This is my own take of the question “What do you think distinguishes today’s knowledge age from that of the information age of the 1980s and 1990s?” This is taken from the forum in Knowledge Management subject.
The advent of computers in the 1980s had paved the way for easily integrating various data (which is meaningless on itself) to be processed and become information (which is significant and meaningful). This era has been coined as information age due to vast accumulation of diverse information that helped people in understanding the ‘what’ element of things.
In the 80s and 90s, much of the information was written in books and other storage materials for quick referencing or for archival/historical purposes. Knowledge is likewise evolving bit by bit although it is relative to the available information during that period. The available information, on the other hand, is dependent on the storage capacity and processing capability of computer systems on those days. Per observation with respect to computer technology, information is given more emphasis in the 80s and 90s, more like hype, as knowledge is still budding at that time.
Today, with almost infinite storage capacity and highly complex computer processing capability coupled with years of experience for the human resource, it is precise to say that this is the boom of the knowledge age. For example, in the business side, one can easily get hold of the financial aspects of a company – the daily cash-ins and cash-outs, the financial trends and others. This collection of information is of great importance to the company manager for him/her to be able to make decisions which can either make or break the company. But, with years of experience in spawning knowledge, the company manager knew better what to do to be successful or in case he/she failed on the decision he/she just made, the manager knows how to deal with it and overcome the fiasco created by formulating innovations obtained from information plus substantiated common sense.