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  • Writer's pictureWanda Trotter

Technology is the Great Divide According to Researchers

The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer because of technology according to a survey of 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists.

The advantaged will enjoy more advantages; the disadvantaged will fall further behind. Concerns particularly focus on the growing power of technology firms. Many suggested solutions have a double-edged quality because they threaten civil liberties. Automation could take many humans out of the work equation. And the spread of lies via social media and other digital platforms is likely to further damage all social, political and economic systems.

“Automation will continue to take many humans out of the work equation.”

Inequality and injustice are magnified:

The pandemic and quick pivot to the use of digitally driven systems will widen racial and other divides and expand the ranks of the unemployed, uninsured and disenfranchised. Power imbalances between the advantaged and disadvantaged are being magnified by digital systems overseen by behemoth firms as they exploit big data and algorithmic decision-making that are often biased. More people will be pushed into a precarious existence that lacks predictability, economic security and wellness..

Threats to work will intensify from automation, artificial intelligence, robotics and globalization: In order to survive, businesses are reconfiguring systems and processes to automate as many aspects as possible. While artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will enhance some lives, they will damage others, as more work is taken over by machines. Employers may outsource labor to the lowest bidder globally. Employees may be asked to work for far less; they may have to shift to be gig and contract workers, supplying their own equipment, and they may be surveilled at home by employers.

Source: Nonscientific canvassing of select experts conducted June 30-July 27, 2021. N=915.

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