Re: Gartner on KM #state-of-KM

Paul McDowall

Gartner has virtually always taken an IT-centric lens to explore and explain the future of business so it's no surprise that they are prognosticating AI's return.  AI is a Phoenix that could not be achieved through earlier technology but is now much more possible (in the future) than ever before.   We know the Gartner Hype cycle and we know the real adoption track record of new better-than-sliced-bread technologies.  Heavily IT-related industries and companies might look to AI in the future.  We don't see much of that as yet, only in very unique situations.  Over the years we've all seen videos of the 'future' state of mankind with the prospect of fabulous technologies.  IT plays a huge role in today's society in much of the world although the recent HBR article shows that increased technology use isn't always a good thing (, and many people are turning away from it to re-gain some measure of peace in their life.
I'm an old IT guy and the problem with IT is, us, it's how we think about technology as opposed to how we think about society and mankind and what's really important.  IT is only one narrow perspective on the future state of mankind.  Look at the news and you'll get a truer sense of the state of mankind.  One of the greatest needs in the world is for sustainable power/energy. Food and clean water are huge needs in the world.  Poverty and economic decline are huge issues of concern for mankind.  Decent health care and epidemic control are huge needs.  Good education is a huge need in the world.  Human knowledge has existed as long has mankind has existed and knowledge sharing has existed as long as mankind has existed, and knowledge collection has existed as long as mankind has existed, and....   Human suffering has existed as long as mankind has existed and AI is not going to help with that in any concrete way that we can clearly see. Better Knowledge Management and collaboration is desperately needed around the world to improve the state of mankind, more than improving some off-shore call centre somewhere with AI tools. 

Through the IT-looking glass, AI is still a sparkling promise for the future of some businesses.  Let's keep things in perspective can we?   AI is certainly not KM.  At best AI is just the tail of the elephant, and does true KM a real disservice to label it that. 

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