Will technology destroy the world – Technology has played a fundamental role during the pandemic. It has facilitated teleworking, and online teaching has made it possible to find a vaccine in record time and maintains the logistics supply chain, among other advantages. A series of arguments would be telling us about the benefits of technology, but if there is good technology, there is also bad technology. What would?
Behind bad technology is cybercrime, one of the most powerful industries in the world, and that does the most damage; there is also the perverse use of data. It is linked to bad applications, and I mean the unkindness of the apps. We have seen it with the controversy of “I’m older, but I’m not an idiot”, in which the fault lies not with the elderly but those who design applications so that they are not friendly and that no one understands. It is to replace face-to-face attention with telematic attention if it is wrong; you can’t make your income statement because it’s impossible to download the PADRE program, and cookies invade you later with advertising… Bad technology also destroys many jobs. Only in Spain, for example, before 2030, five million people will lose their jobs because they are not updated, or their jobs will no longer exist.
We have written this book because we must value the great things technology has not brought, not only during the pandemic. Today the world is infinitely better than 20 and 40 years ago, and it is thanks to technology
You mentioned a very worrying issue, such as losing five million jobs quickly. Is technology an enemy of job creation?
Jobs will indeed be destroyed due to technology, but at same time, the new digital professions represent an opportunity for millions of jobs. In Spain, there is the paradox that we have one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe when there are vacancies, but many jobs not filled because there no professionals trained in technology. I am referring to programming, video games, the cloud, data, cybersecurity, and blockchain … there are no professionals because the university academic offer has not yet been able to adapt. There is an incredible opportunity for those countries that know how to take advantage of it and adjust this offer to have technologically trained professionals.
In the book, they emphasize that good technology will be the lever for the reconstruction of countries after the strong impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy. What should companies and institutions take into account in this regard?
The pandemic has put us in the mirror for better and for worse. It has shown us that there are many inefficient activities and that they are not necessary. For example, we often spend four hours to go, come back and participate in a meeting when it can solved in half an hour. They are trips that consume a lot of energy and harm the environment. With the pandemic, we have made progress in a year in digitizing many activities, which would have taken five or seven years to achieve. We cannot go back, and the Spanish economy cannot return to March 20.
Technology will be the lever of development if we don’t go back to March 20, if we realize that everything has changed and that we have to have the lever of technology as an opportunity for the company
In addition to his extensive career in teaching, Iñaki Ortega has a long history in the area of dissemination since he has written several books and regularly collaborates with several newspapers.
Within this tremendous technological impulse, what role does the human factor occupy? How to advance without dehumanizing?
Business and economic activity must centred on the person. It has long been profit-focused. To be competitive was to earn money, and to be sustainable was to sustain a series of incomes. Still, competitiveness and sustainability are also based on serving your community and if things go well for you, so do the suppliers, customers, and workers. …
It is critical in the economy to put the well-being of human beings at the centre. Today, technology without economy and economy without technology cannot understood
Therefore, if we are humanizing our societies and economy, we have to humanize technology, making it friendlier, more universal and more understandable. Those responsible for technology and public authorities must also promote friendly, kind and accessible technology. Sometimes we do not understand what is behind the algorithms, we lose control of our data, we have the feeling that everything is more complex, but we cannot throw in the towel.
What should be the role of technology companies?
The most influential companies in the world are the technology companies today, and they have to be co-responsible. They will have to be in cohesion with the society in which they live. That is where the role of governments also comes in, which will have to be vigilant so that there are no abuses of a dominant position. Sometimes, big technology companies command more and have more capacity for action than many governments, and they are above national laws because they operate internationally.
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