2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
February 2021 - Magazine No. 257
February 2021 - Magazine No. 257

Covid19 has generated a global health crisis that has deeply affected the manner in which we perceive our world and day to day life. Reducing the pandemic's infection rate has necessitated social distancing, which in turn led to a social vacuum. This further enhanced social networks' position in media, news (fake news included), information distribution and media consumption in various areas.


Never in human history has it been possible to communicate so freely and quickly during a pandemic, and this is largely thanks to social networks. The rapid developments of this era are ideally compatible with the social networks' ability to offer instant mass communication. People spend more time on social networks, and so companies are turning their advertisement budget to these venues, considering how to delicately push the brand while remaining sensitive to current events.


Social networks are dealing with large amounts of fake news during the pandemic. This made them realize the great need for proactive responsibility. They implemented considerable changes to their policies to deal with harmful or misleading data. The climax of these efforts was blocking the popular Twitter account of outgoing president Donald Trump following the siege of the capitol by his supporters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that this was done following a clear warning action will be taken. Trump's account's data was monitored and led to the conclusion that he was endangering the physical safety both in the realms of social media and outside of it.


According to a study conducted by Zignal Labs, information defined as fake news was reduced by 73% following Trump's block. The definition of fake news in social networks is usually associated with politics. However, in this day and age it is also referred to in medical aspects. Wild conspiracy theories regarding Covid19 and the medical field have been addressed by the WHO, academic institutions, and official medical organizations. They acknowledged social networks' power to distribute accurate medical information to the general public accordingly.


Facebook. For example, has launched an info center on the information in collaboration with the WHO, serving as a source of reliable data distribution. The news uploaded to the info center are research-based and correct common false rumors regarding Covid19.

Furthermore, an interesting phenomenon has manifested in social networks such as Facebook: new communities in which members share where one can receive a Coronavirus vaccination, thus preventing several doses to be discarded. Sharing the data via these groups shows the considerable power of social networks in which all data is concentrated in a single location allowing more people to make use of it for their and the public's good.


Covid19 has also led to a huge cutdown due to the harsh state of the economy. Social Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others were used to open knowledge sharing groups which assist the unemployed to view updates on available jobs, tips on finding a job, free lectures, etc.


LinkedIn, for example, has opened free professional courses to provide people with practical tools in various career areas: product development, business development, design, etc. either for job searching or for mere enrichment. The knowledge distribution in this case is utilized for the professional advancement of those seeking it.


This era is characterized by great instability and has led to many questions to be asked by social network users. This could be framed as a virtual brainstorming session on value added to users at large (besides those asking the specific question). The wisdom of the crowds enables a better understanding of the issue and its possible solutions.

A lot of data is uploaded to social networks in video format. The most popular social network for this purpose is YouTube, which hosts many vlogs on various themes.  A Vlog is a video blog though which one can provide value added through tutorials, personal stories, live broadcasts, etc. so that the knowledge distribution becomes more tangible and generates the intimacy this era requires direly.


Many businesses have shifted to online sales. Accordingly, social networks have proven to be most effective advertisement channels, whether via a designated business page or advertising in relevant communities.


Another social network that has seen a huge rise in users is TikTok. The video platform provides entertaining content to a young audience as its user base. However, Covid19 has led other age demographics use social networks, and so TikTok became a tool for sending focused messages for both users and advertisers.

This era has seen that besides popular social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, niche social networks such as Pinterest have gained popularity with designed products and art in various areas.


So, here are a few conclusions regarding the effect Covid19 has had on social media:

  • Social media has retained relevance: the effect of social media is considerable not only in the field of e-trade, but also has affected our sense of trust and responsibility and proactivity towards preventing fake news.
  • Interactivity: people search the social networks for social interaction, which has changed its face since the outbreak of the pandemic.
  • Knowledge sharing initiatives: the pandemic has motivated social networks and their users to initiate mass knowledge leveraging for positive purposes.
  • Live content, video, and virtual events as central components: since people cannot gather in large crowds, social platforms will become live streaming platforms for virtual events. Social networks are developing these tools to make them more mainstream.
  • New social networks are defying the field's veterans: TikTok is a rising force in this era. Users interact more with the creators, and therefore attract advertisers seeking a younger consumer audience.


Written By Meirav Barsadeh

Explainable Artificial Intelligence is a term that refers to AI technology implementation techniques and methods, that can be explained to human beings. While early AI systems were easy to interpret, recent years have seen the rise of a new type systems. These systems harbor algorithms that can detect and offer new knowledge as well as suitable recommendations yet cannot explain the reason for these recommendations.

The more we involve AI in our day to day lives, the more we must be able to rely on the decisions these autonomous systems make or recommend. A central question that illuminated the need for explainable systems was "is an AI-based system able to make it easier to understand, perceive and detect its decision-making process?".


Explainable systems are systems which involve processes that do not require additional human processing. A set of tools and techniques meant to help us humans to understand and interpret processes and predictions made by machines. These systems explain each stage of the process: what has been done up till now, what is being done now and what will be done in the future. The point is to grant human interpretation to the model's 'behavior' and expose the data on which the decisions are based.


Why is this important?


Understanding how AI systems reach their conclusions is critical. Especially when the decisions derived from these systems affect people's lives, as is the case in medical or legal issues. in fields in which trust is critical for cooperation, the more logical a decision-making process seems the more users will tend to accept, adopt the process and act accordingly.

