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The Information Revolution: Major Trends and Developments

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Paper presented at a Workshop on Using Information Technologies as Empowerment ... The Information Revolution perpetuates the power of the English-speaking countries ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Information Revolution: Major Trends and Developments


1
The Information Revolution Major Trends and
Developments
Paper presented at a Workshop on Using
Information Technologies as Empowerment Tools for
Women Media Practitioners in the Gulf Region
2
  • by
  • Dr. Basyouni Hamada
  • Professor of Communication
  • United Arab Emirates University
  • Secretary General, Global Communication Research
    Association
  • http//gcra.uaeu.ac.ae
  • Dubai Womens College in Collaboration with UNDP
    Dubai UNESCO Regional Office
  • March 8-10, 2004

3
What Information Revolution (IR) consists of?
  • The restricted notion of ICTs defines IR as a set
    of core technologies
  • The broad definition includes the traditional as
    well as the new means of electronic of
    transmission

4
What Information Communication Technologies
(ICTs) consists of?
  • ICTs are set of activities which facilitate by
    electronic means the processing, transmission and
    display of information
  • The outputs of ICTs are every product directly
    contributes to the electronic processing,
    transmission and display of information
  • The inputs are anything that makes those
    activities possible.

5
Qualities of the Current ICTs
  • Digitization, it changed the previous revolution
    by translating every kind of information into a
    universal binary code
  • Text, drawings, pictures, sounds and speech,
    video .. etc, once they are translated into
    binary code, can be transmitted through digital
    networks.

6
Qualities of the Current ICTs
  • Information Processing, provides the power to
    transform information into digital code and back
    into human-absorbable form
  • Bandwidth, the amount of information capable of
    being transmitted over a network does not just
    double every eighteen month , as Moores law
    predicts for processing speed and power
  • It triples every twelve months. The prediction is
    called Gilders law
  • Standard, Decentralized architecture, in contrast
    to previous means of communication, Internet is
    based on decentralized but standard architecture.

7
What is the Network Society
  • It is a specific form of social structure,
    identified as being characteristic of the
    information age
  • The information age refers to a historical period
    in which human societies perform their activities
    in a technological paradigm.

8
Features of the Network Society
  • Human kind shifted from computer-centered
    technologies to network diffused technologies.
  • We live in a new economy which is informational,
    global, networked and capitalist
  • Work and employment are substantially transformed
    by the new economy

9
Cultural Features
  • We live in the Internet culture
  • Cultural expressions of all kinds are
    increasingly shaped by this electronic hypertext
  • This flexible, hypertext, interactive and
    electronic communication does not only concern
    culture, it heavily affects politics

10
Characteristics of the information age
  • Intensive use of information by the common
    citizen
  • Use of information as a strategic resource by
    organizations
  • Development of the information sector within the
    economy
  • Growth of the information sectors quicker than
    the global economy

11
Characteristics of the Information Age
  • Deterritorialization
  • Confusion
  • Horizontalization
  • Dematerialization

12
Gauging the Information Revolution
  • The Network Reach
  • The Content Depth
  • The Economic Impact

13
Digital Divide The Basic Outcome/Trend of
Information Revolution
  • The main challenge brought about by ICTs is the
    digital divide
  • It excludes entire cultures, and countries from
    the benefits of Information revolution
  • Research concentrates on whether poor countries
    and people are catching up with their
    counterparts
  • Whether the data on ICT is characterized by
    convergence or divergence between developed and
    developing countries

14
How the Digital Gap can be measured?
  • Researches statistically measure the Index of
    Technology Progress (ITP) within countries
  • ITP includes (computer, Internet hosts, fax
    machines, mobile phones and televisions)

15
Information Revolution Digital Gap Research Trends
  • Is there evidence of convergence or divergence
    between Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and
    Developed Countries (DCs) in their use of ICT
    products?
  • The evidence shows a wide gap between rich and
    poor countries access to ICTs access
  • DCs has 1,036 times the Internet hosts of LDCs
  • DCs have 40 times as many computers, and 146
    times as many mobile phones

