2023 to 2032: Urgency for Responsible Innovation

This guest blog is written by independent youth activists and is intended to give a platform to the voices of young people.

by Keisha Maina

Popular movies, such as The Hunger Games, Black Panther, The Tomorrow War, Iron Man, Edge of Tomorrow, Big Hero 6, and Ready Player One, portray a future world where economies are decentralised into different ‘districts’ based on their production and manufacturing outputs. Watching these movies, one could imagine a world where global economies become more decentralized by the year 2032.

When I imagine such a future, I immediately become concerned about the impact on our mental health and well-being. If that were the future, the depression statistics would skyrocket. Despite this, I cannot help but picture the efficiency of a technological future. If the world in 2030 looked anything like Wakanda from Black Panther, we would probably enjoy the swiftest public transport systems—the futuristic planes – The Wakandan.

The more the world evolves, the more dangers we must avoid. Software that makes it as easy as writing code for a machine to self-implode or have a fight or flight mode. The warning here is that though technology can accelerate development, it holds the potential to deepen the socio-political and economic challenges witnessed in today’s world. Our reliance on technology in the ‘Future’ suggests that the rich will, get richer and the poor, poorer.

By 2032, I am confident that we can effectively use robotics and artificial intelligence to address today’s challenges. We can work towards providing affordable housing solutions and reducing the gap between the rich and the poor. We can adopt more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation systems, such as buses and jets powered by waste. We can even eliminate plastic waste by making it fully renewable or non-existent. We can preserve our marine life by using history and science to create more environmentally conscious solutions and utilizing artificial intelligence to predict the best and healthiest course of action. Our goal should be to coexist with nature and recognize that the world is changing. Rather than resisting our evolution, we should strive to gain from it.
Despite all this amazing potential for technology to transform our world for good, the reality is that there is little good faith in the way that technology is being used today. It is difficult to applaud the progress of technology without acknowledging the potential harms. Technology has come very far, I am just worried it is headed in the wrong direction.

In 2032, my daily routine involves tackling crises, pressing the panic button, and taking more significant steps compared to what I did in 2023. I was recently asked by Amnesty International, Kenya, about the daily life experience of anyone with internet access, and I believe most people’s responses would be similar to mine. They would probably describe their day as a standard routine that involves an automated rail station and various shades of grey. However, people who lack internet access may have a different outlook on life in 2032. Our perception of the future has been shaped largely by the media and its portrayal of the future. Consequently, the future heavily relies on technology, whether travelling in rockets or using holographic technology. We should focus on finding technological solutions to the current problems we face in order to shape the future positively.

This is a guest article Authored by Keisha Maina from Brookhouse School views expressed in this article are purely their own views.