Across the globe, technology’s meteoric rise to center stage has created polarizing ways people view the future. Now the focus must shift towards using it to create a more level playing field for society.
Burgeoning views of technology’s relationship to society remain in the headlines, from Mark Zuckerberg’s questioning by American and EU Regulators to the looming impact of AI and cryptocurrencies. Separating the salient headlines from reality remains more important than ever.
How will technological disruption enable a healthy and wealthy society?
To understand how technology can accelerate economic growth, it is critical to understand how its value can reverberate throughout society. As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent, people wonder whether it will add jobs or take them away. Though the outlook of the technological impact on productivity remains complicated, fierce competition will fuel new initiatives as Silicon Valley start-ups keep everyone on edge. With $1.9T sitting on corporate balance sheets available to fuel the flames of innovation, it is clear that this force is unstoppable.
Pairing the need to compete with a positive economic outlook will naturally create jobs, primarily around IT. Traditionally, those IT jobs have required higher education. However, the democratization of education and the recent wave of AI startups will change all of that. Contrary to the rhetoric in the headlines, artificial intelligence will make many jobs more accessible by lowering the educational threshold.
In the gig economy, the blurring of labor forces across borders will remain pervasive. Companies will invest in more productive labor as barriers to competition break down. Sectors that are structurally declining will see some job loss from automation. The availability of education and the level playing field artificial intelligence creates will ensure not only economic growth, but also new opportunities across the board.
As technology improves productivity and enables job creation, we must then reflect on why.
As governments experiment with universal basic income, corporate giants will put their full weight behind redefining the healthcare system. As education becomes more accessible, the need to focus technological disruption on quality of life becomes critical in shaping a heathy society.
So where will disruption effect quality of life?
The most visible impact can be seen in technological deflation. People have a better quality of life as the cost of luxury items continue to fall. However, more consumption does not define quality of life.
This dynamic creates a large opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Allowing creative minds to thrive in society makes economic sense, such as YouTube did for a new wave of entertainers. Just look at how we track and improve daily exercise habits via FitBit, or redefine how mental health is monitored and treated through a technological infrastructure.
We are optimistic that technological disruption will continue to improve society’s quality of life. As the world moves towards solving the basic necessities of living, as regulation and policy intelligently manage job turnover, as productivity from IT boosts the economy, and as entrepreneurialism continues to thrive, technology will continue to create a healthier, wealthier society.