Computer scientists are working on reproducing all human skills using artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. Unsurprisingly then, many people worry that these advances will dramatically change work skills in the years ahead and perhaps leave many workers unemployable.
This report develops a new approach to understanding these computer capabilities by using a test based on the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to compare computers with human workers. The test assesses three skills that are widely used at work and are an important focus of education: literacy, numeracy and problem solving with computers.
Most workers in OECD countries use the three skills every day. However, computers are close to reproducing these skills at the proficiency level of most adults in the workforce. Only 13% of workers now use these skills on a daily basis with a proficiency that is clearly higher than computers.
The findings raise troubling questions about whether most workers will be able to acquire the skills they need as these new computer capabilities are increasingly used over the next few decades. To answer those questions, the report’s approach could be extended across the full range of work skills. We need to know how computers and people compare across all skills to develop successful policies for work and education for the future.
Several countries have been setting up strategic roadmaps to support marine biotechnologies that could drive innovation and help address the global sustainability goals of food, energy, and health. This report identifies and begins to address challenges facing cooperation on marine biotechnology across countries.
There is now strong evidence that microbiomes play an important role in human health, as there are clear linkages to many major non-communicable diseases. This report assesses the key policy challenges for innovation in the microbiome. It argues that if such a promising scientific field is to lead to innovative applications, policies on science and innovation must be improved in five areas.
Norway has long used technology to streamline processes within the public sector and bring the government closer to citizens and businesses. Now the country is going further, seeking to transform its public sector through the full assimilation of digital technologies. The goal is to make it more efficient, collaborative, user- and data-driven, and better able to respond to the changing needs and expectations of citizens and businesses. This review analyses the efforts under way and provides policy advice to support the Norwegian government in implementing digital government.
Following a remarkable transformation in the past century in research and innovation, in particular through the development of new technologies and processes in sectors such as oil and gas, shipbuilding and also fisheries and aquaculture, Norway is today increasingly facing a “triple transition imperative” in which it needs, first, to shift toward a more diversified and robust economy; second, to move to a more competitive, effective and efficient innovation system; and third, to support research and innovation activities that can confront an array of societal challenges (climate change, food security, aging, health and so on). The Long-Term Plan for Research and Higher Education 2015-2024 (LTP) launched by the Norwegian government has set the base to enhance the capacity of the research and higher education system to cope with these transition challenges. This report proposes recommendations to take advantage of the revision of this comprehensive strategic plan in 2018 to improve the horizontal coordination and add more concrete structural policy initiatives, without changing the plan’s general orientation nor giving up the sectorial and the consensus principles that form the basis of Norwegian policy making.
Although Finland achieved a widely acclaimed transformation to become a leading knowledge-based economy in the late 20th century, the 2009 recession and disruptive change contributing to a deep restructuring of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry and the downsizing of traditional sectors have weighed on the economy, productivity growth and international competitiveness. Numerous policy reforms have since been undertaken, and public and private investment, especially in applied R&D, has been cut back. Strengthening and lifting Finland’s innovation system out of a period of uncertainty requires a coherent and unified new vision for science, technology and innovation (STI), renewed investment and policy instruments. This vision should be oriented towards renewal tackling societal challenges and developing new knowledge-based competitive advantages at global scale. Success calls for better co-ordination and co-operation among policy actors and national and regional-levels, and further internationalisation.
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.
Education has transformed over the last 20 years from being a means to an end to becoming a change agent on the battleground to improve the life chances of all individuals, regardless of where they live, their economic status, gender, ability or religious persuasion. Education has been revitalised as the gateway for equal opportunity.
Businesses need to step up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, materials and processes if countries are to reap their full potential in terms of productivity gains, according to a new OECD report.
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”.