New technology is changing us. It is changing how we relate, work and how we make decisions - both big and small.
Facial recognition technology, artificial intelligence (AI) that predicts the future and neural network computing are no longer science fiction. These developments promise enormous economic and social benefits. But the scope and pace of change also pose profound challenges.
Technology should exist to serve humanity. Whether it does will depend on how it is deployed, by whom and to what end.
As new technology reshapes our world, we must seize the opportunities this presents to advance human rights by making Australia fairer and more inclusive. However, we must also be alive to, and guard against, the threat that new technology could worsen inequality and disadvantage.
In her 2017 Boyer lectures, Professor Genevieve Bell reflected on what it means to be human today. Too often, we focus on single technology-related issues – such as the increased use of facial recognition technology – without reflecting on the broader context.
Professor Bell stated "What we have not seen is a broader debate about what they point to collectively. This absence presents an opportunity and an obligation."
Similarly, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, was the first to describe the rapid and pervasive growth in new technologies as a new industrial revolution claiming, "The world lacks a consistent, positive and common narrative that outlines the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, a narrative that is essential if we are to empower a diverse set of individuals and communities and avoid a popular backlash against the fundamental changes underway."
This project explored the rapid rise of new technology and what it means for our human rights.
You can read all papers associated with the project below: