Daily Archives: February 11, 2020

Collaborators in creation

Our world is a system, in which physical and social technologies co-evolve. How can we shape a process we don’t control?
By Doyne Farmer, Fotini Markopoulou, Eric Beinhocker and Steen Rasmussen – This is a disorienting time. Disagreements are deep, factions stubborn, the common reality crumbling. Technology is changing who we are and the society we live in at a blinding pace. How can we make sense out of these changes? How can we forge new tools to guide our future? What is our new identity in this changing world?

Social upheavals caused by new technologies have occurred throughout history.

Cultural institutions are also a kind of technology – a social technology. Just as physical technologies – agriculture, the wheel or computers – are tools for transforming matter, energy or information in pursuit of our goals, social technologies are tools for organizing people in pursuit of our goals. Laws, moral values and money are social technologies, as are ways of organizing an army, a religion, a government or a retail business.

While we are fascinated and sometimes frightened by the pace of evolution of physical technologies, we experience the evolution of social technologies differently. Our values, laws and political organizations define and shape our identities. We often regard those who use different social technologies – people from different cultures, regions, nations, religions or those with different values and beliefs – as ‘others’.

When social technologies change too quickly, we experience a loss of identity, a collective confusion about who we are and how we distinguish ourselves from others. But when social technologies change too slowly, this can create tensions too – for example, when political institutions fail to keep pace with wider changes in society.

Physical and social technologies co-evolve all the time, pushing and pulling on each other. The influence is in both directions. Physical and social technologies are so entangled that it can be hard to separate them.

What drives technological change? In many popular narratives, invention is an act performed by heroes such as Thomas Edison and Tim Berners-Lee. In reality, technological change comes about through an incremental process that involves a great deal of trial and error, and networks of people working in ecosystems of innovation. Technological change is an evolutionary process, very much like biological change is an evolutionary process. more>

Updates from McKinsey

A government blueprint to adapt the ecosystem to the future of work
Digital and artificial intelligence technologies will likely have a substantial economic and social impact. Governments can act now to create shared prosperity and better lives for all citizens.
By Marco Dondi, Solveigh Hieronimus, Julia Klier, Peter Puskas, Dirk Schmautzer, and Jörg Schubert – In the coming years, automation will have a substantial economic and social impact on countries around the world—and governments will by no means be passive observers. This report seeks to provide government leaders and policy makers with the foundation to harness the potential of automation while mitigating its adverse effects.

Automation has the potential to alter nearly every facet of work and daily life. Indeed, automation, digital, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are already essential to our professional and civic lives. The McKinsey Global Institute identified the adoption of digital technologies as the biggest factor in future economic growth : it will likely account for about 60 percent of potential productivity growth by 2030. AI alone is expected to yield an additional 1.2 percent in productivity growth per year from 2017 to 2030.

Promoting the adoption of automation is critical because many countries will need to more than double their productivity growth to simply sustain historic economic growth rates. In this context, the productivity boost from automation is necessary to avoid the negative consequences of stagnating economies, such as lower income growth, increasing inequality, and difficulty for corporations and households to repay loans.

While automation has the potential to boost economic growth, it poses some key challenges to the nature of work. The public senses this shift. In a recent survey of 100,000 citizens in 29 countries, we found that job security was the number-one economic priority for the future. Our analysis has identified three challenges associated with automation.

Shifting skill requirements. The path toward sustained prosperity requires a growing number of talented individuals to enable a broad adoption of digital and AI technologies as well as a broad-based workforce capable of operating in a more automated and digital environment. Without addressing this skill demand, technology adoption could slow, and people with obsolete skills could exit the labor force.

The adoption of digital and AI technologies will also require most workers to upskill or reskill. Up to 14 percent of people globally may need to change occupations by 2030, a figure that could climb to more than 30 percent in more advanced economies with a faster pace of automation. However, reskilling is hard to do well at scale, and efforts to date have produced mixed outcomes. more>


Updates from Ciena

Uncovering the path to 5G connectivity
The race to deliver new, high-value 5G services is all about how quickly you can evolve your existing 4G infrastructure into a scalable, ultra-reliable, high-performance 5G network. This is the first post in a three-part series from Dave Parsons, Ethernet & IP Solutions and Enablement Director for EMEA at Ciena, where he covers key strategies to accelerate and de-risk the path towards 5G, deliver new services, and stay ahead of your competitors.
By Dave Parsons – We’ve all heard it. In the 5G era, the number of mobile devices are expected to significantly increase and support as high as 100x faster data rates, and 10x lower latency, when compared to today’s 4G LTE. This combination of capacity and latency improvements will unleash a lucrative new range of augmented/virtual reality, IoT, gaming, trading, and industrial applications (such as manufacturing applications and control and monitoring applications for utilities companies).

The race has already begun to migrate existing 4G networks to 5G-capable networks, initially based on the 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) infrastructure, where 5G New Radio (NR) will leverage existing 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) infrastructure until the 5G Core network is fully standardized and rolled out.

To keep pace with your competitors, and embrace emerging 5G services, you need to accelerate and de-risk your planned network evolution and bring profitable new services to market as fast as possible. The question is, how?

There are various strategies you can adopt for a successful 4G to 5G network migration. In this series, we’ll explore the paths you can choose from.

  1. Unlock bandwidth-on-demand with scalable cell-site infrastructure: Networks that backhaul 5G traffic must scale by an order of magnitude – typically from 1G to 10G – and even higher in some cases. Backhaul networks are expected to carry existing 4G traffic as well for improved economies of scale via a simpler, converged transport network where high capacity backhaul links can benefit from the very latest in coherent pluggable optics.
  2. Accelerate your 5G infrastructure rollout with Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP): Slow, manual, and error-prone installation and configuration of network infrastructure can significantly delay an operator’s 4G to 5G evolution, and increase costs. Solutions offering ZTP overcome these challenges by automating network equipment deployments in a rapid, reliable, and error-free manner, providing a faster 5G service rollouts for significant competitive advantage as the race to 5G intensifies.


Updates from Adobe

Rachel Demetz: Coaxing Light Out of Darkness
By Joe Shepter – For many of us, art is a source of pleasure; for Rachel Demetz, it has been a lifesaver. Plagued by chronic depression at the age of 18, she decided to enroll in Serra i Abella, a small illustration school near Barcelona. There, she began experimenting with techniques that combined different media.

“I had a deep depression and turned to art to survive,” she says. “I painted a lot when I was a kid and started to play with photography as a teen. Mixing them is a very important part of what I do.”

Demetz found commercial success quite early in her career. Right after she graduated from art school, she received a surprise commission from Costalamel, a streetwear brand based in Barcelona—and she has been an independent artist ever since.

“I really didn’t expect that,” she says. “All my life I thought I couldn’t make a living through my art, and I’d never seriously thought of being an artist.”

Nonetheless, four years later, the 25-year-old Demetz regularly receives commissions for album covers, T-shirts, and fashion marketing—often via her popular Instagram account. She also has a broad portfolio of personal work, in which she explores the relationship between darkness and light. more>