Another aspect of the importance of utilizing explainable systems is responsibility and control. At the end of the day, the responsibility for making decisions is beyond the system and technology. It's not enough to implement the system's recommendations. Decision makers should be able to explain the motives for their actions and the factors that led them to them.


A third and last factor is our ability to detect incorrect results derived possibly from biased data and trace the way the AI made to reach this result. While the result is incorrect, it is worthwhile to fix the basic problem to prevent them from repeating themselves.


In conclusion, the field of AI is growing rapidly. In five years, the field will surely look much different than it does currently. Explainable AI will become a more popular tool. We can patiently observe how these systems will affect our daily lives.





The connection between design and Knowledge Management


Paula Scher is considered one of the most influential and prominent graphic designers and illustrators. She is known for her love of the written word, numbers and letters and her vast, considerable influence on the field of typographic design.

'Abstract-The Art of Design' is a documentary reviewing the lives, approaches and conduct of designers in different fields. I watched the episode dedicated to Paula. Besides great inspiration from her field, I also found some similarities, principles and insights related top the world of Knowledge Management.


Noticeable character traits


Being a people person- as the documentary reveals, and as her colleagues attest, Paula Scher loves people. She is accessible and seeks interaction and ongoing relationships with her crew, whom she defines as a group of uniquely gifted individuals. She advises and recommends pleasantly and respectfully and seems to empower her workers and customers.

I find that a knowledge manager and consultant's starting point is people. They are required to generate a connection with colleagues and customers, be accessible, retain open and pleasant communication, generate trust so to share knowledge and empower knowledge workers on each project so they can proceed independently.


Sensitivity and attention to detail- Paula Scher is part of New York's fabric of life. She is updated and involved in her environment. She walks the streets, rides taxis, and is exposed to local culture, people, and shops. She is essentially gathering information and seeking inspiration for her designs.

The Knowledge consultant and knowledge worker, likewise, are involved in the organization in which they operate. They stay up to date, understand the nature and identity of the people and the organization as a whole and accordingly formulates solutions, tools and processes.


Sources of inspiration- the documentary opens with Paula describing a taxi ride, a stroll in New York City or the moments in which she puts on her make up as sources of inspiration for solutions or a design concept.

Personally, I too am most inspired when out in the open, walking or running. Professionally, I think there's much to gain from holding some meetings outside of the confinements of the office.


Playfulness, State of Play- Paula states that you cannot approach a design project if your attitude isn't playful. I connect to that statement deeply and interpret it as a recommendation to arrive at the Knowledge Management project in a positive and playful state yet focused in order to lay the foundation for optimal communication and knowledge sharing. I think that's how I recognized of the importance of gamification and introducing it to the organizational field and professional life.


A love for the written word: to infuse data and information with meaning, transforming them into knowledge- Paula Scher travels New York City, passionately observing letters, numbers and words displayed on billboards, traffic signs, addresses, posters and ads. She observes their clear, misleading or imperfect display. For example, she says that a heavy, thick font may actually generate a sense of urgency. Some fonts are perceived as classy or conservative. Before one even reads, they are experiencing the tone and meaning of the words by association.


I find that a knowledge manager, too, seeks organizational personnel, documents, tables, portals and websites as anchors in which information and knowledge are stored. They deal with the challenge of charting material, considering whether and how to reorganize, edit, complete and present them in a manner that grants them desired meaning and makes them, ultimately, usable organizational knowledge.


Developing a niche or unique language: Scher's love of typography is noticeable throughout the documentary. That said, she needs to adapt her designs to customers demands. She discusses a project in which she was required to manually illustrate typographic maps of states and cities from across the globe on a large scale. This project later became an impressive exhibit. She defines the project as her need to connect to creative materials, data and information and present them visually, thus granting them meaning. This is a project she loves, is personally connected to and even obsessed with.

In the vastly varied world of Knowledge Management, dealing with data and information is essential. They become meaningful and are converted into knowledge when they are organized correctly, written clearly and displayed optimally. I think that over time, any worker, manager and consultant in the field of Knowledge Management finds their niche or area in which they feel most comfortable or which they enjoy. They then become experts on the subject.


Flexible thought process and understanding the situation- Paula says she approaches a project from an intuitive, strategic perspective. Strategically, she asks questions, listens to her clients, gathers information and understands the needs and expectations. The intuitive perspective allows her to understand what the client really wants, whether it is a client that will grant her liberty with the design or a serious, conservative client that doesn't really care for design and enable her to freely engage in her true love: typographic design.

Similarly, we in the field of Knowledge Management act strategically with goals, tools and methodologies and always must accurately define the customer, the work environment and the nature of the people who will eventually use the product of this project.


At the end of the movie, Paula draws a typical graph with a client, presenting the final product. She says that the client would like her to promise that this design and branding will work. This is something you can never promise, as it depends on users and conditions. This point brings me back to the beginning of the movie, in which she says that despite wanting her designs to suit the everchanging zeitgeist, she still finds herself returning to older projects and altering and improving them to fit the current fashion. She also argues that design is not meant to change, only improve presentation and representation.


In conclusion, a knowledge manager, like a designer, must approach projects with an open mind and adapt themselves to the workers and organization in which they operate. however, they must remember that they are equipped with knowledge, tools and an objective perspective which is very valuable to the project and the organization.


Abstract – The Art of Design – Paula Scher

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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