Computers have become ubiquitous during our lifetimes and the life of our journal. Computers can help us to reflect on our own intellectual foundations and on our words, action and research, seen from inside and outside. Individuals can make a difference, making use of computers as tools, trying to make sense of the world, with the possibility of breaking the mould, and of empowering others. There can be a cost, which is sometimes seen as part of a Faustian exchange.
It is supposedly easier to connect with other human beings in the era of ubiquitous technology. Connecting requires action and an element of risk taking in a context of dynamic uncertainty and incomplete information. The article explores what is involved in developing sustainable connections. We reflect on the context of “Socially Useful Artificial Intelligence”, the focus of the first article in issue 1.1.1987 of AI & Society, and explore subsequent research in a changing world. The arguments are illustrated through an (...) account of the development of the Penny University, from a London coffee house to a potential international virtual institution. (shrink)
The article introduces a new international educational community based on Students’ Quality Circles, in which industry and education have learned to collaborate for mutual benefit. In each country represented in this special issue, there have been distinctive bottom-up initiatives, informed by the experience of collaboration. We emphasise Quality as Empowerment.
The article considers relations between the generations, with particular attention given to older workers, who also face the pressures of responsibilities to both parents and children. The situations in Norway and the UK are compared. The case is made for support structures, such as senior quality circles, at the threshold between employment and retirement.
Knowledge management is important in the construction industry, but there is a dramatic gap between rhetoric and reality, highlighting mistaken expectations of technology. We report on a case study of a major construction company. The UK construction industry, with scarce academic qualifications, and limited use of IT, depends on knowledge sharing, and, crucially, on tacit knowledge. Economic crisis presents particular problems, and recent trends in work organization have far-reaching implications. The industry depends on human knowledge, with limited systems support. A (...) shared concern for health and safety provides the surest guarantee of sustainability of both knowledge and the company. (shrink)
The paper reflects on the unique experience of social and technological development in Lithuania since the regaining of independence as a newly reshaped society constructing a distinctive competitive IST-based model at global level. This has presented Lithuanian pattern of how to integrate different experiences and relations between generations in implementing complex information society approaches. The resulting programme in general is linked to the Lisbon objectives of the European Union. The experience of transitional countries in Europe, each different but facing some (...) common problems, may be useful to developing countries in Africa. (shrink)
Silence resides in the gaps between the known islands of explicit knowledge. Rather than expecting to build systems with complete information, we take a human-centred approach. Individual citizens need to be active, engage in dialogue and be aware of the importance of tacit knowledge. As societies, we recognise the incompleteness and inconsistency of our discourse.
The Council for Education in World Citizenship has been working with Kingston University and the UK National Commission for UNESCO, taking advantage of global information technology developments in order to build new programmes for global citizenship education. The paper reports on practical experience, inviting new network partners. The IST-Africa 2007 conference provided an opportunity to build on these foundations, with initiatives in primary, secondary, further, adult and higher education, and continuing professional development for teachers.
This article considers the results of a global survey into quality terminology, which suggested that quality professionals are not making use of their own standards. Discussion of quality is located in the context of partnership and networks.
This article presents a philosophical dialogue as a means of modelling approaches to capitalism and society over the past two centuries. Adam Smith’s views of economics were located in a moral and cultural context, derived from the Scottish Enlightenment, which has been disregarded by enthusiasts for the free market. Through an imagined dialogue with German artist Joseph Beuys and Dutch businessman Paul Fentener Van Vlissingen, using their words, we identify a European position which both preceded and follows the period of (...) industrialisation. Using philosophical dialogue as a form of intellectual forum theatre, we hope to stimulate debate. (shrink)
This article introduces the theme of the special issue, linking current concerns in European social and industrial relations policy with the research traditions covered byAI & Society. Human centredness, skill and technology, and the central importance of education and learning are emphasised as we build new development coalitions.
Artificial intelligence is presented as a set of tools with which we can try to come to terms with human problems, and with the assistance of which, some human problems can be solved. Artificial intelligence is located in its social context, in terms of the environment within which it is developed, and the applications to which it is put. Drawing on social theory, there is consideration of the collaborative and social problem-solving processes which are involved in artificial intelligence and society. (...) In a look ahead to the coming generations of highly parallel computing systems, it is suggested that lessons can be learnt from the highly parallel processes of human social problem-solving. (shrink)