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Club of Amsterdam Journal, October 2004, Issue 33
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Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
October 2004, Issue 33
the future of

Wednesday, October 27
The ABCs of Tablet PCs for Medical Professionals

R&D Cooperation in Emerging Markets – A Perspective of Strategic Decision-Making
DVD Association


European Association of Research Managers and Administrators

International Association for Energy Economics

International Medical Informatics Association


  .Peter R. Luiks: True Globalization hitting The Netherlands

Peter R. Luiks, CEO/COO, International Business Liaisons, Advisory Board, International Centre for Consulting Excellence

The reasoning behind the Dutch Government’s current, random looking cost reductions, which have not been adequately communicated, is that the future will require an improved integration in and between the agricultural, industrial and the automation age, adapting and improving upon our current knowledge base in order to stay abreast with global competition which will only intensify in the next coming decades.

For many cultures, globalization is perceived as “the West over the rest”. Ideas, politics, and technology are seen and viewed as following in the footsteps of explorers, missionaries, and soldiers. These gaps in a shared and common set of values and respect must be bridged in order to build the atmosphere for a sustained and stable expansion in the world economy. Thus the human rights norms and values that are the prerequisite of globalization must be promoted with both a sense of urgency and with an improved understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

On a global scale it remains to be seen what values will be shared and which individuals and communities will shape them. Who will participate in these decisions and who will decide them? Will free trade be tied to workers' rights, hurting Third World companies and benefiting comparatively rich Western workers? Will Third World economies be forced to adopt First World intellectual property protection, harming their infant industries? Will the new concentration of information content and conduits restrict access to fundamental enlightenment? In short, how will 21st-century humanity divide and hopefully narrow the gap between those who will prosper and those who are left trailing behind in their standard of life?

In addition to the above Western, and indeed the advanced Asian, economies also have to face ...

For the full article click here.



  .about the future of ICT

The 500 most powerful computer systems
The TOP500 project was started in 1993 to provide a reliable basis for tracking and detecting trends in high-performance computing. Twice a year, a list of the sites operating the 500 most powerful computer systems is assembled and released. The best performance on the Linpack benchmark is used as performance measure for ranking the computer systems. The list contains a variety of information including the system specifications and its major application areas.



Rethinking The European ICT Agenda
by PricewaterhouseCoopers

Europe has set itself the highest target, it wants to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, to have sustained and accelerated economic growth with full employment and a modernised social protection system. But everyone agrees that the Lisbon targets are still far away. Structurally, the economic growth rate and worker productivity are lower than in many comparable countries such as the USA. The key technology to stimulate growth in Europe is ICT. Although the ICT developments in the last decade have been spectacular, the potential contribution of ICT to economic growth and the quality of life is still enormous. However, it is necessary to take account of the ICT paradigm of today and proven best practices in an international setting to achieve the best results in the future.

.News about the Future

Jetcar 2.5
Efficient cars have been gaining great importance over the last few years. Many people are upset about increasing gas prizes. This, however, is not likely to change in the near future. As fossil fuels become rarer gas prizes are bound to surge. Jetcar Zukunfts GmbH tries to develop a car that is both good for your budget and good for nature!

EU producing most science results
The European Union has overtaken the United States in terms of published scientific output, but EU scientists are still behind their US counterparts when it comes to getting their work seen, a new study has found. This raises hopes that the Union will be able to close the transatlantic innovation gap.

A wide-ranging analysis by David A King of the UK's prestigious Office of Science and Technology has provided an interesting new perspective on the scientific output of the world's main science powerhouses. One of the more remarkable findings of his study – which was published in Nature – is that, in the space of a decade, the EU-15 not only narrowed the transatlantic gap in terms of published scientific output but it actually pulled ahead of the United States. Between 1993 and 1997, the USA produced nearly 1.25 million papers, whereas the EU produced less than 1.2 million. From 1997 to 2001, however, the Union overtook the States, producing 1.35 million against 1.27 million.

.Health Evidence Network (HEN)

The Health Evidence Network (HEN) is a new project initiated and coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. HEN works with several agencies and organizations to provide evidence for decision-makers.

There is a growing need to get timely information for decision-making. The huge quantity of information and evidence available in the field of public health is dispersed among numerous databases and other sources. HEN makes it easier for decision-makers and other interested parties to get rapid access to all of this in one place.

