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Humanised technology

Posted by acumen on Monday, 11 July 2011 0 Comments

The IT revolution is no longer just about IT. Connections have expanded beyond hard-wired networks to create a phenomenon in which technology and human nature are working together to affect the politics, economics and security of societies across the globe - among both developed and third-world countries. Everyone is somehow connected - whether they know it or not.

In February this year, The Africa Centre for Strategic Studies released a report entitled "Africa's Evolving Infosystems: A Pathway to Security and Stability", which details how the climate of media freedom is changing across the continent in line with the rapid growth of the mobile phone (65 percent over the past 5 years).

Political instability and biased, often-violent suppression of media has long been the norm in many of Africa's states, with governments using the media to further their own goals, spreading disinformation and driving politically divisive causes. However, free access to information via mobile internet applications has allowed democratic institutions and civil society networks within Africa to develop security-monitoring programs, provide information needed for effective health care, create banking services, and provide farmers with market information.

As long ago as 2005, The Guardian reported how the basic mobile phone was changing the face of Africa. Following the emergence of smartphones a couple of years later, which simply weren't accessible in under-developed countries due to their cost, unified messaging software like ForgetMeNot (www.fmnsoft.com) was introduced to provide any mobile phone with the ability to send and receive emails and instant messages (IMs). End users in even the poorest countries gained access to value-added messaging without the need for internet access, device upgrades or application downloads.

Six years later, the country is a prime example of how human motivations are maximising the full positive potential of new technologies. The ability to so readily share information, thanks to the connectivity phenomenon, encourages accountability and transparency and creates a climate of security.

In the developed world, social media, smartphone devices, applications and other Web 2.0 tools have become an indispensable part of business and personal life. Relationships are created without either party meeting in person, and when they eventually do, they work together more effectively because they have already developed this connection.

Technology experts and organisations around the world have always followed the principle that "technology should serve humanity and the world rather than being carried out for its own sake". With the rapid spread of the connectivity phenomenon, technology and humanity have moved beyond this connection to create a powerful hybrid that will eventually lead to a level of innovation so rich, it is yet to be imagined.


Catherine Arnott
Senior Account Manager, Acumen Republic

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