The Tele-Everything World

In a non-random survey of some 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists were asked by Pew Research to consider what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak of the global pandemic. Overall they saw life being made worse for many people because of the spread of mis-information and authoritarianism and the fact people will become a lot more reliant on technology, which will serve to widen the economic divide.

 On the other hand, they saw the growth of technology reliance benefiting a large number of people through the emergence of a “tele-everything” world.

Among their observations were:

• “Tele-everything is embraced: The broad adoption of “remote” processes – telework, telemedicine, virtual schooling, e-commerce and more – is growing. In 2025, there will be more people working from home, more virtual social and entertainment interactions and fewer forays in public than has been in the case in recent years.
• Humans’ yearning for convenience and safety fuels reliance on digital tools: The pandemic has rearranged incentives so that consumers will be more willing to seek out smart gadgets, apps and systems. This will speed up adoption of new education and learning platforms, rearrange work patterns and workplaces, change family life and upend living arrangements and community structures.
• The best and worst of human nature are amplified: The crisis is enhancing digital interconnectedness that engenders empathy, better awareness of the ills facing humanity and positive public action. On the flip side, some individuals, cities and nation-states will become more insular and competitive as survival mode kicks in. Xenophobia, bigotry and closed communities will also increase.”

These are credible predictions and they point to an urgent need for creative govenment policies to deal with the spead of mis-information, particularly in social media and the technology social divide. On the latter point, clearly adequate technology needs to be conidered an essential service and steps taken to make it more availablle to people.



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