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New Technology: Risks and Gains

  • By: Magdalena Klimczuk-Kochanska & Andrzej Klimczuk
  • In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of World Poverty
  • Edited by: Mehmet Odekon
  • Subject:Poverty & Inequality, Global Inequality, Poverty & Homelessness

New technologies are often radical innovations that change current activities across different areas of social and economic life. At the beginning of the 21st century, some of these technologies are information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. These innovations stimulate new opportunities for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and thus can help solve social problems. But they also cause new social risks and inequalities. On the one hand, applying new technologies can bring welfare as part of a “third Industrial Revolution”; on the other hand, new technologies can cause the “future shock” of stress, disorientation, and inability to change. Examples of some of these potentially disorientations are Moore’s Law on doubling computer capabilities approximately every two ...

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