Ville Tolvanen // April 25 2019

Correlations

This following random thought is maybe the most pivotal one in my way of thinking. Let me try and crystallise it to an understandable explanation.

We live in a linear world. Our everyday life, our companies, society and life is built into a linear infrastructure, where knowledge is produced, shared and refined analogically in different point of contacts such as schools, workplaces and different associations. We get together to update ourselves and others through knowledge.

Technology and digitalisation (note, separately) changes it all. With technology we unite different points of knowledge, content and channels simultaneously and analyse their relations. Correlations of different things are born, and these correlations change absolutely everything. I realised I was learning this world of AI being one of the guinea pigs of this massive change.

Here are some example to clarify (I hope) what I’m trying to say:

1. Learning has already changed. Teaching is lagging behind and we should move from current models of curriculums where we emphasise the plan for teaching to plans of learning. I once asked headmasters if 9 years at the same time in the same place in the same classroom and building are actually th right way to learn for everybody. Looking at our children, we already understand how technology has changed the way to look for, find, compare and combine information in a new way. Teaching is not speaking from the front of class to a big group or by telling to learn from books.

2. I spent my Easter with some friends in Hanko. The teenager (12yo) in our party built us a Whatsapp-group (without us asking, mind you), through which he was communicating everything to us. This boy was chatting with me, telcoi-ng his mom in to discuss eating and all at the same time riding his bike back and forth. This is correlation points between humans, things, contents and channels in the clearest form of it.

3. Many people complain that there are too many meetings. I always ask why do they think so. We get together to share information, though instead of sharing we should deepen and improve it. That’s why many people find executive work useless. Administration is always behind, outsider and bring very little additional value. All of this can be changed by renewing the way board works. We need 1) a communal messaging platform, that is constantly being refreshed by information, 2) a themed executive calendar, that allows to make sure that instead of just sharing info, new things, ideas and thoughts are born in every meeting and 3) correlation between different influencers such as customers, employees and board of directors etc., which allows the executives to live in a virtual operation center and not just stand on ceremony in their own reality outside of the actual everyday life.

4. When I started my blog, Digitalist, and other projects, I started building correlations between different users, content and channels. Just like the marketplaces have done for centuries. I just did it online instead of knocking on doors. These platforms engaged thousands of users, hundreds of influencers and dozens of knowledge producers. As an end result, there is a strong flock and network of knowledge, knowhow, knowledge sharing and action.

AI (assistive intelligence or artificial intelligence both) too is bringing to life different correlations and learning from them. We are only just getting in big amounts of data and knowledge to our disposal, but the same “stance” can be applied and tested in different things, uniting the executives / work community / value chain / community to a platform and learn through analytics. That’s what I did both in my blog and in Digitalist. I created knowledge of interest and organised events and other get-togethers through knowledge.

This kind of correlation thinking is ancient, but we can all utilise it by testing it and understanding its exploitation in everyday life. We don’t need to work in the same place, time our community. We just need to find correlations and value between different components. It can only be achieved by testing in different ways.

What kind of things change from linear and analogue processes to intelligent and correlating processes during the next decade? At least in work, healthcare, building and other employment rich processes a difference will be seen. The way of thinking is a possibility to disrupt and change the competition in different fields. The power and strength of algorithms can be already seen in investing, travel and online sales. In reality we are living the prehistory of intelligent operating environment. Still there is already a lot to achieve in terms of values, productivity and increase of the performance.

I rose to being (reportedly) the best marketing expert in Finland in 2016 after blogging for just three years. Still I get often asked, why I don’t write books but act online. My blog has been read by 800 000 Finnish people for almost 2 millions of reads. Why on earth would I create information for about 2000 book readers through a very difficult and heavy process? Surely there is room for books in this world, but intelligent platforms, algorithms and learning from these is a power that is changing the world in a wonderful way

I think this insight is the most important so far. It tries to explain what I have aimed for with my own blog, Digitalist and everything that I do. Learning and understanding the intelligent platforms and utilising them in business and everyday life. The thought for this text was born after a discussion with Timo Teimonen, who I highly value. Timo cried out about how difficult it is to picture and draw artificial intelligence to officials, doctors, teachers and engineers who live in a linear world. I told Timo that perhaps processes are best change from outside, by changing the value chains.

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