Rob van Kranenburg: Internet of Things (IoT); a new ontology and engineering challenge

The two trajectories; individuating objects because of demand from logistics and bringing more and more data-units (first websites, now also objects that can be described as a data-unit) into networks of networks (intranets and internet), accelerate each other and that is the reason why these developments are going so fast now. They will not slow down.
 
Can they be steered?
 
I believe they can. I also believe they should. Notions about what is right or wrong, acceptable or not, what is style, what is honour, what is respect, what is service , what is love, what is living a good life - are dynamic notions that should be negotiated with and by as many stakeholders in a society.  Every local sphere of influence should have a period of time in which to decide what the best possible transparency is between data and information, information and knowledge and knowledge and scenarios.
 
Internet of Things cannot be pushed by only one world view. There should be competing worldviews that can strongly disagree. There should be dialogue between them. Dialogue is the mlddle-ware between the competing systems.
 
The agency in this entire process is on device level. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he closed down the Foresight Group saying “Research should be done in the crucible of development.” My good acquaintance Steve Cisler who worked there felt quite shaken but soon agreed. Then Apple build the synergy between the phone, the preferred partners and Telco platforms and the appstore.
 
I believe that that is the key to steering the IoT. By hardcoding Identity Management – the passport - in an IoT device each sphere can choose its own clean slate approach to security and safety trade off’s (that are always coupled with business models, as we can see with the Mifare card that is totally open but still widely used). Such a device acts as a controller and can assign objects to it (for example your car or washing machine…). 
 
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This is the text if a lecture at Mephi, February 1, Moscow.
With participants the response to the text will be published soon.


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