EPIC 2014EPIC 2014 is a Bladerunner-esque vision of the future. It's been around since November 2004, but frankly I'm not bothered about that. I haven't come across this on any UK sites and everyone needs to see it.

It's alarming and rather melodramatic, but it hits so many buttons and, to some extent, is likely to be right.

EPIC 2014 plots major developments in online media since the creation of the web in 1989, and projects trends from the past 16 years into the future. It's a future where newspapers have abandoned the internet to produce a niche, printed product for an aged and declining elite, and where news and information are controlled by a new hegemony: Googlezon.

"Using a new algorithm, Googlezon's computers construct news stories dynamically, stripping sentences and facts from all content sources and recombining them. The computer writes a news story for every user."

I won't spoil your eyebrow-raising experience by telling you any more.

Just watch it - here.

Background - It's eight minutes long and was made by journalists Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson. Matt works for the Fresno Bee and Robin works for cable news channel Current in San Francisco. And the Museum of Media History is fictional. Enjoy.

Comments? Email me.


From Lananh Nguyen, 12:58 19 May 2005

The Googlezon predictions didn't take into account the ability of the web to empower a lot of people with information and give way to many alternative voices.

However, I do agree with their critique of news as infotainment driven by consumerism - and that newspapers help to give people useful information they wouldn't normally seek out.

I don't agree with the apocalyptic vision that newspapers will disappear completely, and I also think the web will contribute to a more 'democratic' form of information-gathering that isn't as controlled as newspapers are.

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