What will cyberspace look like after the next decade? The Pew Research folks in combination with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet initiative have published “Digital Life in 2025”, a semi-crowdsourced report that’s well worth your time. Well, anything written by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie is mandatory reading.
Here’s what the consulted experts, including myself, agree on. The internet will become:
- A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.
- “Augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies.
- Disruption of business models established in the 20th century (most notably impacting finance, entertainment, publishers of all sorts, and education).
- Tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms.
From all of my comments, the Pew/Elon team chose this one to emphasize:
Bryan Alexander, senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, wrote, “It will be a world more integrated than ever before. We will see more planetary friendships, rivalries, romances, work teams, study groups, and collaborations.”
They filed it under the header “2) The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.”
They also picked this from me under the header “The More-Hopeful Theses”:
“It will be a golden age of learning. It will be the best time in history for those who want to study. We will have more access to more material, more teachers, and more peers in more ways than ever before. It will bring a new age of work, as we face growing underemployment and unemployment due to automation. We will need to be rethinking what old models mean, like careers, meaningful work, and avocations.”
There’s much, much more in this nicely organized, rich report. Dig in.
(thanks to Ted Newcomb for assistance)