It comprises two services:
  • answers to questions to support the decision-making process;
    HEN welcomes questions on health policy issues from all interested parties. With the assistance of its international Editorial Board, HEN selects questions from those submitted and commissions experts to do systematic reviews of available findings from research and other information, and to write the responses, which are peer reviewed and periodically updated.

  • and easy access to sources of evidence such as databases, documents and networks of experts.
    Provides access to a number of online databases, reports and documents and networks of experts in the field of evidence for public health and health care. The list is not complete and new information is continuously added. Evidence and information from each organization are selected for relevance to health policy decision-making in the WHO European Region.

.Recommended Book

The Global Information Technology Report 2003-2004: Towards an Equitable Information Society (Global Information Technology Report, 2003-2004)
by Soumitra Dutta, Bruno Lanvin, Fiona Paua

Since it was first launched in 2001, the Global Information Technology Report has become a valuable and unique benchmarking tool to determine national ICT strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate progress.

It also highlights the continuing importance of ICT application and development for economic growth.

The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), covering a total of 102 economies in 2003-2004, to measure "the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments".

.Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute

Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute
AIAI is a technology transfer organisation that promotes the application of Artificial Intelligence research for the benefit of commercial, industrial, and government clients. AIAI has considerable experience of working with small innovative companies, and with research groups in larger corporations.

The key research areas of AIAI are:
Planning and Activity Management: AIAI continues to be a world-leading center for planning and workflow;

Knowledge Systems and Knowledge Modelling: the formal side of intelligent systems, concerned with models, ontologies and the methods for acquiring knowledge. AIAI is at the forefront of activity in knowledge representation and is active in the Semantic Web;

Adaptive Systems: genetic algorithms, ant colony optimisation, evolving intelligent agents and robotic controllers, artificial life and applications to scheduling, and timetabling are active research areas;

Bioinformatics: an important new application area for ontology and adaptive systems techniques.

Some projects:
Optimum-AIV: Planning and Scheduling of Spacecraft Assembly, Integration and Test
Optimum-AIV is now being operationally applied to the strategic planning of the production of ARIANE IV equipment bays. This activity frequently requires the plans to be updated due to non-availability of equipment, and test failures.

A consortium consisting of Computer Resources International A/S, Matra Marconi Space, Progespace and AIAI was responsible for the development of the European Space Agency (ESA) knowledge based system for the planning and scheduling of activities for spacecraft assembly, integration and verification (AIV).

The system supports the entire AIV life cycle, i.e. not only scheduling of the activities but also monitoring of plan execution and the plan repair phases. State of the art knowledge based techniques have been applied in the planning/scheduling process: preconditions and effects on the spacecraft configuration of individual activities can be stated and used for verification of the plan logic. The system allows scheduling of activities to be performed either manually or automatically using resource levelling.

Fraud Detection for Finance
At the request of one of the UK's most successful fraud detection system software providers, AIAI undertook an investigation into methods of applying new AI technologies to increase the accuracy of the already highly advanced systems presently in use. While the firm's software presently reduces the number of necessary fraud investigations by several orders of magnitude, our investigation showed that utilising adaptive algorithms and fuzzy logic results in significant diagnostic improvement on the most difficult sub-section of cases.

The goal of the work was to reduce the number of applications referred for costly manual investigation after the existing detection systems had been utilised. It was decided to use Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) for this end, a technique based on the intuition that new problems are often similar to previously encountered problems, and therefore, that past solutions may be of use in the current situation.

The developed CBR system was able to prioritise the referred applications from the most to the least suspicious, aiding the decision process of the fraud investigator.

Text Analysis
The retrieval and analysis of scientific texts is an important service. Current keyword-based approaches are limited, and new techniques are needed to generate mark-up in a machine interpretable form (in RDF, for example). In recent research, Inductive Logic Programming has been applied to learn information extraction rules which locate instances of ontology relations in texts.

.Club of Amsterdam Upcoming Events
.Special Events

.January 26-28, 2005

.Summit for the Future

.Club of Amsterdam Season 2004/2005

October 27, 2004

.the future of ICT

.November 30, 2004

.the future of Developing Countries
.February 23, 2005 .the future of the Service Industry
.March 30, 2005 .the future of Water
.April 27, 2005 .the future of Branding
.June 1, 2005 .the future of Robotics
.June 29, 2005 .the future of Philosophy



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