Twenty-five years ago, in December 1993, the Delors Report “Growth, Competition and Unemployment” attributed political value to the expression “Information Society”. In those years a great innovative wave, through the spread of the Internet, was about to start a profound transformation. Never in history has such an intense change occurred in such a short time. And it’s just the beginning. Technological innovation, in particular digital, is its engine. From this widespread perception a debate has been articulated in which the affirmation of universal values has crossed the effects of new technological applications. For example: the sometimes contradictory relationship between socio-economic development and scientific innovation or between the duties and rights of citizens in the digital age. With the search for a new path to reconcile new forms of control over the network with personal freedom. Particular importance is given to the ability to predict and control the effects of automation at work (both in quantitative terms and in new skills and professions).
The comparison focused on the three dimensions of change: the role of technology, the new frontier of Artificial Intelligence, the ethical and social implications. Four of the top five big companies by stock market capitalization are from the Hi-Tech world, and other large companies have also become ” software companies “, considering the intensity of smart and digital services associated or integrated in each product. Furthermore, the production phase itself is increasingly characterized by processes influenced by the Internet of Things.
Artificial intelligence is a very current topic for three determining factors: many more data available, cloud storage / computing and predictive analytics , algorithms that determine predictive analyzes that transform data into valuable information. For example, thanks to the intersection of weather forecasts and their load, cruise ships can realize significant savings by choosing the most efficient routes. Other examples: it is possible to anticipate car breakdowns or that companies and public administrations can provide valuable information to their users with services automated by artificial intelligence.
A significant difference compared to the past is in the democratization of these technologies : once available only to the largest private companies, which are now available to everyone. From researcher to startup , from students to makers and small and medium-sized businesses. If on the one hand a widespread leveling of access to information is generated, the differentiation between companies, “the new gold” of our time, will be in their ability to interpret and exploit data strategically.
These sudden technological changes would require an ability of normative adaptation by the institutions that has not yet manifested itself, at least not with the same rapidity. Only a few are trying to understand the phenomenon. These include the Government of the United Kingdom with an agency on artificial intelligence, but also Italy, which 12 years ago created, first in Europe, a Code of digital administration, defining a complete, coordinated and unified regulatory framework for new rights for citizens and businesses, on the one hand, and the principles and obligations for administrations, on the other, together with the organizational and technological resources to achieve them.
Some committees are being born ( Open AI is an example), to always leave the primacy of man to decide the limits of Artificial Intelligence. Machines model and replicate past experiences, while it is necessary to govern this process, with an approach that necessarily has an ethical dimension on the “decisions” of these powerful algorithms, inserting elements of diversity and improbability.
Without doubt these technologies will replace many of the works – manual or intellectual – that present elements of constant repetition, so as to evoke a new luddism. It will be important to prepare oneself by acquiring new skills to face the world of work in the future: STEMs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), but also attitudes related to creativity, problem solving and empathy will be fundamental to face an increasingly “liquid” job. in continuous transformation.
Of course, the only way to understand the impact of this transformation can be in the history books, compass to navigate in an uncertain future, but full of challenges and never as now full of solutions to the great problems of the world.