Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 209 - November 2017


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Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 209 - November 2017


  1. Introduction to the November 2017 Knowledge Letter
  2. Is Sophia, the robot harmless?
  3. Connecting and synchronizing minds
  4. Saudi Vision 2030
  5. Should you take a vote before a discussion?
  6. Dubai Knowledge Summit 2017
  7. PowerPoint is still poisoning us
  8. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  9. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: November 2017
  10. Supporting my work
  11. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  12. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the November 2017 Knowledge Letter

It is not very often I get an award but I was delighted earlier this month to be one of the winners of this year's CILIP Walford Award for information professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to knowledge and information services.

Thank you CILIP (The Library & Information Association).

Is Sophia, the robot harmless?

I hope you have not missed all the fuss about a robot called Sophia that was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship recently and all the media razzmatazz around it.

A bit of harmless fun you might think or is it harmless?

Harmless enough, if you understand that Sophia, although a fantastic bit of technology is not that smart. It is somewhat like Apple's Siri combined with some sophisticated puppetry plus the ability to recite preprogrammed scripts. No intelligence there at all.

But if you don't understand this, Sophia is misleading you (and even scaring you) into believing that general artificial intelligence is far more advanced than it is.

There are many articles on the web about Sophia but what concerns me is that so few of them explain or even seem to understand how Sophia works. This article however, does explain a little: Inside the mechanical brain of the world's first robot citizen.

But I cannot find any articles other than this one that get to the heart of this issue and that sum up my feelings on the matter: Humanoid robot Sophia is a sad hoax that harms AI research. I think we need to take artificial intelligence a little more seriously.

Connecting and synchronizing minds

I happened to notice that the theme for Expo 2020 Dubai was Connecting Minds and I was drawn to the metaphor of connecting minds.

So I googled a little and found a fascinating neuroscience research paper - Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. See Good connection really does lead to mind meld for a less technical overview and note the excerpt below (my emphasis in bold).

They found that speaking and listening used common rather than separate neural subsystems inside each brain.

Even more striking was an overlap between the brains of speaker and listener.

When post-scan interviews found that stories had resonated, scans showed a complex interplay of neural call and response, as if language were a wire between test subjects' brains.

It seems good conversation really does connect minds.

Saudi Vision 2030

I've just spent a few days in Riyadh where I gave a talk and run a Knowledge Café as part of a KM Forum entitled "Knowledge Management Utilization in Realizing Saudi Vision 2030" organized by the Naseej Academy.
Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism.

My talk was about how KM could be used strategically to help achieve the vision and the question that initiated the Knowledge Café "Given that even the experts do not have a good track record of predicting the future, and strategic plans often fail to deliver fully on their promises, how can KM help us better formulate and execute strategy?"

It was good day and I was delighted with the extent to which the participants engaged with the Knowledge Café and saw it's potential.

The Saudi Vision for 2030 is ambitious as it is impressive. Take a look at this PDF for some of the detail.

I truly wish them all the best in transforming their country and society.

Should you take a vote before a discussion?

Two opposite points of view here.

David Marquet thinks its a good idea to take a vote before you start to take a decision making discussion.

While Michael Roberto disagrees.

I quite like the idea of voting early but share Michael's concerns. What do you think?

Dubai Knowledge Summit 2017

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) recently organized and held the fourth annual Knowledge Summit in Dubai. Here are a few videos that you may find of interest from the Summit.

PowerPoint is still poisoning us

It's a while since I last talked about what I call conversational conferences - February 2013 to be exact.

I am now starting to pull some of that old material into my blook and updating it.

I do wish conference organizers would make their events more participatory - making conference conversational is not the full answer but is a simple enough, low cost step.

Upcoming Knowledge Events

Here are some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

Arabian Gulf Career Development Forum 2017 (CADEF)
18 - 20 Dec 2017, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Advancing your OD practice
23 - 24 Jan 2018, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

Knowledge Governments: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
07 - 08 Feb 2018, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Art of: Knowledge Management, Learning & Communication
Thu 22 Feb 2018, Melbourne, Australia

IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2018
27 Feb - 01 Mar 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark

6th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2018
05 - 06 Mar 2018, Washington DC, United States

Henley Forum Conference 2018
07 - 08 Mar 2018, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom

10th European Conference on Intangibles and Intellectual Capital
19 - 20 Apr 2018, Mechelen, Belgium

KM: The Works (May 2018)
Thu 17 May 2018, London, United Kingdom

END 2018 Conference
23 - 25 Jun 2018, Budapest, Hungary

Deep Knowledge
Wed 11 Jul 2018, London, United Kingdom

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: November 2017

Here are some of my more popular recent tweets. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts.

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Supporting my work

If you enjoy this Knowledge Letter and would like to support me by donating $1 (or more) a month then Become a Patron.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

You may subscribe to this newsletter on my website. Or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter or if you wish to modify your e-mail address or make other changes to your membership profile then please go to this page on my website.

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM newsletter for knowledge workers. Its purpose is to help you better manage your knowledge and to stimulate thought and interest in such subjects as Knowledge Management, Learning, Creativity and the effective use of Internet technology. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by the Henley Forum of the Henley Business School, Oxfordshire, England.

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am attributed. And if you have any queries please contact me.

Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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