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Computer scientist Peter Norvig’s predicting technology keynote discusses the different ways to evaluate technological change of the past and of the future. He begins his speech by reviewing some of the predictions that can actually be evaluated today such as the one that photographs would eventually be printed in color, that the letters ‘c,’ ‘x’ and ‘q’ would be omitted from the alphabet or that no mosquitoes, flies or animals would exist except for in zoos.
While there isn’t much literature on this, Norivg explains that the individuals who based their predictions on a grand theory or ideology were typically incorrect. Comparing large and diverse amounts of data was much likely to produce a more accurate prediction.
As Norvig points out, looking at how technology affects the human population in terms of the environment and GDP is what researchers should be focusing on.