Report: Measuring IT's impact on society

The National Science Board report

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Comparing the use of information technology to the Industrial Revolution,

the National Science Board's biennial report to the president recommends

a large agenda for future research on the impact of new technologies on

society.

"Science and Engineering Indicators 2000," prepared for the National Science

Foundation, will be released today.

The report's section on the significance of IT draws on a recent National

Research Council study sponsored by NSF. Among the report's conclusions:

* Interdisciplinary study could help define a set of broadly accepted measures

of access to, and the use and effect of, information and IT.

* It is important to understand how and to what extent the use of computers

might affect wage distribution.

* Work must be compiled that shows how IT affects productivity.

* Policymakers considering revisions to intellectual property law or international

agreements would benefit from continued research.

The National Science Board also recommended the potential creation of IT

indexes, measuring such things as interconnectivity, information quality

of life and the presence of IT in the home.

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