Welcome to

Beyond Imagining


For well over a year, Beyond Imagining (Beyond Imagining Issue 6) has searched for answers to some of the most curious and complex questions of our time. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is here and if we are to understand its many facets and ramifications, we need to continually interrogate, enquire and probe it.

One of the ways in which we do this, of course, is through language. We use language to discuss, debate and argue, and to express our views through writing and broadcast. The languages we use take many forms: often they’re the written and spoken words we use every day, and sometimes they’re also mathematical equations, chemical formulas and code.

Through these languages, we communicate. And as we communicate, so 4IR evolves.

In this issue of Beyond Imagining Issue 6, we explore the ways in which 4IR is influencing communication. Are technological advances making communication more seamless or more complex? How do artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning affect what and how we communicate? How can we expect communication to continue to evolve in the future? And where, amid the enormous influx of data that defines 4IR, do we find the truth?

Here, primarily through the age-old written word, we will try to communicate the answers.

Beyond Imagining Issue 6


In a post-truth, pandemic world, where does the truth lie?

Communication. Is it news? Is it marketing? Is it a game? Is it persuasion and manipulation? Above all, is it true?

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Communications technologies are changing – here’s the latest

5G has received its fair amount of buzz in recent years, but as its global deployment continues, so its replacement…

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How wide does the bandwidth go?

Perhaps the most significant thing that 4IR has changed is that we’re now able to communicate at very different bandwidths…

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A quick glimpse at natural language processing

Natural language processing allows computers to analyse large amounts of language data into something computers can understand

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How storytelling connects us

In March 2021, UJ launched an interdisciplinary student storytelling project in collaboration wih Brand South Africa…

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If you’re a communications professional, you need to know about VR and AR

Sounds silly, right? Communications, public relations, marketing – these fields are about having the gift of the gab…

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Emojis are evolving, have you used a brandmoji?

In 2015 – a lifetime ago in the 4IR era – Oxford Dictionaries named the “Face with Tears of Joy”…

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Meet MoUJi, UJ’s chatbot

Towards the end of 2020, UJ announced the launch of its own intelligent digital assistant, MoUJi.

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Art goes online – take a look at our virtual exhibitions

Although devastating to human lives, healthcare systems, and local and national economies…

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