The 2017 OECD Forum takes place after a series of political upheavals few would have predicted scarcely twelve months ago. Divides have become more apparent between metropolises and capital cities on the one hand, and towns and villages on the other, between Millennials and pensioners, between the haves and the have-nots, between the best and the rest.
The first generation of those born into the internet age is already joining the workforce and yet the internet still manages to disrupt. The phenomenon of fake news is one of the by-products of digital transformation and it is worth taking a look at what is new, and not so new, and how it fits in to the rest of what some are calling the “post-truth world”.
Digitalisation has already been under way for about half a century, yet it is only now that everyone is talking about a digital revolution. Why? One reason is the spread of faster and better connectivity. In 2013, about 80% of OECD countries had complete broadband coverage, fixed or wireless.
In Henrik Ibsen’s play, An Enemy of the People, a town is divided over whether or not to clean up the municipal baths following a water contamination report. But a doctor’s good intentions to save the town come up against special interests. In the end, the facts are rejected, the truth reshaped and the water is not cleansed. As for the doctor, he is cast out as the enemy.
The truth is that human rights are not sustainable, or in some places even possible, in today’s networked society unless public and private actors take responsibility. Governments and corporations alike must commit to design, manage, and govern technologies in a manner that is consistent with international human rights standards.
In 1964 the writer Isaac Asimov predicted life 50 years on: “Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom....and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine”.
At the OECD, ee have started an ambitious 2-year project to examine how the digital transformation affects policy making across the broadest possible range of fields and topics. The objective is to work with governments, business, labour and civil society to develop policies to harness the power of the digital revolution for OECD members and developing countries and unlock the benefits for everyone.
Browse the last issue of the OECD Observer on Digital economy: Secure the future.
Le monde a vu plus d’une révolution industrielle, et nous en vivons déjà une nouvelle. Accueillons-la avec optimisme.
Les algorithmes sont au cœur de l’apprentissage automatique, lequel est lui-même au cœur du monde actuel - des achats en ligne à la collecte de renseignements. Pourtant, la plupart d’entre nous ne savent que très peu de choses sur ces puissants outils et leur fonctionnement. Est-ce bien sage ?