March 2006

The Knowledge Society

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The knowledge workers need to be innovative, therefore, they would have to continuously update their knowledge and skills through lifelong learning.

The second half of the 20th century transformed the industrial society into an information society. The current century is witnessing a transformation of information society into a knowledge society.  In knowledge society, a new economic form is emerging which is being referred as knowledge economy.  Products and services of information and knowledge technologies are the base of this economy. The ingredients of these products and services are data, information, knowledge and wisdom.  To understand the nature of this economy a better understanding of these ingredients is a must.

In physical terms these ingredients are weightless. That is why knowledge economy is also being referred to as weightless economy.  In technical terms, their meaning can be understood in the context of Information Technology.

In knowledge economy, the basic commodity is knowledge. Knowledge generation, production of knowledge products and their commercialisation create wealth. The knowledge economy grows with the accumulation of knowledge. Information Systems and Intelligent Systems systemise and expedite the knowledge creation and accumulation processes.  In this context, these systems (information as well as knowledge systems) themselves are the knowledge products.  In order to succeed in the knowledge economy, a special class of workforce who can create and use such systems, is required. This kind of workforce is being referred to as knowledge workers. Their educational and training requirements drastically differ from the workforce of traditional economies like agricultural and industrial economies. To succeed in the knowledge society, societies must invest in all aspects of education and training of their knowledge workers.

Data, information and Information Technology
Observations yield data or facts. We use symbols to represent data. The sequence 08 09 07 08 00 20 05 13 16 05 18 01 16 20 21 18 05 of digits (symbols) 0 to 9 is an example of data.  A transformation, when applied on a data set yields information.

If in the above sequence every pair of symbols represents a letter.  (For example the pair (01) represents letter 'A', (02) represents letter 'B',

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