As a AI (Artificial Intelligence) Researchers what I do is I look at the previous data or history and infer rules from it. So lets pick into history to understand the importance of open access, open research, open education and web accessibility.
History subject may have been for many of you a headache in your school as you had to memorize the events and dates not analyze the cause and effect of such event. This is what makes the History subject a path-shower for future for intelligent person.
The whole human developments history can be divided into two portions:
- Technological advancement
- Social Advancement
The human from preliminary stone age to present industrial age through advancement of technology that we use and the technological knowledge being transferred from one generation to another. All of this ages can be divided as per the criteria of how transfer of knowledge is achieved. The process of transfer of knowledge has two major components:
During this age the knowledge was transferred orally from father to son. This worked well for centuries and gave rise to the cast system. This is how the present handicraft, stonecraft of Nepal has been preserved till now.
Non Traditional Age
This age started with introduction of book and educational institute spawn up around the world with the aim of teaching about human gained knowledge based on curriculum text book.
New Modern Age
This age started with introduction of Web. The distribution of knowledge around the world became speedy and the institution started teaching from distance through web.
The lack of proper storage and distribution of knowledge lead to condition where we have to rediscover the knowledge. We can take the example of dhugedhara(stone tap) of Kathmandu valley. It was a great sustainable engineering project which solved the problem of drinking water in Kathmandu for centuries with some functional even today. But, due to lack of above things the knowledge has been lost and we don’t know how those things were made in those day and age.
In terms of social development, basically two thing has happened.
- Distribution of power
- Change in psychology
Distribution of power
If I have to compact into few words I would like to call it as “opportunity for all”. We have moved from aristocracy to democracy dividing the power. It is thought as a norm now that access to technological knowledge should be provided to all regardless of financial position they were born with.
Change in psychology
Before World War I and II, the concept of happy life for females were you would marry a rich person and won’t have to do any work. Second World War made people realize that life is unpredictable and depending only on husband for financial needs is a bad idea. So all female were told a new story of a happy life, a life where they have a supporting husband and is financially independent.
We can notice from the historical record that when we increase number of people(female empowerment) in the human development and research lead to speed up of human development process. We all know that the knowledge multiplies when we ensemble experts of different sectors together. The involvement of female in economics has increased the human life standard considerably and is considered as one of the best strategy to improve the country social and economic position.
Importance of Web Accessibility
As a researcher, I cant live my life staying away from the web for a single hour. The most of the thing that I do in my work is to read articles on web.
But what about:
- differently abled people
- one who is unable to understand English
Do they have right to knowledge?
Is the day of having top scientist like Stephen Hawkings over?
The solution to above problem is transferring the web document structured on semantics (HTML5). Make sure that you provide the information on different domain (images, alternative description). Take care about the current cursor position because people may not be able to change it easily.
At last I want to end with the message write your blog, design your website with the mind that Stephen Hawkings might be interested in your article. :D Think of the day of when you have acquired some disability on terrible accident and you can use your article even in those terrible days. I think like me you would like to work even after those terrible accident.