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SCOTT JAGOW: In 1899, the head of the US patents office said, and I quote: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” So take this next story with a grain of salt. A handful of scholars and technology experts were asked to make predictions about the Internet. Amy Scott has more.
AMY SCOTT: The world may have been round last time you checked, but by 2020 it’ll get flatter.
So say experts surveyed by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. What they mean is that expanding, low-cost access to the Web will level the economic and social playing field.
Elon University’s Janna Anderson led the research.
JANNA ANDERSON: Fifty-six percent of the respondents agreed that that would be true. Most of the disagreement came from people who were very concerned about specific governments trying to limit the access to knowledge among their people.
Others say corporate control will restrict Internet access.
Then again, many people will simply opt out. The survey predicts a growing number of so-called “refuseniks” will live off the grid and suggests some of them may protest technology through violence or acts of terror.
In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.
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