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The future of technology

Lee Rainie, director of Internet and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, gave the Holmes Distinguished Lecture at Colorado State University on April 13, 2018. He discussed the research the Center conducted with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center about the future of the internet and the way digital technologies will spread to become the “internet of everywhere” and “artificial intelligence” everywhere. He also explored the ways in which experts say this will create improvements in people’s lives and the new challenges – including privacy, digital divides, anti-social behavior and stress tests for how human social and political systems adapt.

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The future of technology

  1. 1. The future of technology Lee Rainie - @lrainie Director Internet and Technology Research Colorado State University April 13, 2018
  2. 2. Canvassing of experts began in 2004: Greatest hits • Rise of cyber attacks • Shift to mobile • Increased concern about privacy • Growth of fringe groups • Impacts on well-being tied to hyper- connectivity • Rise of virtual & augmented reality • Obliterated boundary home/work • Decline of TV • Uncertain effects on tolerance / wisdom
  3. 3. 4 2010 question: Are hot new gadgets evident now? Hot gadgets and apps that will capture the imagination of users in 2020 will often come “out of the blue” and not have been anticipated by many of today’s savviest innovators. The hot gadgets and applications that will capture the imagination of users in 2020 are pretty evident today and will not take many of today’s savviest innovators by surprise. 16% of experts 81% of experts
  4. 4. What’s ahead
  5. 5. Digital Life in 2025 The internet will become ‘like electricity’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill
  6. 6. There will be a global, immersive, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors/dust, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers.
  7. 7. There will be real and virtual enhancements to much of human activity, including cognition. Artificial intelligence will be ubiquitous and people will exploit it through the use of portable / wearable / implantable technologies and autonomous tools like drones and driverless vehicles.
  8. 8. Social and business encounters will be shaped by virtual reality and telepresence. Interfaces with data and objects will change and become easier. Speech/gesture interaction will matter more. Rich, immersive experiences will proliferate
  9. 9. Bright sides
  10. 10. Theme 1 Information sharing over the Internet will be effortlessly interwoven into daily life making us smarter, safer, more efficient. ‘Computication’ involving ‘smart agents’ will be commonplace and that will advance productivity and enhance leisure.
  11. 11. Theme 2 Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, wearable devices, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior – which will especially aid in health care.
  12. 12. Theme 3 The environment and structures themselves will become ‘intelligent’ and expand our knowledge about them – plus, enable their own ‘maintenance’ and ‘repairs.’ Bodies Homes Communities Environment Industry
  13. 13. Dark sides
  14. 14. Theme 1 Privacy will be more at risk and something perhaps only the privileged will enjoy.
  15. 15. Theme 2 The nature of work will change in unprecedented ways as robots and artificial intelligence assume greater roles in job functions.
  16. 16. Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents that can act for you, and robots are advancing rapidly. Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025? 52% - more jobs created than destroyed 48% - more jobs displaced than created
  17. 17. In the next 10 years, do you think we will see the emergence of new educational and training programs that can successfully train large numbers of workers in the skills they will need to perform the jobs of the future? 70% - “yes” 30% - “no”
  18. 18. Theme 3 Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
  19. 19. Theme 4 Abuses and abusers will ‘evolve and scale.’ Human nature isn’t changing. Those pursuing crime, laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, pornography, and dirty tricks have new capacity to make life miserable for others.
  20. 20. Theme 5 Humans and their organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
  21. 21. “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” ---- Thomas Jefferson (date tk)
  22. 22. April 17, 2018 Thank you! Email: Twitter: @lrainie @pewinternet @pewresearch