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The Future of the Internet

February 23, 2010

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently surveyed 895 technology stakeholders regarding their opinions on the way the Internet is affecting human intelligence. Respondents included prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, and others. Among their findings:

  • Google won’t make us stupid. Use of the Internet will enhance human intelligence
  • The Internet will not hurt reading, writing, and the rendering of knowledge
  • Innovation will continue to catch us by surprise
  • There will be flash points over control of the Internet
  • Anonymous online activity will be challenged

I am heartened that experts agree on those first two points. The media – including the PBS documentary I wrote about last week – often seem to want us to believe otherwise.

While the Pew folks do great work, this is ultimately an opinion poll. One of the cosmic truths about technology is that there is no reliable way to predict its consequences.

Download and read the full report here: “The Future of the Internet IV” (Pew Research Center, Internet & American Life Project).

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