The emerging technologies balancing act — thoughts from #amnc15

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 23JAN15 - Impression of the logo during the session 'The Human Brain: Deconstructing Mindfulness' at the Annual Meeting 2015 of the World Economic Forum at the congress centre in Davos, January 23, 2015.  WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/ Valeriano DiDomenico

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/ Valeriano DiDomenico

I’m in Dalian, China attending the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, part of the World Economic Forum (WEF). I’m excited to catch up with former Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs and to meet this year’s new class. Connecting with members of the Schwab Foundation Community is always a humbling and inspiring experience.

The Annual Meeting of the New Champions brings together thousands of leaders from all background and sectors. I’ll be helping to support the discussion of an exciting topic on Socially Disruptive TechnologyThe World Economic Forum’s meta council on Emerging Technologies has compiled a list of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2015, and this session is part of WEF’s Emerging Technologies Debate.

As I was reviewing the material for the session, I imagined myself in the role of a policy maker, trying to balance all of the different interests for emerging technologies. As a technologist, this is not my area of expertise or focus. However, the potential upsides and downsides of AI, robotics, genetic engineering, drones, etc., (and possibly altogether), are well beyond my full comprehension. This article (sent to me by my close friend and former colleague) on AI safety, makes an interesting — and I find quite compelling — case that we should be doing much more now to understand and avoid the potential risks of AI. Perhaps some of the most important thinking that we need to focus on today is how to weigh the pros and cons of technology advancement.

What are your thoughts on managing the balancing act between opportunity and risk for emerging technologies? Share your comments with us below. And stay tuned for more updates from the Annual Meeting of the New Champions.



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