Developing Information and Communications Technology to Provide More Intelligence and Leverage More Wisdom for a Dramatically Changing World -Part 2-
Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, 2022, vol. 13, issue 2, 16-33
The paper analyses the exponential development of information and communication technology (ICT) in the emergent World dramatical changes context (WDCC), for which we have to be prepared for new rules of development or even no rules. The link of these tendances with the information and communications technology (ICT) is due to the fact that ICT, generally by complex and expanding ways, for decades, is already influencing the humankind and our planet evolutions, here counting mostly the benefic influences which generate the World progress, but we have to also consider, more and more, for optimal global results, all the consequences of the exponential pace ICT would/could induce to life and Earth ecosystem. The reasons to timely try to analyse all the consequences of this ICT context include the need for optimal and global results, but this is not new, while the emergency of the dramatic changes of World ecosystem rise new and extremely complicate challenges for humankind and ICT. So, it is important to evaluate the potential of ICT to enable, by artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Cloud, Internet of things (IoT) or other essential and powerful advances, the expected solutions for these challenges or other unexpected problems World will have to face rather sooner than later. An important feature of ICT development, which we consider necessary to be further improved for facing the dynamic and even unexpected challenges, in order to support the Information Society (IS) on the way towards the Knowledge Based Society (KBS) in the new dramatic context, is to optimally combine AI with human/crowd intelligence, when refining knowledge by the fast-changing criteria of the World ecosystem and this way leveraging the expected wisdom/sustainable based actions/evolutions. A high ICT potential means to realistically develop its resources and that is why we have analysed some relevant issues which could at least create a short image of the results and challenges involved in the general goal of ICT optimized development, in the conditions of the emergent World dramatical changes context (WDCC). Our World dynamic context begin to look like a struggle toward unprecedented performances, in all domains, exceeding this way the prominent case of ICT, while the actual dramatical trends/crises send us toward the prospective of surviving against such menaces for the Earth ecosystem (climate changes, Earth resources fading, social unbalances, or potential crises - like the emergent energy/food/materials or geopolitical ones). Unfortunately, unprecedented dramatical crises began to be generated by the Russia - Ukraine war, where the consequences are difficult to estimate on long term, but the food, industry and supply chains turbulences could bring crucial changes to global economy and for all balance of Earth ecosystem. This way, the need for adequate but complicate solutions will affect ICT too, which, in the same time, is expected to provide support for all human activity fields, using its huge potential of fast innovation and development. The crucial role of technological processes by which processors, memories and other semiconductor chips are made is more than obvious for either ICT and World progress in general, but the concrete actual difficulties of such advanced processes express even more about the mentioned struggle. For example, the introduction of a 2-nanometer (nm) node chip by IBM is analysed, as the new chip will improve performance by 45 percent, versus the actual 7 nm-based chips. To reach such impressing target, a new nanosheet technology and an innovative is used, along with extreme-ultraviolet lithography (EUV). Beyond the impressive sophistication of the 2-nm processes, we have to notice that behind the industry is the economy and the competition (IBM is ahead other companies, which reached 3-nm), but the actual World crises and dramatical changes bring even more, as beyond the competition we could perceive the geopolitical context. Still, the scientifical and technological problems are yet prominent and have to be first addressed in order to step forward, considering the apogee level where we are, also from the performances point of view. Another challenge of this era of chips is to further improve the connections between transistors, as here the difficulty is also high, close to reaching the physical limits of the actual processes. Here we notice, along with the inherent difficulty of further improving the connections, the new kind of challenges which arise when we are on the top, even after reaching the main target, but we could encounter unprecedented problems with something that initially could appear secondary, just because the logic that led to the main desired solution does not apply to all parts or phases of a technical or life problem and such phenomena could be sources of the uncertainty WDCC is featuring. This way we have revealed another important feature of ICT advances, where many other fields of activity could benefit from a certain ICT result/logic beyond the direct use of ICT product/application, simply by importing the idea , the logic or the learned lesson , although this is not a general, but rather desired situation, as even ICT itself has to solve a lot of problems which appear along with reaching new advances or performances. As ICT systems, products, services and applications generally became more complex or complicate, although in many cases users can see only some nice boxes or gadgets, most of them, without considering the large networks and equipments, contain electronic components and chips with a high level of integration and sophistication, growing along with the ICT advances. Analysing some of the features of complex systems (CS) theory, we have pointed that the parameters and performances of such systems are often difficult to identify/define, just because a lot of criteria could be considered, especially for the custom-designed complex systems, where standardization provide only a part of the specifications. Also, another feature of such CS, including our Earth ecosystem subsystems in the WDCC, is the need for stability and reliability, which are naturally menaced by the incertitude of structurally changes. The reliability was always a performance indicator which is more difficult to define, compute or measure, as the system complexity increase, so it is easier to understand why, in most ICT cases, the reliability could be difficult to control, especially when, beyond intrinsic complexity, other factors should be considered, including the use conditions and sometimes the consumption policy - which many years considered that too high reliability or repair would be not appropriate . The actual tendency of Earth resources fading and the emergency of different crises, to consider just some of the mentioned challenges of WDCC, should determine us to reconsider issues like the above consumption policy and generally the position and content of reliability among the performances of ICT systems, products, services and applications. In some special cases, like critical infrastructures, the main reason to reconsider the reliability performances should be the security relevance in the applications context, which could be very high not only for critical infrastructures, but also generally for Earth ecosystem and people s life. Analysing the technical issues of reliability in ICT, in a simplified electronic model, beyond