Bill Gates on Knowledge Work

In his latest column in Newsweek, Bill Gates talks about knowledge as an adjective- as in knowledge economy, knowledge worker, knowledge networks etc.
He mentions Tom Davenport’s definition of knowledge: “Knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection.” .
And here’s where he says something interesting: “We’ve gone a long way toward optimizing how we use information, we haven’t yet done the same for knowledge.”
Says Gates: “Researchers at Microsoft and elsewhere are developing technology that can unobtrusively “watch” you working, then make suggestions about related subjects or ideas. Interestingly, even if the software makes a bad guess, it can still be valuable in helping spark new ideas. Computer scientists are also making progress against a long-held dream of “intelligent agents” that anticipate your needs and provide just-in-time information that’s relevant to the work you’re doing. Experimental programs known as reasoning engines can test your ideas against common-sense logic, spotting flaws in hypotheses and acting as “virtual subject experts” to help guide your thinking.”
I have an idea for Gates in this regard, but I don’t know how to get it to him (maybe I’ll ask my buddy Tom Davenport). But the knowledge in a knowledge network resides in the heads of people. Why not connect people to other people? Or better yet, to virtual communities on that topic? I’ve said too much already.

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