The Internet is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of humanity, and Pew Research Internet Project asked experts their thoughts on the web in 2025.
It’s hard to believe that it’s just 10 years away, but as we’ve seen many times before, a lot can change in just few short years.
Here’s what David Clark, a senior research scientist at MIT had to say:
“Devices will more and more have their own patterns of communication, their own ‘social networks,’ which they use to share and aggregate information, and undertake automatic control and activation. More and more, humans will be in a world in which decisions are being made by an active set of cooperating devices. The Internet (and computer-mediated communication in general) will become more pervasive but less explicit and visible. It will, to some extent, blend into the background of all we do.”
Google’s chief economist Hal Varian echoes much of what we’ve already seen in terms of access to seemingly unlimited amounts of knowledge, but on a much grander scale:
“The biggest impact on the world will be universal access to all human knowledge. The smartest person in the world currently could well be stuck behind a plow in India or China. Enabling that person — and the millions like him or her — will have a profound impact on the development of the human race. Cheap mobile devices will be available worldwide, and educational tools like the Khan Academy will be available to everyone. This will have a huge impact on literacy and numeracy and will lead to a more informed and more educated world population.”
Governments still have a lot of catching up to do, and Southern Arkansas University professor Paul Babbitt believes that will change:
“Governments will become much more effective in using the Internet as an instrument of political and social control. That is, filters will be increasingly valuable and important, and effective and useful filters will be able to charge for their services. People will be more than happy to trade the free-wheeling aspect common to many Internet sites for more structured and regulated environments.”
You can check out the full report here, and let us know in the comments your thoughts on the Internet 10 years from now.
Photo credit: camknows