The meaning of network has moved from wired to unwired, global in nature and connecting everything to everything in realtime. The only thing preventing them from being effective is the barrier of the human mindsets.
Can you imagine the human body functioning without its nervous system? Well, that is exactly what the network is in society today. To get us on to the context, a little backtracking is necessary. We humans built tools from the early hunting & farming ages to the Industrial ages to the information age to the current digital age.
In each succeeding age, the tools have grown in sophistication to implement life applications. But they have always been disconnected and disjointed. First because of the fact that everything was local. The next reason was that human intelligence has been their biggest enemy. Instead of sharing and growing it, they decided to monopolize on their respective niches. And lastly, there was nothing to force a larger mass to think about innovation, restricting the activity to a few because of socio-economic factors. Guess what, the information and digital is changing all that now.
With information one would hope came the liberation of thinking for the mass and with the digital comes the democratization of systems. With the pace of change accelerating, we are forced to explore new and better ways to life than before.
Just like the human engineering, digital is self forming its neural connections across the globe; from enterprise to ecosystems to life systems. Because digital has a presence in each one of them and even if it is not in the interests of social innovation, this will be made to work for its commercial value.
The essential difference we are seeing is in succeeding ages is that we are growing better with managing the progression of data; from collecting to processing to computing. This age of action is forced across multiple nodes in real time whereas the previous generations had action initiated post facto and in a 1:1 scenario.
The other significant factor adding to the dynamism of data is the inclusion of machines, devices and sensors as equal roles in a process. Such micro to macro connections in a world wide network is simply possible for the user without examining the complexities of the nervous system or the ecosystems in the background.
Through the increased volume, velocity and vulnerability of data, there is a growing awareness to develop risk assurance through access and security. The maturity here needs to further grow from singularity to digital duality.
As we are on the precipice of a disaster on this planet as a result of the poor systems we have implemented over a period of the last 150 years, there is a growing realization in societies that we need to have a connected network with a mutually inclusive view of technology, nature and humanity.
We are moving in the direction of cognitive technologies where both humans and machines have an equally critical role to play. Humans have a role to design better tools that connect the network while machines compute better; augmenting each other's strengths. This is where the promise of digital lies; in moving from passive, to generative to intuitive systems. The future of the digital economy lies in the transformation from the status quo to the desired state as follows:
Fabricating to forming
Constructing to growing
Isolated to connected
Extraction to aggregation
Obedience to autonomy
There has been significant advancement in science and technologies on our planet and yet the quality of life has been deteriorating globally. The advancements have definitely contributed to convenience but that has not meant that we take our thinking to a higher level of contribution. In every sphere of life the connected network needs to be established for we cannot live in isolation. Just because we believe that we individually live in a safe home with a safe computer and a protected family, it is necessarily true. A simple hack into a local network can cause more harm to an individual now than at any other time in history anywhere on this planet. Similarly all the automation and other applications and tools we are building have associated risks that have never existed before.
We need to assure the emerging risks from technology and this has to necessarily be in the context of an ecosystem; otherwise the nervous system that we know as the fabric of life on this planet.
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