Kees A. Schouhamer Immink, President
2002 December, Vol 50 No. 12
The digital audio revolution, which started 20 years ago in 1982 with the introduction of the Compact Disc, has completely changed our core product: sound. If a convention papers chair were to decline all paper submissions that contained the terms digital or computer, probably only 10 to 20% of the papers would remain. In 25 years or so the technology that we use has completely changed, but our great passion and love for audio has not changed at all. It is this great excitement for music, on the part of both recording artists and engineers, that makes the real difference.
The digital revolution also affected our society as a whole. Networks have changed the way we work. Computers embedded in refrigerators or ovens will be connected to the Internet so that these "intelligent" household appliances can be controlled at a distance, no matter where in the world they are installed. You may soon hear, "Sorry, dear, there is no dinner tonight because our oven is infected with a virus." An average car, I just learned at an AES conference, is much more intelligent than an average house or apartment as it has more embedded computers for self-control and security.
The Internet has helped to better serve our membership. Over half of the members who voted in our election this year did so by electronic means via the Internet, and it is anticipated that in the long run the traditional paper-and-pencil ballot will be phased out. Online distribution of the Journal is now available to student members and will be implemented for all grades of memberships soon. One of the Society's principal assets, the full library of publications-Journal papers and convention and conference papers-is now available to any interested party, nonmembers as well as members, on CD-ROM.
I look forward to an exciting year in 2003 with the upcoming Amsterdam convention in March, the New York convention in October, a regional convention in Tokyo, and conferences in Copenhagen, Banff, and London. The AES membership has a great tradition of excellence, and we will strive to carry it forward well into the future.