Friday, November 24, 2017

Innovation and Connectivity

 Dr. Marie-José Montpetit from MIT Media Lab
Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra where Dr. Marie-José Montpetit from MIT Media Lab is speaking on "Innovation in the Age of Connectivity". Ironically, we were having problems getting the video projector to work and so Dr. Montpetit quipped someone should tell CBC Radio that she can give a presentation without using slides.

Dr. Montpetit pointed out that many AI and Internet of Things (IoT) applications depend on telecommunications to function, as do VR applications. She pointed out that Canada, like Australia has population centers on the coasts with good connectivity and then a parley populated interior with limited Internet access. This is a topic I investigated for my education studies in Canada and how it limited e-learning.

As Dr. Montpetit points out all the protocol issues with the Internet have not been solved. Many forget, I suggest that "internet" (small"i") means a "network of networks". The Internet (capital "i") is a global network of networks. There is therefore scope to have specialized networks as part of the public Internet for specific purposes. As an example railways use specialized digital telecommunications networks for signaling and safety. These networks are expensive to build and maintain, but the Internet is not secure and reliable enough to use. However, the railways could use a network compatible with the Internet and interconnected with it (in a controlled way).

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