Quality of Life, workload, economy, new bussines model

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Cnference presentation on QoL held in 2006. It had predictet the economic crisis which inded happaened in 2008.

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Quality of Life, workload, economy, new bussines model

  1. 1. Quality of Life Sašo Tomažič University of Ljubljana
  2. 2. Motivation QoL and Informatics? This presentation is meant to be • provocative (to keep you awake), • surprising (to give you more information) and • challenging. If you stay awake to get the information you may even accept this challenge at the end.
  3. 3. R&D & QoL • QoL research is becoming one of major research topics. • The main purpose of developing new technologies is (or at least should be) to make life easier, more pleasant - to increase QoL. • The same holds for information and telecommunication technologies (ICT). In spite of all that • we still have to work at least 8 hours/day to sustain our lives and much more to be successful in what we are doing, • life is becoming more and more stressful, and • in general, we are not much more content than our ancestors were.
  4. 4. Stone age In the stone age a man needed about 2 hours/day to sustain his life (hunting) the rest was used for entertainment and rest.
  5. 5. Koala Koala needs only 1 hour/day to sustain its life (finding food), the rest is used for pleasure (3 hours/day) and sleep (20 hours/day).
  6. 6. • R&D are governed by economy and politics. • Politics are governed by economy. • Economy is governed by profit. What has gone wrong? Conclusion: Everything is governed by profit.
  7. 7. So what? Problems: • Profit based economy requires exponential growth. • Positive feedback is built-in. • We assume (incorrectly) that more profit will by itself yield better QoL.
  8. 8. Exponential growth time now breakpoint • The production should grow some N% per year for economy to be stable (exponential growth). • It is limited by – energy consumption, – natural resources, – pollution, – garbage, – ….. limit
  9. 9. Positive feedback • More production requires more consumption. • More consumption requires more production. Systems with positive feedback are unstable. positive feedback now production negative feedback limit breakpoint Example: US great depression in thirties, Roosevelt, New Deal
  10. 10. Law of QoL factors More is not always better QoL is non-monotonic functions of QoL factors. Increasing one factor over certain limit necessary causes the decrease of QoL. QoL factor factor Examples of factors: oxygen, food, sun, water, medicaments, rules, laws…., and even freedom of choice (Barry Schwartz, Tyranny of Choice, Scientific American, April 2004) increase decrease increase decreaseno significant change QoL
  11. 11. • We R&D what we are paid for. • We have no time to think about QoL. • Often, we even have no time to care about quality of our own life1,2 . And what do we do? 1 2 Participants of this symposium obviously do not fit into this category
  12. 12. Some search results to make my point Search term: “quality of life” Source No. of matches Google 59,000,000 ISI Web of Science 56,972* Science Direct 11,140* IEEEXplore - all periodicals since 1951 2** Informatics an computer science 0 * Most of them from Health Care and Medicine **Both in IEEE Engineering in medicine and biology magazine
  13. 13. And what could we do?
  14. 14. 1. Awareness 2. Responsibility 3. Challenge 4. Focus 5. Knowledge
  15. 15. QoL & ICT • We are used to talk about QoS providing a set of pre-agreed system parameters that would satisfy customer* • Lately we also talk about QoE providing a set of pre-agreed subjective quality of service experience. • What we should begin to talk about is QoL providing services that will improve quality of life * New definition from my PhD student
  16. 16. QoL index • To be able to increase QoL we first need to have some measure of QoL. • I recently recommended logarithmic QoL index • Much simpler QoL index also exists, which is …
  17. 17. a smile on a face, or the a number of smiling faces.
  18. 18. A new business model • Models based on profit forces more production and greater efficiency (exponential growth). • It is not anymore hard to produce something, it is hard to sell it. • More and more people move from production to marketing. • They still have to work hard to make their living. • If they cannot sell anything, they cannot buy anything. • Due to positive feedback it leads to crisis. A new business model, not based (solely) on profit is thus required.
  19. 19. No business model How can it work? • Although there is no need for increasing efficiency, motivation (if this is not profit) is still needed. • It is in our very nature, that we like to make others happy. We usually limit this to our family, our friends, and our pets. • It is also in our nature to seek recognition. • A smile of gratitude can sometime be the greatest recognition and can be much more rewarding than a payment. • Unfortunately, it is also in our nature, that we like to make others angry and envious. We do not want this to be
  20. 20. Is it utopia? • No. The no business model is already emerging in IT. • IT is ideal for testing it. – Developing software requires very little resources beside human effort. It is thus affordable not to be based only on profit. • Examples – Freeware – Postcardware – Open source – Crackers – Hackers • Different motives, but all non profit based.
  21. 21. Advantages of freeware and open source • If you work for free (from enthusiasm, for recognition, to help, …) there is no need: – to release SW incomplete because of time pressure – to intentionally leave something for later releases, – to make it just look fancy even when it does not function properly, – to make new releases with options that nobody needs, – to intentionally complicate it, so nobody can use it without special training. • If the source is open – users can improve it and adopt it for their own need, – all other users can benefit from that, – only some part of SW can be used or reused in another SW.
  22. 22. Back to the aim of my talk I believe, there are many, many brilliant minds among IT people. This is a challenge. If only a tiny portion of their efforts would be consciously focused on improving QoL, imagine what could happen.
  23. 23. And what about you?
  24. 24. Will you accept the challenge?

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