society

Inside the Digital Society
Inside the Digital Society 02 October 2019 David Souter

It's a while since APC published my last blog from 'Inside the Information Society': nine months or so. Now feels like the right time to begin the blog again, but with some changes. Quite a few people have told me that they've missed this blog, which is gratifying. I reply that I've been taking time out to reflect on how the 'Information Society' is changing, the changing ways in which it's impacting on the wider world, the ways in which it interacts with other global challenges. I'll st...

Inside the Information Society: Fifteen years in fifteen minutes
Inside the Information Society: Fifteen years in fifteen minutes 14 February 2019 David Souter

David Souter's blog returns from its winter break with a review of the fifteen years since the World Summit on the Information Society – and how it should be viewed in future. Starting with this instalment, the Information Society will be published twice a month.   This post is a revised version of a presentation that he gave to the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development in...

Inside the Information Society: Jobs and employment policies in the digital age
Inside the Information Society: Jobs and employment policies in the digital age 11 December 2018 David Souter

Last week I wrote about some of the policy and regulatory issues that arise from the accelerating trend towards a digital society and new technologies such as artificial intelligence. This week some thoughts about employment issues that arise from that same trend: issues that are increasingly being discussed but on which we have very little evidence to base conclusions. Visions of the future As...

Inside the Information Society: Making policy for the digital age
Inside the Information Society: Making policy for the digital age 03 December 2018 David Souter

Some people view the future with excitement. Others look on it in trepidation. That’s especially so as we accelerate towards a digital society.   To one side, cyber-optimists imagine a world in which technology cures all our ills and illnesses (some even think that it might conquer death). To the other, cyber-pessimists fear one in which we lose control to our digital crea...

Inside the Information Society: Breaking the news
Inside the Information Society: Breaking the news 16 October 2018 David Souter

Last time I wrote about the (unexpected) resilience of the book in digital times. Far from dying out, book sales are currently reviving. But what about those other icons of the print age, newspapers? What’s happening to them, and does it matter? Newspapers, many people say, face a ‘perfect storm’, a crisis whose multiple aspects combine and reinforce one another to create a...

Inside the Information Society: What about books?
Inside the Information Society: What about books? 03 October 2018 David Souter

Twenty years ago, as the internet took off, a lot of people thought the days of books were numbered. The very first issue of the journal info, for example, back in 1999, carried an article on ‘The Dim Future of the Book’ by American academic Eli Noam, which argued that:  Books were merely the receptacle [of content], the transmission vehicle, the storage bin. A new and creati...

Inside the Information Society: Jobs? What jobs?
Inside the Information Society: Jobs? What jobs? 04 June 2018 David Souter

What will the digital society do to jobs? Will it usher in an age of unemployment or an age of leisure? Will we be served by robots or displaced by them? Will there be greater income inequality or less? This week: some comments on that theme, with a closing (counter-intuitive) conclusion.   Five scenarios are put forward where AI, robotics and employment are concerned. Where are we heading...

Inside the Information Society: Innovation and development
Inside the Information Society: Innovation and development 28 May 2018 David Souter

Inside the Information Society returns after a break.  This week’s post (based on a speech written for a recent conference) looks at the relationship between innovation and development. Complexity lies at the heart of the challenges that face those of us who are concerned with innovation and development.  We need to pay more attention to that complexity rather than embedding it with...

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