Digital world leaders foresee 'personalization'

Rupert Murdoch: Technology can promote Mideast peace.

Rupert Murdoch 88 224 (photo credit: )
Rupert Murdoch 88 224
(photo credit: )
The fast emergence of the on-line world is changing the way we relate to information, and in the future will provide a much more open, social and emotional experience, leaders from the Internet and media world said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Facing Tomorrow conference in Jerusalem. "The evolution of the Internet age has changed our lives, but this is just the tip of the iceberg - a hint of what is to come," Google co-founder Sergey Brin said. "Most people are still not connected, and going forward, easier accessibility to knowledge finding, as well as social communicating, is what will drive the future." Yahoo president Susan Decker said technology was changing media consumption from mass media experience to mind media. "Technology today is defining human behavior," she said. "Web experiences are starting to be more personal. The Web is becoming more open and more social. Keeping trusted relationships via the Web, such as high-school relationships, is gaining more and more importance." The next challenge for Yahoo, Decker said, was to focus on three targets: creating open platforms where consumers define how, when and where they consume content; highly personalized content; and establishing stronger connections between on-line and off-line worlds. "It's all about creating connections that are emotionally relevant, and this is one of the main challenges for Internet search engines Yahoo and Google," said Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of the Publicis Group. Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch said the human element was more important than ever before. "Our challenge is to personalize experiences for everyone, making business more competitive," he said. "In a competitive age, it is important to build strong human capital. You need smart people with a strong character, and therefore the priority of the leaders of today is to find the right people to use technology." Murdoch said building human capital was more valuable in Israel, and part of his motivation to invest in NDS, formerly News Data Systems, which was started by four people in an apartment in Jerusalem. "Today, NDS employs over 1,000 people, and I believe it is the largest R&D center in Jerusalem," he said. Murdoch laid out his vision of the connection between technology and peace in the Middle East. "We will continue to do what we can to help Israel maintain its competitive edge," he said. "Yet we must also look for new ways to expand human capital across the Middle East. "When people have the skills to build better lives for themselves and their families, their societies become more peaceful and Israel will have better neighbors."