We are delivering everything digitally, including this post. Governments are trying to outsmart neighbouring countries in claiming advancements and making progress in the digital world.
In the process, we are once again forgetting the rest of us who live on this land only called Earth.
And as we are further taking up challenges to communicate with aliens, we are not sure yet if the digital revolution will deliver for the world’s poor.
In the meantime, poor are opening bank accounts, albeit with zero balance, investing in life insurance and accident insurance schemes securing payments for their families and dependents, in case they meet some unseen fate. But, are these electronic assurances sufficient to guarantee if poverty will end by these means.
The global citizens are taking up job assignments from anywhere to anywhere networking the world for opportunities. Still, there’s no scope for the underprivileged. Spread of digital technologies has been so limited to the urban areas and among those who can afford, that knowledge divide appears to have drawn a thicker line than that which divides the haves and have-nots.
Developing world like ours and third worlds like that of our neighbours read morning stuff in the newspapers such as… ‘Thieves Walk Away With ATM’, ‘Cop Held For Raping Woman’, ‘Patient Dies During Demo Surgery’, ‘Monkey Snatches Infant’ …
Is this the future we are setting up? Where’s the work for the disadvantaged and needy poor?
Well, you can calculate so digitally. And UN can then provide assistance to them in this digital age.
…and as this post is being read, digital coolies are already harnessing data to “better serve the poor and to generate new knowledge.”
…and at the same time our new machines are becoming cheaper, more intelligent and more capable, to the extent that they will increasingly replace human labour, especially for the most routine and repetitive tasks.
Technology is known to have been replacing workers since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Thus, in 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes warned that we are being afflicted by a new disease that he termed “technological unemployment.”
Should we then prepare ourselves for Digital Unemployment, now!
Is it… the best of times, the worst of times…!