A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 24      

Pervasive Technology Changes How We “Experience” Knowledge (continued)



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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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. Today’s 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 substantially.

Reliance on Agents, Expert Advice, Synthesis. Today’s 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 one’s 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 sources.


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  It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin