Emergence of a Knowing Society

Authors: Policy Horizons Canada
Document Type: Policy Brief
Published Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 - 4:00am
ISBN number: PH4-157/2016E-PDF, 978-0-660-04686-0

The amount of data created every second is swiftly growing, creating an unimaginably vast ocean of information. To help individuals make sense of this information rich reality, new technologies are being developed. The Internet has already changed societies all over the world, but the next 15 years could be even more transformational.

An Information-Rich Reality

Every day the Internet population grows; users discover new sites, apps or activities online; device performance is increased; platforms offer greater storage space; and users realize they want or need a faster Internet connection. Autonomous objects are now beginning to contribute to the information flow with the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Within the next few decades, data on nearly every measurable aspect of the planet and its inhabitants may be available in real-time. A new generation of technologies is emerging to help humans navigate this new ocean of information, helping them to select, perceive, and interact in ways that could transform human experience and human relations. Information and communication will be at the heart of how we shape our lives. Our built environment will be equipped with computing power and become responsive, capable of summoning information and obeying commands.

  • What could this new Knowing Society look like?
  • What does it mean for individuals and for society?
  • How might it transform privacy, social norms, perception, education and relationships?