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Future of the Internet - National Geographic - Digital Capital Week

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Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, gave this speech during Washington, D.C.'s "Digital Capital Week" at the auditorium of the National Geographic.

Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, gave this speech during Washington, D.C.'s "Digital Capital Week" at the auditorium of the National Geographic.

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  • 1. THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET EXPERT-SURVEY RESULTS Lee Rainie Director – Pew Internet Project Digital Capital Week National Geographic 6.15.10
  • 2. The internet is the change agent Then and now 2000 2010 46% of adults use internet 79% of adults use internet 5% with broadband at home 64% have broadband at home 50% own a cell phone 82% own a cell phone 0% connect wirelessly 59% connect wirelessly <10% use “cloud” >two-thirds use “cloud” 0% = tech social networkers 48% = tech social networkers THEN: slow, stationary NOW: faster, mobile connections built around my connections built around computer outside servers and storage Future of the internet June 15, 2010 2
  • 3. Futurism 101 – the technology side •  Computing capacity: The price/performance ratio of computing hardware doubles every 18-24 months (Moore’s Law) •  Bandwidth capacity: Doubles every two years in wired environment (Gilder’s Law and Nielsen’s Law) –  Doubles every 2.5 years - wireless (Cooper’s Law). •  Digital storage capacity: Doubled every 23 months since 1956 (Kryder’s Law) •  Others: miniaturization, density of graphical displays, file compression, sensor/RFID proliferation Future of the internet June 15, 2010 3
  • 4. Futurism 101 – the operating/apps side •  Search improvements –  Relevance – quality information –  Real time –  Relatedness •  Expansion of local awareness •  Conversational user interface •  Translation improvements •  “Social graph” expansions and nuances •  Rise of the “internet of things” Future of the internet June 15, 2010 4
  • 5. Metaverse Roadmap http://www.metaverseroadmap.org/overview/ Augmentation Augmented Lifelogging Reality Internal External Mirror Virtual Worlds Worlds Simulation
  • 6. Survey basics Fourth such survey –  With Elon University, N.C. –  reports and books by Cambria Press Experts pool –  those identified from 1990-1995 period –  new invitees since 2004 (high- http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ tech organizations) –  pass-along recommendations –  and “friends of Pew Internet” Future of the internet June 15, 2010 6
  • 7. Survey 1 – 2005 report Hits (impact by 2014) –  Online security would be a growing problem and attacks increase –  Journalism and publishing would be slammed –  Health systems not change radically Miss (so far) –  Classroom structures and lessons would change Surprises http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ –  Awed by rise of web, search engines, and P2P –  Disappointed by lack of change so far in schools and digital divides Future of the internet June 15, 2010 7
  • 8. Survey 2 – 2006 report Hits (impact by 2020) –  Boundary between “work” and “home” would shrivel –  Virtual reality would be more compelling to some than “real life” No consensus –  Personal transparency would yield more tolerance and http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ forgiveness Future of the internet June 15, 2010 8
  • 9. Survey 3 – 2008 report Hits (impact by 2020) –  Mobile devices would become primary connection devices –  Haptic interfaces – talk and touch, maybe “think” – would rise No consensus –  Transparency would lead to more personal integrity and http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ forgiveness Future of the internet June 15, 2010 9
  • 10. Survey 4 -- Basics Results this time – 895 respondents –  371 past participant experts –  524 new recruits and friends •  15% research scientists/scholars •  14% business leaders or entrepreneurs •  12% consultants or futurists •  12% authors, editors or journalists •  9% technology developers or administrators http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ •  7% advocates or activists •  3% pioneers or originators •  2% legislators, politicians or lawyers •  25% specified themselves “other” Future of the internet June 15, 2010 10
  • 11. Question strategy •  Tension pairs – force choice in opposing statements •  Narrative elaborations http://www.elon.edu/predictions/ •  Subject choice (not “our” predictions) Future of the internet June 15, 2010 11
  • 12. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google
  • 13. Will Google make us stupid? By 2020, people’s use of the By 2020, people’s use of the Internet has enhanced Internet has not enhanced human intelligence; as human intelligence and it people are allowed could even be lowering the unprecedented access to IQs of most people who use more information, they it a lot. Nicholas Carr was become smarter and make right: Google makes us better choices. Nicholas stupid Carr was wrong: Google does not make us stupid 81% experts 16% experts 76% full sample 21% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 13
