Now that we are a decade into
the 21st century, it is funny to think back to some of the 20th century
predictions on what the world would look like in the year 2000. From personal
jet backs to clever robot servants, the popular vision of how our parents and
grandparents imagined we would live does not even closely resemble our own.
While we never quite got the flying cars or video phones that we were
promised, we do, however, exist in a society that is more connected and
informed through information technology than our ancestors would have dreamed
was possible. Similarly, it is likely that any predictions that are cast
beyond the immediate future will have little in common with the actual world
Nevertheless, there are a few current trends in information technology that
seem likely to continue to evolve in a predictable path on into the rest of
this century. Regardless of what political, social or ecological climate our
grandchildren and great-grandchildren inhabit, their world will almost
certainly be even more profoundly influenced by information technology than
our own. However, as social media and user generated content continues to
become the dominant force in the evolution of the internet, our descendant
will likely play major roles as creators of online content and distributors of
information along vast social networks.
Additionally, current trends indicate that people will probably index and
search for information in revolutionary new ways in the years to come. Rather
than relying on information portals and keyword search engines, the internet
users of tomorrow will locate information based on search queries made with
digital photos or audio samples. The search results that they receive will be
catered with remarkable precision to exactly what they were looking for based
on their prior search histories and various semantic data.
Another major change that is all but guaranteed to make a huge impact on
information technology in the near future is the creation of new forms of
gaming technology that let players control their characters through their own
body movements. Instead of wasting the day playing video games on the couch,
the very act of playing games in the future will be a dynamic, engaging
activity that keeps gamers on their toes both mentally and physically.
These are but a few predictions on how technology is going to change our lives
within the next few decades. An even more interesting question to speculate
over is just what the world of tomorrow will look like in the centuries to
come. If you were to transport someone from 200 years ago into the present
day, he would likely see many things that would simply be beyond his mind's
ability to comprehend. Similarly, whatever the future of technology holds for
our society in the centuries to come is probably beyond our wildest dreams.