And back to the regular work schedule – and an icy and snowy Chicago. For those who are traveling over the next few days, I hope travels are easy and safe.
It seemed like a lighter news week, but some really interesting reads, especially under education (some interesting trends in early education and in the value of a high school education) and privacy (continuing concern for how the threat of terror affect our rights and freedoms and how growing concern for consumer privacy might be a new area for business growth). I was also interested in some future of work articles - the future of office parks might depend on an investment in place making.
You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work. This is the week when I’m going to try to spend some time to get the collection in order to reflect some of the stuff we’ve been reading.
And let us know what you're reading this week to help think about later.
Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines
Machines that can think, robots unbound by ethics, out of control machines. This quick look at artificial intelligence helps put some of the most popular speculations about AI in perspective (ArsTechnica “Debunking the Biggest Myths About Artificial Intelligence”).
Books, Publishing, and Media
A Japanese bookstore stocks multiple copies of just one title at a time, which changes weekly (The Guardian “Japanese Bookshop Stocks Only One Book at a Time”). More than a gimmick, this could be part of a future where building a deep experience (exhibitions, author events, etc.) will connect readers with art.
Popular streaming media services have helped 15% of Americans cut the cord with cables or satellite TV (and 9% of Americans had already never had cable or satellite subscriptions), according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. One particularly interesting insight from this group of cord cutters is that 4 in 10 don’t have home broadband service (DSL, cable Internet or fiber), relying instead on cellular devices to stream shows and movies (The Washington Post “42 Percent of Cord-Cutters Don’t Even Subscribe to Home Broadband”). Se also GeekWire
There’s a lot of discussion about the potential for drones in delivering products, but this consideration of the economics of drones might help put that opportunity in perspective (FlexPort “The Economics of Drone Delivery”). Considering route density (the number of drop offs on a delivery route) and drop size (the number of parcels per stop), today’s drones might not solve all of our delivery needs, but they’re getting better every day.
I have little idea what happens in preschools and kindergartens today, so I found this article fascinating. Print-rich environments with alphabet charts, bar graphs, word walls, instructional posters, calendars, and schedules reveal learning environments that expect children to read at younger ages, to begin formal educational earlier, and that serve as gatekeepers to elementary schools (The Atlantic “The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids”)
From preschool to high school, I had seen this article in several librarians’ social media and it clearly speaks to our work in many settings. The number of students earning high school diplomas is increasing, but several studies of academic readiness show that these individuals may be less prepared for college and the workplace, leading some to question the value of today’s high school education
On-Demand, Gig, and the Future of Work
Libraries play an important role in preparing individuals for their professional lives, so this look at the future of job searching, including the use of social media platforms to promote positions and research employers, remote work, video resumes and interviews, and personalizing positions, may provide some ideas for new services (Fast Company “How You'll Search For A Job In 2016”).
An interesting report from Newmark, Grubb, Knight and Frank (NGKF) suggests a bleak future for traditional office parks (that’s about 1,150 U.S. office properties or 95 million square feet) without significant changes to improve walkability and create active or mixed use environments, including conference centers, fitness spaces, and restaurants (StreetsBlogUSA “Real Estate Giant: Suburban Office Parks Increasingly Obsolete”).
Freelancers could become more and more important to startups and new businesses, so it’s important for all of us to note the trends in this sector of the economy, including their growing political influence (TechCrunch “The Freelancer Generation: Why Startups And Enterprises Need To Pay Attention”).
Another article that popped up on several librarians’ social media feeds, this insightful article examines how responses to ISIS’ internet activity is leading some scholars to reconsider the long-held approach to freedom of speech, which may not be curbed unless it poses a “clear and present danger” (The New York Times “ISIS Influence on Web Prompts Second Thoughts on First Amendment”).
While several businesses are building their brands on the internet of things or the exploitation of big data, the next wave of businesses could capitalize on an emerging anti-trend, consumer’s increasing desire to protect their privacy and manage their personal data (TechCrunch “If You’re Launching A Tech Startup In 2016, Focus On Privacy And Fast Data”).
That privacy trend and another trend, blockchain technology, have come together in a new project from MIT that could create a marketplace for individuals to sell rights to their encrypted data and businesses to leverage bulk data for computations and statistics (Fast Company “MIT's New Blockchain Project Enigma Wants To Let You Share Your Data On Your Terms”).
Wearables were a big trend in 2015, but in 2016 and beyond, wearables may start to disappear into clothing and accessories that consumers want to wear for fashion as much as for technology (Wired “2015 “The Year Wearables Became More Than a Bad Word”).