The digital divide: Who benefits and who doesn’t?
Updated 22:14, 27-Nov-2018
CGTN's Wang Haidi
In an age when some of the major Western countries are busy getting themselves out of the group, it remains a question whether “globalization” will still be a trend in the future and how can sustainable global development be maintained if the answer is “no.”
Speaking at the CGTN forum on “How would China be without Globalization,” China Silkroad Investment CEO Winston Ma Wenyan said that the biggest challenge to sustainable global development is the digital divide.
Ma noted that half of the world's population does not have digital connectivity, and even in China, where national policy is geared toward infrastructure investment and digital transformation, about 45 percent of its 1.4 billion people are without such connectivity.
This divide, according to Ma, has already led to a rift between traditional industries and companies that had thrived under the new economy. The former is expected to be transformed, disrupted and even displaced by the growth of the digital economy. And as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes even more sophisticated, Ma noted that more traditional jobs will increasingly disappear, leading to a host of social issues.
On the use of AI at the global level, UN Resident Coordinator in China, Nicholas Rosellini noted that AI fits into the idea of global governance. However, related trends need to be further studied, especially those relating to ethics.
Looking into the future of sustainable living, Oceanix Founder & CEO Marc Collins Chen pointed out the idea of floating cities as a likely solution. He noted that floating cities will do away with the need for land reclamation and can be situated near coastal areas. He even envisioned China to be the site of the first floating city in the world, due to the country's long coastline.
Technological innovation along with an equal share of digital development might be the two engines for a sustainable economy.
"40 years with Laurence Brahm: A marathon of experiences and ideas" is a special CGTN program on China's reform and opening-up. The 10-episode series explores many sides to reform and opening-up over the years and offers a unique perspective on the seismic shifts that have rippled through China's economy, policies, and social fabric. The program is live-streamed at every day from November 15 to 24.