Our lives are becoming ever more entwined with and dependent on digital technologies. These technologies present exciting opportunities to improve our citizens’ quality of life, but they are also unleashing invisible harms to society as they become more sophisticated and pervasive:
- Misinformation and disinformation are damaging our communities and diminishing trust in government.
- Pervasive data collection is compromising our privacy and choice.
- Biased algorithms are increasing inequality, minimising choices and leading people to live in echo chambers.
- Cyber crime is on the rise.
- Hyper-connectivity and digital saturation is heightening young people’s levels of social isolation, intensifying scrutiny, judgement and abuse, and impairing cognition.
- Ransomware and cyber attacks are threatening critical infrastructure and supply chains.
And digital platforms and infrastructures are empowering malicious actors and regimes – threatening our ideologies, identities and aspirations, and indeed, our democracy.
As South Australia positions itself as a leader in advanced technology and defence, the public sector has a vital role in building a future which takes full advantage of all that digital technology has to offer. But it also has an important role in dealing with the unplanned negative effects of new technologies – which are growing in magnitude.
Are you prepared to navigate the digital dilemma?