In parallel with Technology Demonstrations: Innovation in Action, a series of 15 minute presentations on new directions were given in a dedicated theatre.
What will the workplace of the future look like? Will it even exist as a physical space? Ever since networked computers first became widespread the idea of the virtual organisation has been touted, yet most of us still work in conventional workplaces. Recent technological advances have given a second wind to the idea with some even questioning whether organisations will exist in their current form or whether workers will be free agents coming together to complete specific tasks as and when needed. Discover the answer through the eyes of an ethnographer who spends their time…studying people in workplaces.
The most visible aspect of today’s digital world is the explosion of content and data. Yet as long as this information remains siloed and inconsistent there is only so much one can do with it. This disconnected dispersion of knowledge will continue to accelerate with the increase of new data and information resulting in a greater fragmentation of society. To overcome this schism we need systems that make it possible for people to interact and collectively elaborate knowledge that goes beyond each of their particular realms to realise unprecedented discoveries. We call this a ‘computer assisted Renaissance’. For such information systems to appear we must first break free from the volatility and obsolescence inherent in digital media.
The introduction of “self-driving” cars will dramatically reshape not only the landscape of the automotive industry but also the role vehicles play in our lives and the future design of our roads and cities. Existing solutions have their limitations but will be overcome by the eventual convergence of sensor-based and communication-based vehicle technologies. The service opportunities that will arise from their widespread adoption are endless, in particular those based on the huge volume of data produced and the need to marshal heterogeneous data sources.
The advent of social media has allowed everyone to broadcast their opinion, but this rarely leads to the kind of common, shared understanding provided by traditional mass media. On-going advances in language technology that automatically summarise large sets of opinions will enable this shared understanding of the public. The result will change the way people communicate, and with it the nature of society.