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Digital Technologies

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Artificial intelligence (AI) is on a winning streak. In 2005, five teams successfully completed the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition held by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to spur development of autonomous vehicles.1 In 2011, IBM’s Watson system beat out two longtime human champions to win Jeopardy! In 2016, Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo system defeated the 18-time world-champion Go player. And thanks to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, consumers now have easy access to a variety of AI-powered virtual assistants to help manage their daily lives. The potential uses of AI to identify patterns, learn from experience, and find novel solutions to new challenges continue to grow as the technology advances. Moreover, AI is already having a major positive impact in many different sectors of the global economy and society. For example, humanitarian organizations are using intelligent chatbots to provide psychological support to Syrian refugees, and doctors are using AI to develop personalized treatments for cancer patients. Unfortunately, the benefits of AI, as well as its likely impact in the years ahead, are vastly underappreciated by policymakers and the public. Moreover, a contrary narrative—that AI raises grave concerns and warrants a precautionary regulatory approach to limit the damages it could cause—has gained prominence, even though it is both wrong and harmful to societal progress. To showcase the overwhelmingly positive impact of AI, this report provides a description of the major uses of AI as well as details on 70 real-world examples of how AI is already generating social and economic benefits. Policymakers should consider these benefits as they evaluate the steps they can take to support the development and adoption of AI.
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Number of pages: 
48
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How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The fifth generation of mobile network technologies, known as “5G,” promises greater speed, security, and capacity. 5G will underpin the internet economy and provide the backbone for the next generation of digital technologies. So, it is unsurprising that there is intense competition among companies and countries for 5G leadership. 5G will determine the direction the internet will take and where nations will face new risks and vulnerabilities. Who makes 5G technologies will affect security and innovation in an increasingly competitive technological environment. Decisions made today about 5G will affect national security and economic performance for decades to come. This is a competition among companies and groups of companies but also a competition between market-based and state-directed decisionmaking. The United States has relied on the former, China on the latter, and Europe falls somewhere in between. American technology remains essential for 5G mobile telecommunications. American companies have been strong performers in developing 5G technologies, but the United States and its allies face a fundamental challenge from China. The focus of competition is over 5G’s intellectual property, standards, and patents. Huawei, for example, has research programs to develop alternatives to American suppliers, and U.S. trade restrictions have accelerated China’s efforts to develop its own 5G industry. While American companies lead in making essential 5G technologies, there are no longer any U.S. manufacturers of core telecommunications network equipment.
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22
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New technologies and 21st century children - Recent trends and outcomes

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper provides a synthesis of the literature on and recent trends in new technologies and its effect on 21st century children (0-18 years old). It begins by providing an overview of recent trends in the access and use of new technologies as well as a summary of online opportunities and risks. It then explores a variety of factors, including economic, social and cultural status which underlie these trends and lead to online and offline inequalities. Building digital resilience is an important skill for 21st century children. Effective strategies to accomplish this include encouragement of active rather than passive Internet use, e-safety in the school curriculum, and teacher and parental Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support. A focus on younger children (primary school or younger) and the effects of new emerging technologies would be helpful for future research.
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61
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Global Trends to 2030: Identities and Biases in the Digital Age

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Digital technologies have opened up ways of discovering the world, creating an unprecedented access to knowledge and information. Fostering vast communication and connection opportunities, they came with the promise of furthering free and open democratic deliberation. And they have initially delivered: facilitating freedom of expression, enabling easier and faster access to information and greater transparency, boosting media diversity, and creating broader opportunities for civic engagement and political participation. Social media in particular now allow for unparalleled connectivity of a truly interactive nature. They help people stay in touch with friends and family, and find people who share the same passions, interests or beliefs across borders, facilitating new groups and communities of interest to form and grow.
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Number of pages: 
10
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