Data and the “Knowledge Economy” … Why we started Open Knowledge Platform.

17 Mar 2020Topics

Data is now permanently accessible in very high volumes. Convergence of IoT, big data, blockchains and Artificial Intelligence brings new opportunities, increases the range of possibilities and pushes us to understand data and data related transactions in a new light.

Today, initiatives of data marketplaces and exchange platforms remain heterogeneous, scattered and compartmentalized. Data production is based on proprietary information systems. Each player acts alone to accumulate as much data as possible without being able to grasp the full potential value. There is not enough fluidity in data sharing. Data is perceived and treated as raw material. This perception favors information hoarding and limits ways data can be analysed, information retrieved and shared.

No, data is not the oil of the 21st century!

In order to fully benefit from these new opportunities, we need a new approach. An approach that is different from the one we used for commodities (like oil as base of the economy of past centuries). We must reconsider how data is being traded and regulated with a new paradigm.

The sociologist Dominique CARDON reminds us that “Internet was born from the needs of its inventors, mainly researchers and computer scientists, valuing a culture of exchange and cooperation at the expense of the rules of centralization, prioritization and selection …” – La démocratie Internet. Promesses et limites (Seuil – La république des idées) .

And if we go back to these fundamentals with respect to the new economic paradigm, it should enable us to make the most of data.

Blockchains and smart-contracts technology are able to provide concrete and reliable solutions for data exchange and knowledge development.

We aim to establish the widest possible framework of trust to facilitate and promote knowledge exchange.

We decided to create Open Knowledge Platform because we believe in the paradigm of the knowledge economy:

  • An economy based on the widest possible exchange framework
  • A positive sum economy where 1 + 1 = 3
  • A circular economy with infinite growth

The economy of knowledge allows us to reconsider how data is traded. While the sum of exchange of raw materials is always at zero (a transaction that marks the exchange of a barrel of oil against banknotes or peanuts makes one thing replace the other), the exchange of knowledge is a positive sum. The exchange of knowledge does not prevent us from keeping shared information and benefiting from continuous use of it, combining data from multiple sources produces knowledge that was not previously available. Thus, 1+1=3.

We should consider data as knowledge. Sharing data I own with a second party does not make me lose it. Aggregation of my data with other’s owned data creates new sets of data, or new knowledge, which I can access again and again. There is an opportunity to leave the finite world and enter the infinite world of knowledge.

The freer and faster the exchange of data, the more knowledge will develop.

We are implementing a protocol based on blockchain technology and smart-contracts, which makes it possible to manage the consent and valuation of data during the exchange process. The protocol is designed to encourage data sharing by rewarding all contributors.

The technology we deploy allows different contributors to enjoy three levels of the triptych knowledge chain: “usus, abusus, fructus (use, dispose, and benefit)”

We decided to start our implementation and deployments in the agricultural sector (Smart Farmers project):

Smart Farmers aims to:

  • Facilitate the exchange of data between various operators, and in the first place the decision support tools and services platforms, while allowing the contributors (the farmers in particular) to have control over the consent of their data.
  • Organize marketplace and exchange of agricultural data with a runoff compensation for all contributors. It is being understood that the knowledge economy makes the value of the data/knowledge derived from aggregation of several data sources is greater than the sum of the values of each data source that composes it.

We have similar projects in health and finance in particular.

A revolution ? Ridiculous! Dangerous! … Obvious!

Idriss ABERKANE, the highly influential lecturer and essayist, inspired us with his lectures on the economics of knowledge. According to him, revolutionary ideas go through three stages. First of all we find them ridiculous, then dangerous and finally they impose themselves as obvious … To consider the data as part of the knowledge economy seems a little ridiculous no? Even dangerous? …