How to humanise this digital world:: Download PDF

A few immediate steps can aid the transition, as technologists and business leaders strive to humanize the digital revolution.

Building trust:

  • Around the world, the trust deficit is growing. Concerns about the misuse of data by government institutions and businesses — especially with the frequent incidents of cyber attacks — have eroded people’s faith in the way data is being stored and managed.
  • The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that people trust only those relationships that are within their control.
  • Only true transparency on the part of business leaders about data protection and usage can now regain public confidence.
  • Proactive policies are also urgently needed to restore people’s faith in new technologies.

Cultivating empathy:

  • An advocate of empathy-driven AI, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes the world will have an abundance of ‘artificial’ intelligence but a scarcity of ‘real’ intelligence and human qualities like empathy.
  • The need, therefore, is to apply AI with a human touch. Every solution should be evaluated through the lens of the person who will be impacted by it, rather than only for its technological capabilities.

Being fair and equitable:

  • The connected world and the democratization of technology gives us a wonderful opportunity to remove disparities, provide open access to information, services, capital and skills, and create a more equitable and inclusive society.
  • However, we must learn from the previous Industrial Revolutions and ensure that technology does not serve the interests of only a few.
  • Hidden biases or imbalances in data can skew algorithms, leading in turn to skewed decision-making.
  • Wikipedia is a prime example of how even an open platform, that crowdsources content from all around the world, can perpetuate existing prejudices.
  • Only around 18 per cent of the biographies on Wikipedia are of women — a fact that prompted Jess Wade, a research scholar from UK’s Imperial College, to write a page a day through 2018 to correct the bias.

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