Social Engineering

Combined nano-, bio-, info-, and cogno-technologies make it possible to collect, maintain, and analyze larger quantities of data. This will make it possible to socially engineer teams and groups to meet the demands of new tasks, missions, etc. The issue is not that we will be able to pick the right combination of people to do a task; rather, it is that we will be able to pick the right combination of humans, webbots, robots, and other intelligent agents, the right coordination scheme and authority scheme, the right task assignment, and so on, to do the task while meeting particular goals such as communication silence or helping personnel stay active and engaged. Social engineering is, of course, broader than just teams and organizations. One can imagine these new technologies enabling better online dating services, 24/7 town halls, and digital classrooms tailored to each student's educational and social developmental level.

The new combined technologies are making possible new environments such as smart planes, "living" space stations, and so on. How will work, education, and play be organized in these new environments? The organizational forms of today are not adequate. Computational organization theory has shown that how groups are organized to achieve high performance depends on the tasks, the resources, the IT, and the types of agents. You simply do not coordinate a group of humans in a board room in the same way that you would coordinate a group of humans and robots in a living space station, or a group of humans who can have embedded devices to enhance their memory or vision.

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