Developing information and communications technology to provide more intelligence and leverage more wisdom for a dramatically changing World -Part 3-
Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, 2022, vol. 13, issue 3, 16-33
The paper analyses the dynamic context of the dramatic World changes, where Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has to adapt its services, products and applications in order to support Information Society (IS) on the way towards the Knowledge Based Society (KBS), even if we see and face emergent crisis by crisis, or even the spectrum of poli-crises. The practical question, beyond any philosophy, is if we have to try to deeply understand the information we receive, or just wait the facts which usually confirm (later!) the trend or the crisis. There are a lot of approaches, between these extreme points of view, but the right way is to refine the knowledge, which is by far something more than understanding the information we receive. This means to continue to responsibly think and analyse the (ICT) World context, even by changing the paradigm in many domains, including, if necessary, ICT areas. As a starting point, it is a clear necessity to carefully analyse the unprecedentedly World changes/crises, even if we will continue to keep close only with the ICT context, but not ignoring the complex and crucial ways this is linked with the IS/KBS and generally with Earth ecosystem and humankind evolution. From Ukraine to USA and China, the World is dramatically changing, by events having the potential to completely change not only our habits and lives, but the whole Earth ecosystem and even humankind chances of sustainable evolution. The ICT sustainable progress is crucial, but we have to also consider the changing context, where the ICT advances, like artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud, Internet of things (IoT) or Big Data must be further developed properly, while the new directions could appear. The basic support of all these areas is strongly depending on innovations which have to answer to the inherent challenges and crises (semiconductor crisis is just one of the relevant examples, but energy and food could be also soon prominent, along with climate changes consequences). The difficulty of any analysis is given by the fact that all these challenges are connected (not independent) processes, in the already very dynamic context of ICT/IS/KBS. In addition, the most challenging features of the actual dramatical World changes could come from the deep levels of the turbulence in most of domains, which sometimes make not appliable the previous approaches. A simple recall of the crucial approach of the green ICT, we also analysed , seems to be not sufficient/suitable for the emerging new normality, but this aspect could be extended, without doubt, to the green deal strategy, where the situation is more complicated and not only at the EU level of decision. Another challenging feature of the analysed ICT context is fundamental as it arises from the unprecedented high level of performance, complexity and pace of ICT we are looking from for expected improvements and progress . As we also presented , many of the ICT achievements, but sometimes even ones of the challenges, are copied or lent to other domains due to the proliferation and crucial role of ICT in IS/KBS. This way we could observe the similarity of the challenges, coming from the high level of the World development and humankind wellbeing, which began to trouble the incumbents and people when facing the emergent restrictions and savings that the energy crisis could ask. Consequently, the paper reveals, by analysing relevant examples, some of these processes and pointing how the knowledge is generated and eventually how, generally, it should be refined, considering the complicate mechanisms by which the exponential pace of ICT influences all the Earth ecosystem. As the best start of such analyses, communications remained the basic point, being the reliable bridge for all new approaches, leveraging the knowledge refining and, again generally for Earth ecosystem, the expected unity of efforts against crises turbulences. Approaching innovation and optimization should consider the communications reliability and quality/performances as the necessary media (Internet being only the most relevant example). This observation will be more and more relevant as the World crises will generally require more connectivity, solidarity and mutual understanding, but technically speaking this will be in fact the need for quick response and awareness in all domains, including critical infrastructures and decision centres. On this way, the paper analysed the case of the 4 prestige high-tech companies which joined efforts to realize a new 170 GHz / 220 GHz Broadband Vector Network Analysis. The analysis revealed some important features/issues, which are relevant for the actual ICT context. The concretization of the idea of unity of efforts, for facing unprecedented difficulties, is here translated in the technology language and industry politics, as it also confirms the specific challenges which are inherently induced by the high level of performances involved. The high level of expertise/prestige for each component/partner, along with the unique selection involved in order to reach this new frontier of ICT, are proving the importance of collaboration/solidarity for facing the actual challenges (in all critical domains of Earth ecosystem). Using higher and higher frequencies is not a goal itself, as, for wireless communications, increasing the carrier frequency the useful bandwidth will also increase, which is one of the main objectives in the future broadband mobile communications systems 5G and 6G, in order to respond to the unprecedented needs of data transmission flows (i.e., broader bandwidth). The communications/ICT development picture is much larger, as proved by another case, a performant system of analysis and simulation of ICT circuits and systems, which is focusing on the concrete implications of processing the new signals of high-speed digital standards, used at ICT advances as 5G, AI, IoT, virtual reality or autonomous vehicles. The degradation of high-speed signals should be considered as a new challenge, as its level of complexity has unprecedently increased, being one of the sides we have mentioned as being given by the high level of starting/reference performances, which already are approaching the physical limits of technology. The optimal solution is a new and very performant system of analysis and simulation, i.e., the proper instrument needed by the actual and future very complex ICT equipments. It is important to recall also here that the main area of communications is no more separable of the digital processing, as the last decades confirmed the inseparable convergence of communication and IT issues inside of the new ICT products, equipments and systems, but things are far more complex as the cost and time implications will have dramatical effects in the actual race for adapting to crises and urgences, along