Department of Informatics


Theses on the Future of IT

From Rolf Pfeifer

The human brain has an aboriginal clock

Antithesis: Information technology is gathering such momentum that it will soon outstrip the performance of the human brain, enabling ideas to be created at an ever faster pace.

Globalization endangers the diversity of ideas

Antithesis: Norms (for wall sockets, video cassettes and data communication protocols) help make our lives easier.

Intelligence in a box is wishful thinking

Antithesis: The problems of expert systems are due solely to the current limitations of information technology with regard to memory and processor performance.

Ignorance reveals itself as an underestimated asset

Antithesis: Knowledge is power – you cannot have too much information.

Self-organization is more powerful than control

Antithesis: Self-organization may be feasible for biological systems – but with information systems and businesses, lack of strong central control inevitably leads to chaos.

The golden age of throwaway computers is just around the corner

Antithesis: Ever greater possibilities for monitoring consumers – "Big Brother" on the advance.

Information technology deprives us of the time to think

Antithesis: As a consequence of its amazing progress, information technology will in future increasingly take on the function of creative thinking, thus minimizing the significance of our own intellectual performance, and leaving us free to concentrate on consumption and entertainment.

Artificial embryology will drive product design

Antithesis: Will relinquishing control over the structure of products designed by us leave us at the mercy of unknown forces?

To become slaves, we don’t need to wait for robots

Antithesis: A strong dependence on information technology cannot be denied. However, as computers have no will of their own, they can never force humans to do things they do not want to do.