I’m working across more than 100 global non-profit programs pro bono and thus have deep insights of the world currently and post-COVID. 

What is happening is the rapid acceleration of the 4th Industrial Revolution into Society 5.0—taking 3 years rather than 10. For example, digital integration in healthcare expected by 2030 is happening now. In real terms, the internet as a foundation with: AI assisted systems, 5G, and telemedicine for patient treatment; delivery and disinfection robots for front-line protection; materials dispatching, vaccine development, case tracking/modelling using big data, and AI. 

Are these trends reflected in my recent impromptu chat in May with John Hennessy? John is Shriram Family Director Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, ACM A.M. Turing Awardee, Chair Board Alphabet and 2000-2016 President Stanford. My chat is appearing in the non-profit ACM Learning Center (Interviews by Stephen Ibaraki).

A summary excerpt follows. We talk about the global changes from technology, and the misuse of technology requiring attention. AI/ML is explored going forward such as causation, generalization, and use of AI in medicine. We are near the end of Moore’s Law and thus new chip architectures such as 3D stacking that mitigates energy costs plus expanding on TensorFlow and GPUs. Quantum computing is examined in the near and far term. The hope that COVID lessons will lead to society being more inclusive and having less inequity. We have an interesting discourse on online learning, post-secondary education, and a factoid that it takes 6.5 minutes before learners switch to another unrelated activity so having educational segments in smaller chunks; the need in improving K-12 education. There is a lot more and I encourage you to have a look. 

Digital transformation acceleration – ten years into under five

Consumers are moving online in unprecedented numbers, companies are employing digital platforms with changes in business models, workers are remotely engaging; there are cultural shifts from COVID.  Since we are in the midst of this historical acceleration in digitization, there will be lasting changes in governments, industry, research, media, non-profits, United Nations, and society. 

To get a deeper understanding which also resonates with CxOs, and as ACM practitioner board member, I reached out to Wayne Graves, ACM Director of Information Systems, for added insights. Non-profit ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), is No.1 in computer science and its services are used across all domains. ACM is well known for their A.M. Turing Award. 

Wayne shared these ACM developments

There is a reimagining of the technical conference experience.  These global ACM events are critical to the computing community, they are a primary source of peer-reviewed material and an incredible social experience.  ACM has a task force working on the short- and long-term vision of this new shift in a COVID19 and post COVID19 world – virtual conferences.  The site includes a very early release of a best practices guide.  Wayne believes we need to focus beyond the content streaming that has become commonplace and look toward facilitating the experience of the attendee in both a purely virtual conference setting as well as some potentially localized hybrids.

ACM has also opened up the ACM DL during this period to help ensure access to these critical resources recognizing that plenty of researchers and practitioners are working remotely and may not be recognized via the typical network-based access controls.  This will also ensure that those without subscription-based access will also be able to utilize the wide breadth of the ACM literature during these trying times.  More details in the ACM President letter.

The ACM Digital Library, (ACM DL dl.acm.org), around since 1998, is a collection of publications serving the needs of approximately five million users worldwide. High-quality ideas, concepts, and views across the breadth of the computing space have been published by ACM for over 70 years. Making critical content discoverable and accessible has been the primary goal of the ACM DL since its conception. Expanding the scope of the ACM DL beyond what ACM publishes to include fully integrated bibliographic data of all computing literature has proven to be an extremely important part of that primary goal. 

Drilling deeper in the DL 

With the 2020 relaunch of the ACM DL, the ACM has moved to a space in which independent, distributed, concurrent, and parallel interaction becomes a possibility. The space contains people, conferences, datasets, software, simulations, publications, and more. The set of services layered within this space provides for interaction rather than simply access. The users of the space become a natural part of the rich resources. The ACM DL is a destination where presentation and collaboration allow for relationships to form, extending the boundaries of the past and envisioning the future.

ACM DL will continue to personalize and enhance the user experience.  Through a community-focused, topic-based ontology that complements the granularity of the ACM Computing Classification System, ACM will be able to effectively recommend innovators and their content to increase awareness, engagement and satisfaction while reducing the noise.  ACM also envisions fostering social engagement through discussion and promotion services as well as enabling upstream integration with authors through collaboration tools and user-friendly templates.

The new ACM DL leverages industry standards to allow for interoperability and future-proofing and allows ACM to focus our development efforts on unique innovation.  Users will find significant enhancements to the UX, article formats, search capabilities, authentication, notifications, etc.  The new platform brings people to the forefront as a critical part of the collection.  A large portion of ACM’s highly regarded, peer-reviewed content, comes directly from our many technical conferences.  Along with these publications, the events themselves and the variety of Special Interest Groups, (SIGs), that make these events possible, are also represented as a part of this diverse collection.  Looking at the large corpus through any of these lenses and aggregations allows for a unique perspective and helps highlight these many critical communities.

Software and data artifacts along with expanded video content, enhanced author profile pages, pre-prints and expanded metrics are just a few examples of growing areas and next steps for the ACM Digital Library.

ACM has always been led by a very dedicated set of visionary volunteers representing the computing community. Interacting with these volunteers is an extremely rewarding aspect of Wayne’s role as ACM’s Director of Information Systems.