Robert W. Taylor, a pioneer of the modern computer, dies at 85 - LA Times: Robert W. Taylor, one of the most important figures in the creation of the modern computer and the Internet, has died. He was 85. According to his son Kurt Taylor, the scientist died Thursday at his home in Woodside. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. Taylor’s name was not known to the public, but it was a byword in computer science and networking, where he was a key innovator who transformed the world of technology. Taylor was a Pentagon researcher in the 1960s when he launched Arpanet, which evolved into what we know today as the Internet.Presaging the concern in our current time over disparate access to advanced Internet-based telecommunications, Taylor wrote the following in a paper he co-authored, The Computer as a Communication Device published in April 1968 in Science and Society:
For the society, the impact will be good or bad, depending mainly on the question: Will "to be on line" be a privilege or a right? If only a favored segment of the population gets a chance to enjoy the advantage of "intelligence amplification," the network may exaggerate the discontinuity in the spectrum of intellectual opportunity.