The information society

That we live in a period of unprecedented technological change, both in terms of the extent and speed of change, has been discussed extensively. Many of the underlying transformations are undoubtedly associated with the set of interrelated and, more recently, converging technologies that have come to be known as ICT. They permeate every aspect of life - economic, social, political, cultural and otherwise - and have created great interest regarding their actual and potential impact.

The last two decades, in particular, have witnessed the widespread adoption of a great number of such technologies, notably the personal computer, the cell phone and the Internet. Together with their multitude of applications, ICT touches on nearly every known economic and societal norm. Today, in many OECD and other countries, the majority of businesses use computers and the Internet as a matter of routine. Unheard of until fairly recently, life without e-mail and the World Wide web seems like an anomaly today.

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