Digital Future(s)

Digital Future(s)

Lech W. Zacher
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch367
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Background: New Vocabulary Constituted

The term “digital” has become increasingly popular in recent times. In many cases, it substitutes such terms as “information(al)” and “networked.” However, it seems that the term has some performative potential, giving a new perspective of the information revolution, showing its new technical directions and introducing more future-oriented thinking on its effects and impacts. Additionally, the digitization of a growing number of domains of human activities and life is a goal, a process and a set of policies shaping human environment and making it an intelligent ambience.

An overview of the literature pertaining to the subject shows the emergence of a new vocabulary, which is frequently used both in scientific and public discourses. The use of new terminology is important for policy, as well as for elaboration and communication among ICT’s inventors, policy-makers, businesses, citizens and their organizations. Digital constructs, in the form of thinking and acting, are about the future. That is why visions, strategies and their societal acceptance and implementation should not fall behind with new narrative using new terms. So “digital” as a term specifying first of all a higher level of technology, can be used in a more metaphoric way also. Also, the term emphasizes a qualitative change of technological applications in many domains and spheres of human activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital World: The human world – existing, emerging and probable – being driven and transformed by technology, and by digitized ICTs, in particular. The world will have new qualities in most human spheres and activities. Digital effects – though not exhausting all characteristics – facilitate the coining of this metaphorical qualification.

Digital Ideology: A product of technologization and stimulus of its development; it consists of ideas, convictions, norms, directives and recommendations, as well as valuations concerning perception, understanding, interpreting and shaping reality. Digital ideology tries to explain the newly emerging world and formulates principles and rules of its functioning, as well as articulate certain interests of various segments of societies (e.g., ICT businesses, the R & D sphere).

Digital Future: Imagined picture or vision (in form of forecast, scenarios, etc.) in distant time being significantly shaped by the technology (digital technology, in particular) of countries, societies, organizations and individuals. Trajectories, achieved standards and effects will not be the same all over the world; that is why the plural (futures) is proper. The use of the term “digital” is, in fact, metaphoric.

Digital Technology: The sort of technology – as opposed to analogue technology – based on notation of all signals (e.g., sounds, pictures, data) in uniform 0–1 form. Digital technology includes computing, communication and content.

Digitization: A process of conversion of technologies from analogue to digital form, resulting in a better quality of transmission and storage, as well as new possibilities of linking files.

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