10 old movies about new technology

Originally posted on TED Blog:

A scene from the 1957 movie Desk Set, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, with a mainframe computer in the leading role.

A scene from the 1957 movie Desk Set, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, with a mainframe computer in the leading role.

Roy Amara’s classic quote goes: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1762]In today’s talk from TED2013, Rodney Brooks invokes this law to talk about robots. While people panic about robots taking their jobs over the course of the next few years, the focus should be on guiding the development of the technology so that, in the upcoming decades, we’ll have robots that can work with an aging world population. As Brooks points out, we are amid a major demographic shift as the number of working-age adults in the United States, Europe and China drops and the number of people past retirement age swells.

The key, says Brooks — the MIT professor who…

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