How does Augmented Learning Collaboration (ALC) transform society in all domains

ALC carries a deep transformational potential which we illustrate with the use cases of macro-organising meetings and the the patient-GP relationship

ALC carries the potential of deeply changing how we collaborate in different domains. How far and deep this will go, is at this stage still difficult to imagine, as for all disruptive high-societal-impact technologies. However, some directions seem to be already clear today. They result from the analysis of situations in current life where collaboration could and should deeply evolve.

To provide an initial flavour we propose two use cases for ALC which are complementary: the macro-organisation of meetings and relation between patiens and doctors. We then follow up with a list of major impacts and finally propose a more systemic approach to opportunities and threats of ALC, notably but not only in relation to data privacy, and how the particular SymPlace will address them.

The use case of macro-organising meetings

This use case demonstrates the potential for efficienty by showing how the introduction of ALC can very quickly save substantial time amd money by significantly reducing the waste of useless meeting participation.

Bloomberg quotes a study by the University of North Carolina, indicating that companies (from all industries) waste about 25 000 USD per year per employee just because of attendance to non-critical meetings, i.e., meetings which participants would better not attend. The researchers recommend coping with this problem by better preparing meetings; notably, they suggest ahead of a meeting, to collect and prioritise the questions to be answered at the meeting, so that participants can decide if they need to attend, can just contribute their input without attending, or just ignore it. Also let’s remember that many meetings are regular and involve the same group of (potential) participants; the key topics are often conditioned by what happened at earlier meetings.

But now let us just take stock of the practical implications of this recommendation and visualise the communications needed for this preparation, so that participants can safely decide if and how they attend. We must conclude that this will create a lot of additional overhead. This kind of “friction” creates a lot of inertia when it comes to changing practices or habits.

At SymPlace we have calculated that companies using our future tools, which focus on reducing this overhead, could save between 5% and 10% of their total salary costs! Suddenly meetings would not only waste all this overhead, but would involve the right group of participants, who will have prepared before the meeting, combining slow and fast interactions: These meetings will involve less people, be shorter, be more effective and be more fun. And then things become even better: once we allow for tools that reduce overhead, the possibility of new practices emerges, allowing for more collective intelligence, more inclusion, alternating more rapidly through a savvy combination of individual and group thinking, slow and fast, asynchronous and real-time exchanges… An entirely new way emerges of working together, of deciding together, of having fun together, of socialising….

In the near future, SymPlace will especially focus on this application domain.

The use case of a patient-doctor relation

This use case demonstrates how ALC can enable new social practices, thus deeply transforming entire parts of Society.

A common scenario: after a few days with persistent headaches and diarrhoea, Lucy, a patient, gets an appointment two days later, through a scheduling system with her very busy general practitioner (GP). GP diagnoses a flu, prescribes a drug, DPX, for 10 days; he makes a note in Lucy's medical record. Lucy buys DPX, goes home; after two days she does not feel better but worse. Lucy stops taking DPX, but two days later feels even worse. She resigns herself that her GP “certainly” cannot help her. This story highlights: lack of therapeutic compliance (a major health problem affecting 30% of prescriptions), absence of feedback to GP (who will not learn), risks to the patient’s health, potential pharmacological or pandemic risks, which are not detected, perhaps a missed opportunity for progressing medical research, higher medical costs downstream, economic impacts of patients not going to work…

Ideally, the GP would follow up with her.his patient to check how things are going. But that would increase dramatically the workload of the GP. Again, the core problem is one of overhead…

SymPlace is currently involved in an attempt to launch a European research project to cope exactly with this problem… and the resulting opportunities: closing the loop would allow GPs to better adapt to the evolving health situation of their patients, and better know them.

And at the same time vastly progress medical research, pharmacovigilance, pandemic watch, preventive medicine…

Healthcare is one the major application domains, SymPlace will go after in the medium- to long-term, in cooperation with business partners.

Potential societal impact and risks

These sample use cases give a first taste of ALC's potential impact.

We have then prepared different posts so that you can dig into how ALC transforms domains (and inversely how the focus on these domains challenges specific aspects of ALC) such as:

We also have provided some insights into the larger picture, notably about: