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World Economic and Social Survey 2018

Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

image of World Economic and Social Survey 2018

This publication reviews the advances in frontier technologies — including automation, robotics, renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles, biotechnologies and artificial intelligence — and analyzes their economic, social and environmental impact. These technologies present immense potentials for the 2030 Agenda, fostering growth, prosperity and environmental sustainability. They also pose significant risks of unemployment, underemployment and rising income and wealth inequality and raise new ethical and moral concerns. The Survey identifies policy measures at national levels with the capacity to both maximize the potential of these technologies and mitigate their risks, thereby striking a balance among economic efficiency, equity and ethical considerations.

English

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Foreword

Frontier technologies—from DNA sequencing to 3D-printing, from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, from machine learning to artificial intelligence– present immense potential for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Good health and longevity, prosperity for all and environmental sustainability are within our reach if we harness the full power of these innovations.

English

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