Like the cement that holds together the bricks of a building, communications unite all the human activities that today form a society. Communications enables citizens to exchange information, which in turn is used to manage their society :
A domain in transition
At the moment, we are in transition from an industrial society to a knowledge-based society. The communication systems we have used in the past are also in transition :
A new form of communication
After the era of mass media (beginning around 1950), the age of communication between connected citizens began. This new form of communication is an interactive space that is situated between the always-evolving real world (see the diagram below) and any citizens who choose to intervene in this process of evolution.
This form of communication is different for three reasons :
- it uses cyberspace,
- it is interactive;
- the interactions are carried out on screens :
This new interface has several dark sides :
- If during the industrial era citizens used validated information to give meaning to their actions, today how can they rely on information that is no longer validated?
- Not only is information often no longer validated, it is mediated and disseminated by private consortia which prioritize its use to increase corporate profits.
- Moreover, access to information is via proprietary algorithms that offer only certain information that is chosen by statistical calculations.
There is a war underway (the Data War) to discover which electronic-and-social ecosystem will dominate on the planet. Whichever platform wins will have an undue and lopsided impact on creating a generalized culture :
TV 2.0 – a completely new ecosystem
In 2015 we witnessed the emergence of a true digital-television broadcasting ecosystem that replaces the word television with « smart television » or computer-mediated communication or TV 2.0.
We entered the Post-TV era in the same way as we were entering the post-PC era thirty years ago. This transition was caused by the successive development of four types of technological platforms :
1960- The computer ;
1995- Networks ;
2005- Mobile devices ;
2015- The smart television (or TV 2.0).
The characteristics of the Post-TV era are:
- No longer an information system. TV 2.0 becomes a system of intervention, and thus a system of influence ;
- Signals the beginning of the great war (Big Data War) between large consortia (Big Four – GAFA). Each of them wants to impose their own commercial communication system on the whole planet ;
- Uses a new generation of artificial intelligence (Deep Learning, ChatBot, etc.) to get answers faster ;
- Uses wider bandwidth (4G) ;
- Provokes the emergence of new forms of media-based writing capable of addressing the various cultures of all the new clienteles.
The characteristics of this ecosystem have become the basis of the Net Economy :
If industrial society was an immense accumulation of
merchandise, the post-industrial society could become an immense
accumulation of spectacles.
Guy Debord, The Society of Spectacle, 1967.
This form of communication dematerializes content and services (see the diagram below). This dematerialization makes a new business model necessary for traditional media, and develops a new commercial space based on the convergence of the Internet with television :
Thus, many domestic activities are offered by the same company in the form of a monthly invoice : the bundled Triple Play (services of television, computers and telephony : basic digital services, rental of bandwidth, modem loans, decoder rental, basic television and specialty services, network charges, emergency calls, call forwarding services, call waiting, memorizing, etc. ) (see TV 2.0, chapter 5, no. 6).
The appearance of new forces
Communication has changed completely in just a few decades because of the new forces that are emerging :
• Quantity and quality of users
Today, more than 25% of the world’s citizens use the Internet at least once a day. Tomorrow – 50%?
The more time passes the more the systems of communication become personalized. They become more culturally aligned with the human being. There is less and less talk of power, memory space or bandwidth, and more and more discussion about the type of interface used (see the BRAIN projects, chapter 3 no. 4) :
Already being tested :
- simplified navigation tools ;
- more powerful search engines (AI) ;
- different helmets for different virtual realities ;
- automated software for schematization I ;
- predictive spelling ;
- voice synthesis ;
- fingerprint reading ;
- gestural or touch synthesis (haptic interfaces).
The world of applications
More than 200 billion applications are currently available. How many will be available tomorrow ?
• A world of images
We are in transition from a world where the answer to Big Data (the overwhelming amount of data generated) will be Visual Big Data (chapter 5, no. 10) :
In addition, to reach as many consumers as possible of new media scripts are being tested (chapter 5, no. 9).
• Interactivity for consumers
We are evolving from the linearity of writing (1440) and cinema (1900) towards now using an interactive TV 2.0 (2015) that encourages participation by viewers :
• The evolution of content production
It is difficult to measure the speed of the mutations underway. It is also relatively easy to under-estimate the long-term impacts.
Just a few decades ago parents were worried about the impact that television had on their children. A few years later it was about the growing influence of video games, and now it is smartphones and tablets that are worrying (See the writings of Nicholas Carr, chapter 7, No. 4) :
• The evolution of memory capabilities
The evolution of media’s memory capabilities is rapid, and ongoing ; the use of diskettes and cassettes and now USB keys to multiply the life of films is a good example :