Report

The Future of the Internet IV

  • February 19, 2010

A survey of nearly 900 Internet stakeholders reveals fascinating new perspectives on the way the Internet is affecting human intelligence and the ways that information is being shared and rendered.

The Web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers and technology developers. It is the fourth in a series of Internet expert studies conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. In this report, we cover experts' thoughts on the following issues:

  • Will Google make us stupid?
  • Will the Internet enhance or detract from reading, writing, and rendering of knowledge?
  • Is the next wave of innovation in technology, gadgets, and applications pretty clear now, or will the most interesting developments between now and 2020 come “out of the blue”?
  • Will the end-to-end principle of the Internet still prevail in 10 years, or will there be more control of access to information?
  • Will it be possible to be anonymous online or not by the end of the decade?

“Three out of four experts said our use of the Internet enhances and augments human intelligence, and two-thirds said use of the Internet has improved reading, writing and rendering of knowledge,” said Janna Anderson, study co-author and director of the Imagining the Internet Center. “There are still many people, however, who are critics of the impact of Google, Wikipedia and other online tools.”

Read the full report The Future of the Internet IV on the Pew Internet & American Life Project's Web site.