The ShapingTomorrowBlog just posted a quick review of an infographic from EducationNews.org that appears to suggest the long awaited arrival of the paperless society. While paperless may be a misnomer, the infographic points out that office use of paper has declined since 2001 and its overall use has declined since 2006. Those are interesting statistics which could herald an even more significant decline happening very soon as smartphones, ereaders, tablets, and the various hybrids continue to grow in popularity. http://www.educationnews.org/technology/never-print-again/
The idea of a paperless society has been talked about since the 70s. Professor F.W. Lancaster, who coined the phrase, expected its arrival by the end of the 20th century–a typical time horizon for prognosticators of his time period. However, we still use millions of reams of paper everyday, but a significant decline in paper’s use is now being seen at least in the home printer industry. EducationNews.org has published a useful infographic that reviews the changes in student use of paper. Now that the generations addicted to paper have graduated, the younger generations are focusing more on electronic devices for textbooks, notes, and probably doodling & gaming in class. The tablet owning student population tripled between 2011 and 2012, and 90% of that population say they use their tablets for educational purposes. More importantly, 70% of all students say they regularly use digital textbooks, and 60% say they prefer…
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My latest trend alert has taken me a long time to prepare, much longer than I expected. Below is the repost and the title links to the Innovation Management publication:
The amount of data organizations are expected to manage for planning, transparency, compliance, etc. is expanding, but the amount of data which could benefit these organizations if analysed effectively is growing exponentially with the aid of social media, RFIDs, machine translators, and other tools. The total amount of digital data is growing exponentially leading to the coining of the term big data which has become a major buzzword in the enterprise and even in the general press, but what is the real value behind the hype?
What is changing?
According to International Data Corporation (IDC)’s fifth annual survey in 2011, 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) of information were created and replicated in 2011 alone which is up from 800 gigabytes in 2009, and the number is expected to more than double every two years surpassing 35 zettabytes by 2020. However, this data includes everything from covert government strategies and medical records to holiday photos and spam. Not all of this data is inherently useful, but all of it can be collected, managed, and analyzed to reveal patterns and trends which could improve decision making at every level for security, system optimization, market research, scientific discovery, etc.
Data analytics has been around for decades, but the current tools are too limited for the massive, fast moving, and disparate information that is increasingly required for analysis, hence the need for big data solutions. And those solutions present new possibilities in data analytics by allowing for greater complexity of data to discover events and populations that may only be seen with the right volume, velocity, and variety of data. With greater segmentation of datasets, big data solutions also allow greater tailoring for an organization’s clients, customers, employees, etc. The biggest challenges are in asking the right questions and ensuring that as much data as possible is included.
Some organizations are already addressing these challenges for the health and energy sectors as well as marketing and cybersecurity. EcoFactor mines thousands of data points about weather, regional building codes, home value, and others to reduce energy consumption in smart homes by 17%. WellPoint is using IBM’s Watson-as-a-Service, the cloud application of IBM’s Jeopardy winning artificial intelligence, to mine millions of pages of medical data to help doctors and nurses improve their decision making while face-to-face with their patients. American retailer, Target, is following the purchasing habits and other information about its customers and coupling that data with behavioural research to improve its target marketing. Zions Bancorporation is using big data solutions to identify phishing attacks, prevent fraud, and stop hackers. The city of Santa Cruz is leveraging data to forecast high crime areas that can be patrolled to reduce offenses, and the US government is also applying big data to homeland security as they search for signals and online activity that could indicate real world security risks.
Why is this important?
Big data is certainly hyped, but the potential is equally big. Epidemics might be spotted sooner, security threats may be detected earlier, and customer demographics could be made more specific. Regardless of the many opinions about big data and its hype, the data itself will continue to expand exponentially, and more organizations will find themselves hitting the ceiling of previous data management capabilities.
Data has become a commodity, and as it becomes even more valuable, some organizations might loosen their hold on ever more types of data for the sake of mutual benefit. While organizations will still have to maintain compliance for the sake of privacy, intellectual property, and other security concerns, parts of an organization’s data may eventually become more valuable to them released to the wild than securely isolated in their own storehouse. Imagine mining the data of several organizations across multiple sectors added to all the data freely available on the internet, and the potential of big data for organizations of any size can be better understood
An android is a robot that resembles a human, and their potential applications include customer service, communication technologies, education, and health care. Japan has produced a number of androids, but they still only look like humans. They still feel, smell, sound, and presumably taste synthetic. My latest trend alert shows where researchers are advancing in the work to make robots resemble humans: http://www.shapingtomorrow.com/trendAlert.cfm?id=21015. But, is it all for nothing? Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have shown how and why people are often creeped out by robots that too closely resemble human beings. Essentially the androids do not match what people expect of them, http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/soc/20110714BrainAndroids.asp. So, robots used in public places will not only require extra safety precautions but also satisfy the public’s expectations either through the design of the robot or through extensive marketing to adjust public attitudes.