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The Future of Text IV (late 2023)

This year we are focusing on text to extend cognition in extended environments.

This includes text on paper extended from notebooks to reams of paper across tables and onto walls. It also includes text on digital displays extended onto projections and head mounted devices, interacted with directly as well as through AI. We ask:

  • What is text beyond the page, the notebook, the book, the tablet, the smart phone, and computer screen?
  • What is text with massive processing capacity behind it, through AI operations?

We are currently living in the last period of time for human history when most of us do not spend a significant time working in full spatial environments, either through headsets or projectors. This is a truly historic time, the end of an era with the very first glimpse of what is to come.

Those who choose to dream of a future in fully immersive environments today, whether VR or AR, will determine how these environments will develop.

We need to ask how this future can truly augment how we think and communicate. This is a question much too important to be left only to software developers.

And as we look ahead, we should not ignore the past and what we already have. As we extend our thinking digitally, we can also extend our thinking into analog environments, from drawing on large reams of paper and not just on small pages in books.

The opportunities for the future of text are wondrous. Join us in wondering and dreaming together.


The Future of Text Symposium will be held in London and online on the 4th of October.



Editorial Board


  • Alan Laidlaw
  • Brandel Zachernuk
  • Dene Grigar
  • Fabien Benetou
  • Ismail Serageldin
  • Peter Wasilko
  • Vint Cerf