"The great surprise: a prosumer world.
We're in the era of what Alvin Toffler called the "prosumer". Techno-literacy is concerned not just with consuming media but also creating it. Toffler's prosumers are people who consume media, who also produce it, and who are both producing and consuming at the same time. The Maker Movement is great evidence that we're in this kind of prosumer era where some of the artificial divisions that we had in the industrial society are breaking down - where there were producers and consumers, and they were separate camps. We're getting back a little bit more to a previous era - the hunter/gatherers - where people made the stuff that they consumed. In a curious way the new technologies can offer us more access to that earlier era.
Certainly most of the things that are going to be produced are going to be made by robots and automation, but we can modify them and we can change them, and we can be involved in the co-production of them to a degree that we couldn't in the industrial age. That's true not just for media and liquid intangible things but also for tangible things, and that's sort of the promise of 3D printing and robotics and all these other high-tech material sciences is that it's going to become as malleable.
Using the Internet and AI and connection, the physical world will be as malleable for us when we have help of these tools as the intangible world has been, and so that era of the prosumer can return. But again, this is not going to happen by osmosis; it will take training; it will take teaching; it will take education. It will take a literacy, a techno-literacy, to learn how this world works—to learn that these technologies have biteback, that they have feedback, that they have issues, restrictions, and there are costs. All this stuff is part of it."
Trechos retirados de "A Conversation with Kevin Kelly"