Trust – between individuals, governents and corporations, machines and technology platforms – is both under attack and undergoing a fundamental transformation. The Atlantic Council’s frames these issue as the “Economy of Trust” – which will rely on “innovation and invention, informed by data, to mitigate concerns surrounding the impacts and risks of emerging technologies.” Atlantic Council researcher Borja Prado explores the future of public trust and how a new paradigm of trust will be necessary to address the exponential growth of automation and quantum technologies.
“…data and new technologies are changing societies around the world—making it extremely important that we encourage more trust and knowledge-based collaborations to work towards better futures together..”
We continue to explore the trust threats and emerging trust wars – with an eye towards identifying solutions that help alleviate these risks. We continue to ask the question: How do we maintain societal trust as individuals migrate from platform to platform, identities get impersonated, and technologies like ChatGPT and Midjourney produce conversations and images indistinguishable from the truth through malicious prompts or hallucinations?
The Atlantic Council GeoTech Center’s “Economy of Trust” Series
“…drastic shifts in the labor market should offer both hope and caution…but may also stir social structures and affect citizens’ trust in their respective governments, public institutions, and the private sector.”
From the Atlantic Council “Economy of Trust” series:
By 2025, automation has the potential to displace 85 million jobs…On a more hopeful note, the authors also argue that the robot revolution is expected to create 97 million new jobs at the same time. The resulting job balance may be positive, but these drastic shifts in the labor market should offer both hope and caution; they will impact each nation’s economy significantly, and alter the demand for skills in employees, but may also stir social structures and affect citizens’ trust in their respective governments, public institutions, and the private sector.
In essence, respective governments, nations, and markets that equip their citizens for the upcoming skills-transition will be most successful. Those nations and companies that fail to plan ahead and adapt their education plans will risk falling behind. For example, low-wage workers may need to shift to occupations in higher wage brackets and require different skills to remain employed – with analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility being among the most sought-after skills of the future.
In this vein, the Swiss apprenticeship model becomes a model for others. Switzerland’s dual system combines learning on the job – and being paid a learning wage – with one to two days of theory at school. With 230 vocational professions to choose from, ranging from catering to high-tech industries, around two-thirds of Swiss school leavers opt for an apprenticeship.
“Automation is no ‘side issue’…it has the potential to bring substantial benefits to both economic modernization and social well-being.”
Across countries and supply chains, research has evidenced rising demand for employment, particularly in nonroutine analytics jobs accompanied by significant automation of routine manual jobs. As economies and job markets evolve, new roles will emerge across the care economy in technology fields (such as artificial intelligence) and in content creation careers. In response to these substantial changes and the rapid scale-up of digital platforms, the World Bank invites nations to
- “ramp up investment in human capital and lifelong learning for workers”;
- “strengthen social protection to facilitate work transition and reduce disincentives to the creation of formal jobs”;
- “ensure affordable access to the internet while adapting regulations to confront the challenges posed by digital platforms”; and
- “upgrade taxation systems to address tax avoidance and create fiscal space for universal social protection and human capital development.”
Technological progress will create multiple opportunities, but the process towards them can be disruptive – how well countries cope with the demand for changing job skills will also depend on how quickly the supply of skills shifts. Early planning by governments and companies alike can help avoid the escalation of unemployment rates and social unrest. Automation is no “side issue” —applied the right way, it has the potential to bring substantial benefits to both economic modernization and social well-being. These challenges will need to be approached in a humane and socially inclusive manner —offering education that keeps pace with the times, facilitating the creation of new livelihoods at all levels of society, or making the joy of invention accessible to all. It is not too late for nations and industries to adapt their learning and labor structures, increase collaboration between the public and private sectors, and build trust in the community and its leaders’ decision-making.
In the second issue of the Economy of Trust newsletter, both SICPA and the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center analyze the implications of quantum technologies in the development of an economy “based on a social contract, with the government defending the interests of the people.” In the face of significant moral and sociopolitical challenges of quantum technologies, SICPA argues that political and industrial decision-makers must “prepare their organizations for the future challenges” given that “our traditional way of managing risks will be insufficient in the face of high uncertainty.” The GeoTech Center concurs with our SICPA partners noting that “data and new technologies are changing societies around the world—making it extremely important that we encourage more trust and knowledge-based collaborations to work towards better futures together.”
The following insights were offered by the Economy of Trust series about the future of trust and exponential technologies:
- Political and industrial decision-makers must prepare their organisations for future challenges because in many instances, our traditional way of managing risks will be insufficient in the face of high uncertainty.
- Create the conditions for an Ethos of Trust, daily practices which will enable a liberal economy to survive or at least not perish because we have failed to adopt key enabling technologies. We have to enrich everything they do with a new dimension: Trust.
- Quantum computers and quantum communications…will need to be integrated into a world in 2030 based on interdependences that are ever more complex and dynamic.
- Participative and open science has become the norm in the academic world, with a credo of sharing and cross-checking facts and theories. Done very much in the spirit of a society of trust. But his sharing also benefits the malevolent and enables misuse. The threat exists alongside technological progress.
- Researchers tell us that computing capacity will be so considerable that even the most robust cryptographic codes will be broken. Today we are all asking for guarantees of our personal data and the preservation of the private sphere. The race to use quantum computing for good will run alongside the race which counters it. How to protect and promote only the good? We know that technologies for protecting our data, will also protect those of the malicious.
Technology Convergence and Market Disruption: Rapid advancements in technology are changing market dynamics and user expectations. See: Disruptive and Exponential Technologies.
AI Discipline Interdependence: There are concerns about uncontrolled AI growth, with many experts calling for robust AI governance. Both positive and negative impacts of AI need assessment. See: Using AI for Competitive Advantage in Business.
Benefits of Automation and New Technology: Automation, AI, robotics, and Robotic Process Automation are improving business efficiency. New sensors, especially quantum ones, are revolutionizing sectors like healthcare and national security. Advanced WiFi, cellular, and space-based communication technologies are enhancing distributed work capabilities. See: Advanced Automation and New Technologies
Embracing Corporate Intelligence and Scenario Planning in an Uncertain Age: Apart from traditional competitive challenges, businesses also confront external threats, many of which are unpredictable. This environment amplifies the significance of Scenario Planning. It enables leaders to envision varied futures, thereby identifying potential risks and opportunities. All organizations, regardless of their size, should allocate time to refine their understanding of the current risk landscape and adapt their strategies. See: Scenario Planning
Track Technology Driven Disruption: Businesses should examine technological drivers and future customer demands. A multi-disciplinary knowledge of tech domains is essential for effective foresight. See: Disruptive and Exponential Technologies.