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Tech expert explores social computing

By Claudia Wong, May 28 2015 —

Technology expert Xun Luo gave a talk about how social elements are natural ingredients for computing at the University of Calgary on May 25.

Luo works with Qualcomm Research, an American communications company. He holds a PhD in computer science and is the inventor or co-inventor of over 20 American patents.

Social computing refers to the social aspects and behaviours of computational systems. Luo’s presentation discussed how the social elements of society interact with computing and how technology will continue to evolve and affect social computing.

Luo does not attribute any one technological breakthrough as having the biggest impact on our lives. Instead, he claims innovation happens from the integration of multiple breakthroughs.

“A common cellphone has almost 50,000 patents built in,” Luo said.

Luo said that we are living in an unprecedented era of technological advancement where venture capitalists are investing in social computing more than ever before.

“This is the golden age for innovation and the golden age for users.”

Luo defines human computing as “group wisdom” like online restaurant reviews. He believes social computing has become more prominent. Mobile devices make technology more personal, wireless connections allow social computing to work anywhere and many new technologies are available.

“Anywhere, personal and anything. The anywhere part, I call it ubiquitous, and the anything part, I call it pervasive,” Luo said.

Three steps make up social computing: input, computing automata and output. A simple example is Dabbawalla, a food express delivery service originating in Mumbai, India before being replicated in China.

The input for Dabbawalla is information about small restaurants on mobile device. The computing automata is the cloud-based processing infrastructure and other mobile computing processes.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Calgary chapter hosted the event.

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