DigitalSkills2022:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. The Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic highlighted the need for many enterprises to digitize their services leading to a good number of the world’s population moving into the online realm to minimize the virus spread. However the use of e-services has been slow in many developing countries as compared to the developed nations hence it is not clear whether this e-services usage will continue after the Covid-19 pandemic. This study sought to develop a model for the unprecedented and unforeseen growth continuance usage of e-services after the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the exponential growth of 4IR. Data for the study was collected from the South African revenue services (SARs) customers that use e-filling and was analyzed quantitatively. The model was validated by the use of confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. Results indicated that perceived usefulness and exerted pressure are good antecedents of continuance usage of e-services. More so, the 4IR path indicated that the future will have to embrace telecommuting that will require upskilling therefore, governments and businesses should consider extending benefits and protections to independent workers and to all other employees needing to develop their skills and knowledge mid-career. This study contributes theoretically to the literature of continuance usage of technology, e- services and in the explanation of the shift from simple digitization to innovative use of combined technologies that are changing the way organization do their businesses. The study recommends that, future research should include the analysis of moderating factors as such will assist in equipping skills and expertise to citizens needed for e-services effective usage. More still, future research should also consider the triangulation of methods to have a more understanding of users perception towards mandatory usage of e-services.
Abstract. Maternal mHealth interventions in poor-resource settings are bedeviled by inequalities in mobile phone ownership. Some maternal mHealth providers facilitate the access of the mobile phones to those who do not own mobile phones using “infomediaries”. Infomediaries, in this case, are individuals who have custody of mobile phones, which other potential beneficiaries may use. However, use of infomediaries to offer access to the “have nots” may be influenced by a number of factors. The aim of the study was to explore how maternal healthcare clients use infomediaries in maternal mHealth interventions. The study focused on maternal healthcare clients who do not own mobile phones but use the mHealth intervention. The study used a case of a maternal mHealth intervention project in Malawi. We used a qualitative research method and interpretive paradigm. Data was collected using secondary data from the implementing agency, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. Empirical data was collected from maternal healthcare clients who do not own mobile phones and infomediaries. Data was analyzed inductively using thematic analysis. We found that characteristics of the maternal healthcare client, characteristics of the mHealth infomediary, perceived value of mHealth intervention and socio-environmental factors affect maternal healthcare clients’ use of mHealth infomediaries. The study informs mHealth designers and implementers on how they can include all potential beneficiaries of an intervention. The study also proposed a framework for studying infomediaries in ICT4D. We recommend that implementers of interventions should leverage traditional systems instead of reinventing the wheel. Traditional systems may offer a good starting point for designing a system which would work for communities.
Abstract. Efforts to synchronize mobile robotic devices into desired formation are a niche research area. Most tips for programming plausible swarm intelligence are discretely taken from mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, or nature. However, integration of the different cues into useful swarm intelligence systems is challenging. The notion of swarm intelligence ontologies is compelling. It captures theories, rules, policies, and meta-information about the creation of practical swarm systems. Swarm intelligence ontologies can establish the relationships between different swarm modelling paradigms to bring about generality. Such generality requires us to review various forms of swarm intelligence systems seeking to understand simulated robotic device actions that give rise to emergent behaviour. Two arms of such robotic device actions are noted. One set of robotic device actions are non-interactive. These actions are mainly taken from mathematics, physics laws, or other elitist methods. On the other hand, there are robotic devices actions regarded as interactive. Commonly, interactive robotic devices are bio- inspired. This article sequentially discusses these two categories of robotic device actions towards building a catalogue of actions to inspire the creation of swarm intelligence ontologies. Notably, most non-interactive robotic devices have abilities to recall the paths they previously followed. In other cases, robotic devices can use some form of language to share directional cues. However, the bulky of the literature points to robotic devices that can follow chemical tips towards the targets. A very small chunk of non-interactive robotic devices can rely on geometry, calculus, forces, beacons, or landmarks to orientate. Some interactive robotic devices can explicitly message pass. Some use environment mediated interactions. The type of data shared between such robotic devices is usually overtly connoted, including stacks, vectors, chemicals, forces, landmarks, or beacons. That way, the key robotic devices actions at individual level are apparently associated with reading stacks, interpreting language verbs, detecting chemicals, self-localizing, motion planning, or finding directions. This specificity in the characteristics of robotic device actions is the basis for the design of the swarm intelligence ontologies we envision.
Abstract. This paper focuses on operationalizing the diverse discourses on the Future of Work (FoW) into a research model and instrument to measure the impact on job susceptibility in any given sector. Over the last few decades, the central focus in the discourse of the FoW has mainly been on how technological advancements have substituted jobs and skilled labor through the simplification of tasks. This has been at the expense of other non-technological factors that influence the FoW. The discourse on the FoW has also been difficult to operationalize with most of it being theoretical and conjectural. The paper adopts an abductive methodology, making use of a critical literature review and Santana and Cobo’s (2020) bibliometric review of the FoW. The resultant FoW model and instrument enable the measurement of job susceptibility in any sector and are useful for operationalizing the highly abstract and theoretical concept of the FoW. While the primary trigger for the FoW is innovative technological advancement, the discourse has often ignored the equally important and complementary political, social and economic forces that accompany any industrial revolution. The FoW model and instrument have considerable implications for individuals and organizations as they present a clearer picture of the job risks and opportunities available for skills development. The instrument, subject to empirical validation, holds potential to provide a more holistic projection about the impact of future industrial revolutions as they unfold. The FoW instrument can be used to measure job susceptibility in any sector. The recommendations from each sector can be used to plan and respond to social, political and economic changes affecting work that is affected by technological advancements. The instrument enables relevant stakeholders, policy makers and decision makers to better understand future prospects in different fields in order to plan and prepare workforces accordingly. It also means that society can better prepare and avoid unnecessary displacement of workers. The paper is exploratory and future work will involve the empirical validation of the research model and instrument.