with the increasing need for reliability and trust in operation. All these, mainly technological issues, in the dramatical actual context, could lead clearly to the appropriate and extended system approaches, based again on knowledge refining and new criteria consideration, at Earth ecosystem scale. For the holistic understanding of the knowledge refining, in the actual dramatic context of World changes/crises, we propose to also consider the implications of the new normality, which is the term more and more used to suggest the implications of the World emergent dramatical changes. We agree, from the beginning, that the new normality is just a generic term, far from being defined or concrete, considering the dramatical changes of the World and the necessity to refine the knowledge in order to find a new balance, in most of activity domains, aiming a sustainable development or at least a surviving approach of Earth ecosystem. The word normality could have special resonance in the dramatical changes of the World context and we think it was not a simple coincidence that this word was found the most appropriate, from the beginning, to express the actual phase of incertitudes and turbulences the humankind has to face, as it also suggests the urgent necessity of crucial but appropriate changes of our rules and behaviour, everywhere. Considering the huge theatre where all this context is changing and the subsequent approach, we should imagine to be next changed, it is clear that systemic approach and refined knowledge will be key features of appropriate solutions we have to imagine and apply. It is obvious that generally applicable principles, methods or solutions will not be found, although the idea of optimization will be fallowed everywhere and every time. This way, the systemic approach will lead us to consider the most affected/influent domains of the dramatical changes we face and inherently the energy is prominent, as the physical support of any process/action. Although we already presented the impressive weight of ICT carbon footprint , confirmed also at the Paris Agreement on climate changes (2015), there are domains which still have higher contributions to greenhouse-gas emissions, as the shipping industry, which was largely analysed by a relevant example (ammonia, ). Starting from this case, we also revealed some relevant elements to be considered at holistic approach and knowledge refining for facing the actual crises and dramatic changes of the World. First of all, the energy crisis implications should be considered at planetary scale and notice that they started before the pandemic-war context, being linked with Earth resource fading and the unsustainable development in the last decades, as we also presented . Then, we should analyse with priority the activity domains where the consumption and carbon footprint are prominent for Earth ecosystem and here ICT is also visible and perhaps more important due to its exponential pace which must also to be among refined knowledge, while the time to react at planetary scale could be critical as the implied processes are more and more complex and interdependent. Among many other elements, the social, technical, operational and security/geopolitical issues have to be analysed in a holistic approach when searching the solutions for the new normality everywhere. In the ammonia case also, we observed that humankind/community joint efforts (generally including countries, industries, companies or scientific groups) are important, as the implications are global, but also the difficulties are higher and higher and need solidarity/unity and complementary/interdisciplinary contributions. Returning to ICT development s global role and context, another relevant example (software testing) could reveal the diversity of the new challenges and point new criteria for refining knowledge. In fact, ICT sustainable development is one of the most complex problems and to optimize it is a very difficult aim, which is now even more complicated by the dramatical changes/crises, which induce incertitudes and unreliable data for decision processes, even when using the advances of AI. On the other side, it is not a new observation that software is a crucial resource for ICT sustainable development, but, naturally, new challenges come to reconsider it and again to refine knowledge, including the area of intelligent automation. AI is a prominent ICT advance, but, as it is penetrating everywhere, its design and optimization for software testing need to be carefully conceived, because of the systemic critical consequences of software reliability in the actual and future ICT complex systems. When designing new software for complex systems, rigor and imagination are mandatory for covering any possible and relevant scenario/case of use in operation and user s experience, but now open design and holistic approaches have to be added features for ICT sustainable development. This way, the perpetual competition between AI and human intelligence (HI) become crucial when imagination is pointed to cover all challenges. For reaching such high performances, AI must include new techniques and algorithms, which also have to be designed by a holistic approach and include refined knowledge to reflect updates for a diversity of criteria. Beyond other limits of the AI performances, it is worth to observe that, while the AI algorithm learns, for improvements it has to use new data, i.e., updates reflecting the refined data which inherently must contain the way the incumbents and people think over the dynamic and dramatic World changes, meaning, in fact, refined knowledge. This way, the whole complexity and difficulty of holistic understanding of the knowledge refining in the new normality could be, at least, suggested along with some elements for orienting the appropriate directions to search the needed solutions/actions among the diversity of options which the democracy, the market economy and the (relative) liberty could generate in time steps. As a main conclusion, for a systemic and holistic approach of knowledge refining in the new dramatic change s context, around the World, the role of ICT is essential, first as the link between all processes, having the connectivity features which proved salutary in pandemic, but beyond these, having the potential to speed and optimize the sustainable development of all activity domains of IS/KBS, with its advances like AI, Cloud, IoT, Big Data etc.
Keywords: World crises; new normality; knowledge-based society; knowledge refining; greenhouse-gas emissions; intelligent automation; broadband vector network analysis; degradation of high-speed signals; decarbonizing cargo ships; ammonia-fuelled shipping (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L63 L86 M15 O31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:rdc:journl:v:13:y:2022:i:3:p:16-33
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine from Romanian Distribution Committee
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Theodor Valentin Purcarea ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).