16
ICTs Input
  • Is there evidence of convergence or divergence
    between LDCs and DCs in their use of ICT inputs?
  • There is a substantial gap across the two groups
    of countries
  • OECD countries invest nine times as much of their
    income in RD
  • Have about 17 times as many technicians, as eight
    times as many scientists per capita as the
    economies of sub-Saharan Africa

17
Convergence or Divergence
  • Is the gap in the wealth of richer and poorer
    countries growing or shrinking?
  • Evidence shows that DC-LDC gap continues to grow
    for most countries, despite the introduction of
    ICTs

18
GAP within Countries
  • Is there convergence or divergence within
    countries in the availability of these ICTs?
  • Evidence shows there is domestic inequality with
    regard to ICTs

19
ICTs Gap Economic Gap
  • What is the link between ICT and trends in
    inequality across and within economies?
  • The two variables are not linked together in
    causeeffect relationship.
  • However, they are related to each other

20
Technological Progress
  • What explains differences in technological
    progress across countries?
  • Climate of democratic rights and civil liberties
  • Respect for the rule of law
  • Investment in human capital
  • Low levels of government distortions

21
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionOptical Communication System
  • It motivates a rethinking of various other
    technologies such as the design of computer
    processor and the Internet Protocol (IP)
  • It also will force the computer operating system
    to change radically

22
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionWireless
  • The second important development is likely to be
    explosion in wireless communication

23
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionVirtual Mailbox
  • It allows text to voice and voice to text
    conversion
  • It will be possible to listen to voice or text
    messages, dictate text messages, view pictures,
    etc.

24
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionMachine Translation
  • The automatic translation
  • Web searches across documents stored in multiple
    languages

25
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionE-commerce
  • Customers will have very significant technical
    capabilities
  • There will be billions of such customers
  • There will be intense price competition
  • New value proposition will be created

26
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionFuture of Broadcasting
  • In world of infinite of bandwidth, broadcasting
    will disappear and will be replaced by unicasting

27
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionWork
  • Manual labor will be replaced by the knowledge
    work
  • Workers may not be in the same physical
    environment or even in the same time zone

28
Major Trends and Developments of Information
Revolution Migration
  • With the industrial revolution, workers moved
    where the work was
  • Later work moved where the workers were
  • With the ubiquity of IT both physical and virtual
    migration could take place

29
Major Trends and Developments of Information
Revolution National Sovereignty
  • IR will undermine the sovereignty of the nation
    state
  • The role of the government at home will be
    marginalized

30
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionElectoral Politics
  • It is expected that E voting will become a
    reality sooner or later
  • E-voting will enable greater citizen
    participation in the electoral election.

31
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionDemocracy
  • IR probably fosters democracy in the democratic
    systems
  • Perpetuate the power of the ruling elites in LDCs

32
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionGlobal Information Utilities
  • An Individual will be able to plug information
    appliances into wall sockets in much the same way
    as we now plug electrical appliances

33
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionCultural Diversity
  • ICTs can only be a tool for cultural diversity if
    they enable the peoples of developing countries
    to
  • Express their culture through their native
    languages
  • With their frame of references
  • And with affordable cost
  • The Information Revolution perpetuates the power
    of the English-speaking countries

34
Major Trends and Developments of Information
RevolutionEducation
  • E-education and distance learning will be enhanced

35
Conclusion
  • Information Revolution is transforming all
    aspects of human life.
  • IR will shift the control to ICTs Technological
    Determinism
  • IR is an avoidable reality that LDCs should
    adjust to
  • However, cultural diversity, linguistic
    differences, freedom of expression and religious
    values should be protected.
  • IR requires sharing of information and the
    genuine participation of social groups at various
    level in both DCs and LDCs.
  • There is no invisible hands to close the digital
    divide, the market forces alone would not be
    enough to redress the gap.
  • An international intervention is a must to secure
    a peaceful
  • coexistence between the North and South.
  • References are attached to the full-text paper
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