Wednesday, December 01, 2004

EPIC 2014: a "futuristic" view of the news media...

EPIC 2014

This 8 minute online video clip provides a fascinating "futuristic" view of the rapid changes taking place in news media. That suggests a completely an automated and personalized news filtering system utilizing the search engine technology of Google and the social recommendation engine of Amazon.

The vision of the future proposed by the film is based on a content model that assumes everyone contributes information that is gleaned, organized, and individualized for delivery to each information consumer. Any librarian will suggest the problem is that there is no validation of quality control on the information. Not only could incorrect information be gleaned, but the very process of gleaning extracts information from its context.
Robin Good comments (Summary Of The World: Googlezon And The Newsmasters EPIC ): "In the fascinating scenario explored in this story, newsmasters will be the key news directors and producers of the future. They will be able to connect, filter and prioritize information for every media-consumer on the planet, using a single source of media content that contains everything that anyone could possibly ever want to know about."
One of the challenges confronting indexers today is how to keep up with the explosion of information. Automated search engines, even smart ones, can't provide the kind of access to information provided by a scholar/indexer. But a scholar/indexer can't index everything that automated search engines can.

James J. O'Donnell suggests in Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspacethat the emerging role for librarians in the midst of what he calls "infochaos" will be to help seekers and users of information to filter out the unnecessary information to focus only on what they need. (p. 43) This seems to me to be a crucial role. The issue is whether we will have the opportunity.