February 19, 2010

The Future of the Internet IV

In “The Future of the Internet IV,” Director Lee Rainie will be reporting on the results of a new survey of experts predicting what the Internet will look like in 2020. He will be speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2010 Annual Meeting in San Diego.

You can read the report on our website, or download the pdf here.

Our previous “Future of the Internet” reports, in which we have asked experts and analysts to assess various scenarios about the evolution of technology and how technology change might affect social, political, and economic activity in the future, include:

  • The Future of the Internet I (2005): The first of our wide-ranging surveys finds that most experts expect the internet to be more deeply integrated in our physical environments – with mixed results.
  • The Future of the Internet II (2006): This survey of technology thinkers and stakeholders shows they believe the internet will continue to spread in a “flattening” and improving world. There are many, though, who think major problems will accompany technology advances by 2020.
  • The Future of the Internet III (2008): Our last survey of experts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, artificial and virtual reality become more embedded in everyday life, and the architecture of the internet itself improves. They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.

Further materials can be found at Elon University’s website Imagining the Internet: A History and Forecast.