What’s the future of the Internet?

2008 is about to end and like tradition in the blogosphere, year-end lists, surveys, and predictions are going to be the staple of almost every blog.

Today, I’ll share some predictions on the future of the Internet courtesy of HASTAC who has a wonderful post about the recently released results of the Elon University/Pew Foundation’s 2008 survey “Imagining the Internet” project.

It’s web-based survey on how people think the internet will be like in the years ahead and how it will impact our lives.

  • Some 77% said the mobile computing device (the smartphone) with more significant computing power will be 2020’s primary global Internet-connection platform.
  • 64% favored the idea that 2020 user interfaces will offer advanced touch, talk and typing options and some added a fourth “T” – think.
    Nearly four out of five respondents (78%) said the original Internet architecture will not be completely replaced by a next-generation ‘net by 2020.
  • Three out of five respondents (60%) disagreed with the idea that legislatures, courts, the technology industry, and media companies will exercise effective intellectual property control by 2020.
  • A majority—56%—agreed that in 2020 “few lines (will) divide professional from personal time, and that’s OK.”
  • 56% said while Web 2.0 is bringing some people closer, social tolerance will not be heightened by our new connections
  • 45% agreed and 44% disagreed with the notion that the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the Internet will heighten individual integrity and forgiveness.
  • More than half (55%) agreed that many lives will be touched in 2020 by virtual worlds, mirror worlds, and augmented reality, while 45% disagreed or did not answer the question.

These highlights provide a plethora of issues that are very interesting to look at a little further. What really caught my attention is the fifth point in which people said that by 2020 work and leisure times will become more mixed up than ever. And they’re alright with that!

Imagine that, you could still monitor the world stock markets and do some trading while spending the weekend afternoon with your family without the need for a laptop or mobile device on hand, because by then, your PC could be hard-wired into your house and through voice commands, give you live updates and allow you to do trading in real-time.

And how about us bloggers? It would be interesting to see how Twitter or Plurk would look like in 2020, perhaps we could receive Twits or Plurks directly to our brains thanks to micro-chip implants and wide area Wi-Fi zones. Privacy will really walk out the door for good!

How about you guys? What’s your take on the future of the Internet?

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