Internet Set to Change in Next 10 Years

By | January 10, 2005

The year is 2014. There are computers in your clothes, refrigerator, car and phone constantly transmitting your whereabouts, purchases, mood and health to massive databases around the world. And your life is being mined to provide you with the best “life experience” possible.

At the same time, the world is preparing for a massive cyber attack which could cripple the nation’s infrastructure and people still do not feel safe in that area of the world known as “cyber space”.

These and other predictions were dug up from the results of a survey of 1,300 technology experts interviewed by Elon University and the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The survey participants were asked to describe life and the Internet in 10 years. The predictions paint a picture of a life which is familiar and yet very distant from the one we live in today.

The predictions range from the standardly mundane – like computers in our clothes and in our kitchen – to the downright scary – such as a cyber attack which could cripple the nation, if not the world.

Here are a handful of the more interesting:

* Two-thirds say there will be a devastating attack on the nation´s power grid or information networks, an attack that could bring society to a standstill.

* 56 percent predict changes in family dynamics and blurred lines between work and leisure time.

* 50 percent say Internet users will still share products freely through anonymous peer-to-peer networks.

* 39 percent say online medical resources will help solve health-care problems such as high cost, poor customer service, unequal access and medical errors.

* 32 percent say people will use the Internet to filter out information that challenges their political and social views.

Elon researcher Janna Anderson said the predictions illustrate people´s conflicting desires about technology in their lives.

“We want all the information, but we don´t want to be stressed and inundated,” said Anderson, assistant professor of communications. “We want total security and complete privacy.

The experts predict the greatest amount of change for news and publishing organizations and the least amount of change to religious institutions. They also envision large-scale shifts in the realms of education and health care, which they say have been slow to adopt technology thus far.

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