Sunday, February 08, 2009

The value of computing and knowledge.

In an effort to put a price on a new information consumption engine that I am building, I was asked to figure out what a license cost might look like. After nearly 20 years in the field of Knowledge Management I have been able to measure the value of systems that accelerate a known process through computation and workflow rules... but a system that actually acts as if it is thinking and produces unpredictable results is a different animal all together. I believe that we are starting to reach a new paradigm shift in computing where AI systems mining chaotic information start to look more like an expert than an expert system. I have been able to elevate chaotic information into structured knowledge that has value only to the cognitive process of the human recipient. A very similar process to the one we are engaged in when we discuss, discover and enrich our knowledge from others. From that premiss, I can only think that such a system should be valued and measured according to what it brings to those interacting with it. Basically it should be considered as valuable as co-workers. Perhaps this is a stretch today for most of us, but with IBM's research in human-like computing I can see the day when we will price these systems according to interaction benefits over measured ROIs.

1 comment:

Tom Gallienne said...

It would be interesting to know from your sources what percentage oflegacy KM tools have been deployed with any form of agent, active on behalf of the individual user, within business teams.

What is the percentage of agent use, among groups familiar with social networking or "Enterprise 2.0" tools?

Does the 3% rule apply here, where individual participation is still at minimal (slowly growing) levels?

Some are aware of the legacy effort required to create and deploy agents, and the percentage of users actually participating within groups may be known.

How would those numbers compare with usage of the more common ID-based filters engineered into portals and the KM solutions incorporated within them?

(I refer to portals that push information to individuals on the basis of roles, profiles and access control.)

What you are creating seems to be a user-configurable, ontologically-based affordance, allowing people to assign variable terms to a semantically-activated info-generator.

Object: determine the appetite that business teams would experience and the usability/ affordances of a such a user-configurable discovery engine.

How much experimentation would the team tolerate to gain potential benefits?

Where is the tipping point when "need to know" (with minimal individual effort) becomes a compelling factor within a value proposition.

What capabilities do these teams already possess?

Who is conducting the current, local research effort?

What tools and information sources are being aggregated for purposes of "collective intelligence"?

At what levels are the current sources valued? Perceived as indispensable?

How easily does a user move along the continuum of information acquisition through to relevance within a sharply-defined context?

How demonstrably accurate and comprehensive are the results?

To what extent is the risk of omission reduced within the current knowledge acquisition challenge?

Has the target market in the process of establishing a culture of wiki participation among its highly-valued workers?

Do the benefits of your discovery engine supersede any the organization would realize from a mix of Web 2.0 tools?

How does the engine fit within a hot team?

If your offering is culturally compatible, simple to integrate/implement/use, and it allows people to focus team effort - within knowledge-intense business services - I think high value would be placed on such software.

As we know, defining a well-positioned, competitively-priced offering within a segmented and targeted market is a significant effort.

... ... ...

Hope the comments are useful.

Would like to know how the effort is progressing.