The Heritage Foundation

International Briefing #14

December 2, 1985

December 2, 1985 | International Briefing on

Britain Improves Social Security: A Model for the U.S.

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1. Cashless Society Transactions: Recording of financiaT transacTionst with a hard-copy output for buyer and seller, a permanent record and updating of balance in computer memory.

2. Dedicated Newspaper A set of pages with printed and graphic information, possibly

including photographs, the organization of which has been predetermined by the user to suit his preferences.

3. Computer-Aided School Instruction: @t the very minimum, computer determination of the day's assign- ment for each pupil, and at the end of the day, recor 'ding of the day's progress report. At its most complex, such a ser- vice would-use a 'real ti.me, interactive video color display with voice input and output and an appropriate program suited to each pupil's progress and temperament.

4. Shopping Transactions ( tore-Catalogs): Interactive programs, perhaps video assisted, which describe or show goods at request of the buyer, advise him of the price, location, delivery time, etc.

5. Person-to-Person (Paid Work at Home): Switched video and facsimile service substituting for normal day's contacts of middle-class managerial personnel where daily-contacts are mostly of a routine nature. May also apply to contacts with the public by receptionist, doctor or his assistant., etc.

6. Plays and Movies from a Video Library: @election of all plays arid movies. Color and good sound are required.

7. Computer Tutor: From a library of self-help programs available, a computer, in an interactive mode, coaching the pupil (typically adult) in the chosen subject.

8. Message Recording: Probab-ly of currently available type but may include video memory (a patient showing doctor the rash he has developed).

9. Secretarial Assistance: Written or dictated letters typed by a remotely situated secretary.

10. Household Mail and Messages: Letters and notes transmitted directly to or from the house by ineans.of hom facsimile machines.

11. Mass Mail and Direct Advertising Mail: Higher outpu

12. Answering Services: Storage of incoming messages or notes whom to call, possibly wi@h computer logic recognizing emergency situations and diverting the cal I -

13. Grocery Price List, Information and Ordering: Grocery price list providing up-to-the-ininute,undated information about perishable foodstuffs. Video color display may be needed to allow selection of selected merchandise.

14. Access to Company Files: Information in titles, coded for security; regularly updated files are availablewith cross refereilces, indicating-the code where detailed information is stored. Synthesis also may be available.

15. Fares and Ticket Reservations As provided by travel agencies now but more comprehensive and faster. Cheapest rates, information regarding the differences betweeen carriers with respect-to service, memos, etc., may be available.

16. Past and Forthcoming Events_: Events, dates of events, and their brief description; short pre- views of future theater plays; and recordings of past events.

17 Correspondence School: Taped or live high school, university, and vocational courses available on reques-t with an option either to audit or take for credit. Course would be on TV, paper support on facsimile.

18. Daily Calendar and Reminder abou "Aointmen'ts. Prerecorded special appointments and regularly occurring appoint- ments stored as a programmed reminder.

19. Computer-Assisted Meetings: Partidipption..of computer,as. a partner in a meeting, answering ques- tions.of fact, deriving correlations, and extrapolating trends.

20. Newspaper, Electronic, General: Daily newspaper, possible printed during the high, available in time for breakfast. Special editions following major news breaks.

21. Adult Evening Courses on TV: Noninteractive, Broadcast -liodelive courses on TV--wider choice of subjects than at present.

22. Banking S----rvices Money Orders, transfers, advice.

23. Legal Information: Directory of lawyers, computerized legal counseling giving precedents, rulings in similar cases', describing jurisdiction of varous courts and chances of successful -suits in a particular area of litigation.

24. Special Sales Information Any sales within the distace specified by the user and for items specified by him will be "flashed" onto the howe display unit.

25. -Consumers' Advisory Service: Equivalent of Consum er Reports, giving best buy, products rated "acceptable" etc.

26. Weather Bureau Country-wide, regional forecasts or special forecasts (for farniers, fishermen), hurricane and .1-ornado warnings similar to current AAU special forecast service.

27. Bus, Train, and Air Schedulj.2.2: ' Centrally available information with one number to call.

28. Res ta uran ts : Following a query for a type of restaurant (Japanese, for instance), reservations, menu, prices are shown. Displays of dishes, location of tables, may be included.

29. Library Access: After an interactive "browing"-with a "librarian computer: and a quotation for the cost of hard copy facsimile or a slow scan video transmission., a book or a magazine is transmitted to the home.

30. Index, All Services, Served by the Home Terminal: Includes prices or charges-of the above, or available communications services." (Electronics, "Fiber Optic Developments Spark Worldwide Interest," August 5, 1976, p..83.)