Pew then synthesized their responses into 15 common predictions -- both positive and negative -- about the state of the Internet in 2025.
And while the experts disagree about the ramifications, Pew says:
They predict mobile, wearable, and embedded computing will be tied together in the Internet of Things, allowing people and their surroundings to tap into artificial intelligence-enhanced cloud-based information storage and sharing.
Here's their full list (in no specific order):
- Information sharing over the Internet will be so effortlessly interwoven into daily life that it will become invisible, flowing like electricity, often through machine intermediaries.
- The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.
- The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior.
- Augmented reality and wearable devices will be implemented to monitor and give quick feedback on daily life, especially tied to personal health.
- Political awareness and action will be facilitated and more peaceful change and public uprisings like the Arab Spring will emerge.
- The spread of the ‘Ubernet’ will diminish the meaning of borders, and new ‘nations’ of those with shared interests may emerge and exist beyond the capacity of current nation-states to control.
- The Internet will become ‘the Internets’ as access, systems, and principles are renegotiated.
- An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on real estate and teachers.
- Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
- Abuses and abusers will ‘evolve and scale.’ Human nature isn’t changing; there’s laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, pornography, dirty tricks, crime, and those who practice them have new capacity to make life miserable for others.
- Pressured by these changes, governments and corporations will try to assert power — and at times succeed — as they invoke security and cultural norms.
- People will continue — sometimes grudgingly — to make tradeoffs favoring convenience and perceived immediate gains over privacy; and privacy will be something only the upscale will enjoy.
- Humans and their current organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
- Most people are not yet noticing the profound changes today’s communications networks are already bringing about; these networks will be even more disruptive in the future.
- Foresight and accurate predictions can make a difference; ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it.’