Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Future Proofing Society — Accelerating the adoption of online technology platforms to protect the future of work, life and education.
We have seen from the recent Covid-19 crisis how little it takes to throw society into chaos. To some extent, technology has helped us manage what would otherwise be a very difficult situation with platforms such as Amazon, Zoom and Deliveroo playing a crucial role in combating the virus by supporting strategies such as social isolation.
The current situation has highlighted how ill-prepared we are for a crisis of this scale. We should embrace this as an opportunity to transform some sectors in an effort to future-proof our everyday lives from similar catastrophic events that might occur. We must also factor in the other spin-off benefits of mass adoption of remote working technologies, such as combating climate change and improving productivity and be wary of falling straight back into our bad-old ways as soon as the corona virus crisis abates.
In the past, certain sectors such as, health and education, have been slow adopters of innovative processes such as remote working. This has partly been due to fear of change and the impact on jobs. However, we now see that in a crisis society is ill-prepared to respond. This is also true of many commercial sectors.
We now find ourselves on a very steep learning curve as we rapidly adopt new ways of working to deal with the crisis. Even with limited capabilities for remote working many of us are seeing that this represents a very real possibility for achieving better work/life balance whilst being much friendlier to the environment. It is important to remember that once we come out of the corona virus crisis, we still have to face a possible economic meltdown and an impending climate disaster. Although it may seem a secondary concern at the moment, climate change is the bigger threat facing us in the medium term. The recent increase in remote working has greatly benefited the environment and therefore we should seek to adopt some of these practises on a more permanent basis.
It is recommended that we use the current situation to explore remote working and familiarise ourselves with the available technologies. As well as adopting standard communication tools we should also look at embedding remote working in future business models. For example, we need to accelerate adoption of domain specific solutions in health, education and life in general. Many of these tools are already available but have faced inertia in adoption by large public bodies.
Society needs to act now to ensure that the knowledge we gain during lock-down is harnessed to combat climate change and to future-proof our essential services.
Paul Dowling is the co-founder of Mindstream AI an organisation that focuses on democratising AI for the common good of mankind. The company helps deliver KQ LABS, a data centric health accelerator on behalf of The Francis Crick Institute. We work with clients to build programmes that have high social impact. This includes the provision of a full curriculum of data science workshops. Mindstream are currently working to combat Covid-19 by running CoronaHack – AI vs Covid 19.