Neutralizing negative social effects of automation
Regulating introduction of new technologies to protect workforce
The future is said to belong to information appliances. While information appliances will proliferate, they will not lessen the perception of an exasperating electronic environment. The interaction of the coffee pot, the car, the smart fridge, and the networked camera will create a new layer of complexity. In the rush towards the digital era, we will continue to live right on the edge of intolerable frustration. When technology changes rapidly, greater ease of use serves to attract more users and developers, creating new frustrations. The most we can do is ameliorate the spread of the information appliance products and services. To do this, it appears necessary to recognize that flexibility and ease of use are in an unavoidable conflict, and that the optimal balance between those two factors differs among users. Therefore systems should be designed to have degrees of flexibility that can be customized for different people. It will also be essential to provide for remote administration of home computing and networking.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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