Thomas Petzold: Dynamics of knowledge

This presentation contributes towards a shared set of opportunities and challenges by proposing the conceptual harbinger knowledgebits. The concept of knowledgebits extends on mainstream working models about evolutionary knowledge growth (e.g., Hayek, 1945; Popper, 1963; Boulding, 1977; Arthur, 2009), as well as more recent advances on the dynamics of culture, economics, and computation (e.g., Schich et al., 2014; Hidalgo, 2014; Hartley & Potts, 2014; Bentley & O’Brien 2017). It starts from the assumption that every individual disposes of an ever-changing set of entities of knowledge, which people internalize and externalize by using contributions from human and artificial intelligences. Moreover, these dynamics are increasingly accelerated and defined by various emerging technologies (e.g., machine learning, or decentralized automated organizations). In that context, the concept of knowledgebits provides a better understanding of the dynamics of cultural evolution, complexity, and innovation by providing a framework that helps assess the impact that the combinability (i.e., combination + compatibility) of knowledge has – both, for past as well evolving complex networks. The concept of knowledgebits is ongoing work, and, so far, grounded in some first empirical results derived from both largescale digital network analysis as well as individual case studies research (Petzold, 2017). It is put up for discussion at the ACT satellite symposium as a universal concept that allows to address any challenge involving the combination of knowledge, including dynamics of growth and decay in the arts, culture, and technology.

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