Interfaces with Knowledge Sources. Today,
knowledge is made available through conversation, books, other physical
representations, and graphical user interfaces with digital sources
of explicit knowledge.
In the future, individuals will enjoy more numerous
and capable interfaces with digital resources. The range of interface
options with digital knowledge will increase dramatically. Individuals
will communicate with digital devices through speech, handwriting,
gestures, and/or keyboarding. Output will be received on a wider
variety of ambient, mobile, or personal displays. Moreover, the
communication with digital resources will encompass tacit and explicit
knowledge, conveyed in images, speech, text, graphics, and multiple
media at once.
A far richer combination of schematic, graphics, simulations,
and syntheses of knowledge will be used to array knowledge relationships.
Individuals and groups working on projects will be able to arrange,
display, and manipulate complex combinations of knowledge in a variety
of amenable ways. Previous generations developed skills in manipulating
and presenting knowledge. Future generations will hone greater skills
in analyzing, reframing, utilizing, and sharing knowledge
at a faster pace and in real time.
Intensity of Engagement with Knowledge Sources.
Todays prevailing model of engagement with digital knowledge
resources requires concentration on a keyboard and mouse communication
through a GUI display. Attention is required and actions taken on
the body of knowledge are consciously directed.
In our Knowledge Age future, individuals will engage
knowledge sources in a variety of modes ranging from ambient/peripheral
to direct/highly engaged. Moreover, the capability to deploy agents
to perform knowledge searches and aggregation will facilitate brief
periods of engagement followed by movement to other tasks while
the searches and aggregation are conducted.
The physical act of engaging knowledge will be more
intense, enabling users to engage, manipulate, and combine an avalanche
of images, text, audio, and other media.
Time Sequence for Accessing Knowledge.
Today, most knowledge is pre-acquired and collected for decision-making,
product development, and policymaking. The shelf life of decisions
is set by the timeframes for change in the environment and timeframe
to assemble knowledge necessary for decisions.
In our future, we will develop the capacity to seek
and manipulate knowledge with great fluidity and speed. To a far
greater extent than today, users will acquire and use knowledge
on a just-in-time basis. Plain language communication with expert/executive
data warehouses will become common practice for managers, analysts,
customer service representatives, and even consumers. Alternative
sources and perspectives can be considered, selected, and/or abandoned
rapidly. The shelf life of need-to-know knowledge and the time to
make knowledge-based decisions will decline dramatically. The knowledge
assimilation and decision-making experiences will fuse and change
Reliance on Agents, Expert Advice, Synthesis.
Todays generation of agents and search engines are puny in
comparison with the knowledge-seeking tools and the knowledge repositories
that will emerge over the coming five to ten years. In our future,
these agents will be pervasive, powerful, and plentiful. Moreover,
the knowledge repositories and marketplaces they access will be
extensive and easily used.
Having all the information in the world at ones
fingertips is a curse, not a blessing, for most individuals. Consequently,
most individuals will rely heavily on vetted (refereed) sources
of information, proven marketplaces, and syntheses of insight provided
by recognized experts. Even when they use agents to collect knowledge
and insight, many individuals will direct the agents to favor vetted