Deep Shift 21 Ways Software Will Transform Global Society Survey Report, November 2015
Publication/Creation DateNovember 2015
Software has the potential to drastically change our lives. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society set out to help people prepare for changes enabled by software. We found 21 examples that will have far-reaching impacts on human health, the environment, global commerce and international relations.
We are entering a time of momentous societal shifts brought on by advancements in software. According to Erik Brynjolfsson, Council Vice-Chair and Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and prolific author: “Now comes the second Machine Age. Computers and other digital advances are doing for mental power – the ability to use our brains to understand and shape our environments – what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power.”
These changes will impact people around the world. Inventions previously seen only in science fiction, such as artificial intelligence, connected devices and 3D printing, will enable us to connect and invent in ways we never have before. Businesses will automate complicated tasks, reduce production costs and reach new markets. Continued growth in internet access will further accelerate change.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, and other underdeveloped regions, connectivity has the potential to redefine global trade, lift people out of poverty and topple political regimes. And for many of us, seemingly simple software innovations will transform our daily routines. These changes are not without their challenges; as technology improves the lives of many, we hope to help prepare people to understand and address concerns on privacy, security and job disruption.
I would like to thank my colleagues who serve on the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society for their efforts to help people around the world better understand and prepare for these shifts. This report is a small first step in understanding the changes that lie ahead. We hope it will provide important insights to consider as we navigate the complex issues related to changing technologies.
Victoria Espinel Chair, Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society, World Economic Forum President and Chief Executive Officer BSA | The Software Alliance, USA
Technology KeywordsImplantable Electronic Device
, Implantable Mobile Phone
, Wearable Internet
, Big Data
, Internet Of Things (IoT)
, 3D Printing
, Smart Cities
, Artificial Intelligence (AI)
, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
, Ubiquitous Computing
, Smart Homes
, Self-Driving Cars
, Digital Economy
, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
Date archivedJanuary 25 2016
Last editedFebruary 15 2019