You are on page 1of 3

CYBERSPACE

By
Harry Case Stansbury

The term Cyberspace was first introduced in science fiction.1 Today, Cyberspace far
transcends the science fiction novel and refers to the vast mass communication networks created
by television, radio, and especially the multimedia technology of the Internet.2
By the late 1960s, the mainframe computer3 had made great inroads in changing business
areas ranging from airline reservations to railroad freight schedules, in government agencies
from the Social Security Administration to the Federal Housing Administration, and in
educational programs to assist students in learning. The mainframe computer began to
revolutionize business by providing an ability to handle, store, retrieve, and analyze large
amounts of data.4 Companies with large customer bases used these computers and integrated
them into day-to-day business activities.5 Of course, because of the size and expense of such
computers, access was limited during the 1970s.
In the early 1980s, the personal computer6 became available and changed the accessibility
problem. The small size of this computer, as well as the reduced individual cost, made
computerization of business, government, and education feasible on a wide scale. The personal
computer, or PC, was becoming readily available to smaller businesses and homes.7 It was then
that the computer explosion took place in the United States and worldwide.8 Many individuals
began to do more and more routine tasks on computers. Data could be downloaded onto disks at
work and brought home for further processing. School and educational work could be done on
computers. Home records could be computerized. As more computers were manufactured, they
became affordable in price for many.9 As computer technology advanced, computers became
smaller and portable.10
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the study of cognitive processes using the conceptual
frameworks and the tools of computer science.11 It is based on the techniques used by the human
mind. These techniques are referred to as semantic information processes.12 AI began as a subfield of computer science in the mid-fifties. Rule-based expert systems were the first type of AI
systems to become widely available and used beyond the AI academic community. 13
In the rule-based expert system, a rule is encoded in a simple, stylized if-then format. If certain
conditions are known to hold, then the AI system will take the stated action or draw the stated
conclusion. Rule-based systems work by chaining these various encoded rules together. For
chaining, there are two different ways of reasoning, for humans as well as for expert systems. 14
A problem is presented. In forward chaining, information is gathered on the problem, and the
expert system draws a conclusion. In backward chaining, the expert system starts with a goal,
and then seeks evidence that supports or contradicts this goal.
The advances in technology are incredible. Many areas of computer technology are
improving so fast that hardware and software becomes obsolete in 18 months or less.15 This has
kept the cost of many technological products low as closeout sales take place. This has further

resulted in computers becoming almost universally used in business, and increasingly used in
many homes across the nation.
The Internet was established between government and academic computers many years
ago to allow the transfer of information and to provide communications in the event of a national
emergency.16 With the advent of browser software during the 1990s, and the capability of
graphics as well as text transmission, the World Wide Web of the Internet rapidly became a
medium for mass communication and commerce with the general public.17 The Internet,
especially the World Wide Web, is now an international network.18 It is used extensively for the
marketing19 of products and services. Substantial retail sales now take place each year on the
Internet.20 Many individual investors have Internet brokerage accounts.21 The Internet is also the
repository of vast amounts of factual information and statistics so it can be used as an
educational tool. Students can gather research data and then use such research in school projects.
Young students are often very favorable to the use of computers in the classroom. Many
of the children of today were exposed to computer games at an early age. Most of the children
were also exposed to computer-assisted imagery in movies22 and on television. Examples of this
are the special effects in Star Wars, and the animation in Toy Story.
Apple Computer Corporation became involved in a study and collaboration with public
schools in 1985, when a lot of publicity concerning the future of the personal computer and
education, as well as business, was prevalent. It must be noted that this was also a time of
intense competition between Apple and the other operating system for the PC being used by IBM
Corporation and Microsoft.23 It was important to these companies for young children to start
using computers at an early age in order to become more familiar with having them around than
their parents' generation to ensure growth of the industry in general. Not only was that
important, but the exposure to one or the other companies' operating systems and brand names in
school can serve to establish brand loyalty24 when these children become adults and go into the
business world.
2000-2015 Harry Stansbury

See Note, Keeping Secrets in Cyberspace: Establishing Fourth Amendment Protection for Internet
Communication, 110 Harv. L. Rev.1591, 1591-1595 & n.4 (1997).
2

See DAVID A. KAPLAN, THE SILICON BOYS 318-319 (1999).

See Peter T. White, Behold the Computer Revolution, National Geographic, Nov. 1970 at 593.

See MICHAEL HILTZIK, DEALERS OF LIGHTNING 14-20 (1999).

See MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, BLOOMBERG BY BLOOMBERG 131-134 ( 1997)

See Allen A. Boraiko, The Chip, National Geographic, Oct. 1982, at 421.

See generally STEVEN LEVY, HACKERS Ch. 15 (1984).

See generally JERRY KAPLAN, STARTUP Ch. 1 (1994).

See generally JIM CARLTON, APPLE Ch. 2 (1997).

10

See generally MICHAEL WOLFF, BURN RATE Ch. 1 (1998).

11

See generally CARL TOWNSEND & DENNIS FUECHT, DESIGNING AND PROGRAMMING PERSONAL
EXPERT SYSTEMS 3-29 (1986)
12

See L. Thorne McCarty, Reflections on TAXMAN: An Experiment in Artificial Intelligence and Legal Reasoning,
90 Harv. L. Rev. 837,841-842 (1977).
13

See Edwina L. Rissland, Artificial Intelligence and Law: Stepping Stones to a Model of Legal Reasoning, 99 Yale L.J.
1957, 1958-1961 (1990).
14

See generally MICHAEL CHADWICK & JOHN HANNAH, EXPERT SYSTEMS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 1619 (1987).
15

See Nikhil Hutheesing, Faster, Cheaper, Better Forever, Forbes, July 7, 1997, at 172; see also Kelly Barron,
Johnny's Computer Doesn't Boot, Forbes, May 17, 1999, at 120.
16

See CHARLES H. FERGUSON, HIGH STAKES, NO PRISONERS 42-43 (1999). See also Jonathan L. Zittrain,
The Generative Internet, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1974, 1993 & n.69 (2006).
17

See MICHAEL LEWIS, THE NEW, NEW THING 81-82 (1999); see also PAUL ANDREWS, HOW THE WEB
WAS WON Ch. 2 (1999). See generally Developments in the Law Corporations and Society, 117 Harv. L. Rev.
2169, 2179 & n.53 (2004).
18

See VLADIMIR ZWASS, FOUNDATIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 266-274 (1998).

19

See PHILIP KOTLER, MARKETING MANAGEMENT 731-739 (9th ed. 1997). See generally Reno v. ACLU,
521 U.S. 844 (1997); U.S. v. Microsoft, 253 F.3d 34 (2001).
20

See Leslie Kaufman, Playing Catch-Up at the On-Line Mall, New York Times, February 21, 1999 at 3-1.

21

See Gretchen Morgenson, Sailing Into Murky Waters, New York Times, February 28, 1999 at 3-1. See also
Developments in the Law The Law of Cyberspace, 112 Harv. L. Rev. 1574, 1580 & n.28 (1999).
22

See PETER BISKIND, EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS 326 (1998). See generally Joseph H. Fishman,
Creating Around Copyright, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 1333, 1336 & nn.7-9 (2015).
23

24

See ROBERT X. CRINGELY, ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES 120-138 (1992).

See J. PAUL PETER & JAMES H. DONNELLY, JR., A PREFACE TO MARKETING MANAGEMENT 108113 (7th ed. 1997).