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Infographic — Can Digital Tech Make a Better World?

Digital technology poll chart

Click on image for full-size view (Dentsu Aegis Network, Statista)

21 October 2018. Those of us old enough to remember the early days of the Internet can recall bold predictions that ubiquitous computing and networking would bring people of different nations and cultures closer together, and open up an abundance of economic opportunities for all strata of society. Since those heady days, people working  in technology industries have found more mixed results, of course, with probably as many downsides as upsides for the general welfare.

Nonetheless large segments of the public in 10 advanced countries — but not a majority — still believe digital technology can help solve many of the world’s challenges, such as poverty, hunger, and climate change. Our friends at Statista published a chart on Friday with results of that poll, documented in a report by Dentsu Aegis Network and Oxford Economics, this weekend’s infographic on Science & Enterprise.

Of the 20,000 respondents polled, about 4 in 10 (42%) overall in the 10 countries agree digital technology will help solve the world’s most pressing challenges. In only one country, China, does a clear majority of respondents — about 7 in 10 or 71 percent — agree that digital technology is improving conditions in the world. About half of those in Russia (49%) agree with the statement, as well as roughly 4 in 10 respondents in Europe, Australia, and the U.S. The Japanese are most pessimistic, with less than a quarter (22%) believing digital technology is helping solve the world’s problems.

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