  • 14. Themes •  Cognitive capacities will shift. •  New literacies will be required. Fourth “R” will be retrieval…. “Extreme Googlers.” •  Technology isn’t the problem here. It is people’s inherent character traits. •  Performance of “information markets” is a big unknown, especially in the age of social media and junk information…. Google will improve. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 14
  • 15. Are hot new gadgets and apps evident now? Future of the internet June 15, 2010 15
  • 16. Are hot new gadgets evident now? The hot gadgets and Hot gadgets and apps that applications that will will capture the capture the imagination imagination of users in of users in 2020 are 2020 will often come “out pretty evident today of the blue” and not and will not take many have been anticipated of today’s savviest by many of today’s innovators by surprise. savviest innovators. 16% experts 81% experts 17% full sample 80% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 16
  • 17. Themes •  iPhone, iPhone, iPhone •  Innovation ecosystem will change: bandwidth / processing •  Still, there are basic trends evident now and some groundwork that has been in place for years that will yield innovation. –  The internet of things –  Sensors proliferate –  Mobile connectivity and location-based services grow –  Bigger/thinner TVs -- 3D displays –  “Consolidated,” all-purpose gadgets and apps Future of the internet June 15, 2010 17
  • 18. What is the future of online anonymity?
  • 19. What is the future of online anonymity? By 2020, the identification ID By 2020, Internet users can do a lot systems used online are tighter of normal online activities and more formal – fingerprints or anonymously even though the DNA-scans or retina scans. The identification systems used on use of these systems is the the Internet have been applied gateway to most of the Internet- to a wider range of activities. It enabled activity that users are is still relatively easy for able to perform such as Internet users to create shopping, communicating, content, communicate, and creating content, and browsing. browse without publicly Anonymous online activity is disclosing who they are. sharply curtailed. 42% experts 54% experts 41% full sample 55% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 19
  • 20. Themes •  The law and new regulations will give people some privacy protections even though they are required to disclose more. •  There are still sufficient “workarounds” that will allow people some measure of anonymity. “Pseudonymity” will be available to people. •  Confidentiality and autonomy will replace yearning for anonymity. •  The rise of social media is as much a challenge to anonymity as authentication requirements. Reputation management and “information responsibility” will emerge. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 20
  • 21. The impact of the internet on institutions Future of the internet June 15, 2010 21
  • 22. The impact of the internet on institutions By 2020, innovative forms of By 2020, governments, online cooperation will businesses, non-profits … result in significantly will primarily retain more efficient and familiar 20th century responsive models for conduct of governments, business, relationships with non-profits, and other citizens and consumers mainstream institutions. online and offline. 71% experts 26% experts 72% full sample 26% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 22
  • 23. Themes •  The tide is too strong to resist – pressures for transparency are powerful •  The “future” is unevenly distributed – businesses will change most; governments least •  Data will be the platform for change •  Workarounds, facilitated by social media, will be common •  Efficiency and responsiveness aren’t the same thing •  Anonymous worries about corporate power Future of the internet June 15, 2010 23
  • 24. Impact of internet on reading, writing, rendering of knowledge? Future of the internet June 15, 2010 24
  • 25. Impact of internet on reading, writing, rendering of knowledge? By 2020, it will be clear By 2020, it will be clear that the Internet has that the Internet has enhanced and diminished and improved reading, endangered reading, writing, and the writing, and the rendering of intelligent rendering knowledge. of knowledge. 69% experts 27% experts 65% full sample 32% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 25
  • 26. Themes •  People are doing more reading and writing now and that has to be better than the alternative. Participation breeds engagement. •  Reading and writing will be different in 10 years. There will be a new fluidity in media creation and “screen” literacy will become important. •  The nature of writing has changed now, especially since so much of it takes place in public. The quality of the new material will get better thanks to feedback and flamers. •  Networked information – links and mashups – are changing the creation and consumption process. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 26
