After an unprecedented year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules, three out of four consumers around the world use a money transfer and payments FinTech service (FinTech). Telemedicine consultations are on the rise. AI is being put to use to quickly assess medical test results. Countries including Japan and the UK are looking into using robots to care for their ageing populations, at home and in specialized care. Applying innovative approaches, one can learn more efficiently as a child, and continue lifelong learning in an evolving work environment.
As a whole, technology has a huge potential to supply efficient, affordable services – including essential housing, power, education, healthcare, and financial services – to populations around the world, even those often left behind. However, society will also be changed in a more negative way in this era of digital advances. Tech is having a profound impact across the employment sector, with more than 40% of jobs at risk of being automated by 2035. AI and algorithmic systems appear to perpetuate entrenched inequality and bias, with a growing call for a fairer use of technology to benefit all equally. Issues of fairness, diversity and inclusion are routinely mentioned as being exacerbated by technology in general, along with questions around privacy, digital addition, and more
Finally, with the indiscriminate use of personal data by both private and public entities and the unbridled proliferation of misleading or untruthful news, the pernicious impact of an Internet lacking clear rules and guidelines on democratic political systems and institutions around the world continues to worry.
Debate the good and the bad, and the ways to bolster the former and limit the latter, with one clear objective: to help all communities flourish in a fairer and more inclusive world.