As October is the month of technology, experts from all over the world head to the Gitex Global which is the largest & most inclusive tech show that unites technology enterprises, governments, startups, investors, coders, academia, and youth.
While we will see the most spectacular tech transformationshappening worldwide, across a comprehensive showcase of Metaverse, Web 3.0, Sustainability, Quantum Computing, 5G, Cloud, Blockchain, AI, Future Mobility, we also want the public to understand why technology is the way of the future.
In the last three decades, technologies and digital communications have transformed how we connect and engage with the world around us, creating opportunities in every area of our day to day life. But as often as these technologies foster knowledge, too many people are excluded or marginalized and not able to access, benefit from, or influence digital platforms, even in progressive societies.
This is due to their education or economic background or purely because not enough is being done by tech giants to educate the masses on the benefits of digitization. Policy makers are struggling to regulate AI-operated phones to the use of new apps and services. Users often do not understand the adverse consequences the apps or what threats lurk behind them or have an understanding of cybersecurity. As a result, they become casualties in the race to embrace new tech.
The solution to these challenges is to stay focused on developing tech for good suitable for individuals, the community, and the nation at large. Not enough is being done to create a road map of multisector solutions with a holistic understanding of a connected future. The road map needs to be guided by public interest, their technology insights and perceptions and then addressing what they do not understand.
The education sector can help lay the knowledge foundations for technology experts, present and future. My daughter did a degree in Forensics and Criminology, and it was after she graduated and considering her Masters that she decided that since a lot of the criminal activity is happening online, she would benefit more by studying either digital forensics and cybersecurity to be able to address these challenges.
She then chose to do a master’s in computer science for a better understanding of the challenges and threats technology users can face as our world moves towards digitization. Lessons taught in universities hence play an outsized role in shaping technologies we use in our everyday lives and forge a more just digital future for us all. A digital future for the world also demands thoughtful government involvement both to protect the public interest and to meet innovation demands.
There should be importance placed on welcoming public interest technologists into the policymaking process so that governments can regulate the use of technology and set a new global standard. It makes sense that social entrepreneurs, business leaders, community leaders’, philanthropists, technologists, and academics can come together to shape a more fair and useful Tech future.
It is time to invest in innovation and perhaps listening to more talks on what technology can do for us for the better as technology touches most parts of our lives and public interest technologists ensure that technology works for good, for all, in the present and into the future.