other detailed deterministic causes/factors (which usually are considered and acceptably controlled), we notice that there is a hazard factor (probability of some unexpected phenomena or circumstances), which is almost impossible to precisely control. We consider that the issue of hazard could be, perhaps, linked, but in a complicate analysis that is not the paper aim, with David Hume (1739 1740) and with inspired by him No free lunch theorem, which is also useful in AI-machine learning . In a poor design or modest system management, often the lack of controlling the usual/technical factors of reliability is claimed as the result of hazard and this discussion is a real challenge as the complexity of the system isincreasing, i.e., just the actual and emergent complex systems, which include ICT, but in general the analysis could not be reduced to the electronic components. The practical conclusion is that, irrespective the weight of ICT parts in a CS (for example, industrial one), in the actual stage of science and technology, ICT advances (mainly by AI and IoT, but not exclusively) could essentially contribute to the control of reliability and reducing the hazard, i.e., a very desired support for WDCC. Based on the above general analysis, we have concluded that, along with other performance challenges, the role of reliability/hazard in WDCC will perhaps become more and more important, as it is confirmed by the analysis of a relevant example a mobile communications network. The analysed scenario (revealing ICT negative issues) is just another face of our emergent World, versus the one (with only positive issues) we presented in the beginning of this series of papers, , as ICT, like the whole Earth ecosystem, could be seen as a wonder of humankind creation, but also as becoming a possible nightmare for the next generations of humans if we do not act with wisdom. Another crucial feature of ICT is also confirmed by an example (from Australia), as the communications/connectivity ubiquity determined not only essential practical support for all activities, but also habits and even addiction for humans, which naturally will be frustrated by their sudden interruption/failing. We have to notice that this image is very relevant for the coming WDCC, where the crises and frustration could become not accidents, but frequent incidents, if ICT development will not adapt to these changes (by policies, software and hardware improvements), i.e., by refining intelligence with wisdom . From the same example, it is obvious that stop thinking in those terms confirms our opinion to refine knowledge addressing the new dynamic conditions and proving this way the optimal (wisdom) approach. Although the issue is only about communications networks, these are still very relevant as mobile broadband networks are becoming the universal backbone infrastructure and their global role in IS/KBS will be crucial in the WDCC, as the above proved negative consequences of low reliability. Still, the paper considered also a larger view, as starting from the benefits ICT advances brought in the first years of Covid 19 pandemic, by enabling on line activities and other information sharing and connectivity applications, which in fact were available even before 2020. The relevant issue we could foresee is the potential of ICT to offer fast solutions or alternatives in cases of dramatical events/crises, but in the same time the essential need that such solutions to be very reliable, considering just the emergency fields they should support and imagining the damages which globally could be encountered (we have just to imagine the connectivity of future self-driving cars!). More than these, the extended proliferation and impact of ICT support in the IS/KBS, in the coming changing context, will request reliability as first performance indicator for critical infrastructure applications (power grid, governance, defence/safety, transportation etc.). Such high level of requirements will be very difficult to harmonize with the complicate premises of inherent hazard, resources fading and other factors of incertitude (yet to come), which are already prominent challenges for advanced ICT fields like AI, Big Data or IOT, where the line between intelligence and human wisdom is still a crucial bottleneck, just like the above example that should be seen in the prominent general case of connectivity (Internet/communications). From the SCT example analysis, it is important to notice the overwhelming number of benefic ICT results and applications, at planetary scale, which prove without doubt its capacity of further supporting the IS/KBS evolution, although the need of improvement is inherently a condition of progress, especially in the WDCC. Here we can observe the impact of the SCT in the WDCC, because the pandemic challenges also generated premises of opportunities for innovation, new business models and generally refining knowledge. Also, the crowd intelligence/wisdom is here confirmed and we consider that the coming World new challenges will request a continuous dialog between AI and human/crowd intelligence (HI), in addition to the generous channels of connectivity offered by ICT advances like IoT, Big Data, context aware communications and so on, even if the reliability of all technical systems is expected to increase, but also the uncertainty and adversity of the WDCC. The mature and globally viewed understanding for a project of development, including the ICT ones, could enable transparency, perception/view and sharing information on a certain issue/project, with reduced costs (time, energy) but greater accuracy provided by multimedia and connectivity applications. Among the benefits of refining SCT and management, in the WDCC, here the economical and social advantages are also pointed and even explicitly demonstrated, with concrete data. It is worth to notice here one of the most difficult problems of further exponential development of ICT, especially considering the WDCC, which could affect the countries and World economy increase, by the shortening of life spans of ICT systems, products, services and applications. In addition, changing the policies and management of implementing SCT could leverage local and regional economical/social benefits. As a prominent field of ICT intelligence, SCT is very relevant for the approach of critical or difficult new situations in WDCC, when lack of resources will be often the main cause of crises, but it also offers useful innovation ideas for other challenges, like converting/enabling intelligence for mature/wisdom decisions, transparency, unemployment or other social unbalances. Our opinion is that refining the criteria of efficiency/efficacity/optimization for ICT and generally for all human activity fields is now mandatory more than ever. As main conclusion, we consider that, everywhere, the global impact of ICT intelligence along with wisdom of decisions/solutions should be considered and improved, although, in the same time, we have to agree that such goal, at planetary scale, is more and more complex, complicate and difficult, but this does not mean to ignore/avoid it, as it is necessary, on contrary, to further analyse all the ways to identify the solutions to reach it at appropriate time and extent (until it is not too late).
Keywords: artificial intelligence; refining knowledge; knowledge based society; 2-nm technology; reliability; complex systems; smart-city technology science (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L63 L86 M15 O31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:rdc:journl:v:13:y:2022:i:2:p:16-33
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