Published in Proceedings of InterSymp-1998: The 10th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics: Baden-Baden, Germany, August 17, 1998, pages 9-28.
Publisher's website: http://www.iias.edu
This paper traces trends in the technological advances of computer and communication systems and examines the promises of the Information Society: global information sharing; and, intelligent decision-support. The technological developments that will lead to the realization of Cyberspace, an information rich environment in which virtual reality capabilities couple directly to the human senses, is explored in terms of five essential components: information processing requirements; communication networks; computing devices (i.e., platforms); hardware and software user-interfaces; and, the meaningful representation of information.
Attention is drawn to the critical role played by information representation in a Cyberspace environment. The author argues that the communication infrastructure must become more than a message passing facility. It must have some understanding of the information it is transmitting. If this fundamental requirement is met then Cyberspace will present human society with an unprecedented potential for leveraging the capabilities of the individual members of society for their own benefit and the collective benefit of mankind.