By 2040, 2 billion children will be learning to speak English through the use of wrist-borne personal computers that will display translations and accompanying imagery to their users. In effect, these 2 billion will become employable in a range of professions in the Western world.
That far-reaching forecast was delivered by John Smart, president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, in the keynote luncheon at AFCEA/USNI West 2013. Smart cited this case as an example of how change is happening constantly, and people must prepare for it rather than try to outlast it.
The driver for this development will be Google distributing wrist PCs worldwide. As a result, these children will be connected with one another and with all others who are networked, one way or another. For example, they will be able to sit for interviews wherever they are located, but interviewers must assume that these are “open book” interviews in which the networked person has access to whatever information he or she needs.
This ubiquitous networking will spawn network groups of individuals who will develop groupthought as information cells. This will affect mental illness and treatment, as sufferers can be connected to “normal” people who would help them reorient their thinking. This could have negative effects as well, Smart warned, citing the al Qaida cell in Hamburg that hatched the 9/11 attack plans as a result of their personal networking.