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Future tech: promise against poverty

Do you anticipate the technological landscape changing significantly, in ways that are currently unpredictable, by December 2025? Furthermore, do you believe that the issues of poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, lack of healthcare facilities, inadequate housing, lack of clean drinking water, inflation, unemployment, and lack of empowerment could potentially be reduced by 60 to 70% by 2030?

There are individuals and groups who firmly hold the belief that substantial technological advancements will not occur by 2025, and that the challenges faced by the poor and lower middle class will not improve significantly by 2030. Their perspective can be likened to someone sitting under the sun but denying that it is sunlight, insisting it is darkness instead. Not only do they express this viewpoint, but they genuinely believe it and confidently propagate this belief.

These individuals might be skeptical about the pace of technological progress or the potential impact of technological innovations on various aspects of society. They may question the feasibility of addressing complex issues like poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, inadequate healthcare facilities, housing, clean drinking water, inflation, unemployment, and lack of empowerment within the proposed timeframe.

Indeed, skepticism and disbelief often arise from the challenging daily experiences and problems faced by individuals. The poor and lower middle class endure incredibly difficult lives, where each day feels like a battle that must be won. It can seem as though there is no end to the ongoing war they face. The frustrations and fatigue arising from the daily necessities and demands placed upon families are so overwhelming that individuals and even entire communities are compelled to believe that change for the better is unlikely.

The constant struggle to meet basic needs and provide for their families can create a sense of hopelessness and resignation. The burden of financial constraints, limited access to essential resources, and the absence of opportunities can reinforce the belief that improvement and progress are unattainable. When faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, it becomes difficult to envision a future where these hardships are significantly reduced or eliminated.

The impact of a corrupt system, the absence of constitutional governance, repeated martial laws, and ongoing economic, political, and social crises over the past 76 years have not only affected the lower and middle classes, but also businessmen and entrepreneurs. Their lack of trust in civil institutions, such as the judiciary and parliament, stems from the belief that the ultimate power in the country lies solely within the military and intelligence agencies, collectively referred to as the “Riasat” or state.

This belief, held by many, undermines their faith in civil institutions and casts doubt on the future of the country. The perception that the army and agencies are the sole determinants of power erodes confidence in the ability of civil institutions to steer the country in the right direction. The prevailing sentiment suggests that no matter the efforts of the judiciary or parliament, the true authority rests with the military and intelligence agencies.

This lack of faith in civil institutions and the prevailing power dynamics have far-reaching consequences. It hinders the development of a robust democratic system and exacerbates uncertainty in life. Rebuilding trust in civil institutions, strengthening democratic processes, and promoting transparency and accountability are essential steps towards fostering a more inclusive and prosperous future for the nation. However, the discussion here pertains to a different topic: the revolution brought about by objective forces.

Yet the advent of the railway system, electricity, the internal combustion engine, airplanes, computers, software, satellite television, mobile phones, photocopiers, fax machines, email, the World Wide Web, search engines, social media, smartphones, tablets, Android, apps like Zoom, and now artificial intelligence (AI) and future technologies have each marked pivotal moments in human history, revolutionising various aspects of society. These innovations have had profound impacts on the economy, social structures, and cultural dimensions of human civilisation.

For instance, the railway system introduced unprecedented speed and efficiency in transportation, transforming perceptions of distance and time. It made travel accessible to a broader segment of the population, promoting national unity, cultural exchange, and economic growth. Railways also stimulated the development of new industries and contributed to urbanization.

The widespread adoption of electricity revolutionized industries by providing a reliable and flexible power source. It extended productive hours, improved living standards, and underpinned modern communication systems. Electricity’s impact on economic growth, quality of life, and technological innovation cannot be overstated.

The internal combustion engine revolutionized transportation and logistics, making personal and commercial mobility faster, more reliable, and accessible. It transformed industries such as agriculture and construction, and its military applications changed the nature of warfare. The widespread use of the internal combustion engine also led to the growth of the oil industry and became a cornerstone of the global economy.

The invention of airplanes enabled rapid global travel and trade, facilitating cultural exchange, diplomacy, and technological innovation. Airplanes have connected distant regions, shrinking the world and promoting global cooperation. Aviation technology has driven advancements in engineering and science, influencing various sectors beyond transportation.

AI and future technologies represent the next wave of revolutionary innovations. AI and machine learning have already made significant strides in various fields, including healthcare, finance, transportation, and entertainment. These technologies have the potential to transform industries, streamline processes, and enhance decision-making capabilities. The integration of AI with other emerging technologies, such as robotics, automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT), holds even greater promise for the future.

While it is challenging to predict the precise course of technological advancements and their impact on society, it is reasonable to expect significant and unpredictable changes in the technological landscape by December 2025. The pace of technological innovation has been accelerating in recent years, and breakthroughs in fields like AI, quantum computing, biotechnology, and renewable energy are already on the horizon. These advancements have the potential to address pressing global challenges and improve the quality of life for many.

Technological advancements can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges. For example, AI can help optimize resource allocation, identify patterns and trends, and enable more targeted interventions. Renewable energy technologies can provide affordable and sustainable power sources, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Innovations in healthcare, agriculture, and education can improve access to essential services and enhance productivity.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that while science, technology, globalization, and brain power development are core revolutionary forces, they must be complemented for a complete solution.

In order to tackle these challenges at their core, it is imperative to promote inclusive economic growth, ensure access to quality education and healthcare, strengthen social safety nets, and foster sustainable development practices. By addressing the underlying causes and implementing a multifaceted approach, we can strive towards a more equitable and prosperous future.

The attainment of ambitious objectives often necessitates a unified effort from governments, organizations, and individuals globally. However, in the context of rapid scientific and technological advancements, these entities find themselves compelled to adapt to new realities rather than shaping them. This scenario posits that the dynamism of scientific and technological evolution effectively mandates responses from governments, organizations, and individuals, leaving them with limited autonomy over their actions.

This perspective is underscored by the challenges governments face in regulating social media platforms and the broader digital landscape. Similarly, both governments and multinational corporations have struggled to curtail the global flow of information, knowledge, research, innovation, and development (IKRID). These phenomena underscore the transformative power of four key forces: science, technology, globalization, and the brain power development. These forces act as objective drivers of change, shaping the landscape within which governments, institutions, and individuals operate, often beyond their control to dictate terms.

Science and technology, in particular, have emerged as inexorable forces, propelling societies into new eras of understanding and capability. Their relentless advancement dictates the pace and direction of change, requiring adaptive responses rather than prescriptive control. Globalization facilitates the unfettered flow of ideas, resources, and innovations across borders, further accelerating change and integration at a global scale. Lastly, the emphasis on brainpower development—through education, research, and innovation—fuels the continuous evolution of these forces.

These dynamics illustrate a shift in the locus of control, suggesting that traditional power structures, such as governments and large corporations, are increasingly reactive to the dictates of scientific and technological progress, globalisation, and intellectual development. In essence, these forces do not merely invite responses but necessitate them, shaping the future trajectory of societies and the global community at large. This shift highlights the need for adaptive strategies that can harness the potential of these forces while addressing the challenges they pose, ensuring that the benefits of such advancements are equitably distributed and aligned with broader societal goals.

Dr Murtaza Khuhro, "Future tech: promise against poverty," Business recorder. 2024-02-14.
Keywords: Social sciences , Unemployment rate , Financial challenges , Artificial intelligence , Cultural exchange , Economic growth , National unity , Power structures , IKRID

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