In recent years, technology has gained even more prominence in the routine of people of different ages and social classes. From a computer or any other device connected to the internet, it is possible to work or study to access financial and health services. And if the pandemic and the need for social isolation were one of the accelerators of this digital transformation of society, we must now take a reverse path: with technology being an essential factor for economic and social recovery in the post-pandemic.
The impacts of the pandemic have brought even more complex challenges to nations. A report released during the last World Economic Forum estimates that, by 2024, the global economy will grow 2.3% due to the effects of Covid-19 – without considering the impacts of geopolitical disputes and armed conflicts. And, in this scenario, the better the capacity that governments, companies and citizens have to use technological innovations as an engine to accelerate transformations that create new opportunities for the economy and society, the greater the chances of success for countries in this recovery scenario.
The good news is that history shows that great advances come after difficult periods for humanity. In other words, as we have seen in scenarios such as the post-war period, this post-pandemic moment can be an opportunity for us to take a leap towards solving major problems in society and redefining the role of different nations. By taking advantage of the sense of collaboration that emerges after a moment of serious difficulties, companies and governments can work together to, through the possibilities opened up by technology, seek ways to build a more egalitarian and sustainable society.
In Brazil, among the many paths we have to overcome, is that of social exclusion, which was even more evident by the pandemic. The lack of access to technology has further increased the chasm that separates different social classes. In other words, in a scenario in which we have become even more dependent on digital services, the fact that 45% of Brazilians are underconnected, according to a recent survey by PwC and Instituto Locomotiva, reduces the opportunity to access basic resources such as health and education, as well as the possibilities for income generation for a large part of this population. This demonstrates that digital inclusion represents one of the major problems that needs to be tackled in the country.
Another essential issue concerns the use of technology to mitigate and reduce the problems associated with the climate crisis. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, which produces global non-profit research, by 2050, around 1.2 billion people could be displaced from their places of origin due to climate change. This will also have an impact on ecosystems that are vital for the survival of the planet, as it reduces the population’s means of subsistence and survival.
Among the technologies that have evolved and can have a positive impact on society is data intelligence. In other words, to the extent that technological advances make it possible to analyze and extract insights from data more and more quickly and efficiently, it is possible to predict and even anticipate catastrophes or scenarios that bring negative impacts to society, solving and mitigating problems even before they occur. they happen.
One of the practical examples of this application is the artificial intelligence solution implemented by Dell Technologies in partnership with Imazon SAD (Deforestation Alert System) to map areas of deforestation in the Amazon region and, through Artificial Intelligence, create models to predict new risk locations, with more than 90% accuracy.
In the coming years, we should see the explosion in the application of data-driven solutions to solve big societal problems. With Artificial Intelligence, for example, helping to transform healthcare; edge computing unleashing the full power of the Internet of Things for environmental monitoring and climate modeling, among others. Allied to this, the arrival of 5G in Brazil enhances these opportunities, by building the paths for a very high speed internet that can be accessible to an even greater number of Brazilians.
It is worth noting, however, that investment in technology is not enough. Their transformative power will only be possible with a commitment from the public and private sector to empower the population in digital skills, which help them to unlock even more human potential. In other words, this training of people must progress at a scale and speed similar to that of technological advances, if we want to build this path of economic and social development for all.
* Diego Puerta is president of Dell Technologies in Brazil