Penn State researchers have developed new software that can help decision-making teams in combat situations or homeland security handle information overload by inferring teams’ information needs and delivering relevant data from computer-generated reports. The agent software called CAST (Collaborative Agents for Simulating Teamwork) highlights relevant data. This helps improve a team’s decision-making process as well as enhances members’ collaboration.
There is real value in having data, but only if it’s organized. It’s that simple. I love having a big garage, but it doesn’t help if I can’t find the tool I’m looking for and I have to go to Home Depot and buy the same thing again. It’s the same with data. Over the next four years, we’re going to have 10 times more information. CIOs will be struggling to get value out of it.
As the military rushes to place more spy drones over Afghanistan, the remote-controlled planes are producing so much video intelligence that analysts are finding it more and more difficult to keep up.
Air Force drones collected nearly three times as much video over Afghanistan and Iraq last year as in 2007–about 24 years’ worth if watched continuously. That volume is expected to multiply in the coming years as drones are added to the fleet and as some start using multiple cameras to shoot in many directions.
A group of young analysts already watches every second of the footage live as it is streamed to Langley Air Force Base here and to other intelligence centers, and they quickly pass warnings about insurgents and roadside bombs to troops in the field.
Email Overload had originally (that is, in the mid-1990s when the problem erupted) involved the existence of too much incoming mail. There were just too many messages arriving in the Inbox and needing to be processed. The metaphor I liked to use was of snowfall: the flakes keep coming down, and unless you shovel the accumulated layer away your driveway will be buried. What you had to do was set times to do the shoveling, and learn to do it faster.
Here’s a story from the early nineties, a time when much information in the workplace was stored and moved on sheets of mashed tree pulp.
Back then I was doing research into Artificial Neural Networks, and my coworkers at Intel got into the habit of mailing me (in an inter-office envelope) a copy of any article on the subject that they came across. And I got into the habit of piling the articles at the corner of my desk, so that I might read them one day when I had the time. After all, they were articles in my field of interest, so it made sense that I should read them and become wiser.
Telemarketers are one of the annoyances we all live with, and contribute their part to the overall flow of interruptions that it damaging our ability to concentrate on what we want to do. I find it interesting that these days, at any rate here in Israel, these rascals are following in the footsteps of our work-related information overload into the evening hours.
We work together to understand, publicize and solve the information overload problem. We do this by (1) defining and building awareness of information overload, (2) facilitating and funding collaboration and advanced research aimed at shaping solutions and establishing best practices, and (3) serving as a resource center where we share information and resources, offer guidance and connections, and help make the business case for fighting information overload.
Book: Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances And Results from Knowledge Workers
As we enter a new decade with its fresh agendas and challenges, it feels more important than ever to know who we can trust to keep us well-informed. Bombarded with information by all kinds of new and traditional media, how are we to evaluate the available evidence, let alone decide which way we will vote?