This article about The Washington Post’s use of robots to generate news items during the ongoing Olympics is interesting (Axel Winter, thanks for sharing). I find it interesting for two reasons i) the evolution of content management technology and ii) the implications for societies in an increasingly post-factual world.
The advances in technology are remarkable and exciting as we continue our evolution to a digital society. (I recall the early days of ‘story servers’ in Vignette and advanced capabilities of Dynamo and Broadvision). I wish technology adoption could go even faster (Espen Andersen writes well on the slow progress in digitalisation). However I’m not going to elaborate on the technology other than restate my mantra that “So far IT has been mainly about the T and less about the I”.
The implications are more severe than I earlier blogged about (on the need for more Critical Thinking and a world of Robotic Journalism). The rise of agnotology as witnessed by Brexit, the popularity of Trump and rise of tyrants seem to point to the need for more transparency that ultimately builds trust ..that is if we are ever going to progress the ideals of democracy, inclusion and self-governance. In a digital era this means digital trust.
I believe that digital trust is not possible without impartial actors playing the roles of mediator, fact-checker and regulator. Algorithmic regulation in platforms is therefore not just a nice-to-have but a must-have requirement for societies seeking to harness the power of digitalisation. This serves an exciting challenge to technology companies, professional associations and public service agencies to collaborate. To collaborate towards creating an environment and culture that creates value for all members of society; not just the elite.
Failure to drive digital trust will most likely make the information revolution a violent revolution. As this article claims, history may not be on our side, so we need to work hard and fast.
On 23rd May 2006 I shared my thoughts around the notion of “Digital Society” at a First Tuesday meeting. I pitched the idea of “Norway as a test bed” for digital services. And then in 2007 I pitched for “Digital Modernization”.
I had a fuzzy idea of what Digital Society was when I started this blog in 2004; I knew what it was not -like it was not only about IT; or that it was not Digital Home – like not digital in the home but about connecting homes. “Connected homes = Society”
And now, more than ever, I am convinced that IT has been primarily more about “T” and less about “I” and that “IT” are just two letters of “DIGITAL”. So there!
I do not blog as often as I once did – that’s because I decided to “do” and not “think”. I believe that we have a lot of “think tanks” – not not enough of “do-and-act tanks”.
Doing stuff I have since had the pleasure of being part of projects that have both influenced my thinking and hopefully also benefited from my thinking. Like participating in Norway’s national projects; which have taught me a lot – large scale innovation and technology delivery at scale. BTW, “Norwegian scale” is different – while some consider scale to be volumes; I like to think of scale in terms of “depth and connectedness in designing services”. I have the pleasure of serving on the board of the Norwegian Computer Society and help shape the national strategy – transforming DND to be a network of networks. Playing a small part in starting the Lær Kidsa Koding movement and then running a “coding in school” program for two schools has been rewarding and humbling. Helping shape and scale the Innovation@altinn program is both challenging and satisfying at the same time. Helping shape and drive activity at the C3 Centre for Connected Care is one of the many projects being run in parallel. My first academic paper on the topic of “Goverment as a platform” became a reality last year.
Going analogue So it was only fitting that on the 10th anniversary of my Digital Society post, I signed up to the board of a community network in my neighbourhood – Linderud Arrangementer. Going from Digital to Analogue will be exciting and will hopefully teach me more about being Digital.
Hopefully the next 10 years will go just as fast ….
Consumers adapt to digital faster than one would imagine. Its happening slowly or fast depending on ones’ perspective. This Wired post captures the essence of our digital society. http://www.wired.com/2014/12/google-maps-ground-truth
Since the ’90s we’ve gone from glove boxes stuffed with paper maps to floorboards littered with Mapquest printouts to mindlessly obeying Siri or her nameless Google counterpart
However, it appears that seeing the world through the eyes of a consumer seems to be a challenge. This is despite the fact that decision makers – commercial or public service enterprises – are consumers.
This conversation is probably one of the best I’ve listened to in a long time. It provides a nice context to understand the notions of the Cloud, Big Data, Internet of Things, Bring-your-own-device and mobility. These buzzwords come to life when they are matched by business moves by the likes of GE.
Marc Andreessen’s Wall Street Journal article