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Opportunities and Risks in Emerging Technologies

August 22, 2017 by The Web Foundation

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To achieve our vision of digital equality, we need to understand how new technologies are shaping society; where they present opportunities to make people's lives better, and indeed where they threaten to create harm. To this end, we have commisioned a series of white papers examining three key digital trends: artificial intelligence, algorithms, and control of personal data. The papers focus on low- and middle-income countries, which are all too often overlooked in debates around the impacts of emerging technologies. The series addresses each of these three digital issues, looking at how they are impacting people's lives and identifying steps that governments, companies and civil society organizations can take to limit the harms, and maximize benefits, for citizens. We will use these white papers to refine our thinking and set our work agenda on digital equality in the years ahead. We are sharing them openly with the hope they benefit others working towards our goal and to amplify the limited research currently available on digital issues in low- and middle-income countries. We intend the papers to foster discussion about the steps we can take together to ensure emerging technologies are used in ways that benefit people's lives, whether they are in Los Angeles or Lagos.