Editorial Fall 2016


Dear Members of the SI

the „society“ is an important stakeholder to every professional association and in particular to SI, for a variety of reasons: In our information era, the image of something has become a decisive factor of how this something is perceived. Therefore, cultivating the image of Informatics across the society by associations like SI is paramount.

The impact of the „Digital Transformation“ on the society will be enormous and must be governed appropriately. Megatrends such as virtualization, data science, automation/ autonomous systems, personalized products, etc. will lead to industrial (Industry 4.0) and social disruption, and it will request both lifestyle skills and workplace skills not taught by today’s traditional educational institutions. The course needs to be set for a future form of political governance, and it lies in our hands if this will be Democracy 2.0, Capitalism 2.0, Feudalism 2.0 or any kind of Dictatorship 2.0, in the worst case with an automated all-mighty, „benevolent dictator“ at the top.

SI is highly conscious of these facts. Some of its recent activities include lobbying for an institution analogous to the US „President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology“, creation of a document on the „Digital Society 2020“, comprehensive survey on „Digital Transformation“, „Technology Outlook“ event held at ETH Zürich (in collaboration with the Austrian Future Network) and, last but not least, relaunch of the Special Interest Group „Informatik und Gesellschaft“. I would like to invite everybody concerned about our future and/ or interested in „Aufklärung 2.0“ (as one of the Technology Outlook speakers succinctly put it) to join this group or its counterpart LIN in the Suisse Romande.

With my best regards and wishes,

Jürg Gutknecht, President

A propos Juerg Gutknecht 33 Articles
Jürg Gutknecht started his professional career in Computing when he joined the real-time systems programming group at Swissair. From 1970 and while being employed by IBM as a working student, Gutknecht studied Mathematics at the ETH Zurich, from where he graduated in 1977 with a PhD. After an employment as a professor of Mathematics at the Kantonsschule Heerbrugg in the Swiss Rheintal, Gutknecht joined Niklaus Wirth’s Lilith/ Modula research team in 1981 and, in 1985, after a sabbatical stay at the Xerox-PARC Research Laboratory in California, he was appointed Assistant Professor and later Full Professor of Computer Science at ETH. Together with Wirth, Gutknecht developed the Oberon programming language and the Ceres personal workstation. His esearch interests are in the area of programming languages, compilers, concurrency and component-oriented systems design.

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