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5 ways the internet could change by 2035

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 02/08/2022
Blog Category: advanced-technologies

What will the internet look like 13 years from now?

That’s the question Pew Research Center recently put before hundreds of technology experts.

Pew Research Center

The answers from these experts have been compiled in a new Pew report, “Visions of the Internet in 2035.” Here are 5 of the many trends these experts predict.

1. Positive megatrends: Jim Spohrer, a board member of the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals and a recently retired director of IBM Cognitive Open Tech, expects digital life in 2035 will be shaped by several key megatrends. These trends, he expects, will include universal basic income; universal upskilling; and personal, privacy-protecting digital workers.

“All responsible entities — people, businesses, universities and governments — will be working to transform themselves into better future versions of themselves,” Spohrer says.

2. Digital spaces integrate with “reality”: Barry Chudakov, founder of Sertain Research, predicts that the most noticeably different aspect of digital life in 2035 will be the seamless integration of digital tools and “reality.”

“By importing the dynamics of simulation and virtual representation from the gaming world, we will swallow the internet,” Chudakov says. “Digital spaces will move inside us.”

3. Faster problem-spotting: Miguel Moreno, director of the philosophy department at University of Grenada (Spain), believes warning systems will be consolidated and made open to citizen participation. For example, a new warning system might incorporate alerts for crime, harm to the environment, and traffic jams.

4. New behavioral norms: Zizi Papacharissi, a professor of political science and communication at the University of Illinois Chicago, envisions a whole new class of professionals to help people develop and improve their social behavior. New job titles could include information curator, democracy conduit and literacy advisor.

“These professionals,” Papacharissi says, “will make good money — with salaries comparable to those of designers and coders. They’ll help curate, advise and help humans use these technologies in positive ways.”

5. The end of biometric profiling: Joseph Turow, a professor of media systems and industries at University of Pennsylvania, expects new laws will ban advertisers from using biometric voice profiling. He hopes new laws will also limit the use of tracking data to differentiate individuals for advertising and marketing.

“The best kind of paid internet messaging in 2035,” Turow says, “would be a sophisticated version of contextual advertising.”

That, he explains, would involve using machine learning and deep neural network programs to examine what a person is reading, hearing or viewing on a site or app. Then an ad could be served for a product or service that — based on that content — seems to complement, supplement or otherwise relate to the person’s interests.

Read the full Pew Research Center report: Visions of the Internet in 2035


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