With the Fourth Industrial Revolution firmly upon us, and
technology deeper and more pervasive than ever, how can we better understand
its role in connecting us and its power to change how we live, work and
interact with our surroundings?
These complex questions were addressed by leading tech
experts during Expo 2020 Dubai’s latest virtual World Majlis, titled ‘In tech
we trust? Understanding and trusting new technology’.
technology and a “feeling of control”, panellist Arun Sundararajan, Professor
of Technology, Operations and Statistics, Stern Business School at New York
University (NYU), said: “If you measure the right things, the impact of
technological progress on the world – historically and in the latest iteration
of digital and bio-technologies – has been overwhelmingly positive.
the rapid pace of change that we are now encountering, there is a tendency to
focus on what goes wrong. [For example] when we talk about cybersecurity, we
always talk about a breach, when 99.9 per cent of the time everything happens
the way it’s supposed to.”
Sundararajan noted this perceived sense of losing control was also, in part, because of the
“unpredictability” associated with the pace of technological adoption.
The World Majlis discussion wrapped up ‘Expo Talks: Travel and Connectivity’, a series of virtual panel discussions
on 16 February that brought together experts, alongside Expo ’s International Participants and
official partners, providing a glimpse of how the six-month event will bring to
life the theme of travel and connectivity.
“Technology has streamed directly into society and society
has a near real-time say in where we are, how we feel, what we do and where we
should be going,” said fellow World Majlis panellist Marc O’Regan, Chief
Technology Officer, Dell Technologies EMEA.
“It’s very hard, not just for the consumers of that
information, but [also] for the curators and the guardians of that information.
How that’s shared and imported into society is under question,” he added,
noting that, despite this, technology for good far outweighs the negatives –
citing medical advances in the detection of cancer through to the Mars rovers.