Cyber security has long transcended the discipline of information technology – expanding to law, international relations and the social sciences. Every year the interaction of technology with society creates new challenges – from normative goals for cyber stability to human augmentation through technology. This pillar will address the range of insecurities that have engaged policymakers in a ‘cyber conflicted’ world. Covering issues such as online extremism, cyber security and encryption, the pillar will seek to address one fundamental question – can this technology driven insecurity ever be addressed through policy?
TechCreate: Unleashing the Creative Economy
Technology has infused new life into the creative economy around the world. Interactive TV shows, augmented reality-based video games and AI-generated podcasts are just some of the ways in which creators are experimenting with content. There has also been a resultant shift in consumption patterns with hyper-curated content that defies traditional limitations of broadcasting. This pillar will take stock of these transformative developments, identify future opportunities and discuss ways in which current challenges to local content creation can be overcome. It will also deliberate upon the effect of these pervasive technologies on the future of community relations in the age of networked individualism.
Algorithms and Inclusion
From the time that artificial intelligence applications began being rolled out, concerns around algorithmic bias have been at the forefront of considerations among scientists and ethicists alike. The first generation of voice assistants appeared to perpetuate gender stereotypes and facial recognition technologies reflected racial insensitivities. The stakes today are much higher. Bias in algorithm can result in skewed selection, threaten public safety and create exclusion where these technologies are used for governance. With the emergence of lethal autonomous weapon systems, these biases can even have life and death considerations. This pillar will take stock of the steps necessary to decrease bias by fostering representation. It will discuss hypothetical red lines in international standards and governance norms to truly create AI for Good.
DataLeashed: Property, Privacy and Sovereignty in the Digital Age
The right to privacy is undergoing a necessary evolutionary process as technology becomes more and more intertwined with our lives. The expectations of privacy that held true a decade ago seem long forgotten today when necessary services around mobility, communications and employment depend on a constant stream on data. The potential harms around misuse of this data have necessitated a realignment of priorities around data access and innovation. As the world adjusts to the cascading effects of the adoption of GDPR, the observed regulatory impact across various jurisdictions demands closer scrutiny. This pillar will discuss the future of transnational data flows, commerce and ownership for emerging economies that are becoming more and more data reliant.
Connected Communities, Fragile Nations
The shockwaves created by the Russia’s influence operations in the US presidential elections have been reverberating across the world for the last two years. Not only has it underscored the ability of technology to disrupt democratic processes but has also triggered knee-jerk regulation around the world. The quest to tackle ‘fake news’ has proved challenging both in terms of technological solutions as well as its potential conflicts with freedom of speech. At the same time, the global economy has witnessed the destabilizing potential of the internet through the sharp fluctuations in crypto currencies. In some parts of the world the use of social media as a populist tool for driving legislation has also discouraged nuanced policy considerations. This pillar will confront the emerging challenge of balancing democratic governance with technological freedom that has been brought into sharp relief in the previous years.
At the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, the future of jobs, markets and growth seem closely tied to technological advancement. While this new reality will no doubt need considerable regulatory interventions, it will critically depend on the ability of economies to encourage the growth of startups and smaller enterprises. It will also be determined by their agility and ability to adopt and scale newer technologies such as digital payments and blockchain. This pillar will curate ideas at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and growth. It will draw linkages between the economic structures, regulatory postures and the ability of countries to ride the wave of technology related growth.