March 12, 2014

What will the Web look like in 2025?

That's the question the Pew Research Center posed to nearly 1,500 science and technology experts for a new report celebrating the Web's 25th anniversary.

Their answers ranged from optimistic -- citing improved education, better global partnerships, and positive changes to the healthcare system -- to foreboding: privacy as a luxury only for the rich, an expanded global wealth gap, and the amplification of loss and abuse.

Here are some predictions from researchers, professors, authors, and scientists.

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1. Big data will affect the public's actions and behavior.

"When the cost of collecting information on virtually every interaction falls to zero, the insights that we gain from our activity in the context of the activity of others will fundamentally change the way we relate to one another, to institutions, and with the future itself. We will become far more knowledgeable about the consequences of our actions; we will edit our behavior more quickly and intelligently." --Patrick Tucker, author of "The Naked Future: What Happens In a World that Anticipates Your Every Move?"

2. The Internet will facilitate political awareness and peaceful change.

"With mobile technologies and information-sharing apps becoming ubiquitous, we can expect some significant improvement in the awareness of otherwise illiterate and ill-informed rural populations to opportunities missed out by manipulative and corrupt governments. Like the Arab Spring, we can expect more and more uprisings to take place as people become more informed and able to communicate their concerns." --Rui Correia, director of NetDay Namibia

[ Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek. ]