We just launched Next Magasin – on how technology’s changing the world

Front page of the first issue of Next Magasin.

A few days ago we finally launched Next Magasin – a new magazine on how technology’s changing the world (just to be clear, it’s only in Swedish for now).

I’m the managing editor and it’s been a great time to work with the first issue, which is free to download or to read on Ipad/Android/Pc.

It’s been very exciting to shape the magazine from a strong feeling I’ve had in the last few years – a feeling that lot’s of people outside the traditional groups of geeks and tech pundits, are starting to ask themselves what’s going on. They seem to be aware of a big change growing faster and faster, without being able to define what the change is about or what the driving force is.

I’m convinced that this change is technology driven and that it is invisible to many people because they always considered technology as a tool, not as a driving force.

Even though technology development accelerates and becomes more and more intimately present in people’s lives and difficult to overlook, they just don’t seem to be aware of it’s implications.

So my goal with Next Magasin was to start talking about this to a wider group of readers – a kind of magazine that I haven’t seen yet but that I think will start appearing.

One of my favourite examples is digital technology and the internet. Many people I talk with consider internet something that has arrived an is completed. We will just go on using it.

What I try to tell them is that internet barely started. The disruptive force in digital technology is so huge that it’s hard to grasp.

And one of the main articles in the first issue of Next is “Digital Revolution shaking up six industries”.

My point is that the record and movie industries were no unique cases. They just happened to be first because the content was easily digitalized.

The digital shake-up will progressively come to all industries. It starts when a major part of the content produced in an industry is being defined as digital information, as songs and movies was.

Then – as we have seen – copies can be made without cost, information can be distributed over the intrernet, it can be shared, it can be mixed with information from other industries (new disruptive cross-industry services), and it can be handled and analyzed by intelligent algorithms, producing new useful information.

My bet, which I out-line in the first issue of Next, is that this change is now coming to the following industries: Media, Healthcare, Education, Transportation (think autonomous vehicles), Law and Finance/Trading. I would like to share my arguments for this, but that would take several pages, as in the magazine…

Another major article in the first issue focuses on Artificial Intelligence, starting out with IBM Watson – the computer system that beat two human record holders in the quiz show Jeopardy in February 2011, understanding natural languages and finding correct answers to a wide range of clues in  just a few seconds.

The article explains how Watson is now being implemented and trained for use in healthcare and banking, and  what future development in AI could realistically bring us.

I’ve already found out that many readers are surprised at these achievments and eager to learn more about technology as a driving force for change.

I’m also convinced that it’s time to start discussing this among a wider group of people. And to do that, we need to talk a little less about technology in itself and more about its implications and what it is capable of doing.

I aslo believe that this is a sign of a new level of maturity reached in technology, now concerning lots of people as it’s not only a tool but something used for interaction at all levels with other persons.

The discussion is getting urgent because there’s no way of slowing down the pace.

Technology development will keep accelerating, and it’s more important than ever to make people conscious of the importance of shaping technology into something good, something we want to live and interact with, and to identify weaknesses in order to continously improve different aspects of technology as much as we can.

My exciting job will now be to evaluate our readers impressions of the first issue and to find out the right direction for the next issue of Next!

Next Magasin has a page on Facebook and the twitter account @Nextmagasin. If you have suggestions for contributors to the magazine, please let me know.

(Next Magasin is published by Talentum Sweden which also publishes Ny Teknik and the business magazine Affärsvärlden, among other titles).


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