Information 4.0: The Challenge of Autonomous Machines
In a world where machines are becoming autonomous agents, as in The Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence, the role of information is going to change radically.
We don’t yet know all the parameters, but one thing is sure: if the technologies known as Industry 4.0 and their ramifications don’t have information production and delivery designed into them from the beginning, it will be very costly, in human and economic terms, to retrofit it in. And that information is essential. Without it, the IoT is just a collection of things, and AI is just artificial.
Information 4.0 represents a way of looking at information production and delivery that can adapt to new phenomena such as the need for rapid delivery of highly contextualized, highly personalized, volatile information.
When AI lets us create personas that are appropriate for one person, in one place, for a period of 20 minutes, questions of validity, continuous updating, and continuous localisation raise their ugly heads. So do questions of accountability, traceability, and responsibility.
In this presentation, we explore the ideas behind Information 4.0 – most especially, information molecularity – and how they might fit into a world where many decisions will be made in machine code that is unreadable to humans, through deep learning processes that are hidden from us except at input and output stages. How will humans and machines collaborate in future hybrid communities? What ethical and epistemological questions are raised? How do we add value through our expertise? We’ll survey possibilities, answer some questions, and end up with a lot more new ones to ponder.
Ray Gallon is president and co-founder of The Transformation Society consultancy. He has over 40 years’ experience as a communicator and information specialist in media and industry. He has worked with organizations such as GE, 3M, OECD, Alcatel, and IBM as well as myriad startups. He is a university lecturer and keynote speaker at events throughout the world, and has served on the board of directors of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) where he is an associate fellow. Ray is co-founder of the Information 4.0 Consortium and serves as its current president.