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Series on Technology and Social Priorities NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING Information Technologies anc! Social Transformation Bruce R. Guile Editor NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1985

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National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 The National Academy of Engineering is a private organization established in 1964. It shares in the responsibility given the National Academy of Sciences under a congressional charter granted in 1863 to advise the federal government on questions of science and technology. This collaboration is implemented through the National Research Council. The National Academy of Engineenng recognizes distinguished engineers, sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, and encourages education and research. Funds for the National Academy of Engineenng~s Symposium Senes on Technology and Social Priorities were provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Academy Industry Program. The views expressed in this volume are those of the authors and are not presented as the views of the Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Academy Industry Program, or the National Academy of Engineering. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Main entry under title: Information technologies and social transformation. (Series on technology and social priorities) Papers presented at a symposium held in conjunction with the 1984 annual meeting of the National Academy of ~ . . ungmeenng. 1. Electronic data processing~ocial aspects Congresses. I. National Academy of Engineering. IT. Series. QA76.9.C66I52 1985 303.4'834 85~830 Copyright ~ 1985 by the National Academy of Sciences No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the U.S. government. ISBN 0-309-03529-5 Printed in the United States of America

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SYMPOSIUM ADVISORY COMMITTEE Chairman JOSEPH V. CHARYK, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Communications Satellite Corporation Members SOLOMON J. BUCHSBAUM, Executive Vice-President, Customer Systems, AT&T Bell Laboratones HARLAN CLEVELAND, Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota N. BRUCE HANNAY, Vice-President, Research and Patents, Bell Laboratories (retired) JAMES BRIAN QUINN, William and Josephine Buchanan Professor of Management, Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College Staff BRUCE R. GUILE, National Academy of Engineering Fellow PENELOPE GIBBS, Symposium Series Secretary fizz

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Preface Infollllation technologies are perhaps the most aggressive technol- ogies of the current age, generating progress, change, and turbulence in many branches of industry and in the lives of organizations and individuals. Microelectronic systems are shrinking in size and cost, growing in performance, expanding their range to the world level, and crossing cultural boundaries. As societies attain higher orders of information handling, existing social institutions are faced with the dual challenge of directing and accommodating social change driven by technology. With this in mind the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) held the second of its Symposia on Technology and Social Prionties, in conjunction with its 1984 Annual Meeting, titled Infor- mation Technologies and Social Transformation. The symposium, held on October 4, 1984, brought scholars of technology and society together with technologists, social scientists, and representatives from the industrial, legal, and public sectors to discuss the interaction of information technology with social institu- tions. The topics addressed included a review of recent developments and likely futures in information technology, a comparison of infor- mation technology to historical developments in other technologies, and discussion of the interaction of information technology with businesses, homes, property rights in information, and various hier- archies of social organization. The six papers presented at the sym- posium, with comments by discussants asked to prepare remarks on the papers, make up this volume. It is, I think, an exceptionally v

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v! PREFACE interesting collection of insights about the role of technology in society in general and the likely impacts of infonnation technology in particular. The Council of the National Academy of Engineering voted to dedicate the symposium to the memory of George M. Low, who died on July 17, 1984. In his 27 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Mr. Low made major contributions to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs as an engineer and an administrator. He became deputy administrator of NASA in 1969 and served in that position until he became president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976. Mr. Low was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1970 and was the recipient of the Academy's Founders Award in 1978. At his death Mr. Low was a member of the Council of the NAE and chairman of the joint National Academy of Eng~neering-National Academy of Sciences-Institute of Medicine Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. Bruce Guile, a fellow at the National Academy of Engineering, was, in large part, responsible for the symposium. Working with the advisory committee, he helped formulate the content of the symposium, worked with the speakers to ensure cohesion of the presentations, and served as an editor to produce this volume. The editor acknowledges with gratitude the counsel and help of several Academy staff members. Jesse Ausubel, special assistant to the president of the National Academy of Engineering, offered helpful advice and answered questions throughout the process of holding the symposium and editing the papers. Penelope Gibbs, in addition to typing correspondence and the manuscript, handled the lists and labels that make a symposium happen. Dorothy Sawicki of the National Academy Press offered sound editorial advice and prepared the manuscript for publication. ROBERT M. WHITE President National Academy of Engineenng

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Contents Introduction Joseph V. Charyk The Evolution of Information Technologies John S. Mayo Comments by Ernest S. Kuh, 33 The Information Age: Evolution or Revolution? Melvin Rranzberg Comments by Gunnar Hambraeus, 53 The Twilight of Hierarchy: Speculations on the Global Infonnation Society. Harlan Cleveland Comments by Alexander H. nax, 79 Property Rights in Information. Anne Wells Branscomb Comments by Jordan J. Baruch, 121 Information Technologies in the Home Walter S. Baer Comments by Roland W. Schmitt, 151 . . vet 7 35 . 55 .. 81 123

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vIll Computers and Business ... Theodore ]. Gordon Comments by Ruth M. Davis, 168 About the Authors CONTENTS 154 ...... 171

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Information Technologies and Social Transformation

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