Recognizing the digital divide

Under the impact of this information explosion, different degrees and types of anticipation result among the professionals who participate in the technology of the next generation of machine translation. […] Each of these “users” has got hold of some major or side effect of the information explosion, and each is a potential supporter and advocate, sufficiently entranced by the possibilities of the new devices to use them and to dream of a form of life which will be increasingly permeated with the new technology and which will nevertheless be human and desirable.

On the other hand, each is potential rejector, bemused, frustrated, left behind […] This opposition has the special quality that comes from the absolute inability to communicate, the feeling of being up against a brick wall – that is symbolized by a live speaker at one end of a telephone conversation and a recorded answer at the other. […]

These reactions are already plain to see on every side, and it will be worthwhile for the innovators in the new technology to invest time and thought in ways in which delight and hope for human consequences of the new technology can be increased, and fear and rage decreased.

Margaret Mead – New York Times, May 23 1965.

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