CFP96 Plenary Session

Banquet Address

Ancient Humans in the Information Age

Michael Dertouzos

Much is said daily about tomorrow's Information Market, where information and information services will be bought, sold, and freely exchanged. Less is ventured on questions like these: How big might the Information Economy become? Will the Information Market increase the gap between rich and poor, or will it help the poor escape their misery? Will the Information market affect democracy and our tribal aggregation into nations? Will it go beyond the utilitarian stage? And what influence might it have on human relationships? Our assessment of these issues will be informed by two new concepts -- the value of information and electronic proximity, acting under the thumb of an ancient and powerful constant -- human nature.

Michael Dertouzos is Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Director of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science -- the U.S. home base of the World Wide Web. He is author or co-author of six books, the most recent of which, Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge, is the result of the study by the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity, which he chaired. Dr. Dertouzos, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and an advisor to the U.S. and European governments. He concentrates his current efforts on the architecture, uses, and impact of tomorrow's Information Infrastructures. He accompanied Vice President Al Gore as a U.S. delegate to the G7 meeting on the Global Information Infrastructure Society in Brussels. Professor Dertouzos is a dual national of the U.S. and the European Union, and he is involved on both sides of the Atlantic with the strategic steering of large organizations into the Information Age. Contact: / (617) 253-2145

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Last updated April 6, 1996