What is the impact of Digital Technologies?

Technologies can help promote justice and peace in the world. Digital advances can support and accelerate the achievement of each of them , from ending extreme poverty, reducing maternal and child mortality, promoting sustainable agriculture and decent work or to achieve universal literacy. However, technologies can also threaten the right to privacy, compromise security and deepen inequalities. They have implications for human rights and human action. Like previous generations, we – authorities, companies and individuals – have to choose how we want to exploit and manage new technologies.


Effect of digital technology on papulation.

Never in history has an innovation spread as quickly as digital technologies: they have affected the population of developing countries in just two decades, disrupting societies. By improving connectivity, financial inclusion and access to business and public services, technology can play an important role in promoting equality. 

For example, in the health field, cutting-edge technologies using artificial intelligence are helping to save lives, diagnose diseases and increase life expectancy. In education, virtual learning environments and distance learning opportunities provide access to educational programs to people who would otherwise be excluded. Public services are also becoming more accessible and delivered more responsibly, thanks to systems based on blockchain technology, and bureaucratic procedures are being streamlined with the help of artificial intelligence. In addition, the relevance and accuracy of policies and programs can be improved through big data.


Advantages of technolgy:

However, populations that do not yet have access to these technologies do not benefit from these advances and find themselves even more marginalised. Many of those left behind are women, older people or people with disabilities, members of ethnic or linguistic minorities or indigenous groups, and people living in poor or remote areas. Access to technology is progressing more and more slowly, even regressing in certain groups. For example, women are 12% less likely than men to use the Internet worldwide. While this gap narrowed in most regions between 2013 and 2017, it fell from 30 to 33% in the least developed countries.Algorithms, if based on data that is not diverse enough, can reproduce and even amplify human and systemic bias. It is therefore possible that the issue is not being addressed as it should, given the lack of diversity in the technology sector.



Throughout history, technological revolutions have changed the dynamics of employment, creating new forms and new ways of working and rendering others obsolete. They have thus transformed societies globally. The changes underway will certainly have profound repercussions. Thus, the estimates that the transition to a greener economy could create 24 million jobs worldwide by 2030, due to the adoption of sustainable practices in the sector. energy, the use of electric vehicles and the improvement of the energy efficiency of buildings.

On the other hand, groups like McKinsey publish reports tha , because of automation, and surveys show that they are worried about not not being sufficiently trained or competent to find a well-paid job.


Developments of technology

It is widely recognized that to cope with these developments, we will need to change our approach to education, for example by giving more space to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, by developing the skills not techniques and resilience and enabling people to enrich and expand their skills throughout their lives. It will be important to better value unpaid work, such as caring for children and the elderly at home, especially as this type of activity will be increasingly necessary given the changing demographic composition around the world.



Currently, digital technologies such as data aggregation and artificial intelligence are used to analyse and track problems in agriculture, health and the environment or to accomplish everyday tasks like commuting or paying a bill. They can be used to defend and exercise human rights, but also to violate them, for example, in the context of monitoring movements, purchases, conversations and behaviour. Public authorities and companies have more and more tools to collect and use data for financial or other purposes.

Nevertheless, personal data would be a useful resource for everyone if their ownership were better regulated. Depending on the type of protections put in place, data-driven technologies can help improve people’s empowerment and well-being and promote universal rights.



Thus, social media algorithms can contribute to the fragmentation of societies around the world or haveSocial media connected . They allow people to make their voices heard and communicate in real time with other people on the other side of the world. But they can also fuel prejudice and sow discord, facilitating the spread of hate speech and misinformation and reinforcing echo chamber effects.



How to deal with these developments? This is a much-debated issue, both nationally and internationally, at a time of heightened geopolitical tensions. The Secretary-General has pointed to the threat of a “great divide” between world powers, each with its own strategy based on the Internet and artificial intelligence, its dominant monetary, trade and financial rules and its opposing geopolitical and military vision to those of others. Such a break could be compared to a digital Berlin wall. Digital cooperation between States, in a cyberspace where universal principles relating to peace and security, human rights and sustainable development would reign.One is to conclude a global pact for digital cooperation.

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