He exhibited on October 4 at the 10th version of the Digital Country Summit 2022 as “futurist”. This new profession for many is something already known to Frank Diana, with a 30-year career in the field. Therefore, what better way to talk to this “futurist” to see what challenges we will face as humanity in the face of the accelerated advance of technology.
Getting ahead of the technology and trends that will mark our world in the coming decades is no longer a possibility, but rather a necessity for large companies. The world is moving at a breakneck pace and, for multinationals, it is essential to work with specialists to understand the transformations that occur every day.
Last October 4, thanks to the 10th version of the Digital Country Summit 2022the most important technological meeting in the country, was in Chile one of the most important futurists of the world: Frank Diana, Managing Partner for Future of Business of Tata Consultancy Service (TCS).
From finance to transportation, the pace of change is accelerating. That is why the so-called “futurists” have emerged. These are professionals in various fields who have specialized in the study of data to identify long-term trends.
As a regular speaker and opinion leader, he has a career spanning more than 30 years, which he currently performs as an advisor to TCS. Frank Diana’s great ability to connect the dots has allowed him to anticipate and accurately identify future scenarios and create a competitive advantage.
However, the technology is not completely innocuous. There are risks and challenges that we still have to face as a society. Thus, we spoke with Diana to find out her position on some of these issues.
Beyond the benefits that this technological progress can deliver, what are the main problems that we can face with the rapid advance of technology? What challenges do you think we will have to face?
What we have to do now is that technological innovations lead to constructive ends. And we can learn from the past: we have to look at the past before looking at the future. There are similar periods in history that we can learn from, one of them being the Second Industrial Revolution. So we must look to history to avoid making the same mistakes.
The biggest challenges related to technology are that it will take global communities that can handle them constructively. Currently, I don’t see a sufficient global answer for it. In the past we have examples such as the global response to World War II and efforts to prevent such an event from happening again. That kind of collaboration is what I think we need today, for example, to rule on the AI ethics.
Where do consumers with the lowest resources -economic or knowledge, such as older adults- stand in the face of the unbridled advance of technology? How can we do to balance the balance, from your knowledge as a futurist?
We know that inequality has grown in recent years, so there is concern that advancing technology could accelerate the inequality we already see in some parts of the world. But on the other hand, today we also see grandparents having video calls with their grandchildren, which is a positive effect of technology.
To avoid a negative impact of technologies on inequality, governments and companies have a role to play in trying to minimize it. Companies must seek to exploit these technologies in ways that can benefit everyone and contribute to the challenges we face as a society, such as climate change and poverty.
What challenges do these issues also propose for mental health, considering that people are increasingly connected? What can we do so that technology is a tool and not a problem in this regard?
One of the challenges is obviously the dependency on some of these tools, which has put us in some degree of isolation and that is something that continues to grow as we use more and more tools such as social networks.
That is one of the disadvantages that have occurred. However, let’s think about technologies that are helping people with mental health problems. For example, virtual reality glasses that allow patients with post-traumatic stress to face their fears in a controlled environment. There are negative and positive impacts, not everything is black or white.
How will technology, in Frank Diana’s vision, change the way we live in the years to come? Will we be more dependent on it? Will it be a contribution to humanity?
If we think about the last five years and the innovations that have emerged, such as Uber in the transportation industry, or Airbnb in the hotel industry, these are some examples of how technology makes our lives easier. If we zoom this out to the next 20 years, I like to think we’re going to look back and say ‘wow, did we live like this before?’
We’re definitely going to be more reliant on technology than we currently are, that has some downsides, for example, what happens if there’s a big power outage, or if there’s a hack. Those are some concerns about how we deal with these challenges. However, despite this, I am optimistic about how we will deal with the current challenges.