Abstract. This paper explores the current challenges, motivations for adopting digital work, the technology acceptance models/ theories used to research digital work and the benefits of adopting digital work identified in primary research articles. Digital work is one of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) products and is perceived to be a solution to addressing unemployment. There is a need to find a method to address unemployment in developing countries because of the socio-economic challenges. The methodology of this study is a systematic mapping of papers. Identifying gaps in the literature for future research in web-based digital work in developing countries. Through the mapping of the selected articles, the paper identified the challenges, drivers and benefits of web-based digital work. The gap identified is that the research must be conducted to create a framework to adopt web-based digital work. There is a need for research on how small companies in developing countries can benefit from outsourcing digital workers. Research to create frameworks to promote the adoption of digital work in developing countries and the companies within developing countries.
Abstract. The aim of this paper to propose conceptual framework for digital skills in south African private and public sector. The Digital skills remains a critical requirement in this era of 4IR, in south Africa the unemployment rate the remain high and the majoring of our youth have university degrees but still lacks the experience and the digital skills which is been sought by their different industries. The methodological approach which has been selected for this study is based on qualitative research methods using grounded theory. Qualitative research is suitable when seeking to understand experiences and understanding their context in words. This study was conducted using primary and secondary data sets. Secondary data sets were sourced from reputable academic sources and recognized international organizations. This research aims to contribute to the body of knowledge by making available literature that can be referenced for implementation initiatives, furthermore the proposed Conceptual Digital skills framework can be adopted by the South African government and private sector to accelerating digital skills development efforts in closing the digital divide and skills shortage in this 4IR era. It is evident from the results presented in this study that the conceptualization of digital skills needed for the digital revolution is key to accelerating digital skills development efforts. Indeed, research shows that efforts to successfully deliver these skills should begin at the national level through promoting good practices, developing a National Digital Skills Development Strategy, and building this capacity at school level to equip the young generation with the foundational skills
Abstract. The disruptive nature of technologies such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing nanomaterials and robotics has decidedly made the workplace of the future more complex, with traditional skillsets falling short in addressing the demands of the 4IR era. The authors discuss the need for current tertiary students to be skilled for futuristic, technology driven jobs in a 4IR economy. This paper examines the current school curriculum, vis-a –vis the literature on what the 4IR economy requires of its workforce. We submit that the current curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses at most South African universities do not align with skills requirements for a 4IR economy. A methodical, structured literature review was conducted for the purpose of this research. The PRISMA framework was employed to select the relevant literature for the study. After screening and elimination of articles, 26 sources remained and were included in the study. The study proposes four critical success factors that government can adopt in order to formulate strategic and sustainable plans to ensure that students are appropriately skilled and positioned to operate in a competitive 4IR economy once they graduate. The literature reveals a disjuncture between the current STEM curriculum and the required skillset required in a 4IR economy. The challenge leads to a state of unpreparedness of students in handling the fast approaching revolution in skills demand. The authors also found that soft skills, ideation, creativity and problem solving, which are not taught at school are critical for the workforce of the future. Probable solution to the skills gap challenges is the implementation of content knowledge, incorporated with experiential techniques. This will lead to the shift from the institutions of higher education to the individuals through investing in skilling and reskilling students in practical ways. Future research should focus on how government, Industry and academia can effectively collaborate in ensuring that students are trained to apply content knowledge in creative ways which can solve many of the continent’s problems. The findings reveal that government must work closely with academia and industry towards the goal of graduating skilled, employable graduates in the 4IR economy. Future research will investigate the extent to which students are being skilled by faculty to face future challenges.
Abstract. Artificial intelligence has become pervasive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and is challenging traditional notions of what it means to be creative. This paper suggests newer and nuanced ways of conceiving creativity in the 4IR era dominated by artificially intelligent systems that are capable of creative outputs. An integrative literature review of the notion of creativity is done to ascertain what it entails to be creative in the 4IR learning context. The Actor-Network Theory is used to sustain a proposed framework for understanding creativity in the 4IR skills development context. It is argued that skills development in the 4IR is happening in an era where humanity is deeply entangled with intelligent machines. A proposal is put suggesting that creativity in learning contexts should go beyond the confines of the mind contrary to traditional pedagogical thinking. Creative learning in the 4IR should be driven by thought processes, human beings’ inherent crafting capabilities, and the computing power of artificial intelligence. Consequently, the design of learning programmes and skills development in the 4IR should occur in a framework that appreciates the fact that creative abilities have moved past capabilities of the human mind. In addition to mental acts, creativity involves the human beings’ manipulative abilities as well as the computing power of artificially intelligent systems. 4IR researchers are encouraged to develop newer lenses and paradigms of understanding and defining creativity in the 4IRskills development context taking into consideration the pervasiveness and creative capabilities of artificially intelligent technologies. The age of the machines has arrived, much of what is taught, and learned, and the creative approaches used to arrive at solutions is changing together with what it means to be creative. Research effort should be directed towards developing educational methodologies that shift skills development systems, so stuck in traditional pedagogies that prime the human mind as the custodian of creativity, to philosophies and theories that are compatible with the 4IR such as post-humanism and connectivism