Forum 2016 Issues: Innovation & the digital economy
The digital economy, Big Data, the Internet of Things and the convergence of biotechnology, nanotechnology and cognitive science have great potential for finding solutions to address climate change, facilitate affordable healthcare and help ageing populations.
Algorithms and Big Data analytics are already key in medical diagnosis and treatment, urban traffic and parking management, and “smart” utility grids. Algorithms increasingly run our lives; they find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, and manage our investments. They enable efficiency in targeting and tracking individuals, and will be used increasingly in developing new products and services, searching for the right employees, and checking people’s eligibility for loans. But algorithms can be discriminatory, such as in determining the stories available on social media, targeting job advertisements at men (not women), and the products which appear in Internet search results.
How is regulation adapting to this new reality? Are innovations in sensitive domains such as financial services, HR practices and remotely controlling medical devices being designed with privacy and security in mind? Is enough being done to protect against breaches in cybersecurity and from cybercrime? Incidents in these areas have an enormous impact on productivity and may potentially erode the public’s trust in the benefits of these innovations, and the companies and governments that promote them. Trust is even more critical at times when the capture of regulatory and political processes by elites tends to benefit incumbents, at the expense of newcomers and innovators.
It is also of concern that only a small selection of “frontier firms” is able to scale innovation, attracting the best international talent, but often making use of employment and other practices that are disrupting social, corporate, and tax practices, and potentially increasing inequality further. These companies also tend to be attracted to the talent pool and infrastructure available in large cities and metropolitan areas, further increasing differences in productivity, access to opportunity and levels of inequality between regions within and between countries. What needs to be done to ensure larger sectors of the economy benefit from innovation? What policies are available to support change and competition, yet provide fair social safety nets?
- Global Value Chains (GVCs)
- Big Data
- Digital Security Risk Management
- The OECD Innovation Strategy
- Open government data
- Innovative government
- Digital government
OECD Yearbook articles
- Forging a digital society, Axelle Lemaire, Secretary of State for the Digital Economy, France
- The digital disruption of productivity, Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester and Fellow, Office for National Statistics
- Code is the poetry of a better world, Linda Liukas, Author, Computer Programmer
- In with the in-crowd, Anindya Ghose, NEC Faculty Fellow, NYU Stern School of Business
- A mystery in the machine, Pedro Domingos, Professor in Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
- For an optimistic revolution, Alexander Stubb, Minister of Finance, Finland
- Business brief: Jobs in the digital era work differently, Jacques van den Broek, CEO, Randstad Holding NV
- Digital economy: Why a brighter future could be in our pocket, Andy Wyckoff, Director, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
- Business brief: The ascendancy of digital trade: A new world order?, Jacques Bughin, Director, McKinsey Global Institute
- We need to talk about digital ethics, Charlotte de Broglie, CEO and Founder, For the Future
- The Innovation Imperative - Contributing to Productivity, Growth and Well-Being
- OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015
- Measuring the Digital Economy - A New Perspective
The world is changing