I am forever on the lookout for stories that includes past predictions of the long run impacts of technology on society and the way closely they reflected reality. thus i used to be
quite happy to seek out a handful of recent articles, one in BusinessWeek and also the different within the LA Times, discussing technology predictions created by the independent agency in 1962 and by a bunch of futurologists in 1988.
The independent agency predictions concerned a speculative piece, recently free, regarding however computers would possibly impact future U.S. intelligence gathering, processing and analysis. The paper was written by independent agency analyst Orrin Clotworthy and entitled, “Some offbeat Thoughts on Computers” that was originally revealed within the agency’s Studies in Intelligence in 1962. In his paper, Clotworthy wrote that there was “rising optimism” to suppose that activity scientists would sometime be able to use computers “to foretell the behavior of huge teams of individuals inside cheap limits, given correct and timely measures of sure telltale factors.”
Clotworthy conjointly speculates that computers may well be programmed by the year 2000 to perform as a “stand-in brain” that might take a look at out totally different situations and build predictions of the behaviors of foreign leaders. He goes on to notice whereas storage of the data required for such a “stand-in brain” would possibly create a tough drawback, obtaining all the information needed may well be “obtained with relative ease.”
Makes one believe what proportion access the independent agency had to private, company and governmental knowledge domestic and foreign earlier. As a aspect note, Reuters reportable fortnight past that the Obama Administration is drawing up plans to permit “all U.S. spy agencies full access to a vast information that contains monetary knowledge on americans et al. World Health Organization bank within the country.”
CIA analyst Clotworthy went on to debate however computers would be wont to support the event of multi-factor, multi-player, period play that might be employed by “formulators of foreign policy” to check out policy alternatives and potential consequences. Doing identical for “intelligence games” that may well be used for “training” likewise as “testing operational proposals and developing doctrine” would doubtless quickly follow.
In addition, Clotworthy wrote regarding however computers might “index personnel data and skills” and thru analysis resolve World Health Organization knew World Health Organization and their direct and indirect relationships. within the CIA’s case, knowing these relationships may be helpful find out “what foreign voters have ties of acquaintance, direct or indirect, to the employees of Associate in Nursing intelligence organization.” in fact these days, it's way easier to seek out that style of info out (like alleged Chinese hackers) by simply checking Facebook or LinkedIn.
There area unit a handful of different predictions created by Clotworthy in his paper regarding the intelligence agencies’ future use of computers—or feeding “the monster” as he referred to as them. If you've got an opportunity, scan it over, conjointly keeping in mind the context of the time, i.e., that COBOL formally came go into 1960, Digital’s PDP-1 appeared in 1961 beside the IBM Selectric character printer, America Airlines put in the primary processed reservation system within the same year because the paper, and also the IBM 360 was still 3 years away.
The second article within the LA Times reviews the predictions created by thirty futurologists regarding what life would be like in 2013. The predictions were incorporated into 2 essays written by Nicole Yorkin (now a tv author and producer) revealed within the LA Times’ April three, 1988 magazine issue. the primary essay concerned the “day within the life” of a 2013 LA family, whereas the second checked out the barriers that may stop LA's future chance as a “technological utopia, Associate in Nursing economic big, a harmonious melding of cultures and race” from happening.
In the essay, the family had 2 robots (each cost accounting regarding United States of America $5000) to wash, cook and wash garments, likewise as a family robotic dog. family appliances would be intelligent, like a icebox that keep a running inventory of its contents. the daddy would drive to figure following Associate in Nursing electronic-map system during a automotive that was extremely machine-controlled and will conjointly drive itself by following “electro lanes” engineered into major highways. The latter capability would be Associate in Nursing choice offered available on family cars.
Generally speaking, the predictions made public within the essays area unit optimistic however not that ludicrously faraway, except perhaps for the robots that were foretold to be as omnipresent in 2013 as “a dedicated sound system” was in 1988. that will be more true in another twenty five years. Again, if you've got the time, each of Yorkin's essays area unit an honest scan, yet again basic cognitive process that in 1987 Microsoft Windows a pair of.0 was free likewise because the Sun SPARC processor, in 1988 that Microsoft MS DOS four.0 was free as was the primary major worm by American Revolutionary leader, which the Intel Pentium was still 5 years away.
Finally, for those curious about however technology is seemed to impact society, there's the nice British Innovation Vote happening in Britain geared toward distinctive what's “the most vital innovation of the last one hundred years and also the recent one possibly to form our future.”
The voted, devised by the nice Britain campaign, the museum cluster, Royal Academy of Arts of Engineering, Royal Society, British Science Association, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Engineering Britain, as the way to push Britain as a home of great scientific and technological action (and thereby an honest place for international hi-tech firms to line up shop), encompasses a short-list of one hundred British innovations to settle on from. ballot closes on the twenty five March. I’ll review the ends up in Associate in Nursing update to the current post after they area unit created on the market.