As we work to decouple carbon emissions and economic growth on the path to net zero emissions — so-called “clean growth” — we must also meaningfully deliver sustainable, inclusive growth with emerging technologies.
With more than 50% of the global population living in non-democratic states, and keeping in mind the disturbing trend to authoritarianism of populist leaders in supposedly democratic countries, it is easy to think of dystopian scenarios about the destructive potentials of digitalization and AI for the future of freedom, privacy, and human rights. But AI and digital innovations could also be enablers of a Renewed Humanism in the Digital Age.
While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact. In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. We believe that tracking and communicating the environmental impact of ML should be a key part of the research and development process.
*Now a Virtual Conference* — IEEE ISTAS 2020 Public Interest Technology (Arizona State University) November 12 – November 14 – The International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) is the flagship conference of the IEEE’s Society on the Social Implications of Technology- the oldest society and conference of its kind. ISTAS is a multi/inter/trans-disciplinary forum for engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, researchers, social scientists, technologists, and polymaths to collaborate, exchange experiences, and discuss the social implications of technology.
In 2019, millions of young people took to the streets demanding “systems change not climate change.” Their call echoes the words of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, which stated that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
Disruptions can have positive as well as negative impacts on natural and human systems. Among the most fundamental disruptions to global society over the last century is the rise of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital technologies. These digital technologies have created new opportunities to understand and manage global systemic risks.
Some collective behavior that supports sustainability entails some individual inconvenience: many small acts of environmental kindness require some thought, effort, or consideration.
Two major forces are shaping the future of human civilization: anthropogenic climate change and the digital revolution. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind and the natural systems on which they depend.