Interesting Computer World article on the future of computer science. A wide range of views. The ones that impressed me the most were John Canny’s thoughts on what it is that has made computer science uninteresting to so many people. He argues in several comments that computer science has chosen the path of not caring about social relevance, and that that is now costing us in how interesting we are as a discipline of study, and how much impact we are having on the world. He points out that much of computer science is just working hard to be a hand-maiden to other sciences.
I found his arguments compelling. The suggested fix of moving towards understanding how computers can provide applications that deeply fit what people want to do in their lives is critical. Right now most computer science programs don’t want to think about users and their problems. Why is that? How can it be fixed?
In a New York Times article on the same topic, Jon Kleinberg is quoted about the vast opportunity computer networks are creating for measuring social networks. Of course, he’s right about the value of the social networks, but I think focusing on the measuring misses the big picture: computers are making possible radical new notions of community that are altering or replacing our traditional geography-bound notions of community.
In a Nature issue devoted to the future of computing, Stephen H. Muggleton, one commentator, discusses the use of computers for advancing biology research. He
discusses many examples of the use of computer algorithms to improve
the ability of scientists to form and test hypotheses. He argues that
interfaces to these algorithms will eventually enable human scientists
to perform in a way that will demonstrate "Exceeding human limits".
What do you think the future of computing will bring?