October 14, 2018

ABOVE AVERAGE IS OVER:

How robots could set the developing world free: Emerging economies will be able to dispense with highly expensive bureaucracy (Peter Franklin, 05 OCTOBER 2018, UnHerd)


The developing world's use of new technology to leapfrog entire stages of development that richer countries had to go through is a well-documented phenomenon. Examples include mobile phone-based financial services in places where there are no high street banks or, indeed, high streets. Then there's the use of distributed forms of renewable energy where there are no electricity grids or big central power stations.

But that's just for starters. If progress in artificial intelligence results in significant automation of specialisms such as the law, accountancy and education, then developing countries may be able leapfrog a lot of the services infrastructure that appears to be so essential to the functioning of a western economy.

Note that this does not require complete automation. For instance, in ten or 20 years time, an AI 'law bot' probably won't be able to do everything that a London QC can do now, but it might be able to undertake more basic legal work. Such tools could combine to allow developing economies to advance without the highly expensive - and, one might argue, self-justifying - public and private sector bureaucracies that weigh us down in the West.

This would free the brightest and best in rising nations to focus on real entrepreneurship and true innovation.




Posted by at October 14, 2018 4:47 AM

  

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