FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, January 10, 2005

Industry Experts Ponder Internet's Future

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released its findings from a survey it sent out to 1,200 noted futurists and technology industry leaders in September, asking them their thoughts on the future of the Internet. Perhaps the most interesting finding of all is that few agreements were evident. Among the survey questions and answers:

  • On the question of whether the Internet will foster or hinder civic involvement, 42% believed that it would foster involvement; 30% disagreed.
  • Forty percent believed that the Internet will have a positive effect on healthcare; 30% disagreed.
  • Fifty percent see no end in sight to illegal file-sharing.

Two topics yielding consensus were the rising impact of blogging on publishing and the media, and the likelihood that the Net will suffer "at least one devastating attack" in the next decade.

Pew has posted details of its findings on the "Imagining the Internet" database maintained by Elon University in North Carolina. In addition to these findings, the database contains predictions made in the early '90s, and a place where visitors can enter forecasts of their own.

Source: New York Times