eliminate competition and foster an attitude of collaboration, but rather, what degree of competition is appropriate in such scenarios, and how does the practice of sharing resources reconcile with that degree of competition. So that's my first reaction to the question.
The Simple, Economic Value of Artificial Intelligence
APRIL 24, 2017
In their opinion, “the best way to assess the impact of radical technological change is to ask a fundamental question: How does the technology reduce costs? As AI technologies advance, machine predictions will increasingly replace human ones in an increasing number of tasks.
What’s the Value of Blockchain?
APRIL 17, 2017
Such real-world use cases are particularly important when introducing a new, complex set of technologies in the marketplace. They’re the best way of getting on the learning curve for the new technologies as well as of explaining the kinds of problems they help us address.
Blockchain Can Reshape Financial Services… But it Will Take Significant Time and Investment
SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Not only are there major technology and standards issues to be worked out, but the industry will have to collaborate with governments around the world to develop the appropriate legal frameworks and regulatory environments.
The Future of the Globally Integrated Enterprise
FEBRUARY 13, 2017
“In Retreat: Global companies in the era of protectionism,” reads the cover of the January 28 issue of The Economist. Governments in the emerging world welcomed the jobs, exports and technology that global firms brought. Expansion of the middle class and consumer technologies. “The
Becoming a 21st Century Digital Tinkerer
JULY 28, 2015
But, as noted in his personal website , his chief occupation is Chief of Confusion,“ helping people ask the right questions , trying to make a difference through my work- speaking, writing, teaching.” .
AI and Public Policy
JANUARY 23, 2017
The report is organized into three main sections: Section I described the key research trends influencing AI’s future; Section II examined the key economic sectors that are most likely to be impacted by AI; and Section III looked into issues surrounding AI and public policy.
10 lessons for Giving Days, and one question: How can we make them more sustainable?
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
10 lessons for Giving Days, and one question: How can we make them more sustainable? To do it, their Giving Day campaigns have embraced new technologies and outreach strategies to make philanthropy easy and, well, a ton of fun. Click to see the full infographic.
The (Uneven) Digitization of the US Economy
JANUARY 19, 2016
Digital technologies are all around us, - increasingly ubiquitous and commoditized. Several weeks ago, the McKinsey’s Global Institute (MGI) published a report addressing these questions. Digital technologies now touch the economy in myriads of ways.
The Growing Importance of Storytelling in the Business World
MARCH 13, 2017
Since retiring from IBM in 2007, I’ve continued my involvement with technology-based initiatives, - AI and blockchain most recently, - through my consulting and academic activities as well as the weekly blogs that I’ve now been writing for the past dozen years.
The Coming Robotics Revolution
MARCH 8, 2016
Hi, Robot: Work and Life in the Age of Automation , reads the Hamlet-inspired cover of the July, 2105 issue of Foreign Affairs. Speculations about a future radically transformed by technology are nothing new.
The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations
JANUARY 17, 2017
Last year, a panel of global experts convened by the World Economic Forum selected blockchain as one of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2016, based on its potential to fundamentally change the way economies work.
Becoming a Data-Driven Business: Challenges and Opportunities
DECEMBER 19, 2016
Big data ,- including analytics , data science , artificial intelligence and related information-based technologies - are now everywhere. “Is The convergence of several technology trends is accelerating progress.
The Rise of the Platform Economy
FEBRUARY 9, 2016
These are among the questions addressed in in a recent report, The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: A Global Survey led by Peter Evans and Annabelle Gawer and sponsored by the Center for Global Enterprise. What do we mean by a platform ?
Disruptive Innovation Revisited
JULY 9, 2014
Lepore’s article may well be part of a growing backlash against the relentless advances in technology. Most of us who’ve studied or lived through them find Christensen’s work to be a useful explanation and organizing framework for understanding technology-based disruptions.
The Evolution of the Firm
NOVEMBER 21, 2016
In the article, Professor Coase provided a simple answer to the question: Why do firms exist? Do we need a different answer to the question Why do firms exist?
Man, Machine, and Work
JUNE 30, 2015
The June, 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review includes a spotlight on Man and Machine: Knowledge Work in the Age of the Algorithm. Like no other technology, AI forces us to explore the very boundaries between machines and humans.
Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology
JANUARY 26, 2016
I found the most satisfying answer to this seemingly Socratic question in an excellent 2002 paper - Complexity and Robustness - by professors Jean Carlson and John Doyle. Few things are harder to predict than the potential impact of new technologies, business models or market changes.
The President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity
MAY 23, 2016
Last February, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity within the Department of Commerce. The Commission is composed of twelve individuals from the world of business, technology and academia.
Skills and Jobs in the Digital Economy
JANUARY 27, 2015
Technological revolutions are highly disruptive to economies and societies. The digital revolution has yet to fulfil its promise of higher productivity and better jobs,” said The Economist in a special report on Technology and the World Economy in its October 4th issue. “The
The Datafication of Business and Society
JUNE 9, 2015
Its ensuing digital products have been generating all that data and its drastically lower technology costs have made it possible to store and analyze those oceans of information.
The Future of Jobs in the Digital Economy
DECEMBER 19, 2012
The roundtable addressed some of the most critical questions we face in our emerging digital economy, including: what is the future of jobs; where will jobs come from in the coming years?; Our technologies are racing ahead but many of our skills and organizations are lagging behind.
“Flexible Security”: A Sensible Social Policy for our Digital Age
JULY 7, 2015
A few years ago I participated in an MIT roundtable that explored where future jobs will likely come from, given our increasingly powerful, inexpensive and smart technologies. The authors have a very clear answer to this question.
Will technology harm or help young people’s brains? A highly nuanced debate
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest study on the future of the internet examines how young people will be affected by technology. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear.
Securing the Foundations of our Digital Economy
JANUARY 2, 2017
In February of 2016, the President issued an Executive Order establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity within the Department of Commerce. On December 1 the Commission issued its final Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy.
AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs
SEPTEMBER 3, 2014
The impact of technology on jobs is a very important subject. “The Computers will disappear and ordinary objects will become magic,” said John Markoff , senior technology writer for the NY Times. . The technology won’t be advanced enough to widely displace jobs by 2025.