"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." - Roy Amara (1925-2007)
Roy Amara, engineer, forecaster, and longtime president of Institute for the Future
, died on Monday. At age 82, Roy still made regular visits to IFTF and attended our conferences, always offering sage advice and brilliant bits of insight. Several months ago, I had lunch with Roy and we talked at length about synthetic biology, an emerging field we agreed will likely have a profound impact on our world. At IFTF, we always make a point to look back at history before starting any forecast. As part of his personal interest in the future of synthetic biology and healthcare, Roy told me he was taking a look way
back, reading Charles Darwin's diaries from beginning to end.
Roy's career began in 1952 at the Stanford Research Institute where he worked on the development of the ERMA computer. During his 18 years at SRI, he directed research programs on interactive computing, decision analysis, and worked closely with Doug Engelbart on the proposals that led to Engelbart's history-making Augmentation Research Center. In 1970, he left SRI to become president of Institute for the Future, a not-for-profit research group that helps companies, governments, foundations, and other institutions think about the long-term future. At IFTF, Roy established our Ten-Year Forecast, now in its 35th year. In 1977, he led one of the first studies on the possible impacts of global climate change.
This year is IFTF's 40th anniversary. We'll miss Roy as we celebrate where his dedication, generosity, and foresight has led us.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]
This Python Mega Course will help you learn to code by teaching you to build 10 real-world apps that each highlight a unique use of Python.Job prospects for coders are still growing steadily—and with Python being one of the most popular coding languages out there today, it’s important for job seekers to demonstrate a widespread understanding of the […]
The Atmos R2 may be bigger than the brand’s previously-released vapes, but we argue that in this case it’s definitely a good thing. A bigger heating chamber means more room for packing it full. And the bigger battery means longer, more fulfilling vape sessions. In fact, you can use the Atmos R2 for up to about 25 […]