In the year 1820, a person could expect to live less than 35 years, 94% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, and less that 20% of the population was literate. Today, human life expectancy is over 70 years, less that 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty, and over 80% of people are literate. These improvements are due mainly to advances in technology, beginning in the industrial age and continuing today in the information age. There are many exciting new technologies that will continue to transform the world and improve human welfare. Here are eleven of them.
Across various domains--such as health, education, and housing--improving societal welfare involves allocating resources, setting policies, targeting interventions, and regulating activities. These solutions have an immense impact on the day-to-day lives of individuals, whether in the form of access to quality healthcare, labor market outcomes, or how votes are accounted for in a democratic society. Problems that can have an out-sized impact on individuals whose opportunities have historically been limited often pose conceptual and technical challenges, requiring insights from many disciplines. Conversely, the lack of interdisciplinary approach can leave these urgent needs unaddressed and can even exacerbate underlying socioeconomic inequalities. To realize the opportunities in these domains, we need to correctly set objectives and reason about human behavior and actions. Doing so requires a deep grounding in the field of interest and collaboration with domain experts who understand the societal implications and feasibility of proposed solutions. These insights can play an instrumental role in proposing algorithmically-informed policies. In this article, we describe the Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) research agenda, which involves using insights from algorithms, optimization, and mechanism design to improve access to opportunity. The MD4SG research community takes an interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach to improve societal welfare. We discuss three exciting research avenues within MD4SG related to improving access to opportunity in the developing world, labor markets and discrimination, and housing. For each of these, we showcase ongoing work, underline new directions, and discuss potential for implementing existing work in practice.
Today, so-called smart homes and IoT devices can make life easier, if you know how to use them. In short, just about every electronic device in your home can take orders from you and coordinate with others. You can make yours into a smart home like George and Judy Jetson's while keeping you safe using these gadgets. But, it helps to understand what IoT and smart devices are. Now, IoT and smart devices get used for creating smart home environments once only possible on television or in movies.
AI is entering Financial Services by automating processes, identifying patterns by crunching Big Data, and interacting with humans through voice. What areas of Financial Services will NOT be affected, and how will consumers buy banking and insurance services in the future? Artificial Intelligence surrounds us so seamlessly interwoven in our daily lives that we hardly pause to contemplate it during the day. Most of us carry around in our pockets our very own artificial intelligence assistants: iPhone s personal servants "Siri", Windows' "Cortana" and Android's "Google Now". All assistants communicate with us through interpreting and "understanding" natural language.
The recent technological advancement within artificial intelligence, the "Internet of Things", and robotics has generated significant impact on traditional businesses, causing decreasing profit margins across several sectors, whereas most of the big winners in the Wall Street IPOs are companies with innovative ideas from Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter, (NASDAQ: TWTR) to Snapchat (NYSE: SNAP). There are two common determining factors among those successful IPOs: Ideation and User Generated Content (UGC). In the era of big data and artificial intelligence, we will soon be able to create the tools to better capture the value from ideation and UGC, as well as spur economic growth by capitalizing on human ingenuity. With the ever-accelerating developments in technology, the world is in the process of moving from a consumer economy to a knowledge-based economy, and from a debt- based system to an equity based system, which will include movement from tangible assets to intangible assets. Hence we envision that our world economic system will operate on a new growth formula.