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UN: The Technological Revolution Can't Be Allowed to Increase Inequality Again

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The fate of technologies is not predetermined. We can always choose the vector of their use. And we must do it.

UN: The Technological Revolution Can't Be Allowed to Increase Inequality Again

Artificial intelligence, 3D printers, 5G mobile communications, Internet of things, big data, gene editing, drones and robots. Rebuilding the economies destroyed by the pandemic provides countries with the opportunity to actively adopt and use new technologies. Experts estimate the potential of this market at $ 350 billion. And by 2025, it could grow to $ 3.2 trillion.

However, the international community must do everything possible to ensure that the development of technology does not lead to an increase in inequality both within countries and between countries, as has happened repeatedly in the past. This is stated in a new report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Experts note that over the past 250 years, since the first industrial revolution, each new round of technological progress has led to a sharp increase in GDP in rich countries, where all technologies were concentrated, while the economic indicators of poor countries have practically not changed at all .

According to the UNCTAD report, today the countries that are ready to introduce and actively use new technologies are mainly in Europe and North America. At the same time, the lowest level of readiness is in the countries of Tropical Africa.

“The fate of technologies is not predetermined. We can always choose the vector of their use. And we have a responsibility to do it, ”said Shamika Sirimann, Director of UNCTAD's Technology and Logistics Division.

“Governments and other development actors will need to prepare quickly. Developing countries, especially the least developed ones, should not be allowed to miss a new wave of rapid technological change, ”she added.

UNCTAD experts urge governments to develop appropriate policies and create the necessary industrial base. The authorities of developing countries, experts emphasize, must provide all their citizens with access to the Internet so that they can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in future technological revolutions.

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