RTI is proud to participate in the 2020 Annual Meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held February 13-16 in Seattle, WA. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest multi-disciplinary science society, and its annual meetings include more than 120 scientific sessions, plenary and topical lectures, flash talk sessions, e-poster presentations, and an international exhibit hall. Each year, more than 9,000 scientists, educators, policymakers, and journalists attend to present on and discuss innovations in science, technology, and policy.
This year, RTI expert Jeffrey Alexander, PhD organized and will moderate a scientific session on technological disruptions and their social effects. Luis Crouch, PhD, another RTI expert, will participate in the discussion, and the session will expand on work that RTI conducted with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the fourth Industrial Revolution and development. Additional details are included below:
Title: The Digital Transformation of Societies: Addressing Technological Disruption
Date: Saturday, February 15
Time: 10:00am - 11:30am
Location: Washington State Convention Center - 606
Synopsis: Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, and automation in manufacturing and services based on emerging technologies such as AI will have potentially transformative and disruptive consequences for the quality of life of billions of people around the world. With large youth populations, developing nations may find that extensive automation worldwide will have unforeseen social consequences at large scales, such as premature deindustrialization, widespread unemployment, and a growing urban-rural divide. Current debates contrast the potential of these technologies as the next revolution in delivering economic growth and welfare, versus nascent dangers from technologies that exacerbate bias, inequity, and social control. Proposed solutions, such as implementing a universal basic income, seek to address these challenges but possibly without a complete understanding of the fundamental problems to address. The goal of this session is to bring the perspectives of both the developed and developing nations on the actual and potential impact of these technologies on their societies. The speakers explore the role that research in engineering, science, and policy engagement should play in averting the negative consequences of this dramatic social change. They will also highlight opportunities to use emerging technology to accelerate development, combat poverty, and improve the human condition.