Computers and Society

The Technological Setting

by Willis H. Ware


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A discussion of the growth of computer technology — both the logic and storage aspects — in the United States from 1955 to the present and projected to 1975, with impressions of what meaning such growth has for society, for various professions, and for the individual. In 20 years of computer technology, there has been a speed increase of 50,000-fold, a cost decrease of 100,000-fold, and a size decrease of 10,000-fold. The coming years will see this phenomenal growth pattern continue, with each of us able to exploit computer technology in our professions. The problems will not be with the technology but with conceptual and social issues, e.g., the protection of personal privacy. Presented at the Conference on Computers, Society and Law, Stanford University, Stanford, California, June 25-26, 1973.

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