This page contains one of a set of 24 transcripts including remarks made by interview participants at the Metaverse Roadmap Summit at Stanford Research Institute in May 2006. Each person was asked a series of five questions regarding the future; only the most “telling” responses were transferred from the recordings into these transcripts, thus, some of these interviews will include five question-answer sets, some will have four or fewer.
To jump to another interviewee’s set of answers, click on the person’s name below.
Bridget Agabra, project manager for the Metaverse Roadmap at the non-profit Acceleration Studies Foundation, has a background in business and non-profit governance. She previously brought together game designers and researchers as a co-organizer of Ludium1 at Indiana University. She was also profiled as an online player for CNN, Newsweek, & USA Today.
What is your most fervent hope for the future of networked technologies? Shared experiences are bonding experiences. So people in virtual worlds – the kids growing up who have these experiences in spaces that not tied to geography form bonds with people. They go out and hunt their dragons or they share their taste in music or whatever they do. As they grow up and they become policymakers and they hold positions of power, it is so much less likely that they will be able to look and say, “it’s us and them,” because maybe they once had an experience with somebody in Japan, when we get broadband across the world there will be people in Indonesia they’re connected with, so it’s that much less likely that they’ll be able to say, “this is an us and that’s a them, so we can drop bombs on them.” World peace comes from the interconnectivity of people growing up like this … That’s what I think this is going to do – big-time.
What technology will have the greatest impact on our everyday lives the next 10 years? (People will find that) if there is some need they have in their everyday life, there is very likely somebody working on a technology to automate that and make that easier … Pick something that you’re having to do over and over and somebody is working at making it easier for you.
Looking out more than 10 years, what development will have the greatest impact on society? Well, 10 years from now you have one level of baby boomers who will be gone. So you’re 10 years on with people who understand this intuitively. They understand the way of thinking with a “hive mind,” with a brain with an external hard drive; they’ve grown up with Google. So, technologically I think (the big thing will be) pervasive computing, the fact that your phone, your watch, and – God knows – your shoes and all those things will be … you’ll have the resources of the history of mankind that you can touch at any moment – pervasive computing that you will have with your body.
What do you think policymakers should do to ensure a positive future for networked technologies? Keep their hands off. Treat it like – we didn’t need to do a whole lot with print, right? Print was adopted pretty quickly after the Gutenberg Bible and has worked pretty well. Radio – radio was developed pretty much without government. It’s strong enough to do it on its own and we don’t need a lot of restrictions and government impositions and we don’t need a lot of safety mechanisms. I think the marketplace covers that. I like age limits and age restrictions, but other than that I feel like the best thing is let the marketplace – let the demand – pull it along.