13th February 2019
That there are a lot of long-standing problems facing people is not news.
There are multitudes of people around the globe who don't have enough to eat, lack access to clean water or are simply prevented from elevating their socioeconomic status.
Alleviating societal issues is neither a simple nor a quick process. New technologies do offer alternate paths forward, however.
Artificial intelligence, for instance -- especially combined with data gathered from a variety of sources -- can help curate information. This means a better identification of medical concerns, the ability to develop renewable food sources or the improvement of safety in our communities.
There are more problems facing the world than can be easily listed. The items below, gathered from members of Forbes Technology Council, are a jumping-off point that identify problems and provide suggestions for potential solutions.
1. Climate Change
Climate change will become the most significant destabilizing global issue. Technology can help in myriad ways, from making electric cars mainstream and building alternative sources of energy to replace coal to creating more efficient buildings, non-polluting air conditioning systems and desalination systems. - Leah Allen, Radius
I think we can eliminate poverty by using technology to create more jobs and open up a wider marketplace for those in developing countries to reach an audience that would be interested in buying what they make or offer. Ensuring everyone has equal access to the internet can certainly go a long way to creating a way for more people to economically sustain themselves. - Chalmers Brown, Due
Technologies like online courses and robots in the classroom allow for a higher-quality and standardized delivery of curriculum by experts who really understand the subjects being taught. This type of education dramatically increases access both for urban and rural classrooms that lack the resources to maintain a well-trained staff. - Richard Margolin, RoboKind
4. The Economy
VR will be a transformative tool to train workers displaced by automation in developed economies and workers entering the workforce in emerging economies. VR can program/reprogram the human mind to learn new skills more effectively, with better learning and long-term retention. "VR-Cades" can circumvent expensive university and polytechnic courses while saving the trainees' money and time. - Siddharth Banerjee, Indusgeeks USA Inc.
Democracies depend on the participation of their citizens. We do this mostly through the power of voting. However, we still have poor participation and tremendous concern with voting accuracy. Blockchain's underlying technology -- the concept of the trust database -- could be used to facilitate universal participation in elections and to assure that there will not be any tampering with results. - Paul Blough, BloughTech
6. Health Care
I strongly believe that by incorporating the right technology tools into the health care system, we could see a huge improvement in patient outcomes, as well as big savings for hospitals. To accomplish this on a larger scale, we need to see professionals in the medical industry who are willing to embrace the technology and technology companies that are open to listening to the needs of medical professionals. - Marcus Turner, Enola Labs
7. Senior Isolation
The elderly often feel isolated, but we have technology based around video conferencing and telepresence that could alleviate some of that isolation when a physical presence isn’t possible. - Stephen Cox, SecureAuth
8. Public Safety
Kidnappings, ambushes and reports of rape are words that we unfortunately read in headlines on a regular basis. Glasses or IoT-enabled personal devices with face recognition technologies connected to a database of criminals may be able to proactively warn when known offenders are in close proximity, while peer-to-peer, location-based emergency communication technologies can enable victims to seek help from law enforcement or others nearby. - Amit Mondal, PowerSchool
9. Police Brutality
Police brutality is what pops first to mind. When police wear body cameras, reports of police violence drop off a cliff. A universal technology mandate would also protect police officers from baseless claims of excessive use of force. - Timothy Chaves, ZipBooks Online Bookkeeping Services
Leveraging e-commerce technologies to improve access to healthier options will help save trillions of dollars in health care, help families live healthier, happier lives and make the healthier options affordable. With deep learning technologies, we can do analysis and predictions on how we farm our crops and livestock, allowing us to evaluate and optimize the sustainability of farming. - Kay Lee, Thrive Market
11. Safe Drinking Water
With large-scale IoT and the cloud, we now have the ability to monitor infrastructure on a global scale. If we applied this technology and aligned strategy, I believe we could bring safe drinking water to most of the world. Safe drinking water is foundational in the journey out of poverty. - Kurt Dykema, Twisthink