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How the Internet Will Change the World


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Pew Internet & American Life Project director Lee Rainie

"People who can find [information] fastest and make sense of it will be at a marked advantage over those who struggle . . . and have less capacity to synthesize and organize this wealth of data," says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Credit: Lee Rainie

Pew Internet & American Life Project director Lee Rainie discusses the results of a survey of experts on how technology will develop and impact society in the year 2020. Technological improvements are anticipated, but accompanying them is an uncertainty among people and institutions' adaptability to these improvements.

Rainie says the maintenance of privacy and anonymity will become more difficult in the social media era. Most experts concur that Internet usage will augment human intelligence by 2020, with Rainie speculating that memorization and storage may become less important, while screen literacy will be one of many new necessary skills. "Reading, writing, arithmetic and retrieval will become key, as people who can find [information] fastest and make sense of it will be at a marked advantage over those who struggle to find information," says Rainie.

Health care also is projected to improve thanks to the advent of mobile technology and wearable devices.

Meanwhile, the technology community is hopeful that new technologies will make government operations more transparent and help facilitate smarter policies. On the other hand, some experts lament that education is failing to keep pace with technological change.

From Science News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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