It seems strange but the foregoing is already an actual fact; therefore it is not utopian to speak of future scenarios. Let us see, for instance, a hypothetical sitting room in the year 2010 and let us follow our friends' conversation. Don't be bewildered by the complexity and speed of the events (because the cybercomputer travels at very high speeds). Everyone can follow them at his own speed later on.
"Look! I've bought a new cybercomputer; it has an incorporated camera and a card with the automatic translation of the voice. 'Switch on'. You see, how it obeys orders ..."What do you wish, master?"
"Switch on the videotelephone."I have to contact that firm in Paris to see whether the goods I have ordered meet my requirements
"Good morning, monsieur. You look well and maybe you have also put on a little weight. I would like to know whether my order is ready for shipment.' (But I have forgotten to activate the simultaneous translation by the cybercomputer :'Translate into French')."It's okay now. Let's see if the goods I wanted is satisfactory. How cute that hat. Please add it to the order.
I don't like the collar of these shirts. Take them out, please. There, I think the rest is all right. Just improve the packing of those dresses a little. See you again soon."
Now that I've finished my work I wan to amust myself with my preterite game: "Sailing around the world".
-"Look how amusing, it's just like being on a shop. Let us see the large reception hall...very beautiful! Now we steer towards Polynesia.. I've- been wanting to go for so long ... The treasure hunt is about to begin. First of all I must find the mysterious island and then..."
Once the game is over I decide to gather information from the cybercomputer concerning any organized excursions by mountain bike. I would like to ge for a bicycle ride tomorrow (thanks to the cybercomputer I have much more time to spend with the others.). I connect with the club in my town and run through the list of weekly excursions. I note that tomorrow there is a nice trip to the Franciscan hermitage, leaving at 4 p.m. Since I'm free I place my booking. There are also some of my friends, so we'll have a good time.
Now I must record on the'cybercomputer that lesson on the new operative systems of information science so that my students will be able to go ahead with the study program. But I must first correct their homework; let's see in the E-mail box if they have already done it. As usual, Mark's are missing. I shall have to send him a reminder.It's nice to be able to work at home without spending hours and hours in exhausting queues of cars that clog the traffic.
- Since I have time, I want to see if there are any faxes for me. "Fax, please". Here is the list of the last faxes that have-arrived and have not been read yet. Let me print this fax because it contains the stock exchange quotations. By the way, I must remember to contact my bank to find out th,e Situation of my current account. "Bank, please" and then "Display the last twenty operations." It is advisable that we save a little otherwise we shall not get to the end of the month...Let us now see whether there is anything new in our town. "Look!!! They are finally paving that road. I think the cost is too high; I'll submit a request for further information."
Then I want to respond to the referendum on the city dump and on the reduction of school taxes. I must also remember .to apply for the family certificate and birth certificate. I better do it immediately.
"It seems impossible; it's 10 p.m; and I can find the town computer open." After having voted on the referendum and printed my certificates, I decide to relax, maybe watching a traditional variety show.
Let us go to the Lido in Paris. It's a fact that compared with the old television this is quite different: the quality of the image is exceptional, to say the least. It's just like being there ...
- Well, what do you think? Do you like the cybercomputer? Don't be afraid because for the activities illustrated above it will be enough to devote only a few hours a day: the same time we spend now in front of the television set. However we can also perform some work from home and carry out a number of activities that otherwise would cause us to lose time and money.
It is gratifying to become a protagonist in the choices concerning information and it will be even easier and economic to purchase new products, presenting them according to our personal experience. For instance, we might make our personal newspaper by picking out of the various dailies only the news we are interested in, transferring it on to our private cybercomputer and then printing it on paper. This will entail a greater flexibility in the choice and a considerable cost reduction, in production, transport and distribution, No longer will tons of paper be wasted; petrol and gas,bil will also be saved thus reducing pollution.
I could also personalize my record collection by creating records I myself have assembled choosing bnong the various kinds of music. Just like what Pavarotti does at his concerts in which opera, rock music and other music coexist. It will be enough to choose the passages and click on the mouse to transfer them on to my cybercomputer.
Publishers will only have to introduce their products in the world network. Anyone can insert his own work; then it will be up to the public to choose and not sectarian, not better defined, critics. Even the costs may go down and there might be even more justice by granting to those who produce ideas and jobs the possibility of collecting a reasonable fee on the basis of the number of persons who have read or taken their articles or products.
Specially the weak and handicapped could draw benefits from these new technologies. Think, for instance, of a deaf man: he could read the telephone calls and sound messages directed to him on the monitor; or a blind man who could copy the newspaper with his Braille printer at home without an increase in cost.
Our dear grannies could order their shopping and any other product from any part in the world without leaving their home, .without tiring walks in the center of town to apply for certificates or simply to.gather information. They will be able to spend their precious time in more sedate and relaxing activities, such as walking in the park or having tea with their friends.
Even the manner in which information is proposed will be easier and easier,.and friendlier so that it can be used by everybody, even persons who are very simple and at a disadvantage. We could even choose the character or the tone of the voice with which the computer is to give us the information. For instance, we might have the newsreel read to us with the synthetizadvoice of the President of the USA, or the stock exchange bulletin read by Alberto Sordi's voice.
Finally, at the level of amusement and entertainment, the classical videogame will be supplanted by the cybercomputer which will be quite capable of carrying out that activity, even with the aid of three-dimension devices such as virtual helmets and all sorts of sensors that will bring about an .emotional involvement so far un known.
Moreover, a sector that has realdy undergone great development is that of eroticism. For instance, in the United States the production of CD-ROMs of this nature is by far one of the markets with:the highest sales. But I shall avoid giving you spicy details on the subject. Indeed, even if this is an interesting area in rapid expansion, it is far too personal and everyone should be free to-assume whatever attitude he prefers towards it.
But I don't want to terminate this review on that subject, because my hope is that these new technologies will be, above' all, an instrument for cultural growth, a new possibility of positive communication among human beings, in order to grow together and share all the wholesome and beautiful that the human mind can create.
Therefore I shall close mentioning the artistic beauties that are our country's pride. In fact, I am reminded that many of our museums are already making, their cultural patrimony available by transforming into a digital format all the works of art they contain to render them accessible to us through telematics. Therefore, in the year 2010 we will be able to visit a museum with the cybercomputer by making it come to our home.