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The Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2016

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the column, professor Frenkel discusses a very deep and important question: Is there such a thing as a true reality, or “is our belief in a definite, objective, observer-independent reality an illusion?”

Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The column addresses a fundamental question that those studying innovation have been wrestling with for years: “Are big companies the best catalysts of innovation, or are small ones better?” Large enterprises are typically thought of as hidebound defenders of the status quo, dominating by market power and brute force rather than technological and innovative prowess.Yet reality is far more complicated than this simple small versus big distinction.

Technology or preparation?

Clark Quinn

In listening to a recent presentation on the trends affecting the workplace and HR, there was mention about how organizations were using more cognitive technology, AI, etc. But one of the things I wondered was whether all the new, smart technology really would help as much as was intended or needed. The question is where does the locus of responsibility belong. There are strong reasons to use technology to do things we struggle at doing well, and in particular to augment us.

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In thinking about this question over the last few years, I started to notice that a number of subtle, non-intuitive concepts that I learned many years ago as a physics student seem to apply to the world of big data and information-based predictions in highly complex systems. The concept of wave-particle duality explains that reality depends on what question you are asking and what experiment you perform to answer the question. players, is an example of such a system.

Online Systems for Behavior Change

Tony Karrer

But we want to push for more, so ultimately this post is asking for help, please comment or tweet (add @tonykarrer) on : What online systems have you seen that ultimately drive behavior change? What do these systems do that leads to behavior change? eLearning Technology.

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.” .

Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Teaching forces you to take a fresh look at the subjects you are covering, so I find myself revisiting questions I’ve long been thinking about: What is the essence of innovation in the digital economy and how does it differ from the industrial age innovation of the past two hundred years?

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.

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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.

Payment Technologies: Past, Present and Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I was reminded of this dictum when recently attending a very interesting workshop, Payment Technologies: Past Present and Future. The workshop was sponsored by UC Irvine’s Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI).

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.

Education Technology Strategies - Day One

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

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. A: standard equipment isn''t built that way, we build out systems (eg. dates to classical Greece How does technology change this? - Using technology to find more (vs. Question - Kylie, are you frustrated when you go to the one class with no tech?

A Neural, Digital System for the Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Most everyone will agree that the world’s economy is undergoing historical structural changes , mostly caused by the digital technology revolution taking place all around us. There is clearly no simple answer to these questions. Dr. Arthur is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC’s Intelligent Systems Lab. These are important but subtle questions, because as Arthur observes “.this Now it is developing a neural system.

A Useful Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Technology on Jobs

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Last week I discussed a recent Pew Research report on the impact of AI, robotics and other advanced technologies on the future of jobs. The expert’s responses to this question where divided down the middle. .

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Five Key Questions

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was asked to provide some initial recommendations for that initiative, in the form of responses to five questions. Though some feel distance and online learning will not reduce costs[2], many are looking to new technologies not only to increase access but also to reduce the load borne by government. It is not difficult to reconcile the rapidly expanding commercial e-learning market with the publicly-mandated (and publicly-funded) K-12 and post-secondary system.

AI, Automation and the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

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Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

Technology and the Future of Media

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

Better Education Through Technology

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

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. It's not so simple just to replace these people with automated systems. For another, it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain technical systems, much more so in places like Mexico, Colombia or Malaysia. With technology: common.

Should Employees Be Incented to Use Social Technologies?

Dan Pontefract

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 ?”.

Questions from students at Vancouver Island University

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

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.

Continuing Education and Learning Management Systems

Tony Karrer

I'm hoping that readers can weigh in on both aspects: (1) specific thoughts or suggestions on LMS products that might fit and (2) how do you get answers to questions like this? Getting Questions Answered This is probably not the right venue to ask this kind of question, but I couldn't think of any other good way/place to get this question addressed. If you have this kind of question, how would you go about getting help? eLearning Technology.

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?

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Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) for Managing Course Assets

Tony Karrer

In fact, because content management is now so ubiquitous in almost all social networking systems (including Microsoft SharePoint), many companies are finding ways to leverage these tools to help aid content development. In LCMS – Not Just a Technology: It’s a Strategy , Bryan Chapman really nails a key issue going into all of this discussion: you need to think about your overall strategy and then make sure your systems support that strategy. eLearning Technology.

People, Organization, Technology?

Martijn Linssen

Headed for my personal trash bin: ‘People, Process, Technology.’ For complex systems, for innovation efforts, for creativity – process engineering is not only the wrong approach, it is a mistake. For the rest, technology should enable serendipity rather than predictive process.

The Simple, Economic Value of Artificial Intelligence

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

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Becoming a Data-Driven Business: Challenges and Opportunities

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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. In short, these systems are trained rather than programmed.”.

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What’s the Value of Blockchain?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

Dr. Watson, Please Report to the Health Care System

Andy McAfee

Current speech recognition and natural language processing technologies are so good that I could give this description over the phone. If Dr. Watson is as good at medical questions as the current Watson is at game show questions, it will be an excellent diagnostician indeed. I’m not using this question as a rhetorical device; I’m asking it in all seriousness.

Foradian Technologies Interview

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Questions 1. I specialized on online learning, media and collaborative technologies. Since 2001 at NRC I have worked on learning object standards and repositories, content recommender systems, collaborative content authoring technology, and massive open online courses (MOOCs). The primary challenge I think is that it is very difficult to move from a system based on courses and credits to one where learners are more engaged and creative in learning.

Becoming a 21st Century Digital Tinkerer

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.” . Learning systems today primarily push information to students.

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Czech Course Followup Questions

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was asked the following questions after my presentation to CZ Course RVP_VT21 yesterday: (Elements of Coop.) Over time this sort of perception will be aided with technology, just as we are aided in visual recognition by glasses and telescopes and video monitors. Filtering systems, content recommendation systems, analytics and other tools will make the task of recognition easier. But the question really doesn't make sense in this context.

Technology, Capitalism and “The American Way of Life”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

An Operating System for the Mind

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

In response, I pose this question to the defenders of this 'base of knowledge', "why is a common core necessary for the teaching of skills, and why is testing of that core necessary." And specifically, "the question isn't whether skills can be taught in isolation, but rather whether they must be taught in the context of some common base of knowledge and whether students ought to be tested on the basis of that knowledge. Let's return to the computer system analogy.

Has AI (Finally) Reached a Tipping Point?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The WEF report noted that “over the past several years, several pieces of emerging technology have linked together in ways that make it easier to build far more powerful, human-like digital assistants.”. Rather, AI technologies continue to get better in a continual, incremental way.”.

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Steve Jobs’s Legacy: The Best Answers to the Most Important Question

Andy McAfee

It didn’t have a file system, or a camera, or a USB port, or lots of other things apparently critical to the success of a tablet computer. Jobs and Apple have done the best job of answering with their products the question posed by wiki inventory Ward Cunningham : What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work? They want the simplest things that could possibly work, and Apple under Jobs has been by far the best technology company at supplying such things.

The Organization Needs to Ask Itself Tough Questions to Survive

Dan Pontefract

Human Systems Management 23 (2004) 213–225 213, IOS Press) In it, the authors detail a long-term evolution at Telefonica where they passed from an informatics culture to an informational culture; through the involvement and participation of its entire 145,000+ workforce.

The (Uneven) Digitization of the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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.

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