From Bones to Smart Phones

toolTimeline

We now have an explosion of technological tools and this has transformed our experience to include digital disruptions, rapid productions and new ways of seeing.

We live in: The Age of Information. Our knowledge and experience is now based on the computerization of information. This new digital industry has provided us with a knowledge-based society surrounded by a high-tech global economy. The Information Age formed by capitalizing on computer advances in microminiaturization. This powerhouse of knowledge has brought about a fast evolution of technology in daily experience. Notably, The Age of Information has allowed for rapid global communications and networking. This is reshaping our modern society and changing the way we learn. 

information-age-2

 What happens to societies when the rate of change in information technology exceeds the rate of learning?

Disinformation

When we navigate through the internet’s complex system, how do we know which information to trust? Is it a particular brand name of news such as PBS or CNN that builds our confidence in a source? What about information that isn’t found in the mainstream news wire? Do you trust key words in your search query to produce accurate results? How will you know if your trusted website has been compromised or not? For example, The Yes Men have notoriously and successfully set-up fictitious websites such as the World Trade Organization and Dow Ethics to create internet based cultural critiques of corporations. The Yes Men’s mission statement reads: “Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them.”

Impersonators are not always using their infiltrations to support social justice. One former website, Martin-Luther-King.org appeared to be a comprehensive history of this important civil rights leader’s life. However on closer examination, disinformation teaching materials were found. The website hosted a document titled, “The Beast as Saint” which denied his achievements and deeply slandered his personal conduct.

In a book called, Switching Codes the essay by James Hendler titled “The Semantic Web from the Botton Up” presents the following bullet points on information technology and in particular artificial intelligence:

– It is large and it grows fast.

– It has a lack of referential integrity.

– High variety in quality of knowledge.

– Diversity of content.

– Unknown/unpredictable use scenarios for the knowledge.

– Problems of trust, no single authority.

– Knowledge acquired, not engineered.

 

A few pages later, the author writes the same table when considering human intelligence:

– It is large and it grows fast.

– It has a lack of referential integrity.

– High variety in quality of knowledge.

– Diversity of content.

– Unknown/unpredictable use scenarios for the knowledge.

– Problems of trust, no single authority.

– Knowledge acquired, not engineered.

So where does that leave us?

Bibliography / Further Resources:
International Futures Programme (IFP) Publications
Switching Codes
Above Graphic from Education for Well-Being