This is a short and sweet one, but Artificial Lawyer thought it was worth putting up nevertheless.
25 years ago this month the internet, which until 1991 had been used mostly by the military and academics, was opened up to the wider world via the ‘WorldWideWeb’ developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
I was trying to think of all the things that would not be here today without the internet and here are a few things:
- This site.
- The ability to work from home.
- The ability to shop and sell goods/services remotely, from buying and selling shares, to buying gifts on Amazon or booking a holiday.
- Naturally, all email communication, messaging apps, social media and all business and services conducted or provided via the internet (without which the global economy would surely founder).
- As well as: hacking, cloud computing, digital marketing, huge slices of the news media and today with the Internet of Things a whole new realm of activity, plus also no blockchains and no smart contracts.
In short, we have seen not just a huge change in the economy and way people live but a cultural change that has altered the entire planet. And yet, all of this happened in 25 years.
In fact, in reality it happened in a lot less time because even people in wealthy Western nations didn’t all have PCs, Macs and modems until the late 1990s. So, it took less than 20 years for the world to change so dramatically.
And the first Apple iPhone only came out in June 2007, just nine years ago….NINE YEARS. Yet, smart phones seem as normal and ubiquitous today as all the other expected utilities in our lives. That is how quickly huge technological leaps can be integrated and then relied upon.
I’ve talked to a lot of people in the AI world over recent weeks and read plenty of thoughtful articles on the subject and many would argue that 2016 is to AI what 1991 was to the internet.
And if that is true, then………..
…there is going to be a lot to write about in the years ahead.
* Wikipedia, which is another brilliant invention that would not exist without the internet does a very good job of covering how we got where we are today and the text box above is adapted from the page: History of the Internet.