  • 27. The cloud vs. the desktop Future of the internet June 15, 2010 27
  • 28. The cloud vs. the desktop By 2020, most people won't do By 2020, most people will still their work with software do their work with software running on a general- running on a general- purpose PC. Instead, they purpose PC…. The most will work in Internet-based innovative and important applications…. Most applications will run on (and innovative work will be done spring from) a PC operating in that domain, instead of system. Aspiring application designing applications that designers will write mostly run on a PC OS. for PCs. 72% experts 25% experts 71% full sample 27% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 28
  • 29. Themes •  The advantages of ubiquitous access and mobility trump other things. •  The edges will give way to the center, with a predictable loss of personal control of information. •  Security problems will result – and new kinds of privacy disputes are inevitable. •  Ordinary users won’t know the difference – or care very much. •  A hybrid world of cloud and desktop will evolve as each system finds its own primary value. Strains on spectrum might drive people back to device-based computing. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 29
  • 30. Will internet be dominated by end-to-end principle? Future of the internet June 15, 2010 30
  • 31. Will internet be dominated by end-to-end principle? In the years between now and 2020, In the years between now and the Internet will mostly remain a 2020, the Internet will mostly technology based on the end- become a technology where to-end principle that was intermediary institutions that envisioned by the Internet’s control the architecture and founders. Most disagreements over the way information flows significant amounts of online will be resolved in favor of a content will be successful in minimum number of restrictions gaining the right to manage over the information available information and the method by online and the methods by which which people access and share people access it. it. 63% experts 29% experts 61% full sample 33% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 31
  • 32. Themes •  There is too much good history and user buy-in to part with end-to-end internet to see it largely overturned. •  Openness has its own virtues and those who resist it will fall behind those who enable it. •  Those who took the opposite view were not necessarily happy about it, but they argued there are many forces pushing towards more control of the internet: governments, businesses, users themselves to ward off bad experiences •  Some things will have to be managed, especially if the capacity of the current internet becomes strained. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 32
  • 33. The fate of the semantic web Future of the internet June 15, 2010 33
  • 34. The fate of the semantic web By 2020, the semantic By 2020, the semantic web envisioned by Tim web envisioned by Berners-Lee will not be TBL and his allies will as fully effective as its have been achieved to creators hoped and a significant degree average users will not and have clearly made have noticed much of a difference to the a difference. average internet users. 52% experts 38% experts 47% full sample 41% full sample Future of the internet June 15, 2010 34
  • 35. Themes •  There is too much variation among people and economic competitors to allow it to happen. •  Improvements are inevitable, but they will not unfold the way TBL & Co. have sketched out. They will be grassroots-driven rather than standards-driven. Data mining, links, analysis of social exchanges will help drive the process of smartening the web. •  The semantic web will not really take off until it finds its killer app. The killer app will come when we can ask the internet questions. Conversational search could be the key. •  There will be upstairs/downstairs deployment. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 35
  • 36. Still to come: Human relations / Millennials grow up Future of the internet June 15, 2010 36
  • 37. Human relations In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the internet has mostly been a 85% positive force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 37
  • 38. Aging Millennials By 2020, members of Generation Y will continue to be ambient broadcasters who disclose a great deal of personal information in order to stay connected and take advantage of social, economic, and political opportunities. Even as they 67% mature, have families, and take on 69% more significant responsibilities, their enthusiasm for widespread information sharing will carry forward. Future of the internet June 15, 2010 38
  • 39. Thank you! Lee Rainie Director Pew Internet & American Life Project 1615 L Street NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036 Email: Lrainie@pewinternet.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/lrainie 202-419-4500 Future of the internet June 15, 2010 39