Next Web: web 3.0, web semántica y el futuro de internet > addictive virtual worlds

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    Compartido el 11.11.2009 por Ricardo Alonso Maturana

    Centenares de líderes de internet, activistas, constructores y comentaristas han sido preguntados en este informe acerca de los efectos e impactos sociales, políticos y económicos que se derivarán del desarrollo de Internet en el año 2020. Este informe de PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT sobre el futuro de internet se ha realizado teniendo en cuenta las respuestas de 742 encuestados. En general, existe acuerdo en considerar el modo en el que la  tecnología podría evolucionar, pero no tanto sobre el tipo de impacto que se derivará de esa evolución. Los escenarios y problemas emergentes sobre los que se les pide opinión a los encuestados podrían agruparse alrededor de las siguientes descripciones: I. Despliegue de una red global; II. Control Humano sobre la tecnología; III. Transparencia versus privacidad; IV. Luditas, resistentes antitecnológicos y violencia; V. Mundos virtuales absorbentes y adictivos; VI. El destino del lenguaje online; VII. Prioridades de inversión.

    Ellos resumen así su proyecto:

    "Hundreds of internet leaders, activists, builders and commentators were asked about the effect of the internet on social, political and economic life in the year 2020. The views of the 742 respondents who completed this survey were varied; there is general agreement about how technology might evolve, but there is less agreement among these respondents about the impact of this evolution.

    Reacting to several scenarios constructed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the respondents struck on several themes and emergent problems in their answers:

    The deployment of a global network: A majority of respondents agreed with a scenario which posited that a global, low-cost network will be thriving in 2020 and will be available to most people around the world at low cost. And they agreed that a tech-abetted “flattening” of the world will open up opportunities for success for many people who will compete globally.

    Still, a vocal and sizeable minority of respondents say they are unsure that the policy climate will be favorable for such internet expansion. The center of the resistance, they say, will be in the businesses anxious to preserve their current advantages and in policy circles where control over information and communication is a central value. In addition, a significant number of these dissenters argued that the world will not flatten enough to wipe away persistent social inequities.

    Human control over technology: Most respondents said they think humans will remain in charge of technology between now and 2020. However some fear that technological progress will eventually create machines and processes that move beyond human control. Others said they fear that the leaders who exercise control of the technology might use this power inappropriately.

    Transparency vs. privacy: There is a widespread expectation that people will wittingly or unwittingly disclose more about themselves, gaining some benefits in the process even as they lose some privacy. Respondents split evenly on whether the world will be a better place in 2020 due to the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the internet: 46% agreed that the benefits of greater transparency of organizations and individuals would outweigh the privacy costs and 49% disagreed.

    Luddites, technological “refuseniks,” and violence: Most respondents agreed that there will people who will remain unconnected to the network because of their economic circumstances and others who think a class of technology refuseniks will emerge by 2020. They will form their own cultural group that lives apart from “modern” society and some will commit acts of violence in protest to technology.
    But many respondents argue that violence arising from conflicts over religion, economics, and politics, will be more prevalent.

    Compelling or “addictive” virtual worlds: Many respondents agreed with the notion that those who are connected online will devote more time to sophisticated, compelling, networked, synthetic worlds by 2020. While this will foster productivity and connectedness and be an advantage to many, it will lead to addiction problems for some. The word “addiction” struck some respondents as an inappropriate term for
    the problems they foresaw, while others thought it appropriate.

    The fate of language online: Many respondents said they accept the idea that English will be the world’s lingua franca for cross-cultural communications in the next few decades. But notable numbers maintained English will not overwhelm other languages and, indeed, Mandarin and other languages will expand their influence online. Most respondents stressed that linguistic diversity is good and that the internet will allow the preservation of languages and associated cultures. Others noted that all languages evolve over time and argued that the internet will abet that evolution.

    Investment priorities: Asked what their priority would be for future investments of time and money in networking, 78% of the respondents identified two goals for the world's policy makers and the technology industry to pursue: building network capacity and spreading knowledge about technology to help people of all nations".