Technology in Every Nook and Cranny

Book review:

What Will Be: How the New World of Information Will Change Our Lives, by Michael Dertouzos, published by HarperEdge.

Michael Dertouzos has a good track record.  In 1975, he predicted the emergence of a PC in every 3-4 homes by the mid-1990s.  As directory of MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science since 1974, he has been responsible for some of the most significant technological advances this century.

In What Will Be, Dertouzos confronts and dispels much of the hype surrounding the future of computer technology and its impact on daily life.  What will happen to commerce and the economy?  What  could a typical day in the mid-21st century be like?  Will the Information Revolution be as profound as the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions before it?  And what will be the impact on John Q. Public?

In perhaps one of the most profound insights made, and Dertouzos quickly qualifies this comment as “outrageous” although this review thinks it perhaps realistic, he wonders whether we will speak of a nation having not physical boundaries but being more of a network of interconnected people, linking all Greeks as the “Greek Network”.

Of course, as society is transformed, the gap between both rich people and poor people and rich countries and poor countries may widen; however, as the limitations of time and space are removed from the equation, people will be able to interact in a far more heterogeneous environment on line, which is where more work and recreation will be conducted.

Dertouzos’ greatest contribution through What Will Be should be an even greater interest in conceptualizing the world of the technological future and thereby allowing a greater number of individuals to contribute to it.

You can order What Will Be right now from Amazon.com.

Jonathan B. Spira is the CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.  This article originally appeared in the Basex Online Journal of Industry and Commerce (BOJIC).

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