Being intelligent - on your to do list

Seoul Digital Forum 2006 - World ICT Summit starts next week in Seoul. Steve Balmer, Paul E. Jacobs and a few others* will chat more pervasively than evasively about digital intelligence around the topic ''Being Intelligent: The Next Digital Revolution. Smart Devices, Robotics and the Future''.

Actually, even to survivors of the internet bubble, "being intelligent" seems a major shift.
Not as glamorous as it sounds, yet. Because "being intelligent" is more and more about thinking as and designing for dummies. Since "Digital Intelligence" failed to be intelligible, since our own emerging mobile markets include elderlies and technophobes, handset manufacturers started competing on dumbphones as well as on smartphones.

Note that dumbphones are not meant for dumb people ; they're made by dumb people who thought they were smart. They put "intelligence in the device" and "intelligence in the network" but were outsmarted by consumers who either made hits of the applications they didn't believe in (SMS) or flops of applications they considered as killers (sorry, I don't have enough space to list them).

So the next revolution means let's get rid of that smartass, let's make the human as irrelevant and transparent as possible, let's talk real business, machine to machine. No more mistakes ? Not so sure : to err is human, but to RFID is devilish.

"Being intelligent" was "being eBay" ; anyone selling anything to anyone anytime. "Being intelligent" may turn out to become "being Woot!" ; selling one object per day. Home shopping the most basic way, almost repulsive : "We anticipate profitability by 2043 – by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices. Until then, we're still the lovable scamps we've always been."

Now that's what I call intelligence and a truly forward looking statement.

* surprisingly enough, a rather strong French delegation makes the trip - after all, Bernard Spitz is also working on the 120th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and Korea.

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