The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017 looks at the potential and risks associated with the rapid development of AI and robots. Their use will bring new opportunities to raise incomes, create new types of jobs and businesses and improve economic and social well-being, but there will be costs and bumps along the way.
Digitalisation has already been under way for about half a century, yet it is only now that everyone is talking about a digital revolution. Why? One reason is the spread of faster and better connectivity. In 2013, about 80% of OECD countries had complete broadband coverage, fixed or wireless.
Education has transformed over the last 20 years from being a means to an end to becoming a change agent on the battleground to improve the life chances of all individuals, regardless of where they live, their economic status, gender, ability or religious persuasion. Education has been revitalised as the gateway for equal opportunity.
In 1964 the writer Isaac Asimov predicted life 50 years on: “Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom....and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine”.
The crisis, above all, showed that the economy is a highly complex, dynamic and evolving undertaking, with the potential, at times, to produce unpredictable (and often undesired) outcomes. Finally, it showed the need to embrace more appropriately this complexity in the science underlying policy analysis as well as in the policy making process itself.
Climate change is not just about a change in climate towards hotter, wetter, and drier conditions, but also about an increase in the variability of the climate, as well as in the number and severity of extreme events.
Digital science and technology are at the heart of major economic, social and–in the eyes of some–anthropological shifts. That is why we need to think about the ethics of how these tools are produced and how they are used.
Ongoing innovation in technology is changing labour markets worldwide. To understand the future of work in the digital era, we need to move away from the traditional economic classification of manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.
The world has seen more than one industrial revolution and another one is already upon us. We should face it as optimists.
Algorithms lie at the heart of machine learning, which, in turn lies at the heart of much of modern life–from online shopping to intelligence gathering. But most of us know little about these powerful tools and how they work. Is this wise?