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Recently, I took some time to examine past trends in information technology. It was interesting to see what the experts have forecasted over the last couple of decades. So, how accurately have past pundits been in predicting the course of new information technologies? Back in the 1970s, expert systems were going to revolutionize the way businesses were run, acquiring and preserving corporate know-how in decision-making software. It turned out that expert systems were simply too "brittle" to capture the knowledge necessary to make decisions in complex real world situations. The limitations of logic-based machines caused them to "breakdown" when attempting to address the messy circumstances that human thinking effectively deals with every day.
Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out that there have been significant technology predictions that eventually bore fruit, such as automated speech recognition. In general, however, history hasn't been kind to futurists, especially those that have forecasted huge technological leaps in short periods. As an example, some social media pundits envision human-machine interfaces, making the Internet (and social media) an integral part of our minds (--talk about an "electronic leash"!).
With the above caveats in mind, enjoy the following provocative speculations about the future of social media.
Admittedly, most will likely turn out to be wrong or take longer than expected, and perhaps the most important ones will go entirely unforeseen by the experts. I look forward to hearing your reactions to these forecasts and, of course, your own predictions about the future of social media.
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